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    How to Market to Millennials: The Restaurant Edition

  • Communication, where it matters, remains the key.

    Unsplash/Helena Lopes
    Studies suggest that 63.6 percent of consumers Google reviews of businesses before trying them out.

    It’s almost 2020 and if restaurants still haven’t taken a dip in the millennial pool, then now might just be a good time for them to do so. Millennials constitute about 30 percent of the global population. They have taken everything to the restaurants—official meetings, casual meet-ups with friends, family dinners, and so on. Now it only makes sense that they are the ones who must be targeted in order to drive business at a restaurant.

    Let’s crack the restaurant marketing code to the millennials.

    Social Media Marketing:

    Millennials breath social media. They are constantly on their smartphones, hopping between different apps. Channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are gold mines that you can target. Use these extensively to showcase your restaurant’s interiors, food, culture, and so on.

    Talking Technology/Conversing via technology:

    Millennials are highly proficient when it comes to using technology. Adopting various technologies at restaurants is a surefire way of reaching out to the young guns. Building a website helps create a personalized space on the web. Collect data through a restaurant POS system, segment the database by demographics and then send out timely SMS and Email campaigns to engage your customers. Other tools like table reservation and online ordering system allows patrons to choose their own meals and book tables in advance. These come in handy on days of mad-rush and nobody enjoys waiting especially when it comes to food.

    Online Listings:

    Studies suggest that 63.6 percent of consumers Google reviews of businesses before trying them out. Google My Business, Yelp, Bing, etc. are some of the authorized sites on which restaurants can register their businesses online. Google prioritizes restaurant listings that are updated with the correct information. Getting a restaurant business online single-handedly increases traffic and in turn the revenue.

    Loyalty Programs:

    Existing or repeat customers help elevate and accelerate the restaurant business. Getting customers to sign up for Loyalty Programs after their first visit is a good way of getting repeat business. These work more with millennials since it’s all digital and points can be redeemed on subsequent orders. Make it interesting by adding referral and social bonuses to loyal customers. This will encourage them further to place orders from their favorite restaurant. Millennials would rather use technologies like mobile apps and websites to get in touch with a restaurant rather than contacting them via calls.

    Serving healthy:

    Millennials are reported to be the most health-conscious of them all. And why shouldn’t they when the average life-span of humans has gone down because of the changing lifestyle. Restaurants must offer nutritious alternatives for all those health freaks out there.

    Hosting events:

    In recent times, a new culture of holding events at restaurants has started to come up. People are looking to experience and experiment. Organizing events inviting budding artists like singers, stand-up comedians, and their likes at eateries will surely compel youngsters to turn up. Supporting various social causes and raising money for charity is also a good way of getting customers to participate and dine at restaurants.

    Investing in content:

    Millennials are a more informed generation. They want to know exactly where their money is going. Restaurant blogs that talk about the restaurant’s food, employees, any special announcements, what’s new during the festive season and lots more. Blogs are a good medium for sharing images of your restaurant and talking about the food and service. 

    Encouraging reviews:

    Everyone reads reviews before venturing into something new, be it gadgets or electronics. Getting customers to add feedback on their social media handles and other online review sites will help restaurants gain visibility online. It’s true that word of mouth travels like wildfire. Customers won’t miss any chance of talking about a restaurant with great service and they definitely won’t miss it if the situation is otherwise. 

    Trendy ambiance:

    Restaurants today need to be Instagram worthy. People today have the urge of sharing every single detail about their everyday life. And there’s nothing better than sharing that one picture of perfectly plated sushi in a beautifully lit restaurant. Quirky interiors, artistic atmosphere, soothing music, and satiating food is everything millennials are rooting for at restaurants.  

    Building connections:

    One of the easiest ways of connecting with the youth is to talk in their language. Being on top of what’s trending in the millennial planet and eventually using it to market one’s restaurant is a good way of grabbing attention. A new Tarantino movie? Put it on the cups. Curating special menus and limited period discounts during the release of a cult film or the latest season of the highest-rated TV show will make a restaurant famous amongst the fans.

    Market like a boss

    Millennials are the most approachable if you know the right channels. They are constantly on the lookout for distinct and authentic experiences. The key is to understand their needs and carefully construct the restaurant marketing strategies around them.

    Devyani Singh is a Content Strategist at LimeTray. She likes to write about restaurant marketing, management and everything that’s buzzing in the food-tech space.