The millennial generation: the folks everyone loves to blame for killing the diamond industry, housing market, vacations, department stores and more, are surprisingly, a consumer segment that has recently captured the attention of full-service restaurant operators everywhere.
If you rolled your eyes when you read the word ‘millennial,’ this video is for you.
Since most millennials do not cook nor do they know how, are spending a lot of money on eating out. Millennials eat out more often and spend more money doing so than any other generation. In fact, millennials spend 44 percent of their food dollars—over $2,900 annually—on eating out. In addition, 53 percent of them eat out at least once a week, according to a 2015 survey of 3,000 adults by Morgan Stanley. However, it’s the 87 percent of millennials that will “splurge on a nice meal, even when money is tight” that make restaurant owners fight for that segment of the market.
Bringing in these customers that are willing to spend is the big challenge. So how are owners and managers doing this? A large number of full-service restaurants have gone to great lengths to change their menu to be more ‘green.’ Some revamp their interior design and other are focusing on making food more “instagrammable.” #blessed. But what restaurant operators need to understand about this segment—aside from their inclination to spend—is their innate desire for speed and efficiency, key characteristics that defined the generation in which they grew up.
Restaurants focused on providing a better, faster, guest controlled experience are appealing to the true DNA of the millennial generation; however, this is a delicate art. A rushed, self-service environment isn’t exactly what most full-service restaurants are looking to achieve and often creates a negative reaction from customers. Restaurant operators need to be smart about their enhancements and efficiency decisions to avoid destroying the brand and experience they’ve worked so hard to cultivate.
With a predisposition for speed and convenience, millennials are demanding a better experience that allows them to assume full control of the speed and method of payment. This type of self-directed, pay-at-the-table technology is just now arriving on the scene. It represents a smarter investment into improving customer experience and creates efficiencies that strengthen the bottom line.
What are you going to do get a piece of this demographic?