How to Appeal to Millennial Restaurant Customers
Millennials – while you may be sick of hearing about them, they aren’t going anywhere, anytime soon. Millennials have $200 billion in buying power and will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025. While they tend to be a rather fickle bunch, appealing to this coveted demographic and their evolving tastes is critical for growing your revenue, especially in the digital age.
Check out these easy tips to getting more millennials through your restaurant doors.
How to Appeal to Millennial Restaurant Customers
1. Keep up With Food Trends
Millennials stay very informed about their health and well-being, which means that they’re also particular about their food choices and ingredients. They also love keeping up with the latest food trends (i.e., the popularity of kale grew 400% since 2008, thanks to millennials). While you don’t need to completely change your menu, incorporating more popular food trends like gluten-free options, organic produce and free-range meats can be attractive to millennial customers. Featuring vegan or vegetarian-friendly versions of your best-sellers are also ways to appeal to a millennial’s ethical and diverse flavor palette.
Not ready to introduce new ingredients or menu items? Serve up a couple of craft beers.
2. Stay Active on Social Media
Social media is the millennial’s go-to source of information when searching for new things to try, including where to dine. Staying active on social media by hosting social media contests, giveaways and consistently posting engaging content is often what prompts a millennial to walk through your door – diverse menu options and great ambience will keep them there. Not sure where to start? Read our social media starter kits for Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.
Pro Tip: Striking imagery and engaging hashtags are highly effective for increasing social media visibility of your restaurant to millennials.
3. It’s All About the Experience
Millennials are notorious for chasing memorable experiences. They love to be stimulated by their environment, so interesting decor and ambience are important for capturing this customer segment. Create a striking atmosphere by playing music, adjusting the lighting or decorating with cool pieces of art around the restaurant. Rustic or vintage furniture pieces work as well. The goal is to create an environment that promotes socializing and experience rather than just a place to have a meal. Not only will they appreciate your restaurant’s commitment to creating a stimulating environment, they’ll spread the word via Facebook check-ins, Instagram posts and Yelp reviews.
Pro Tip: Enhance the millennial-friendly ambience by offering USB plug-in ports for charging phones, free Wi-Fi and incentives for checking in on Yelp.
4. Get Online Ordering
It’s no surprise that millennials value speed and convenience. They’ve grown up in an age where a ride to the airport or the latest album by their favorite artist is available to them at the touch of a button. Ordering food is no different. Incorporating online food ordering is a vital part of marketing to millennials. Once they’ve interacted with their restaurant brand via your app or website, it’s more likely that they’ll pay a visit in-person.
Learn how ChowNow’s online food ordering system allows customers to order directly from your website, Facebook page and Google search results.
5. Let Customers Order Through your Google Search Results
Millennials aren’t afraid of a little research. With competition in the restaurant industry heating up, it’s critical that customers can discover your restaurant — and that means showing up in their search results. In fact, 92% of people have searched for a restaurant on the web in the last 6 months! Most millennials will read online reviews and want to look at your before making the decision to visit your restaurant.
Google My Business is a great way to drive more orders to your restaurant. With ChowNow, customers can order takeout directly from your Google search results, ensuring that you’re bottom line is directly tied to your online presence. Check out our guide to optimizing your restaurant’s Google My Business Page and driving more orders.
Appealing to millennials is a powerful marketing strategy that can create a long-term customer base for your restaurant. To put that into perspective, there’s currently approximately 80 million millennials in the United States and about 64% of them eat out at least once a week. As you can see, jumping on the millennial bandwagon can be well-worth the effort for your restaurant.
Want more information on how to market your restaurant to millennials? If you’re a ChowNow restaurant client, reach out anytime to schedule a complimentary consultation. If you don’t already have online ordering at your restaurant, get started with a free ChowNow demo today!
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