In a world where Millennials rule, efficient methods of restaurant marketing must cater to a more educated and stimulated audience.
Millennials are driven by creativity and the desire for a personalized experience; look at their Instagram feed and you’ll see the reflection of their ‘unique selves’.
Being the ‘special unicorns’ that they are – a term coined by the Huffington Post in 2013 – Millennial expectations often exceed reality: they feel entitled to quality experiences. Due to this, restaurants need to be constantly putting their best foot forward in terms of appearance and reputation. This all starts internally, within the very walls of the restaurant itself. ”Cleanliness is next to Godliness” has never been more true when looking at the following list of reasons that disparage repeat restaurant visits from these ‘special unicorns’.
Based on a survey conducted by Harris Poll of 2,034 U.S. Millennials, the top five factors that turned diners away from a restaurant were:
- Dirty surfaces
- Unpleasant/foul smelling orders
- Unkempt/dirty restrooms
- Slippery/dirty floors
- Entryway/exterior cleanliness
It seems a bit rudimentary that a restaurant would host a clean dining environment, however this is made even more important considering that Millennials love to ‘gram’ their food. With expectations already set for a quality experience, clean dining is monumentally important. Additionally, the décor must also feed into the overall dining experience. By creating an environment that is out of the ordinary, a restaurant can turn dining into an event.
Further, the dimensionality of the dining experience by incentivizing guests to engage with the restaurant through photos. Create a hashtag, repost pictures taken by diners and encourage creativity through individualized recognition on the restaurant’s owned Instagram. Certainly, these ‘special unicorns’ will not be able to resist a restaurant marketing tactic such as this – a tactic that embraces, plays to, recognizes and encourages their creativity and uniqueness.
Creativity can be further played to by capturing the process of day-to-day activities done in the front of house/back of house arenas. Share the experience of the work and passion that goes into the restaurant – share the things guests never get to see and create a real human connection out of the work that is constantly done.
Through utilizing Instagram, restaurants can capture Millennials in real time with authentic content, while also playing to their creativity and sense of special uniqueness. Restaurants are able to further employ individualized attention to their guests through the platform of Instagram by encouraging guests to photograph their experience with the intention of reposting their photo.
Gina Lee De Freitas has 15+ years marketing the restaurant industry. She is the Chief Operating Officer/ Partner at IMM, a digital ad agency.