Written by: J. Vigotsky
In 2019, millennials will be between the ages of 23-38. So while we think of the generation as being young, the fact is millennials are becoming an important demographic for bars and restaurants. So if you’re located in an area that’s popular among young adults, you should be doing all you can to win them over. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when it comes to Millennial dining habits.
Customization is Key
There’s a reason why Chipotle and Pieology have been so successful. It’s because they allow customers to customize their orders. It doesn’t matter how experimental you want your pizza or burrito to be. These restaurants are happily willing to oblige. And that’s something millennial diners appreciate. Offering custom meals might not be easy for all restaurants. So if you can’t offer complete customization, at least give diners a bit more control of their side dishes. Refrain from adding an extra charge to their check, and you might just have their loyalty for life.
Healthy Eating is Important
Millennials love natural, organic, and locally-sourced food. If it’s farmed sustainably, even better. Compared to other generations, Millennials are far more likely to adopt plant-based diets. Meat, dairy, and eggs are no longer the diet staples they once were. So what does this mean for restaurants? The most obvious takeaway is restaurants should feature several vegetable-based dishes on their menus. Preferably locally-sourced. Offering a standard salad of greens might’ve been enough ten years ago, but now is a different story.
Good Wi-Fi is a Must
A 2018 study, 39% of Americans between the ages of 18-29 report being online almost constantly. Needless to stay, staying connected is extremely important for Millennials. If your bar or restaurant doesn’t provide quality Wi-Fi, you’ll likely rub some of these customers the wrong way. The solution is to ensure customers can always stay connected. Offer free, quality Wi-Fi, and Millennials won’t feel a pressing need to avoid your restaurant. They might even tag you on Instagram.
They Crave New Experiences
Known as open-minded and curious by nature, Millennials love to try new things. So when they go out to eat, they’re not likely to order the same dish over and over. Instead, they’ll branch out and try anything that catches their interest. A good way to appeal to this curious nature is by offering sampling platters and drinks. Even better, rotate your restaurant’s offerings based on the season. And since Millenials prefer fresher food, a rotating menu kills two birds with one stone.
Dining Should be Social
The Millennials’ obsession with social media is well documented. That’s why it might come as a surprise that the age group appreciates a communal dining experience. Instead of sitting in booths and at small tables, they often prefer seating at long tables where they can sit with friends and strangers alike. These tables encourage a friendlier atmosphere and help turn the meal into more of a social experience.
If you’re considering making changes to your bar or restaurant in hopes of attracting Millennials, be aware that there is a downside. A few years ago Applebees overhauled its menu in an attempt to satisfy the younger demographic. They started offering modern dishes that were trendier than the standard fair. Unfortunately for Applebees, Millennials didn’t take to it. And even worse, the changes alienated a large portion of the restaurant’s regular diners. So if you’re going to update your bar or restaurant for the sake of Millennials, make sure there are plenty around who will appreciate it. And think about whether your regular customers will be put off by the changes.