Millennials are a lot more adventurous and spontaneous as compared to other generations when it comes to restaurants.
Research suggests that the younger generation, which we also refer to as Gen Y or Millennials, make for almost a third of most restaurant’s revenues. Aged anywhere between 18 and 34-years of age, these youthful souls have been noticed to eat out a lot more than other generations, and they even love to experiment.
Most trends in the restaurant industry can be attributed to this demographic of consumers. However, people with eclectic tastes and high incomes are also an important subset. These people have been largely responsible for inspiring innovations and modernizing the restaurant industry.
In other words, you can’t make the gruesome mistake of not including this demographic in your restaurant’s marketing strategy. With that said, we’re going to elaborate on this integral marketing rule by laying down a few secrets to market your brand to Millennials:
1. Focus on Convenience
It is no secret that most Millenials thrive off convenience. When these customers aren’t dining out, most of them prefer to have food delivered right at their doorstep. Whether this is due to the pandemic, hefty traffic, or busy work schedules, they are all looking for convenience.
Convenience has been such a strong trend during the pandemic that it promoted several international restaurant chains to rethink their food delivery strategies. To be able to establish a brand resonance with Millennial customers, restaurateurs will have to emphasize the availability and ease of off-premise food experiences.
A good starting point would be to set up an efficient delivery service, make use of online ordering systems and mark their presence through marketing channels.
If your independent restaurant brand already has an online delivery system in place, you can try using it to market limited-time offers and special menu bundle offers. You see, the benefit of utilizing technology for your business is to be able to have highly customizable menus and gather insights on the best selling food items.
In addition, online ordering systems allow restaurant owners to send direct marketing messages to their targeted audience to keep them updated about all the promotional offers in their delivery service.
2. Build an Ironclad Social Media Strategy
“Ignoring online marketing is like opening a business but not telling anyone.” — KB Marketing Agency
Since most millennials tend to be a little more friendly with the internet and technologies than others, they are bound to discover your restaurant through these channels. More specifically, Millennials (and the generations that follow) are crazy about social media platforms such as Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram.
Keeping all of the above in mind, the best way you can engage with your target audience is by laying down an ironclad social media strategy. This strategy should communicate everything there is to know about your brand to your target customers.
What you need to do is focus your social media content on some endearing characteristics about your restaurant and throw in a few high-quality videos and pictures.
You can always come up with some creative idea to produce some great content on these platforms such as by promoting upcoming events, announcing limited time offers, or simply communicating a new addition to your menu.
Another great way to promote your restaurant is by focusing on user-generated content such as polls or contents to keep the customers as involved as possible.
3. Adopt Technologies
“Business has only two functions — marketing and innovation.” — Milan Kundera, Writer & Playwright
To be able to interact with the increasingly tech-dependent generation, restaurant owners will have to quickly adopt advancements in technology. This strategy will help elevate your business’s overall experience and also grant it a competitive advantage over direct competitors.
Granted this particular strategy sounds a little generic but this is due to the broad definition of technologies. This could be as simple as giving your customers free access to the internet or onboarding online ordering systems or CRM for restaurants to make their experience as seamless as possible.
We recommend that you start offering your customers a larger variety of digital payment options to checkout much more quickly. Furthermore, you should allow your customers to book seats with online reservations services.
Try to build the most robust technologies using mobile applications and website tools. Go ahead and replace your outdated manual mechanisms with self-service kiosks, tabletop ordering technologies, and mobile apps.
4. Partner With Influencers
“We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in.” — Craig Davis, Co-Founder, Sendle
Millennials seem to have a very strong connection with local celebrities and influencers and trust their opinion for their decisions. With positive reviews and ratings from said influencers, your restaurant can create quite a lasting impact in the restaurant space.
If you plan on marketing your independent restaurant to Millennials, you will first have to win the trust of influencers and attract them to showcase your brand. A great place to start would be to approach restaurant reviewers and food bloggers.
Your restaurant’s marketing team can easily research and reach out to restaurant reviewers, social media influencers, and bloggers that have the most followership among Millennials. This particular marketing strategy will not only grant your business an insane amount of exposure on the internet but will also increase your reach among other niches of the wider population.
5. Win Their Trust With the Best Loyalty Programmes
Reeling in Millenials to exciting restaurant experiences is not as challenging as bringing in repeat customers and encouraging customer loyalty from the bunch. You can deal with these problems with the help of loyalty programs.
This great marketing tool helps to retain younger customers to your independent restaurant. You can easily incentivize loyalty programs with visit-based promotions or spending amount-based offers.
Coffee giant Starbucks’ loyalty program communicates with Millennials using a star system and offers customers free coffee on special occasions. Onboarding Millennial customers into such loyalty programs is a great way to capitalize on their interests and drive repeat customers.
6. Offer Astronomical Dine-In Experiences
When Millennials do summon the motivation to step out of their comfort zone to drive up to a restaurant, they expect a lot more than just good food. They look for restaurant experiences that qualify as Instagram-worthy experiences.
We’re talking about restaurants that have managed to establish iconic food experiences, with gastronomical menu items. To enhance your restaurant’s experience factor, you should consider upgrading your restaurant’s various elements such as adding technological advancements, delightful background music, live entertainment, and pleasing decor.
One thing that is almost certain among Millennials is that they have a knack for experimenting with different value presentations and cuisines. You can easily emphasize your food presentation by throwing in some eclectic delicacies into your menu.
A dine-in experience needs to focus on the experiential factor to be successful. If you manage to make a memorable experience for your guests, you may just have subscribed to unlimited free publicity.
7. An Omnipresent Marketing Effort
If you want more Millenials from your target audience to try out your brand, make sure that your marketing efforts are spread out across the channels. Make sure to establish an ironclad digital presence so that younger audiences can discover your brand via mobile applications, websites, third-party applications, and search engines.
As mentioned above, don’t forget to partner with influencers and amplify positive word-of-mouth across various channels. Connect visually with your audience with the help of engaging videos and social media. Finally, inspire your leads to keep coming back for more via email and SMS marketing.
Don’t forget to consider Millennials in your restaurants’ decision-making process and remember to capture constant feedback from your customers. In doing so, you will find yourself at a much better place than from where you started. You will also be better equipped to understand what younger customers expect from your restaurant and how you can cater to their unique needs.
Make sure that all of your marketing strategies are customized and optimized by prioritizing Millennials as your target audience. Also, do not forget to engage and communicate with Gen Y customers in their language.
MenuCRM Can Get Your Independent Restaurant Closer to Millennials
“Customer experience isn’t an expense. Managing customer experience bolsters your brand.” – Stan Phelps
Customer loyalty makes a huge difference and loyal customers are bound to spread positive words about your brand. MenuCRM offers a full-featured web application that simplifies customer loyalty programs for small business and independent restaurant owners.
MenuCRM can be your restaurant’s website, online ordering system, CRM, restaurant loyalty app, and customer communications toll, all packed into one. By adopting MenuCRM, you will not only be able to increase your foot traffic and orders in less than 45-days but also streamline meal purchase processes without the need for internal restaurant maintenance.
So what’re you waiting for? Contact MenuCRM and start experiencing its benefits today!