Millennials, Generation Y, or in simple terms, the youth of today make up a significant part of the restaurant customer base. According to a survey, millennials eat out more often than their parents and also spend more. The reason behind this significant change is that the overall per capita income of the households has increased, thus increasing the disposable income of consumers.
Added to this, erratic lifestyle, scarcity of time and a never ending thirst to keep looking for new experiences have all contributed to the youth making up almost 60% of the entire restaurant customer base.
This article will help you target the most important segment of your customer base: the millennials.
1. Utilize Social media
Social media has become the most powerful way to reach out to your target customers. Considering that the young generation spends a maximum of their time browsing through Social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter etc, you should actually dedicate ample time in Social Media Marketing.
Promote User Generated Content- The most common thing for a young person to do as soon as their food arrives in a restaurant is to take its picture and upload it to Instagram with hashtags such as Foodporn, Foodgasm, foodie, etc. You can promote this user-generated content
You can come up with a unique hashtag for your restaurant, and encourage guests to use it when they upload a picture of your food.
2. Employ Technology
It is a no-brainer that the young generation is tech savvy. Employing technology in restaurants not only smoothens your operations but also provides enhanced customer experience to your guests. You can use technology also as a marketing technique to attract customers.
- Online Ordering – 85% of home delivery orders are placed via Online Ordering.
- Tablet Ordering— Allowing the tech savvy generation to place their order via handhelds tablets increases the customer delight. This eliminates the risk of errors in order taking and improves the entire guest experience.
- Online Table Reservation—Let your customers decide where they want to sit and reserve their seats beforehand.
- Integrated Feedback Management- Asking for instant feedback from your customers is a great way to make them feel valued, and also to increase engagement. You can use a Customer Feedback App for this purpose. Ask your customers to give their feedback on a tab through the app.
- Wifi- Free wi-fi is something that is sure to attract the crowd that is active on the internet all day long. Just remember to have a sign that is easily visible.
3. Experiment with New Trends
The young generation is always looking for new experiences and thanks to the incredible penetration of the internet, is quick to try out new trends. The Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) is real, and keeps the millennials on their feet, trying out new things. Thus, it becomes imperative that you stay on the lookout for the latest trend in the market and piggyback on it to attract customers. For example, the craze of Pokemon Go had hit the world quite hard, with everyone trying to catch the Pocket Monsters through their smartphones. Many businesses were quick to cash in on this fad. While some promoted their restaurant as the venue of rare Pokemon, smart marketers were quick to introduce Pokemon themed menu items.
4. Promote Healthy Food
No matter how much the elder’s charge the millennial generation for leading an unhealthy lifestyle, statistics actually reveal that the youth of today are more focused towards eating healthy food. While salads and vegetables are being ordered and consumed increasingly, young customers are also keeping a track of the food they are eating. You can use this trend to your benefit.
Now more aware than ever, customers like to be aware of what exactly they are consuming and thus call for menu transparency. You can use this as a marketing technique to attract the health conscious customers. Mention the number of calories in a portion, or clearly state that you do not use any artificial preservatives or flavors.
5. Organize Events
Organizing events has been one of the most tried and tested marketing tips for restaurants. However, before you host one, do remember to keep the target audience in mind. If you mostly cater to the corporate crowd, it is a good idea to organize Stand-up comedy or karaoke nights. If your customer base comprises of college going people, it is better to call in a famous DJ or a pop singer.
You can also tie up with local organizations and institutions and offer your venue for their event. This way, you increase your brand visibility and also result in repeat customers.