With many restaurants facing customer shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to drive business to your establishment. As a major demographic of the dining population, millennials are especially lucrative to attract. Millennials have been found to be more willing to dine out, so wooing them to your restaurant can be very beneficial to your bottom line.
As with any demographic, there’s a strategy for attracting millennial customers. Here are some tips to getting this generation not just through your doors, but back for repeat business.
Millennials aren’t just concerned with how their food tastes; they want to know where their food comes from, too, and that the food they are purchasing comes from local sources that benefit the community in some way. They also like organic ingredients, so if your business utilizes local and organic products, don’t be afraid to include that in your menu.
Offer Something Different
A creative menu is a great way to fill seats in your establishment. They are often trendsetters when it comes to trying new foods (avocado toast, anyone?), so don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to menu items. Who knows – you could just launch the next trend!
Create a Social Media Presence
Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Millennials are a very connected generation and regularly check sites like Facebook and Instagram. Using those mediums to highlight menu items is a great way to showcase your food and attract new and repeat customers. For example, posting photos of the food with descriptions of the ingredients encourage customers to try new menu items.
But don’t just post sporadically. Make sure you have a consistent presence online and use professional photography when possible. Better yet, hire a marketing firm to handle your social media posting so you can focus on running your restaurant.
Share Your Brand Story
Every brand should have a story behind it. Who are you? What is the history of your restaurant? What image are you trying to convey? Telling your brand story through your menu, food, and social media will connect you to your customers and create loyalty that keeps them coming back for more.
Your brand story gives your restaurant a personality that helps your customers understand who you are, making your restaurant more personable and approachable.
Allow Special Requests
As the old Burger King jingle goes, “special orders don’t upset us,” and they shouldn’t upset you either. Be open to customer feedback and consider offering foods and services that your customers suggest, such as tweaks to menu items on an individual basis, private gatherings as local laws permit, and takeout or catering services.
Ultimately, paying attention to your customers’ likes and dislikes will help your business stay relevant during a time when businesses are competing for every dining dollar, no matter which generation their customers are. However, there’s no denying that millennials are the generation to capture right now, as they have the desire (and the dining dollars) to help keep your restaurant successful during COVID-19 and beyond.