Loyalty Marketing

Restaurants: What You Need to Know about Millennials — from a Millennial

Millenials Doing What Millenials Do - NextRestaurants

Want to attract Millennials to your restaurant and loyalty program? Listen up. The following is a guest post from Rachel Woolslayer, certified Millennial.


Lately, it seems like everyone has an opinion about Millennials.

Articles on us are popping up everywhere, written by all ages, including Millennials themselves, and the baby boomers, whom I’d like to remind raised most of us.

Those new tablets they’re putting in every, single Applebee’s? “The move to tablets squarely targets Millennials,” they say.

And yes, I am one of those pesky little Millennials as well (but I promise I’m not as entitled as most).

So what are some insider tips I can provide in order to attract Millennials to your restaurant and make them loyal guests?

Don’t worry, I am not here to bore you with a list of reasons why Millennials are the best or the worst generation. Like each generation, we have some good, bad, and ugly in us. Some of us have worked extremely hard to get an education and to take care of ourselves while others were handed that golden spoon of money and connections at birth.

Sounds vaguely familiar, huh?

1. First off, stop calling us Millennials

The term is getting old and it tends to take on a negative connotation.

If you run a restaurant promotion targeted at Millennials, I suggest avoiding that word, or you risk making it weirdly overly obvious that we are your target audience. And then we’ll probably just judge you and make a point of not going to your restaurant.

2. It’s all about Happy Hour

Attracting Millennials to your restaurant is honestly pretty easy: have an amazing happy hour. If I am out with friends and trying to find a restaurant to go to, we make our decision based on what pops up on my happy hour app. Does this place have cheap drinks, food, and decent reviews? Sold.

Take notes from TGI Friday’s. They have two happy hours every night of the week, one after work and one that runs during late night hours. It’s brilliant and brought in tons of college students from my university for everything from birthdays to study breaks to large group gatherings. Half-priced drinks and appetizers at midnight, yes please!

3. Weekly events focused on themes

Create a reoccurring weekly event to market a specific item on your menu or activity at your restaurant. Millennials are all about those Taco Tuesdays (seriously, click that link then come back to read more), Wing Wednesdays, and Sunday Fundays. We like to move in groups and will definitely invade your restaurant every week if we know we can get dollar tacos and discounted margaritas.

Use incentives via social media. I am not one of those Millennials that lets everyone know what I am doing at all times, but I will always check-in to a restaurant on Facebook if it means I will get something free. Free drink, t-shirt, hat, food, I’ll gladly let the world know where I am and that they can come get free stuff too!

Let’s sum this up…

We like cheap things and feeling like we are smarter than everyone else. But wait, isn’t that every generation? My point is ultimately that people are people, whether you’re part of the Baby Boomers, Gen X or the Millennials.

We may be a little more tech-savvy, or a little more quick to share where we are, what we’re doing, and whom we’re with via social networks. But weren’t you more *something* than your previous generation at one point?

We are really not that different from everyone else, minus the whole reliance-on-technology thing and well, hipsters.

About the author

Rachel Woolslayer

Rachel Woolslayer is a marketing copywriter and provider of the "Millennial" outlook on marketing, social media, and business practices.

2 Comments

  • Rachel,

    Just curious, are the tablets on the tables at Applebee’s really going to attract those customers that might fit into the box that that the uninitiated, uninformed, and those that have not read this article call millennials? Wouldn’t the “hipsters” rather use their own devices to place orders and peruse the menu?

    Anyway, I found this article both entertaining and informative and really like the “theme” ideas. I think that the attention span of the millennials, (oops) I mean the Hipsters is very short and creating theme nights helps them to remember why the are going to the Baja Beanery on Taco Tuesdays and they can even tweet with hashtag #BBTT and all of the hipsters will know exactly what they are talking about.

    To be certain, marketing restaurants to the hipsters is pretty tough and suggestions like these are helpful and your post was entertaining and informative>

    Warm Regards,

    Mark

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