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Millennials now outnumber baby boomers; learn how to cater your promotions to this diverse group.
 
Millennials make up 25% of the U.S. population, according to Millennial Marketing. Compared to other generations, they are usually the first to understand and adopt new technologies, and they’re always ready to go out to eat. They are also interested in ‘Instagrammable’ food and venues.
 
More than anything, this diverse group of people craves convenience, purchasing more ready-to-eat foods than any other generation, according to a report from the USDA, Food Purchase Decisions of Millennial Households.
 
However, just because Millennials favor convenience, doesn’t mean they’ll eat anything that’s fast (i.e. fast food). In fact, parents aged 18 to 34 years old represent the largest group (52%) of organic food consumers in the United States, according to the Organic Trade Association. Plus, Younger consumers, those under age 40, have increased their annual consumption per capita of fresh vegetables by 52% and frozen vegetables by 59% over the last decade, according to the NPD Group.
 
Millennials dine out in a restaurant or bar 30% more often than other generations, according to the USDA’s report. And, when making purchases, Millennial Marketing found that 50% of Millennials are more willing to make a purchase when their purchase supports a cause.
So how can these insights help you market your restaurant to Millennials? It starts with tailoring your messaging toward what they’re most interested in.
 
But, before we get to the examples, remember that the best way to find these Millennials is by using a robust customer analytics tool to locate and track the neighborhoods around your store with the largest population of Millennials. Using the below marketing tactics on a different generation will not yield the same results.
 
Now let’s explore some marketing tactics.
  1. Use technology to draw them in. Whether it’s through an app, loyalty program, online ordering, social media or email, find them where they are—on their technology. Once you find them, send a message that plays up to their need for convenience. “Make your life easier; order a burger for dinner!”
  2. Feature locally sourced ingredients. Nothing attracts Millennials more than a rotating menu of fresh produce. Highlight fresh ingredients and local specials on your chalkboard menu and social media pages.
  3. Organize a charity event. There are dozens of local and national charities that you can connect with in order to give back on a small or large scale. Show your customers that their purchases are going toward something larger than just your wallet.
  4. Offer grab-n-go options. It can be as small as coffee and bagels or as large as a full deli case with sandwiches and salads that are perfect for quick takeaways. Illustrate to customers that you’re able to feed them even when they’re in a rush and can’t dine in.
  5. Show them more reasons to dine out. Millennials love to go out to eat and drink, so publicize your happy hour, daily specials and food photos across your social channels.
 
One of the best proven ways to increase organic reviews is by engaging with customers through social media and online review sites and responding to reviews. Keep in mind that Millennials will trust personal reviews before any paid advertising, so taking the steps above should, over time, help to inspire more organic restaurant reviews and more repeat Millennial visits.
 

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