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 want to buy a home in the future so I can live in a place I earned for myself.” –Male, 25, PA

Millennials know how to score a deal online. New research has found that 18-34-year-olds are more than willing to bend the truth and use some hacks to get discounts and “game e-commerce”: 26% have intentionally given a fake birth date to get a coupon, versus 17% of all adults, and 47% will leave items in their online shopping bags on purpose in hopes the retailer will contact them with a discount later. (Adweek)

The creator of Vine has a new app that’s all about creativity and getting weird. Byte is inspired by vintage internet tools like Dreamweaver and Mario Paint, and gives users a slew of ”wild” features like drawing, music creation, and photo-editing that includes memes and GIFs. Where Vine limits users to 6-second loops to display artistry, Byte “destroy[s] the notion of constraints and see what emerges from the chaos.” (The Verge)

We often tell brands that young consumers are so massively influential because they are eager to share their opinions: if they like you, they’ll tell 200 of their friends, if they don’t like you, they’ll tell 2000, all with a simple click. Right now, they’re telling Urban Outfitters what they think of their pricing and products with the trending hashtag #UrbanOutfittersBeLike. Critics are using the tag to share images of simple everyday items like plastic bags and pencils along with fancy descriptions and ridiculous high price tags. (Digiday)

Young working moms today are “getting more love than ever,” and are more supported than those in previous generations. Recent research found that only 22% of 12th graders believe that kids suffer if their mom works, compared to 34% in the ‘90s, and 59% in the ‘70s. In 2012, 72% of adults agreed that “a working mother can establish just as warm and secure a relationship with her children as a mother who does not work,” versus less than half of adults in 1977. (Time)

Major toy makers have banded together to promote the power of playing. The new marketing campaign “The Genius of Play” is an effort from brands and retailers like Mattel, Hasbro, and Toys ‘R’ Us to encourage “open ended” playtime. Ten animated videos show parents and kids how toys and games can help emotional development, creativity, and other healthy skills. Parents are being asked to sign a “Play Pledge” to devote hours of their kids’ time to free-play. (StreamDaily

Our Q2 2015 Ypulse Quarterly report comes out today! Four times a year, we dig deep into three major trends we see changing the way that young consumers view the world, impacting how they behave, and shifting what they expect from brands. This report covers the trends Fame Redefined, Fit Gone Glam, and Home Sweet Home. Here’s a sneak peak of what’s inside! (Ypulse)

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