Millennials, or Generation Y, are diners in the 25-40-year-old range. It’s no secret that they have a powerful impact on the restaurant industry. Their spending power increases every year, and they are more likely than any other generation to visit restaurants.

But what exactly do millennials want from their dining experience? And how do restaurants cater to their unique needs? Here’s how you can attract this growing segment of consumers (and their children).

Millennial Food Choices

Millennials are more apt to visit cafes and coffee shops than their younger or older counterparts. In fact, 83% of millennials say they have visited a cafe or coffee shop in the past month.

That’s because millennial consumers value convenience and speed in their food choices. They are also more likely to select healthy options, with 62% of millennials saying they will pay more for more nutritious foods.

Customers are turning away from fast food and expecting more sustainable, healthy options. Millennials expect that plant-based, eco-friendly offerings will overtake traditional, unhealthy fast-food offerings in the future. For millennials, the future is vegan, predicting that within the next two years, vegan restaurants will be in demand the most. In fact, 75% of Millennials felt that restaurants that are vegan, vegetarian, or those with an eco-friendly reputation will be in the highest demand.

Location is Key

Your restaurant’s location is as crucial as convenient and speedy food choices for millennials. This demographic is more prone to seek conveniently located businesses that are easy to get to.

Restaurants in popular, vibrant areas also attract a large number of this target customer. Nearly half of millennials say that they are more likely to visit a cool and trendy restaurant.

Convenience is King for Millennials

Millennials are more spontaneous and spend billions per year on delivery services. Restaurants are finding it increasingly difficult to anticipate demand, so you may need to rethink how to structure your service as home delivery becomes more popular with fewer people dining inside restaurants.

A fifth of millennials says they’re dining out less often and having more food delivered to their homes that they would otherwise have eaten there. This corresponds to a major shift from restaurant visits to delivery services.

Millennials Don’t Mind Automation

Most millennials in America say they’re okay with robots taking over part of the service in restaurants so staff can focus on the important human interaction. This automation could take the form of fully automated payment systems or even robot-delivered food. However, millennials also want human interaction, preferring to give a compliment or make a complaint to a human rather than a machine.

Commercial machines like the Flavor Burst soft-serve system allows customers to serve themselves customized dessert options. This kind of equipment will enable diners to serve themselves a treat while also interacting with staff at your restaurant.

Connect with Gen Z diners

Gen Z are those born after 1995, many of whom are children of millennials. Connecting with this parent/child generation at the same time can double your dining rate. Gen Zers are accustomed to dining out, using delivery apps, and choosing a favorite restaurant to frequent. This demographic actually spends most of their disposable income on food.

To attract Gen Zers and their millennial parents, consider tapping into social media and community-based events. Try offering student deals and discounts, especially if you’re opening a new restaurant.

To drive millennials to your restaurant, respond to customer requests, and deliver food and service of the highest quality. Be open to the increasingly popular delivery services, and don’t be afraid to adapt your menu to ensure what you’re offering resonates with customers.

To appeal to millennial consumers and their children, consider their values and create an environment and menu to attract this growing customer base.

For more information on convenient food service equipment to grow your business, call Taylor Freezer of Michigan at 734-219-9969.

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