Every restaurant wants to crack the “code” to attracting Millennial customers – after all, the Millennial generation’s annual spending by 2015 is expected to be $2.45 trillion and by 2018 they will eclipse the Baby Boomer generation in spending power at $3.39 trillion, according to a report by Oracle.
Here are three key ways that restaurants are attracting Millennials:
1. Have a Wow Factor
Jake’s Wayback has the outrageously huge nine patty burger. Taco Bell has the phenomenon that is Doritos Locos Tacos, which recently surpassed the $1 billion mark in sales this past October. And if you look at the hashtag #animalstyle on Instagram, you will get an eyeful of fries covered in meat, onions and Thousand Island dressing from In-N-Out Burger.
These restaurants all set themselves apart to the Millennial set by having a “wow factor” – an item that makes seeking out your restaurant worth it. The appeal of being the first person to try a specialty item at a restaurant (like the Doritos Locos tacos) or being the first of your friends to finish a food challenge (like at Jake’s Wayback) is one that makes Millennials feel like they’re conquering something no one else has. In turn, this makes them feel like you’re speaking directly to them instead of to the masses.
2. Make Them Feel Special
The reason fast casual eateries are so popular with the Millennial set is because they make us feel special. They do this by offering variety, choice and customization. When you walk into The Counter, for instance, you get to build your own burger. Do you want beef or do you want it to be veggie? Do you want it on a bun or in a bowl? Now pick from 12 different types of cheese and up to four different types of toppings.
This is a Millennial’s dream situation because they get to create something that is special to them and their taste buds. A creation that is specific to their tastes only!
3. Give Their Heart a Reason to Eat Too
Chipotle is a chain that is often linked the Millennial customer – they go back to this establishment again and again. Why is that? Because Chipotle has shown themselves to be socially responsible, which is attractive to a Millennial mindset of appealing to their heart AND their stomachs. This doesn’t have to just be using local and sustainable food (though it would help, and that is a trend that all generations like!), but it could also be as simple as donating proceeds to a local charity or high school. A local restaurant that I frequent will donate proceeds from a specialty burger to a charity that you get to vote on after you dine, thereby linking your need for a good burger with wanting to do good for your community. A win/win situation for all.
It’s no secret that Millennials want to be in ahead of the curve, to feel special and to give back. Think about how these concepts can apply to your restaurant and how you can attract more Millennials to frequent your restaurant.
Contact Rewards Network to learn more about how we can help you can attract new customers from every generation to your restaurant.