If you’re in the hospitality, quick service or fast casual space, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the word “millennial” by now.

Roughly born between 1980 and 2000, millennials are a large and diverse market segment with significant spending power. There are over 80 million of them in the world, and they love to spend money on food. This is great news for smart restaurant owners and executives like yourself.

Looking specifically to our own backyard, this segment make up Australia’s young, highly educated and affluent urbanites, according to a recent EMMA survey.

Placing high importance on success and lifestyle, they are hyper engaged with technology, social media and the sharing culture. Of all the segments they eat out most at licensed restaurants, cafes and pubs.

Millennials are your ideal customer. They’re not afraid to part with their money, and they’ll tell their friends if you impress them enough. Think of them as brand advocates for your business – they’re encouraging other people to buy your food based on their own experiences.

Millennials be like…..

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Ever take a friend out for coffee and they can’t resist grammin’ their soy latte? Yep, classic millennial.

 

You know you’ve got a millennial customer in your restaurant if you see them:

* Snap their meal with their iPhone and post the pic on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter – all before they’ve even tasted it.

* Post online reviews about your restaurant on sites like Yelp, Urbanspoon or TripAdvisor.

* Schedule their order online via smartphone, tablet or laptop so they can customise, pay and pick up their food when it suits them.

How to impress them

 

So, just how do you impress this audience? Here are a few ideas to get your started.

1) Be strong on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter

 

Millennials are social beings, and they love to share positive food experiences with their friends on social media. They are more likely than the general population to lead opinion shifts within their social groups and networks, so it pays to get on their good side.

Being active and having a strong presence on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter will increase your chances of being tagged, checked into or mentioned on your millennial customer’s newsfeed. This boosts your sharing potential and exposure to a new audience.

Make sure you encourage social sharing and reward your customers for spreading the word about your brand, like Bird On A Wire reposting this customer’s Instagram post below:

 

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If a millennial shares the love on Instagram about your brand, share it right back with a regram shout-out.

2) Go digital – offer online & mobile ordering

 

Australians are ranked as one of the highest users of mobiles globally. 7 in 10 people aged 14-44 are using their mobile to access the internet, and 72% would never leave the house without a mobile phone. For millennials, this statistic is even higher.

Appeal to millennials affinity for digital technology by letting them order from your restaurant in a way that makes sense to them. Most fast casual and quick service restaurants experience significant increases in sales from implementing online & mobile ordering solutions, provided it’s the right one.

“Online ordering has allowed us to reduce in-store wait times and provides an innovative service to our customers. We currently generate at least 25% of our revenue through Mobi2Go.”

– James Tucker, Owner, Habitual Fix

You can even connect up your online ordering to POS systems like Kounta, so orders go straight to your point-of-sale.

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Franchises like Habitual Fix let customers order online to give millennials the convenience they crave.   

3) Be creative

 

Millennials are drawn to new ideas, creativity and innovative design, so it pays to think outside with your messaging and campaigns when connecting with the audience.

Camile Thai feature signature dishes by influential nutritional cooks such as Susan Jane White to connect with their health conscious, digital savvy audience, and offer cooking classes to appeal to their inclination to experiment with new flavours and learn new skills.

 

4) Show social responsibility

 

Australians are becoming increasingly concerned with what goes into their food and where it’s sourced from, and millennials are no different. They’re passionate about food and like to align themselves with authentic, socially responsible brands, so it’s worthwhile communicating your values to this audience.

Check out what Rock Paper Scissors posted on their Facebook newsfeed below:

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A little message about how you source your food goes a long way. 

 

Millennials are the future of your hospitality business. If you can strike up a meaningful connection with them, you’ll be rewarded.

Start opening up the lines of communication now with a free trial of Mobi2Go online & mobile ordering software.

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest for more delicious stories. 

 

 

About the author

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Felicity is Mobi2Go’s marketing and brand manager and content creator. She writes about online ordering and hospitality trends, tips, client success stories – basically anything to help restaurant owners understand online & mobile ordering and grow their businesses. Connect with Felicity on LinkedIn or email her directly: felicity@mobi2go.com

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