Industry Insights

Millennial Dining Trends

By Beatrice O'Dwyer


3 Minute Read


Friday, 5th July 2019

Over the past few years, the term ‘millennial’ has been thrown about in the media left right and centre – sometimes for good, and sometimes for bad – but do people really understand the influence that this generation has? In particular, does the foodservice industry understand the power of the notoriously ‘foodie’ Millennial generation?

Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic group that follows Generation X, with birth years ranging from the early 1980’s to the mid-1990s. This group is the largest generation since the baby boomers.  

As well as being the largest group, millennials also have the greatest spending power, hence why it's hugely important that caterers, operators and food suppliers understand what this thriving demographic want from their dining experience. And trust us, it’s not as simple as adding smashed avocado on toast to the menu…

1. Health is wealth

Okay, so we know we said it’s not as simple as adding smashed avocado on toast to the menu, but you’re along the right lines… not only do millennials love seeing healthy options on the menu, but they love posting about their nutritious purchases on social media, so stop hiding those leafy greens – promote them loudly and proudly and the social media buzz is sure to follow.

2. Aesthetic is everything

For many millennial diners, eating out is as much about the aesthetic of the venue as it is the quality of food and service, so it’s well worth investing in! Flower walls, marble floors and jungle themed interiors are just some of the most ‘instagramable’ interiors that millennials look out for from their restaurant visits.

3. Get techy

As the generation to have grown up in a world of technology and social media, it really should be no surprise that Millennials are demanding smarter solutions when eating out of home… From online booking systems, loyalty apps, free wi-fi, social profiles and more, the smart options are endless within the foodservice world.

4. Fast, fresh food

There’s almost nothing more appealing to millennials than delicious food served in super speed, and this is largely down to the notoriously fast-paced lifestyle of the y-generation. However, when creating a quick-serve menu, caterers must also take into consideration the fact that stereotypically greasy fast food items no longer cut the mustard. Millennials want to taste fresh ingredients with extra brownie points going to venues that allow customers to personalise their fast food options.

5. Sustainable Menus

Whilst sustainability is an issue that many consumers care about, Millennials’ undoubtedly take tackling this issue one step further. In fact, millennials’ responsiveness to environmental issues has even influenced food manufacturers and caterers to source and serve in a more sustainable way.

So what can we take from the above? The thing that strikes us the most about millennial dining trends and demands is that in some way or another, they revolve around a better dining experience. No matter if it’s from a convenience perspective, a moral perspective,environmental perspective or visual perspective, millennials simply want more than a tasty plate of food when eating out of home; requirements that restaurants, cafes and bars should look to facilitate if they wish to satisfy and engage with this powerful, quality-hungry generation.

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