Millennials. They're the largest generation in history, and they're hungry. They have very specific values, a great sense of community and a hunger for good food and atmosphere. Learn simple steps you can take to cater to this trend-setting generation of youth.
Who Are Millenials?
This generation includes those born between 1979 and 2000. You may also know them as Echo-Boomers, Generation Y, teens, or tweens. They're the tech-savvy group setting new trends in style, fashion, music, and most importantly, food.
Millennials are very connected with their families and friends, thanks in large part to their thorough knowledge of technology. They've grown up with mobile phones, the Internet, and other digital, social networking tools like text-messaging and e-mail.
After so much time spent communicating on a virtual level, Millennials want a comfortable place where they can truly connect with their friends and family. They look for social establishments where it's easy to connect with their friends in person. They seek environments where they can share, receive good value, and customize their food choices.
Catering to the Older Millennial Crowd
Snack on This
This older segment of the Millennial generation tends not to have set meal times, nor do they eat traditional food during traditional meals. This group of youth is more interested in eating small snacks throughout the day. These eating habits provide a wide variety of flavors and tastes.
Millennials would prefer to have breakfast foods available all day and may not necessarily eat these foods during the morning breakfast hours.
Lunch is a more hectic time when they'll grab what they can on the go. They tend to look for fast, portable foods in the afternoon.
Supper and late-night snacking choices are often driven by social activities. Millennials are attracted to places that provide value, choice, and a hang-out atmosphere.
Why They Dine
Like most other diners, Millennials dine out for social occasions, for meal times, and for snacking purposes. They choose restaurants as their place to celebrate, meet up with people, and re-energize. Their goal is to fill-up, re-fuel, or satisfy a specific craving.
There are three main restaurant categories that attract Millennials:
Cool, hip dining environments: they anticipate exciting menu options, interesting décor, lots of choices, and a relaxed environment.
Casual dining: they look for a comfortable place to spend a weeknight or weekend where they can kick back and watch the game or have a few drinks with their meal.
Nice, expensive establishments: they expect friendly customer service, gourmet selections and small portions when they splurge and treat themselves.
Above all of these trends, there are three requirements that outshine all the rest: value, the cool factor, and convenience.
Typically, Millennials are on a budget. Therefore, they want the most bang for their buck. They look for places that serve big portions or smaller inexpensive plates. They like variety, but they value large portions. They feel most satisfied when they leave feeling full. Coupons, specials, and all-you-can-eat features are key drivers to great food spots.
Millennials go to restaurants that are popular with others their age. They look for places that have age-appropriate music, a modern environment, and a unique atmosphere where they can kick back with friends.
Anything that's open when they're looking to eat is a must. Millennials love the night life and often seek to end their evening snacking with friends.
Source: New American Dimensions Qualitative Research 12/06.