Despite all the endless discussion over Millennials – this over-generalized generation represents a quarter of the U.S. population, holds $1.3 trillion in spending power and will be an important driver of success for restaurant brands as members purchase 36% of their meals away from home – more than any other generation.
As a result, smart restaurant brands are paying particular attention to what members of this generation want and how best to appeal to them.
While you can find a plethora of information regarding Millennials with a quick search on Google, here are three lesser-known facts that could have important implications for your restaurant.
- Millennials prefer more frequent small bites over three meals a day. Of the meals eaten by Millennials, 35% are actually snacks, with 53% of consumers snacking at least two or three times a day. In fact, the snacking segment is forecasted to grow 23.8% from 2012 to 2016 and is expected to reach $22.9 billion in sales by 2016. If you look around you, you’ll see more restaurants than ever re-thinking their menus and adding breakfast, brunch and smaller plates to their offerings.
- Millennials like more complexity in their food and are willing to try new things. Healthy food options, eclectic, bold flavors and textures are important to Millennials when deciding where to eat and 72% are likely to try new foods when eating out.
- Millennials are social and communal. This small fact could have a substantial effect on the design, décor and atmosphere of your restaurant. Haven’t you also noticed the flurry of restaurant brands rolling out remodels and new concepts? Rather than traditional layouts, restaurants are experimenting with open kitchen concepts, bar-style tables and large menu boards. They are also integrating more technology into their restaurants. Take for example, Buffalo Wild Wings, who offers tablets for guests to use at their tables. With their tablets, guests can view menus, order their food, pay their bill and play trivia and arcade games against other players in the restaurant.
Hopefully these facts have been at least somewhat enlightening, because the challenge for restaurants will be positioning their brands to this segment. Regardless of who you are, you need to know how Millennials want to be communicated with, what their food preferences are and how they view your brand, in order to connect with them on a personal level – after all Millennials are here to stay and they are spending billions on eating out.
For more information on who your Millennial customer is so you can better serve them, let us know. We’re more than happy to help.