Marketing to Millennials

At a Culintro panel event earlier this month, we heard insights about marketing to millennials from Corey Cova (Chef and Owner of Earl’s Cheese Bar, ABV and Dough Loco), Andrew Tarlow (Owner of Marlow and Sons, Diner, etc.) and Harris Damashek (CEO of Underground Eats). Millennials are the segment of customers who are ages 13 to 30, and they are transforming the way restaurant owners market their brand. In this month’s Enterprise Insight, we review factors that are most important to consider when attracting millennials.

1) Ambiance

Generation Y is seeking an “experience” that goes beyond just a good meal. Twenty-somethings view a meal as a meaningful gathering with friends and family, not just a source of sustenance. This is in contrast to how the Baby Boomer generation once perceived eating out. The décor, lighting and music have just as much of a role as the quality of the food.

2) Food Sourcing

Millennials comprise the first generation that, as a majority, was raised consuming ethnic cuisine. Sushi and Indian food were just as commonplace as a slice of pizza and a hamburger. Because ethnic foods are so familiar to this generation, it’s important not only to reinforce cuisine variety, but also to add an innovative touch. This generation possesses a solid awareness and places importance on ingredient sourcing. They value where their food comes from and whether it’s local, organic and sustainable.

3) Social Media Marketing

This segment is fluent in a variety of social media platforms and employs them as a means of communication with friends and restaurateurs. The preponderance of social media apps has changed how owners respond to customer feedback. Back in the day when a customer had a complaint, he or she would pick up the phone and inform a manager; now if someone posts an unflattering food picture to Instagram or tweets a negative comment, the whole world can see. Social media can be used to a restaurateur’s advantage in addressing complaints quickly and genuinely, but also in maintaining positive relationships with customers. Millennials rely on social media to seek restaurant discounts and loyalty programs. Staying current and maximizing your restaurant’s social media presence reinforces the simplest method of marketing: word-of-mouth.

4) Community Ties

Millennials like to feel a connection with restaurants. They take note and are attracted to restaurants that both internally and externally exhibit ties to the community. Internal examples include staff interacting with guests. Sponsorship and support of local artists and musicians as well at charitable donations are some of the external community ties Millennials appreciate.

No generation is more important than another, however Millennials’ pervasiveness should make you analyze your current marketing strategy.

Happy Millennial Marketing…TaraPaige Group.

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