Making up 20% of the population, the millennial generation is about to move into their prime spending years. This segment of the population are set to reshape the economy; their unique perspectives, experiences and concerns influence and change the ways we buy and sell, obliging companies to adapt and evaluate how they do business for decades to come.

Who are they?

Millennials have grown up in a time of fast change and exposure to an increasingly volatile world, giving them a set of priorities and expectations sharply different from previous generations.

By definition, the millennial generation is categorised by age as being born between 1980 and 2000.

Why are they such a big deal?

By 2019 there will be over 17 million millennials in the UK, they are the consumers which businesses need to make the effort to understand and cater to. They represent a significant market for hospitality operators. In current times where life has become more stressful, increasingly demanding and an ever increasing cost of living, this generation would rather spend quality time dining in a restaurant, connecting and catching up with friends or family (as opposed to spending money on a night out which doesn’t necessarily help them unwind). In addition to this, millennials eat out more often than non-millennials.

How are millennials shaping the hospitality sector?

A report carried out by Oracle Hospitality engaged with over 9,000 millennials from around the world; to discuss their use of technology in hotels, restaurants, bars and coffee shops and evaluate the impact mobile devices are having on the hospitality sector.

The report concluded the following findings:

- Loyalty is a priority for food and beverage
- 52% of millennials want to use their mobile devices to take advantage of loyalty programs offered
by restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
- Millennials want to be acknowledged, with personalized rewards that reflect their individual preferences.

Listening to the expectations and needs of millennials is something to be taken seriously. When evaluating hospitality employers' use of technology, over a third of millennials who had worked in the industry said that there was much room for improvement. Furthermore, only 15% mentioned that their employers implored their suggestions for improving technology use.

How can you make your hospitality business more Millennial friendly?

An online platform is crucial to engage with this generation who are digital natives. From food and beverage operators, they want to be able to expect the following:

- Food and beverage loyalty programs they can manage on their mobile devices.
- Want to be able to order food for delivery or takeout via mobile devices.
- Have already ordered food using their mobile devices.
- Many have already paid for food and drinks using their mobile devices.
- Use their smartphones in restaurants, bars and coffee shops.

Some of our clients who have implemented a millennial friendly app include Five Guys, Chipotle and Subway.

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Keep the following in mind when marketing to millennials:

- Maximize your social networking.
- Highlight your social responsibility.
- Show you’re digitally integrated.
- Offer originality.
- Communicate with a warm, personal tone.
- Encourage word-of-mouth recommendations.

The millennial generation is the future of your restaurant business and the hospitality sector. The more you understand them the more you will be able to engage these key consumers to the advantage of your business.

To see how our expertise can help your restaurant business, contact us now on 0207 100 5520.

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