Attracting the Millennial Crowd

Are you a restaurant or bar owner that is looking for the best way to get a higher ROI on your marketing spend? Tapping into the millennial demographic, whose spending power is roughly $200 billion, may offer the solution that you need.

For more tips, download Jon Taffer’s free business app, BarHQ available on Google Play and iTunes

Millennials Explained

If you are interested in running a successful marketing campaign to attract millennials, it’s important to understand who they are and what drives their choices. Millennials consists of those born between 1980 and 1997 and they make up almost a quarter of the US. population. They have grown up in a world where everything they want or need is at the tip of their fingers and they are not afraid of asking the tough questions.

Millennials are demanding more from the food service industry and this boldness has shaped their philosophy towards eating out. A restaurant or bar that offers a one size fits all approach will not succeed. Keep the following tips in mind to help you tap into this market:

  • Use a mobile-friendly approach: You must communicate with millennials in a way that resonates with them on their own level. Since they are always on their mobile devices, a campaign that utilizes mobile applications (Facebook, Yelp)  to offer promotions and specials is a great way to keep them coming back to your establishment.
  • Offer free stuff: “By far the reward they prefer is a free product,” says Andrew Robbins, president of Paytronix. “They would rather spend $100 and get a free pizza.” Other valued promotions include BOGOs (buy one item, get the other free), gift-with-purchase deals, and member-only special pricing,
  • Customize their dining experience: Millennials relish the opportunity to have a dining experience that is unique to their sensibilities. You can tap into this desire by letting them design their own dishes. For example, consider a Sunday morning Blood Mary bar or a make-your-own burger option. These simple changes will help ingratiate your establishment with this demographic by creating a satisfying, customizable experience that goes beyond what’s on their plates.
  • Revamp your menu: Roughly 65% of millennial say that appealing flavors are important factors when selecting a restaurant. Globally-inspired cuisine offers a unique dining experience and also puts a modern spin on popular comfort foods. Experiment with different herbs and spices to help you put a new twist on an old dish.
  • Provide healthy food options for an affordable price: A lack of healthy choices on your menu can drive millennials away. In fact, over 80% of millennial consumers state that the freshness of the food was likely to influence their buying decisions. To meet this need, check out your local farmer’s market for fresh, organic foods and incorporate them into your dishes. Taking this step will also help you to support your community.

Millennials are loyal to brands that understand them. You don’t need a flashy restaurant to be more appealing to this demographic, simply keep the above tips in mind to help you find a voice that resonates with them.

1 reply
  1. Sean Rennie
    Sean Rennie says:

    This is great information. To be honest, it works well in almost every industry. I know this site is dedicated to bar and restaurants, but if you manage people in a retail industry (as I do) you have to change the way you communicate with your employees. Thanks for the great advice John.

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