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: “I am planning to give an iPhone 6s as a gift for this Valentine’s Day.”

—Male, 31, NY

Almost 2/3 of Millennials block ads online, according to one report, and MediaPost recently spoke to young media consumers to find out why. One 19-year-old wishes for digital ads “that [are] barely noticeable,” and suggests to marketers to “stop any ads that hinder the speed and ease of your browsing.” Another 25-year-old tries to support web sites whose livelihood depends on ad revenue by being “more cognizant of which sites are showing me ads to be obtrusive versus showing me ads to support a valuable, but free, service.” (MediaPost)

2016 started strong for Millennials. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in January, the unemployment rate fell to an eight-year low (4.9%), and it was the second best job growth month ever for 25-34-year-olds, with 429,000 jobs added for this group between December 2015 and January 2016. That’s the highest employment growth since January 2000, when the tech bubble was at its peak and 1.166 million jobs were added. This is a positive sign for the generation, who has been severely impacted by the financial crisis.
(Business Insider

Love is in the air and Millennials are pulling out their wallets. A recent study on finance and relationships revealed that 18-34-year-olds are planning to spend an average $290 on Valentine’s Day activities—almost $100 more than older respondents. Millennial men are planning to spend the most, an average of $371. Ypulse’s Valentine’s Day survey found that the 71% of males 13-33-years-old are buying gifts for significant others/spouses, and mom is second on their list. (NerdWallet

Playboy has put some clothes on to attract Millennials. The brand’s makeover includes more tasteful photos and short-form articles, changes meant to improve sales after years of losing “cultural cachet.” Though the internet, and the wide availability of nudity it offers, certainly hurt Playboy’s bottom line, it also may have inspired their demure new approach. A 2014 redesign to make their website “more PG-13” led to a 258% increase in traffic, and lowered readers’ average age from 47 to 30. With most web traffic stemming from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it also makes sense to “play by those networks’ rules”—which means no nudity allowed. (New York Post

Taco Bell’s $5 million secret is out after their big reveal duringthis Sunday’s Super Bowl introduced the world to the quesalupa, “a crunchy quesadilla folded and filled with taco ingredients.” Sound like something you’d want to order? If the answer’s no, it might be because they didn’t make it for you—they’re targeting the next generation. According to the head of the brand’s Insights Lab: “We study gen Z not just because we want to target them, but because we want to get ahead in culture and we want to predict what's going to happen. And also because youth is what our brand DNA is about." (Eater

Quote of the Day: “The issue I am most passionate about is LGBTQ, because in the words of Dr. Seuss ‘A person is a person, no matter how small.’” –Female, 18, KY

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