3 Mind Blowing Facts about Millennials and Your Restaurant
With the millennial generation, a mighty population of 87 million strong (anyone born between 1977 and 1992), smart restaurant businesses are paying attention to what they want and how to appeal to them. But just how important are millennials to restaurants? Well according to Technomic research, millennials purchase 36 percent of their dinners away from home, more than any other generation!
While there are many known traits that characterize millennials, such as being community-centric, willing to spend more money on the things they enjoy and eager to share their opinions and experiences on social media, here are three lesser-known facts about millennials that will blow you away. Knowing about them could have important implications for your restaurant.
Mind-Blowing Fact #1: Millennials prefer more frequent small bites over three larger square meals.
According to trend watchers, 35 percent of meals eaten by millennials are actually snacks. That means you may want to re-think your menu to include breakfast or brunch items on your dinner menu, as well as smaller plates or larger plates for sharing. For instance, Sara Rush, associate editor of Restaurant Business newsletter, writes about how the brunch and cocktail combo is a favorite among millennials in her article, Cocktails + Brunch = millennial heaven. She shares her story about dining out for Easter-weekend brunch at Hutch in Chicago, an American-style bistro. The packed restaurant, mostly represented by millennials, consisted of most everyone enjoying cocktails alongside their meal, a trend that she attributes to her millennial generation.
Mind-Blowing Fact #2: Millennials like more complexity in their food and they are willing to try new things.
Not only are healthy food choices important to millennials, so are intense or eclectic flavors and textures. When appealing to millennials, chefs have an opportunity to get creative with a variety of global cuisines, spices, textures and artistic plating techniques. In a Foodnavigator-usa.com article, Turning Up the Heat: Millennials like their flavors hot, spicy and sophisticated, Gary Augustine, executive director, market development at Kalsec, largely attributes the millennial preference for hot and spicy foods to the fact that younger generations were weaned on spicier foods in addition to the growing Hispanic population.
Mind-Blowing Fact #3: Millennials are social and communal.
Knowing this could have an important impact on how you design your restaurant’s décor and atmosphere. Rather than traditional table and seating layouts, more restaurants are experimenting with open concept kitchens, long bar-style tables and large menu boards versus sit-down menus. Additionally, because millennials are so tech-savvy, restaurants have an opportunity to connect with their millennial customers in exciting ways by integrating more technology into their dining spaces. For instance, with Buzztime’s BEOND entertainment platform, casual dining chain Buffalo Wild Wings offers tablets for guests to enjoy at their tables, where they can view menus, order their food, pay their bill, and play favorite trivia and arcade games against other players in the restaurant.
Hopefully these facts are eye openers that will help you better serve your millennial customers because one thing is certain, millennials are here to stay and they are spending billions of dollars on dining out.