Restaurants around the world are doing everything they can to stay in business and stay ahead of the trends. At this point, it is hard to deny that millennials are the generation who are leading the food trends, as they eat out more, spend more of their income on dining experiences, and have a lot of opinions. Therefore, it makes sense that restaurants would want to attract this generation as their clientele.
If you are looking to bring more millennial diners into your establishment, read on for the five ways you can ensure that millennials want to dine in your restaurant.
1. Prioritize local food, sustainable practices.
If there is one thing that you can be sure of, millennials like to eat food that is grown locally and sustainably. After all, millennials care significantly about being conscious of the world and their impact on it. More than any generation before them, millennials care about the environment, which extends to the food they consume. Therefore, if you want them to eat in your restaurant, you need to show that you also care about the ingredients in your dishes and your environmental impact.
One of the ways to demonstrate this to millennials is by showing the origin of items on the menu. For example, if you are serving a lunch dish with eggs and bread, you can state that the eggs are from a particular local farm, the bread was baked in a local patisserie, and the condiments were made in small batches by a local company.
While these options may be more expensive, millennials have shown that they are willing to pay more for the ingredients that fit their perspective and lifestyle.
2. Have a wide array of beverages on offer.
In addition to your food offerings, you also want to consider your beverage menu carefully. Similar to their feelings toward food, millennials want to know where their beverages are coming from, and they are willing to pay more for healthier drinks produced locally.
For this reason, it is highly recommended that you work with mineral water suppliers in Dubai (or wherever you are located) so that you can offer them high-quality sparkling and still natural mineral water, as well as carbonated sparkling fruit beverages.
Furthermore, specialty coffee drinks and teas are popular with millennials who like to try beverages from around the world. For example, Darjeeling tea from India, pu erh tea from China, Qishir-spiced coffee from Yemen, and Hong Kong-style milk tea all have many millennial fans. Additionally, cappuccinos from Italy, Matcha from Japan, and cortados from Spain are all popular caffeinated beverages.
Millennials also enjoy mocktails and other non-alcoholic drinks. Some of the most popular mocktails for millennials include Virgin Daiquiris, Virgin Mint Lemonade, Pomegranate Spritzer, and a non-alcoholic Mojito.
3. Allow them to share plates.
Another dining trend that millennials love is small, sharing plates. These diners like to mix, match, and share what they have ordered, so they tend to prefer menus with a variety of small plates rather than single entrée sizes.
Millennials tend to love this style of dining because they’re able to taste multiple dishes which works for their adventurous spirit that craves variety. This means that you can create a menu that is filled with smaller, higher-margin dishes.
Similarly, millennials like to sit at communal tables. This comes from the fact that they view dining out as an integral part of their social life. For this reason, they tend to eat in larger groups, which allows them to meet new people. Therefore, they like to be able to move around the table during the meal and want to ensure that everyone who is dining can interact with each other.
4. Provide them with an experience.
Known as the “experience generation,” millennials live up to this stereotype, especially when it comes to their dining habits. Therefore, if you want to attract them to your restaurant, you need to provide them with something unusual. Whether that is funky interior design, a thought-provoking menu, photo-worthy dishes, or something else entirely, to catch their attention, it needs to be experiential.
Providing an experience is also good for business, as millennials are willing to pay a lot more for dining ‘experiences’ rather than just getting a meal. Even opting to host a game night, a themed evening, or live entertainment can do a lot to attract the diners you crave.
5. Have a social media and web presence.
For the generation that grew up with the internet, it is second-nature for millennials to quickly check out a restaurant’s website or social media page before deciding to dine there.
In some cases, they will want to check out the menu; in other cases, they will want to see photos of the dishes and the interiors. If you do not have a social media and web presence, they are quickly going to move on to choosing to dine somewhere else.
Restaurants that recognize the importance of their social media and web presence can utilize it to reach a wider audience. By curating an aesthetic that looks pleasing across all platforms, you are positioning yourself to be in a better place to attract millennial diners.
What’s more, if millennials like a restaurant, then they want to follow it and support it on social media platforms. In fact, research shows that millennials are more likely to be loyal to a restaurant that engages with them on social media.
Having a presence on social media is also a valuable marketing tool, as you can get free marketing by having your millennial diners share their experiences with their followers. In other words, restaurants that are lacking a social media presence are missing out on meaningful opportunities to connect with new millennial diners.
Are you a restaurant owner? If so, what steps are you taking to ensure that you can attract millennials? On the other hand, if you are a millennial diner, what do you look for in eating establishments? Let us know your thoughts and any relevant insights in the comments below!
AUTHOR BIO : Article contributed By
Jad Asaad is the Marketing Manager at Bidfood UAE with more than eight years of experience in digital, online and offline marketing. He started his career in Beirut working in a creative agency and then moved to Dubai to further expand his career. He created and implemented award-winning high-impact digital and offline marketing campaigns that consistently generated revenue streams and improved performance in targeted segments.