If you run a bar or restaurant, and you’re not targeting millennials, you’re missing out on a massive opportunity.
Go for the 25-year-olds, not the 45-year-olds, and ride this wave of youthful individuals flooding the marketplace. This past year, we experienced the largest graduating class in history. We’re talking 21 to 27-year-olds, the most ethnically diverse generation to date – and the most educated – with an estimated $200 billion in U.S. spending power.
How do you target these individuals? It won’t be easy, and it won’t be done by the methods you’re typically used to.
Here is how to drive this younger generation through your doors:
Stay Away from Blatant or Forced Advertising
Millennials don’t respond very well to ads. When asked, most will tell you that they rely on “word-of-mouth” to figure out where to eat or get a drink on a Saturday night.
People say that millennials are always on their phones – so that means YOU should be on their phones too, through social media marketing. Be active on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter. Encourage reviews on Yelp. Create an online presence where millennials can find your business and dine there.
More Unusual Flavors
Millennials enjoy trying new foods, and they love unusual flavors. If you want to attract the younger crowd, keep up with flavor trends to create a unique dining experience.
Be Authentic
Millennials want to spend their money on brands that offer a good product, plain and simple. It’s not about who spends the most on marketing or even which brand has the most marketing materials — it’s about the best food, the best drinks, and the best atmosphere for having a great time. That’s how word of mouth spreads, and that’s how to keep millennials on your side.
Focus on Technology
Millennials love free Wi-Fi. Other ideas include going the Starbucks app route – where customers can pay for their orders with their smartphones or tablets. And again, spread the word about your business on social media. Whatever you do, make sure you have a mobile-friendly website.
Ask Your Staff for Ideas
Most bars and restaurants have millennials working for them. The wait staff, bartenders, hosts, and hostesses, and even the managers – these individuals can all be mined for ideas. They should be invited to ask their friends what they’re most into, and managers should listen.
If you want to target millennials, you have to get on their level, and asking them what they want is a great way to do just that.