We’ve been hearing that word lately – millennial. They are now the youngest of the workforce (feeling old yet?) as well as the largest generation – with 53,000,000 workers worldwide.
They also have the largest restaurant spending. They spend an average of 10.6% more than any other generation.
They are now the new primary target market.
What they bring about is a new culture in the workplace. Millennials are tech-savvy, more so than any generation before them.
This changes things for everyone – a shift in priorities and preferences along with a more adventurous spirit hits businesses, especially the food industry.
You know very well that keeping a customer is at least just as important to a business as pulling in new ones. Keeping these millennials is the new challenge for restaurants, and here are some tips that may help you do just that.
Add the option to customise and be creative
Millennials love having options. The more casual chains like Boost Juice and Domino’s Pizza reveals the importance and the impact of them feeling involved in the process of creation and customisation, even with food.
The sense of accomplishment a millennial gets from being able to produce a nicely customised meal that they can call their own (and enjoy eating, of course) helps create mental brand retention – they remember your restaurant because of the service they got.
Additionally, the millennials are always in pursuit of new adventures and experiences – including food. Regularly adding new menu items regularly would definitely entice your millennial customers to keep coming back, looking forward to what you have up your sleeve the next time they return.
Stay up to date, because they are
They’re techy. That matters, and you can use that to your advantage. As e-commerce are booming, people are now gravitating towards shopping from the comfort of their homes. To our point, research has revealed that 39% of millenials have, at least once, used technology to order food from restaurants.
That said, having this sort of technology would resonate more with them as it is part of their identity. Technomic, a consulting firm for the food industry in the US, said that food delivery would boom in the next decade, growing to as much as a $5 billion market in that span of time.
This new online platform has given them an unprecedented level of interconnectivity. Websites like Facebook, Google Reviews, and others make it easy for a millennial to learn about a restaurant from another’s experience. Embrace this, and use it to your advantage. Let your food and décor be Instagram-worthy, and your service deserving a 5* review.
Yes, they care about quality
Healthy eating has become a larger thing today, and these aware millennials will demand to know about what they are putting in their mouths. They want to know if their food came from a local farm which used only organic fertilizers. If your food is devoid of preservatives, artificial flavouring and GMO’s, that might be better for the more conservative ones, too.
Additionally, they have a bigger preference for food that comes from companies which are highly sustainable, with higher ethical standards. Cage-free chickens or grass-fed cows, for example are very welcome in their plates and their stomachs.
Give your menu a shakedown
We have talked about healthy eating above. The more health-conscious millennial generation prefer it if you give them options that adhere to these standards. They will be willing to ignore the higher price tag, and if they are satisfied, they’ll come back for sure.
No, you do not have to remove the less healthy items from your menu. Simply adding low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie options would definitely be beneficial to your business.
Here are a few examples of healthy dishes that you can add to your menu:
- A vegan veggie burger or falafel wrap with the option to get gluten-free bread
- A vegan cheese option which allows you to convert pizza and Mexican-style courses
- A tofu or lentil vegetable stir fry, hot pot, casserole or curry, etc.
- Raw vegan desserts and non-dairy based ice creams that are becoming more and more available
That said, it would be advisable to trim down your menu. Track the sales of every individual item, and remove those that aren’t selling well.
Also, try to keep the prices balanced – options between high-cost and low-cost dishes are always a good thing for a millennial who is craving for your food, but it’s still a few days to go before payday. Adjust your menu to meet food cost targets, and possibly, remove the ultra-high food cost items on slow months. This allows you to save more on your food stocks, too.
Make it enticing and rewarding to be a loyal customer
Some restaurants have started offering membership cards to their customers. These cards would gain points whenever the customer purchases food. It’s smart, doesn’t cost much, and it encourages your customers invite their friends.
A good example for this would be Starbucks. If you aren’t familiar with the craze that their planners get at the end of a year, you might be amazed when you see it.
Studies show that it is 6-7 times more expensive to get a new customer than to keep an old one. From another study on 2,000 businesses with loyalty programs, it was recorded that from 14,000,000 visits from 1,000,000 customers, only 20% of these customers visited at least 10 times. However, that 20% amounted to 80% of the total revenue, and 72% of the visits.
It is definitely worth it from both a cost-effective investment standpoint, and a revenue boost standpoint. Consider how you can apply this to your business if you haven’t yet!
Embrace the new millennial trend
The millennials are the present, and they account for as much as $2.45 BILLION in spending. Make your business future-proof by planning around this generation, because the next generations to come in the next few decades will be quite similar to the millennials.