It’s no secret that the millennial generation is quickly becoming the dominant customer base for dining out. As more and more “baby boomers” are reaching retirement, millennials are beginning to take over the restaurant scene. With a projected annual spending of nearly two and a half trillion dollars in 2015, the millennials are certainly a huge target for restaurant owners. So, just how do these restaurants attract this new generation? Here are a few strategies for bringing millennials into your restaurant.
Personalize the Experience
We are talking about a generation that demands choices and the ability to customize their order. They want good food and they want it their way! For this reason, millennials are drawn to restaurants that give them the option to create their own meal. This idea of “personalizing their order” makes them feel special, empowered, and gives them a unique dining experience.
Create a “Wow” Factor
It’s time to get creative and come up with a menu item that will “wow” your customers. It can be an unusual concoction that will delight their taste buds or a menu item that is so outrageous it is worthy of its own “wall of fame.” Either way, millennials love competition and being the first to try the next big thing.
Get Fresh (with ingredients that is!)
Not only is this new generation looking for great value, but they are also looking for great ingredients. With a stronger focus on health and nutrition, millennials want food that is fresh, delicious, and nutritious. Many restaurants are now offering a variety of gluten-free options, vegetarian options, and boasting fresh, local ingredients. Millennials want to know exactly what they are eating and where their food is coming from.
Embrace Social Media
Smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices have become as essential as wallets and purses when it comes to going out. Many restaurants are using this technology to their advantage by advertising through social media. They may offer promotions or discounts through their Facebook page or encourage customers to share their dining experience through Instagram. Some restaurants are even making reservations or to-go orders more convenient through online services and apps. This is also a great tool in creating customer loyalty. Millennials love the perks of being part of e-clubs or loyalty programs.
Create the Right Atmosphere
For members of the millennial generation dining out has become a social gathering in addition to a nice dinner. They are looking for an atmosphere that is comfortable, inviting, and casual. They want a place where they can hang out with friends. They also like to travel in packs, so it is appealing when a restaurant can easily accommodate a large group. Aside from great food, millennials are looking to be entertained when they are out. Live music and trivia nights are a great way to attract this younger generation.
Attracting millennials to restaurants is no easy feat, as this generation tends to be fickle and very particular in their expectations. However, ask any restaurant owner and they are sure to say that millennials are among their prime customer target. As this new generation of restaurant goers seeks out fresh, fun, affordable, and trendy options, restaurants must work hard to attract them. It takes creativity, social responsibility, fresh ingredients, and a comfortable atmosphere to grab the attention of the millennial generation.