Marketing Your Restaurant to Millennials

Man eating burger

When it comes to flavors and dining experiences, they look for customization.

Born between 1977 and 1992, Millennials make up 22 percent of the U.S. population. With spending power of $170 billion and growing, this large market of consumers is one that you should be actively marketing to. Before you start marketing to them, it’s important to understand who they are, and what drives their choice in restaurants and restaurant menus.  

Who Are the Millennials? 

The Global Generation, or Generation “Why”, Millennials grew up in a 24/7 world in which the Internet shaped their day-to-day lifestyles, and they weren’t afraid to ask questions and demand more from the foodservice industry. 

What makes Millennials stand out for their older counterparts is their philosophy toward dining out. They are actively seeking customization, food and beverages that suit their cravings, a group setting or menu, and new or unique foods. 

However, you might be surprised by how simple it is to tailor your operation to appeal to their desires.

How Do You Market to Millennials? 

Connecting a technological world to a menu of customizable flavors, Millennials are looking for four key aspects to each foodservice operation.

Brand Immersion

By incorporating highly relevant, visual elements into overall messaging, Millennials are more likely to make a connection with your restaurant. Brands who find a way to connect with their consumers’ lifestyles - in both online and offline forums - stand the best chance to attract Millennial diners to their operation. 

Seamless Positioning

Creating a connection between mobile applications, the dining experience, and online marketing allows Millennials to connect with a guest experience that suits their needs, and keeps your business top-of-mind. Use mobile applications to offer specials and promotions to keep diners coming back again and again. 

Customization

The ability to design their own dish, as well as their own experience, is a major draw. From a make-your-own burger menu option, to a Sunday morning Bloody Mary bar, how you market your menu to Millennials makes a big difference. Beyond what’s printed on your menu, offering them a variety of customizable experiences gives them satisfaction beyond what’s served on the plate. 

Your Menu

60-70 percent of Millennials say that appealing taste and flavors are among the most important factors when selecting a restaurant. Though globally-inspired cuisine generally holds the most appeal, putting modern spins on establish comfort foods, and satisfying their “snacking” lifestyle can easily offer something unique from your operation. 

Better-for-you options are also another way you can be sure to attract diners, however, a lack of healthy options on your menu can also drive them away. Driven mainly by a combination of affordable prices and fresh, high quality food, more than 84 percent of Millennial consumers stated that the freshness of the food was likely to influence them.

You don’t need to be a flashy gastropub or reinvent your menu or experience to be appealing. Many of the attributes the Millennial generation is searching for are already within your grasp. You simply need to find your brand and your voice, and stick to it.