The millennial generation represents a significant portion of the population, making it necessary for restaurant owners to embrace millennial food trends. When you consider the collective buying power and influence of this generation, it's easy to see why catering to millennials is worthwhile. Here are some tips to help you reach—and please—this crowd.
Social media is a great outlet for reaching millennials, so putting it on the back burner because you're "too busy to hashtag" isn't going to fare well. To get noticed, pique this demographic's interest by cultivating a look and voice that's used throughout your brand's social media platforms.
Make Your Space Instagram-Worthy
Once you build a following on social media, the food photos you post can come from your guests. Making the most of this imagery can cut down on your time spent marketing and engage millennial guests even further. Make it so that your guests can capture amazing shots of your cuisine by offering more lighting at the table, whether it's natural or via exposed filament light bulbs. Use interesting centerpieces, wall coverings, or glassware—no matter how simple or inexpensive—that are shareable and complement the plates of food you offer. The more Pinterest- or Instagram-ready your millennial's table looks, the happier and more likely they will be to snap photos and market your establishment for you.
Go Beyond Basic Flavors
Millennials crave flavors and ingredients that go beyond the norm. Expand your menu and offer authentic flavors to please this generation. Dabbling with some ingredients that push the limits will not only set you apart from your competition, but will give millennial "foodies" a reason to check out your restaurant.
Prepare Your Staff
Millennials have changed what it means to dine out, and many restaurateurs are feeling these changes. Employees may feel frustrated by groups of millennials who camp out at a brunch, or take up an entire section of the restaurant. To minimize these annoyances, inform and train your staff to be cognizant of millennial food trends and dining habits.
Your staff should even be aware of what it takes for guests to capture great pictures of your plates. For instance, you may want to ask servers to clear space on the table before presenting plates to guests. Throwing out garbage from the table, moving drinks around a bit, and offering guests the chance to snap a picture of their food before enjoying it will make guests feel more comfortable. You could even suggest that staff members mention a designated hashtag to guests to empower them to be part of a larger movement.
Allow Menu Customization
Menu customization is another part of the dining experience that makes millennial foodies feel as though the dish is truly theirs, and encourages them to not only share with friends, but also to come back and try a different version. Instruct servers to offer variations, substitutions, or add-ons that can put a great dish over the top or change it in a unique way.
Millennial habits have taught us that it's important to take some time to understand your guests and their behaviors when planning the perfect restaurant experience. Regardless of your stance, millennial food trends are strong and here to stay. Embracing this and striving to improve the overall experience for your guests is the key to success.