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…

 
 
Ask Millennials some questions.
Log in to get started...

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I think when I'm a parent my top concern in raising a child will be, in general, just not screwing them up." –Female, 14, MA

It is becoming common practice for busy Millennials to skip breakfast, but that doesn’t mean they don’t like breakfast food. In fact, this generation is more likely than others to eat breakfast at times other than traditional morning hours, and 16% are pushing back their mealtime to use breakfast as an afternoon snack. Their adventurous food preferences are influencing the “premiumization” of breakfast items, but since we know that the majority of Millennials enjoy cooking, there is also opportunity in "speed-scratch" products for the 65% who prefer to make breakfast foods from scratch. (MediaPost)

In the past three years, Lego has seen its consumer base change from 90% boys to 40% girls, thanks in part to its Lego Friends collection of girl-targeted construction sets. Activity kits like Rainbow Loom and GoldieBlox, along with licensed Frozenmerchandise, have helped drive the surge in sales for girls toy divisions, whereas action figure movies have begun to cannibalize each other in the boys toy aisle. (Kidscreen)

In the Age of Not Believing, images online and in magazines are almost assumed to be manipulated, but one Millennial is speaking out in support of imperfection. The fashion blogger behind the site Do The Hot Pants posted a reveal of images before and after Photoshop, admitting that she posted edited images to her site that decreased the size of her stomach, legs, and smoothed her skin. While she lifted the veil on her use of Photoshop and is advocating for better body image perceptions, her transparency might make some even more skeptical of what they see on user-created blogs. (BuzzFeed)

The #IceBucketChallenge for ALS is still going strong with participation from celebrities continuing to snowball, but no one’s nomination has seen as much viral traction as Bill Gates’ video. The tech genius decided to step it up a notch with a specially designed ice bucket contraption, and his behind-the-scenes take has seen over 8 million views in the past four days. (YouTube)

The social media landscape has seen a number of standalone apps fail, often due to resistance from users to migrate themselves and all of their friends to another platform. Instead of creating another Snapchat look-a-like, new app Camoji is using iMessage to send GIF selfies. The short video selfies send and loop seamlessly within iMessage, elevating the selfie into animated expressions that can also be shared as a URL link to non-iPhone users. (Mashable)

Quote of the Day: "I haven’t had children yet because I have a lot to accomplish—academics, career goals, travel destinations—before I settle down and look to someone else's interests.” –Female, 25, PA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies