Millennials are making a major impact on the foodservice industry. Sixty-nine million strong1, this large-and-in-charge generation is so influential, trends follow in its wake. And this group of 18- to 34-year-old consumers shows no signs of slowing down, so operators need to cater to their trendsetting ways to cash in on their spending power.
- Personalization Is a Priority: Millennials want more than just a choice of baked or mashed potatoes with their meal. They want to customize almost every aspect of it. The emergence of mix-and-match restaurants has fed their desire for control over their meal choices. Offering customizable options is an easy way to appeal to the more than one-third of millennials who choose different menu items every time they visit an operation.1
- Snackable Selections: Munchable bites have major appeal for millennials—with 35% saying they enjoy snacks in place of meals.1 To keep the traffic flowing, you’ve got to bring in a tasty selection of snacks that are “healthful, flavorful and portable.”1
- Bowls Are Big: The on-the-go eating generation has led to the rise of the “meal in a bowl.” Convenient, on-trend and of course, tasty, bowl dishes are ruling the lunch hour—and dessert bowls are poised to make a big impact. That means you need to look for opportunities to menu exciting bowls that can help boost your bottom line. And bonus points if you make them customizable.
- Mashups Have Major Appeal: Who can forget the Cronut® pastry craze? Or the mashup trend it kicked into high gear? Socially driven millennials love anything that’s “buzzworthy.” So bringing crazy creations like these to your menu is an easy way to create your own brand of buzz. And likes. And tags. And shares.
- Ingredients from Nature: Millennials’ desire for outside-the-norm ingredients extends to beverages. Thanks to the rise of the craft cocktail movement, millennials are more open to earthy ingredients.1 So the next time you want to rethink your beverage menu, think vinegar-based libations, artisan tonics, kombucha and other digestive-based beverages.
What trends do you see millennials driving in your operation? Tell us below.
1. Ragone, Gina LaVecchia, “5 menu trends driven by millennials,” Restaurant Hospitality, Apr. 20, 2016, http://restaurant-hospitality.com/consumer-trends/5-menu-trends-driven-millennials