How Restaurants Can Cater To Gen Y

Dining OutMillennials may be the most social generation, but due to the difficult economy, they’re dining out less. According to the NPD Group, 18-34-year-olds are eating at restaurants about once a week less than young people did in 2007, which has left many restaurants worried about how to target young consumers. However, several companies have accepted this challenge and are adopting approaches to meet Millennials’ tastes, as well as the current food trends. Take a look at their strategies below and our insights on how restaurants can reach Gen Y.

Make Dining A Social Activity

Several months ago, Applebee’s announced that it will expand its nightlife and entertainment offerings in an effort to reach Millennials. The family-friendly chain will transform into “Club Applebee’s” after 10pm with half-priced drinks, dance music, karaoke, “Girls Night Out” events, and more lasting until 2am. By making the dining experience a fun event that they’d want to attend with their friends, restaurants can capture Millennials’ attention.

Moreover, Darden Restaurants, which owns chains including Olive Garden and Red Lobster, recently announced that it’s focusing on a next generation of restaurants including Capital Grille, Seasons 52, and Yard House. These restaurants offer a wide selection of drinks, live music, and unique flavors to appeal to young adults.

Additionally, by making the setting of a restaurant more social with lounges for example, and offering more dishes that can be shared, eateries can place emphasis on the social experience, which young people crave.

Tell Your Brand’s Story

In general, Millennials care about companies with a clear message and ones that they can form an emotional connection with. This is especially the case with restaurants since consumers of all ages want to…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Calling doctor offices takes too much time. If they don't have a patient portal where I can do everything online, I find another doctor. I couldn't find a dermatologist in my area who didn't require several phone calls, so I gave up.” –Female, 30, FL

Mobile devices are the first thing that 80% of Millennials reach for in the morning, and their digital dependence is seeping into more than just wake-up media. 88% have or would deposit a check by snapping a picture of it and 45% would want to pay bills the same way. The camera is the number one most important smartphone feature among this generation, and 33% even think a photo of their driver’s license could be put to good use as a way to enroll in anything from gym memberships to credit cards. (USA Today)

While online dating seems to give Millennials increasing hope of a modern day “happily ever after,” their happiness may be short-lived. Researchers from Stanford and MSU have found that breakups are more prevalent among couples, both married and unmarried, who met online than those who met in more traditional social settings. These stats are credited to simple facts: the mystery and risk of who is behind the other side of screen causes online relationships to take much longer to form into something real. (Jezebel)

To help heighten Millennial traffic, Jack-in-the-Box will feature an instant-win game promotion with prizes ranging from date night movie tickets to a two night VIP experience in Las Vegas. These big ticket offerings will capitalize on the healthy performance of their late-night menu, accounting for 16% of their sales in the first three quarters of this year. The chain has lost its once strong hold on the late-night market, and hopes to regain Millennial consumers with a menu of savory, mash-up items that they may not crave for lunch or dinner but become must haves after dark. (Huffington Post)

Millennial parents are more practical than ever, a trend we explore in-depth in the new edition of Ypulse Quarterly releasing tomorrow. Upcycling used clothing and embracing swaps are the kind of sustainability minded and money-conscious initiatives they support, so it’s no wonder that Kallio, a children’s clothing line made entirely from upcycled men’s shirts, reached its full funding on Kickstarter today.  The Brooklyn-based brand intends to invest in both the clothing line as well as a community workshop to teach sustainable design technique. (Fast Company)

While social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter seem to be dominating for innovative marketing efforts, Facebook still holds steady ground. In a small study of marketing professionals, digital platform Offerpop found that 92% of social marketing budgets will be spent on Facebook this holiday season. The survey from Offerpop also shows that 16% plan to spend money on Snapchat, but finds that 48% are hesitant to invest their budget in untested networks such as Yo and Wanelo. (The Drum)

Every other week we tap into our panel of 150,000+ Millennials in a survey of 1,000 14-32-year-olds to keep our finger on the pulse of trending topics, changing attitudes, and new norms among young consumers. The question library in the My Library tab on Ypulse.com allows Silver and Gold subscribers to see every question we’ve asked and how we’ve asked it for our entire history of bi-weekly surveys, and a search of Ypulse surfaces all the relevant related data that we’ve collected from young consumers. (Ypulse)

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