Millennials have become a hot topic in the recent years and the food service industry is no exception. Millennials are currently talking about avocado toast, pressed juices and what to order on delivery service apps such as Seamless. Their focus has shifted from material possessions to experiences.
A new study has surfaced, indicating that millennials are currently spending 44 percent of their annual budget on food that is prepared outside of the home. They are now viewing restaurants as an experience and not just a meal. With social media and other platforms, they are interacting with the restaurant before they even step foot inside. Twenty-eight percent of diners had indicated that they tell their family and friends about their restaurant experiences on social media through Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook.
As millennials grow, their expendable income will continue to grow, and as such, this will continue to provide the food service industry with more growth opportunities. Food service businesses should be building their future plans to address these opportunities and address concerns over social media and other reviews. With 46 percent of diners reading restaurant menus online before going there to eat, the restaurants should be aware of how they are perceived and should be willing to adapt and change to the ever-changing trends. In my experience, a meal is just another meal, but we go to certain restaurants based on what they can provide outside of everyday food. Whether that is a fun experience, crafty drinks, live music, unique twists on their food and/or unique décor. We continue to look for the next best experience and I don’t think that will change any time soon, as the top industry players are shifting their spaces and updating their menus to cater to millennials.
By Courtney Grixti, Audit Supervisor