Millennials want dining experiences they can "like" and "share"

Attention restaurateurs: want to attract more Millennial guests? Create an eating experience that will "intrigue" and "excite" them

Attention restaurateurs: want to attract more Millennial guests? Create an eating experience that will "intrigue" and "excite" them.

Specifically, chain restaurants looking to attract more diners in the generation Y age group – generally defined as those born between 1980 and the early 1990s – need to come up with unique offerings that differentiate them from the competition, according to a survey conducted by food-industry consultant firm Technomic.

“Millennials…are increasingly looking for a unique experience worthy of sharing, and FSR [full-service restaurant] chains must intrigue, excite and battle sameness in order to attract these key users of foodservice and compete against independents and small chains,” said Kelly Weikel, Technomic’s director of consumer insights.

“Innovative dishes and bar programs, ethnic flavours and menu items with a local or regional spin can help FSRs stand out.”

The survey found that all diners, not just those in the younger demographic, are looking for higher-quality food and beverages. To distinguish themselves, restaurants may need to refresh their brands or change their menus to appeal to this increasingly discerning age group.

The good news is that the report said sales in FSRs are projected to increase 4% in 2015.

“But the threat of the growing fast-casual segment continues to look for FSRs, forcing brands to innovate – both on menu and in unit – so they may deliver an experience worth consumers’s time and money,” Technomic said in a release.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV