How Restaurants Can Attract Millennial Diners
Millennials dine differently.
Although they dine less elaborately than their Baby Boomer counterparts, they eat out a lot more frequently. Nearly half of all millennials eat out at least twice a week, mostly with the goal of socializing, eating healthy, and getting a good deal.
How can restaurants cater to this powerful and growing demographic? Knowing exactly what millennials are looking for in a dining experience can make the difference in whether or not your haunt becomes the next Chipotle.
Exciting, Versatile Menus are a Draw Millennials say they let their cravings drive their dining decisions. About 60% of this group looks at online menus before dining-in, and nearly a fifth say they menu-read on their smartphones. Restaurants with dynamic menus or at-table displays offering special food selections have a better chance of capturing millennials’ attention. Where possible, give millennials the opportunity to customize their food through small plates, condiments galore, and choose-your-own topping arrangements for maximum appeal.
Eating as a Social Activity A huge percentage of interviewed millennials say they dine out as an experience, not as a way to fill up. This generation loves communal tables, and the more casual a dining experience, the better. Tabletop caddies with shared condiments and napkins can add a familial vibe, as do long tables with bench seating. Millennials also like to gather for momentous events (think: World Cup match) so it’s important to create opportunities for shared cultural experiences. Bar caddies with LCD screens that display up-to-the-minute sports scores ensure everyone enjoys the game simultaneously, and strategically-placed TVs can draw a crowd on an otherwise slow day of the week.
Good Food Shouldn’t Cost Too Much If your restaurant serves quality food – preferably local and/or sustainable! – at reasonable prices, you’re golden. It’s imperative to millennials that they’re “eating with a conscience” without breaking the bank. Be sure your advertising efforts informs millennials where the food they’re eating comes from, and don’t shy away from daily deals and coupons. Tableside digital ads offering limited-time discounts are a fantastic way to appeal to this demographic.
Be Convenient and Offer Convenience Not only should your restaurant be convenient (offering parking, easy access, and streamlined ordering), it should offer convenience to its millennial customers. How can you do this? Tabletop cell phone chargers that let guests plug right into condiment caddies are a start. Online or digital touchscreen ordering creates a snafu-free experience. At-table infotainment, too, keeps customers informed and entertained while they wait on food. No seconds wasted for millennials!
Offer to Connect on a Social Level Millennials are digital natives which means they’re actively engaged with social media. Providing them opportunities to connect with your brand on social media keeps them plugged in and advertising on your behalf. Offer incentives for social engagement – discounts, updates, photo tags – and show your customers the results immediately to get the maximum effect.
Do Something Worth Talking About Are you the only restaurant in town offering bottomless mimosas? Or maybe you’ve got the hottest wings in the state, or the only tabletop TVs of any restaurant in the area. Millennials love “discovering” something new and sharing it with their friends, so figure out how to set your restaurant apart. Nothing is novel forever, so it’s important to constantly reinvent your menu, change your atmosphere, or up your offerings to suit the emerging demographics.
Media Caddy offers unique, engaging content to your millennial customers with incredible ROI. Increase point-of-sale purchases, please your customers, and score white-label marketing dollars all while creating less work for your bartenders and servers? Yes, please.
Contact the Media Caddy team today to find out your options for in-house infotainment your customers will love. Millennial diners have options. Be sure your restaurant is always their first choice.