The U.S. restaurant industry tries to adapt to a generation that brings new perspectives and preferences to the table.
As Millennials are entering their 30s, restaurants are rushing to meet their high expectations. According to a recent QSR Magazine article, Millennials spend more as a percentage of their overall credit card bills while Baby Boomers spend more money on restaurants. This aligns with the idea that this younger generation is more interested in having experiences than spending money on owning possessions.
One trend leading the charge is visiting restaurants that stand for something. The Millennial consumer is drawn to a business that gives back or has a purpose that they believe in. Panera Bread’s Panera Cares Community Cafes and Starbucks’ ethically traded coffee beans are both examples where consumers can feel like they are supporting businesses that have the same principles as they do.
Say goodbye to big portioned meals without quality ingredients if you are trying to appeal to the younger consumer. Health-conscious millennials also like to see locally sourced or seasonal ingredients, which is creating a new process for restaurants and their supply chains.
Millennials are also much more inclined to use mobile apps because they want their dining to be fast and seamless. Brick-and-mortar experiences are becoming less important to these consumers, while online ordering and delivery are becoming the norm.
Restaurants are feeling the pressure the adapt to Millennials’ tastes as they age, get married, buy homes, and have families. For companies that are able to adjust, they are likely to continue to see growth for years to come.
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