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: “Whether I want to draw, paint, read, study, or dance, influences the kind of music I listen to.”—Female, 25, GA

Brands  are increasingly using emojis within their messaging—and for good reason. A new survey from mobile app engagement provider Appboy found that 39% of U.K. and U.S. mobile phone users 14 and up view brands that use emojis as fun, and 13% found them more relatable. Only 12% of respondents refer to emojis as childish, and 11% as inappropriate, and younger mobile users were even more likely to see emoji use as a positive than older users. Between June 2015 and June 2016, the number of messages brands sent that contained emojis increased by 461%. (eMarketer)

Musical.ly has attracted 70 million users of mostly teen, tweens, and kids within two years—so what makes the app that allows users to record 15-second music videos so successful? For starters, it’s a gateway to social media. Young “musers” who aren’t old enough for Facebook and Instagram are getting the opportunity to showcase their talents, and accumulate likes and followers within a platform that encourages viewers to “say something nice” in comments. (Kidscreen

Food Network is giving YouTube sensation Hannah Hart a show to cook up more young viewers. Hart’s YouTube series My Drunk Kitchen, gives a comic take on cooking, and earned her 2.5 million subscribers with whom she has “tremendous rapport and engagement.” On her Food Network show, she’ll be travelling the U.S. learning about the local foods, and dining out on a budget “determined by the city’s average dining price.” The series will also include digital content of behind-the-scenes footage and vlogs. Millennials have shown “they love digital content and they love food,” and have helped “the food vertical [reach] explosive heights online.” (StreamDaily

Giant food manufacturer Mondelēz International recently teamed up with Fox Networks Group to strategize ads that will be more appealing to the ad-skipping generation. According to the brand, “We don’t deserve consumers’ attention. We have to earn it,” so they plan to decrease “consumer time with commercials, and [increase] the impact.” As young consumers have become “less tolerant of traditional ads,” brands have begun experimenting with digital marketing that lets viewers choose what ads to watch, and Fox is working to serve up ads that are more customized to individuals watching based on what brands they already know about. (Variety

The new generation of employees are seeking out side hustles. A report from FlexJobs revealed that one third of Millennials would like to have part time work along with freelancing on the side. The number one reason: necessity. According to Student Loan Hero, a 2016 graduate has an average of $37,172 in student debt, so it’s not surprising that Millennials are looking for additional income outside of their 9-to-5 jobs. Need for income has also limited them in terms of pursuing their true passions and finding their purpose, which can be fulfilled by an outside role or project. (ForbesCNBC)  

Quote of the Day: “Political correctness is voicing your beliefs but not at the expense of other's identities.”—Female, 15, NY

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