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: “When I want relationship advice I usually check out good relationship blogs or online articles.” –Female, 32, TN

E-cigarettes are becoming increasingly popular with teens, and one reason could be that it’s “ridiculously easy” for teens to get them. A new study asked minors to order e-cigarettes online from 98 different vendors, and 75 of those orders were successful. Of the 23 orders that failed, only five were due to age-verification issues, and in many cases if a website did not accept a minor’s age, teens were able to use their parents’ identities. Kids who have smoked e-cigs are reportedly twice as likely to say they intend to try regular cigarettes, so this ease of access could lead to a larger issue. (The Verge

Millennials are seeing food as the new status symbol and expecting everything on demand. Now a slew of startups areredefining food delivery to cater to their tastes. Gourmet food delivery service Munchery is a player in this trend, and has just expanded from San Francisco to New York City. Unlike services that deliver dishes from high-end eateries, Munchery provides a selection of over 300 pre-cooked meals prepared by Michelin-starred chefs, which are delivered cold and ready to be heated. There is a social good angle as well, as Munchery matches the cost of each order with a donation to City Harvest. (Forbes)

Young consumers have helped to make Scotch and whiskey cool again, and old-school brown spirits have become increasingly popular over the last decade. While the industry might have initially been ”perplexed” by the attention, it has seized the opportunity by targeting Millennial drinkers in new ways. The brand Balvenie is appealing to this new generation of Scotch drinkers by tapping Anthony Bourdain to host Raw Craft, a video series traveling around the country to showcase American craftsmanship. The Balvenie’s parent company has also released new brands, like Monkey Shoulder, that specifically target 20-somethings with lower prices and unpretentious branding. (Fast Company)

YouTube celebrities like PewDiePie’s Felix Kjellberg, Zoella, Alfie Deyes, and Jamal Edwards all made the list of the 500 most influential people in the country, and digital marketers could learn a few lessons from Generation YouTube. “Flawed is the new flawless,” thanks to digital celebs’ realness and transparency, and brands should embrace the authenticity of the medium. It’s also important to note that the stereotype of kids watching YouTube alone in their bedrooms is far from the truth: 90% of users are over 18-years-old, and 39% watch YouTube with their partner. (Marketing

Sonic is planning to play up their retro style drive-ins to appeal to young consumers' nostalgia, while also giving those drive-ins a technological makeover. Soon the fast food spots will feature touch-screen menus, which offer suggestions and internet access, along with the carhop service that has helped to set it apart from its competitors. The brand was slow to launch a digital and social presence, but is ramping up their efforts, including a series of digital only clips that show a significant departure from their traditional TV marketing. The opportunity for Sonic to attract younger consumers could be big, considering their customizable menu and unique experience-driven locations. (Digiday)

Have some lingering questions about Millennials that you need answered for an upcoming meeting? That’s what Ypulse is here for. Silver and Gold subscribers have access to Ypulse's trend and Millennial experts for quick, personalized feedback on any topic. After each insights article, subscribers can submit questions and requests directly to our experts and receive instant responses. (Ypulse)

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