Dine at any well-rated restaurant and you’ll see Millennials– ordering quickly, taking snaps of their food, and discussing photo captions for social media.
Millennials with too little responsibility and too much disposable income are the new big players in eating out – research shows 97 per cent of 18-34’s report dining out with friends as their main social activity.
“They’re not aimed exclusively at millennials… however, we’ve seen in the US that millennials are very much behind the growth of the fast-casual dining sector so we certainly have them in our sights,” he said.
A 2015 survey by VICE Australia reveals millennials want good quality, well-presented ‘photogenic’ gourmet food in a casual dining environment, and are turning away from traditional ‘fine-dining’ venues.
“Millennials still love fast food, but how it’s done is changing… they use premium ingredients, the overall experience is much better, and it’s still very affordable,” she said.
Depending on which source you look at, millennials are those born somewhere between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. They are about to overtake the Baby Boomers in numbers, and they're also about to come into their peak spending years. They are "poised to reshape the economy," says a recent Goldman Sachs report. Restaurants like Modmarket and the healthy fast-food chain LYFE want millennials' money, and they're designing menus and spaces to attract them.
So what is it that millennials want in a restaurant?
- Communal and movable tables. They want to be able to sit together in large groups at long tables or move tables together according to their social needs.
- Food transparency with open kitchens. Millennials want to know calorie counts, nutritional information, and where food comes from. And, they want to be able to see into the kitchens to make sure they’re getting what they're being told they're getting.
- Sustainability with recycled and sustainable materials. From furniture to lighting to walls, millennials want the restaurants they patronize to be environmentally responsible.
- Quirky but functional décor. The décor needs to be youthful and “photogenic.” Millennials are taking and sharing photos, so they want the setting to look good too.
- Ample electrical outlets and USB ports. Because everyone’s phone is running low on battery by the time meal time arrives, millennials want to plug in and recharge.