Loyalty, Mobile, Social

6 Tips to Attract Millennials To Your Restaurant

Millennials love variation, making it difficult to earn their loyalty. Here at Popdeem, we have outlined 6 simple steps to attract millennials to your restaurant.


#1 Social Media Presence

The millennial generation has the largest presence on social media than any other. If you don’t have business pages on social media, you’re missing opportunities to attract millennials.

Millennials use social media to primarily connect with friends and family, but they also refer to social media when making purchase decisions. Therefore, it can benefit your business to encourage your customers to share their experiences online with friends. This can be achieved by briefing your staff to kindly ask customers to review your restaurant on Yelp or Tripadvisor.

#2 Attract Millennials by Rewarding them for their Loyalty

As previously discussed, trying to earn this generation’s loyalty can be difficult. But it’s worth the effort since, it costs roughly five times more to acquire a new customer than it is to retain one. Therefore, justifying the investment required to set up a loyalty scheme, to encourage repeat business.

There are a number of loyalty scheme options available, like loyalty stamps and plastic loyalty cards. However, with the rise of mobile loyalty platforms, these types of schemes have become outdated.

Mobile loyalty platforms are popular amongst millennials due to their frequent use of smartphones. These platforms also measure and analyze customer data, helping business owners to understand their customer better. Popdeem is an example of this. If you would like to see some of our Customer Success Stories, please click here.

Starbucks’ mobile loyalty program is an example of a successful loyalty scheme. The program now accounts for 21% of Starbucks transactions in the United States.

Visual demonstration of Starbuck's Mobile Loyalty App, to attract millennials. The image shows three smartphone screens, showing different sections within the App.
Starbuck’s Mobile Loyalty App

#3 Attract Millennials with Less Branding

Millennials dislike excessive branding, favoring subtlety, which makes businesses appear more intimate, and less corporate. The key to attracting millennials is through authenticity, function, and practicality, over cool brand names.

The question is, how can this be applied in a restaurant setting? A very simple but effective method is to avoid strict set menus; instead, try to meet each customer’s individual needs. For example, allowing customers to create their own meal. This model has proven to be very effective in The Counter Burger, where they allow customers to create their own burgers from scratch.

Image of a burger, showing different slices of the different burger options at The Counter Burger.
Build your own burger at The Counter Burger.

#4 Millennials Expect Online Ordering

Online ordering is a perfect way to attract more millennials to your restaurant. A large portion of millennials dislikes making phone calls. The convenience of online ordering appeals to this impatient generation and avoids the interruption of phone calls.

Online ordering benefits restaurant businesses by reducing the ordering process time, by more than a half. It also dramatically increases takeout revenue, by simply making the process more convenient.

Image of laptop and smartphone, both displaying a demonstration of a restaurant online ordering service.

Creating an online ordering system is usually much easier than many restaurant owners might think. There are no sign-up costs, most interfaces are very user-friendly and offer a lot of support. Online ordering benefits smaller businesses by allowing them to connect with, and attract millennials for minimal effort and investment.

#5 In-store Experiences

Millennials are ordering-in more and more. Therefore, restaurants must provide an exceptional in-store experience to attract millennials away from their homes. Excellent customer service and food quality are minimum requirements to industry experts.

Presentation and ambiance are both opportunities to attract millennials to your restaurant and differentiate yourself from competitors. The better the food looks, the more likely your customer is to receive Likes on their Instagram photo of it; making them more likely to return.

Below is an example of a piece of user generated content from Cafe Medici. The photo generated over 350 Likes and generated great word of mouth promotion for the brand.

Screenshot of a millennial's Instagram post of a Cafe Medici's smoothie and donut with 365 Likes, demonstrating how UGC attracts millennials
User-Generated content about Cafe Medici

#6 Reward Brand Advocates

At Popdeem, we help businesses turn customers into brand advocates through a system that rewards customers for their loyalty and sharing content about your brand. Research has shown that Millennials respond better to user-generated content, more than brand-owned content. In fact, 68% of millennials research before choosing where to eat, using information shared by their friends.

Therefore, wherever possible it is crucial to reward customers who help raise awareness of your brand.

A perfect example of this was carried out by Einstein Bros Bagels, where customers were asked to share a photo with #BagelLoveContest, for the chance to win free bagels for a year. Here’s one of the entries below.

Screenshot of an Instagram photo of a happy woman holding a bag of Einstein Bros. Bagels with the #BagelLoveContest hashtag.
#BagelLoveContest Entry

Finally, our most important tip: If you want to increase footfall, sales, and profit for your restaurant, you need to be flexible and make these changes to attract Millennials. To achieve this, you will need to show them that you understand their needs and wants by utilizing some of the tips above. If you can manage all of this you will have them flocking to your door in no time!

Next Steps

If you’re in the market for a social engagement tool that makes it easy for you to reward your customers for brand advocacy and word-of-mouth on social media – please visit https://popdeem.com/.

With Popdeem, you can reward customers and brand advocates with coupons, loyalty points, prizes, or charity donations, when they share photos on Instagram, check-in on Facebook, or use a branded hashtag. For more information on how Popdeem works, check out this article, Heine Brothers’ Coffee Unveils Social Rewards Program on QSRMagazine.com.

Request a free, personalized Popdeem demo by completing the form below.

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