To flourish, a business attracting new customers is the only way forward along with retaining the returning customers. And it holds true for restaurant businesses as well.
Chefs and entrepreneurs are opening food businesses in cities all across the US and UK, from food trucks to high-end brick and mortar restaurants, and it’s getting harder and harder for many of these businesses to succeed or even just stay afloat.
To attract new customers, a restaurant needs to understand its customers’ personas—especially for restaurants with a youthful or trendy vibe so they can target Millennials and Gen Z appropriately. As Forbes mentions, Gen Z will soon surpass the Millennials and the baby boomers. They will comprise at least one-third of the global population.
So if you’re in the restaurant business, it is high time that you pay attention to the preferences of Millennials and Gen Z because these two generations are not just convinced by good food, but want much more! They have different expectations and preferences, and so you must understand them and adapt your business accordingly.
In the end, while the challenges can be vast, the rewards are immensely satisfying. Here are some pointers to consider.
Most Millennials and Gen Z are either always online for work or fun, or somewhat addicted to social media. A Statista report shows that “48 percent of U.S. adults aged 18 to 29 years spend time only ‘almost constantly’ on their phone,” while another source mentions that nearly 100 percent of Gen Z owns a smartphone and spends over four hours per day online.
Social media marketing is one of the best possible ways for businesses to reach out to these categories of diners. Restaurant businesses that have active social media profiles and can use their platforms to engage with their customers are a step ahead of their competitors. Millennial and Gen Z diners often check out the restaurant’s Instagram profile for food and ambiance shots or read a handful of online customer reviews before making a dining decision.
Moreover, Gen Z and Millennial customers, being so tech-savvy, demand user-friendly mobile websites to check before dining. A slow, poorly organized site will turn off these potential customers within seconds.
Let’s not forget that many Millenials and Gen Zs also prefer to order online through well-developed and easy-to-use apps. So if you are into the restaurant business and yet not having an app for your business, you are certainly losing out on this group of diners.
Convenient Ways to Pay
Restaurants that offer convenient and efficient ways to pay, both online and via an app, for pickup-and delivery win the hearts of Millennials and Gen Z. This generation of diners usually has a fast-paced life and prefer cashless payments like credit cards or near-field communication. If it flows with the ambiance of your restaurant, consider including a self-service kiosk or on table-tablets.
There are plenty of different routes to go with, click here for one example of an electronic restaurant merchant service that is Millennial and Gen Z-approved.
Having a safe, secure, and easy to use card payment procession solution in your restaurant will give your diners one more reason to come back.
Remember, Gen Z and Millennials like to order food through third-party delivery apps as well. To ensure your restaurant is easily accessible to this lot of diners, have your business tied up with third-party delivery partners. This is a great way to offer delivery without taking on the costs of an in-house deliverer.
In an era of trend-focused food media, pay attention to your restaurant aesthetics if you haven’t done so already. Gen Z and Millennials love to share their experiences on social media, so ensure your restaurant ambiance and esthetics are Instagram worthy! And do you know that encouraging diners to share photos on Instagram means free advertising for your business! You may also choose to use restaurant-specific hashtags to build social media engagement and run online promotions.
Gen Z and Millennials prefer to go with restaurants that have eco-consciousness. So, if you are practicing it, don’t hesitate to talk about your eco-conscious efforts. Whether you are growing your backyard kitchen garden, composting the wastes, or using reusable cutlery, let the world know about it!
Healthy and Diet-Specific Options
Not just Gen Z and Millenials, but everyone loves to dine in a place that caters healthy food to different dietary needs. Offering menu variations or additional menu items is a great way to appeal to the masses. From gluten-free to paleo and vegetarian to vegan, include as many diet-specific healthy diet options as possible.
Know your Customers Right
Millennials and Gen Z have different preferences and expectations when it comes to dining out. They pay equal importance to aesthetics, social media presence, easy payment options, and eco-consciousness of the restaurant as much as they want to see diverse health and diet-specific food options.
If you want to grow your restaurant a good idea is to consider these generations when building your business. Doing so, you need to take care of their preferences and expectations. That all around vision is what makes a chef and restauranteur. It’s not just cooking.