Millennials are on the verge of surpassing baby boomers as the largest living adult generation, numbering over 71 million and counting. Comprised of people in their early 20s to mid 30s, this generation is wielding serious buying power with newly acquired disposable income. Restaurants must put forth an effort to understand this tech savvy generation and adjust marketing efforts to reach this demographic accordingly. But understanding how to market your restaurant to millennials means more than just offering avocado toast and craft beer.
If it seems that millennials are constantly glued to their phones, it’s because they are, and restaurants need to utilize this technology when planning marketing efforts. Millennials are much more likely to use social media and their mobile device to search for restaurant recommendations. It’s important for your restaurant to present a digitally knowledgeable front by using tools such as a website, social media, mobile apps, online ordering and email marketing. Encourage your customers to write online reviews, which help others discover your restaurant.
Utilize Convenience Technology
Millennials are intertwined with technology, utilizing it to make their lives more convenient. Those same millennials using technology to find your restaurant will appreciate making reservations online or having food delivered via a service like UberEats. Partner with a restaurant reservation app to help millennials book a reservation more easily, and be sure to offer some form of delivery. Additionally, incorporating simple innovative touches to your restaurant, such as digital receipts, iPad menus and mobile payment, make the entire restaurant experience more enjoyable for convenience-minded millennials.
This generation is on the hunt for healthier options at a great value. Millennials expect high quality food at fair prices, not necessarily the cheapest food available. Your restaurant should strive to use locally sourced, fresh ingredients whenever possible and include nutritional information on the menu. This makes Millennial stomachs and wallets very happy.
Embrace the Experience
These days churning out delicious food to your customers is not sufficient for a restaurant. Millennials value experiences and presentation. What’s the atmosphere at your restaurant? Do elements such as wall décor and background music enrich the customer experience? Consider enhancing the experience factor by preparing dishes tableside or holding weekly theme nights and activities at your restaurant to enhance its social cache. Emphasize food presentation in conjunction with preparation. Millennials want food that tastes good and looks good so they can post a mouth-watering picture to Instragram.
This generation is socially conscious and likes to connect with brands that share similar values. Supporting a cause or charity helps others and will also attract millennials to your business. Giving back to the community can include pledging a portion of proceeds from purchased meals or donating unused food to local organizations.
Millennials embrace authenticity, so do not be afraid to let your restaurant have a little personality. Instead of just broadcasting statistics about your daily specials, concentrate on storytelling to weave an exciting narrative about your restaurant. Adopt a fun persona with your restaurant’s online and social media platforms and connect with current and potential customers. Be creative, try new things and stand out – and make sure to let millennial customers know when you’re doing it by offering as many free samples as possible.
Millennials are wielding more buying power with each passing year. If your restaurant needs assistance reaching this important demographic, give us a shout! Fridge will help you attract and engage millennials (or any age group), turning first timers into repeat customers.
Andrew Alexander, PR and Content Specialist