Know Your Audience: Millennials vs. Baby Boomers

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As the two largest generations, Millennials and Baby Boomers are equally important audience segments for foodservice operations. Understanding the differences in how, when and why each generation dines out is essential to providing experiences both will return for.

To boost traffic and drive higher sales, first consider what’s important to both Millennials and Boomers, then ask yourself whether your operation currently delivers on those demands. For example, a large percentage of Millennials are parents, which drives many in this group to seek out kid-friendly restaurants. They’re also attracted to menus that feature all-natural ingredients and operations that use convenient payment systems. Boomers, on the other hand, are more likely to seek out restaurants that offer deals but also value cleanliness, quality service and reliably flavorful dishes. It’s possible to satisfy all these values simultaneously, and doing so can lead to great success.

Here are some more key insights to know about each generation’s dining habits:

  • They both like trying new flavors. 66% of Baby Boomers and 64% of Millennials say they like trying them from time to time, compared with only 25% and 24% respectively who prefer sticking to their go-to favorites. Ethnic dishes, like this Turkey Pad Thai, provide a flavorful adventure for all guests.
  • Millennials want to keep it real. In fact, they are 47% more likely to buy and willing to spend more on items labeled “real,” while Baby Boomers are just 26% more likely.
  • They value convenience differently. Millennials are high users of delivery, as they enjoy discovering new flavors from home. Baby Boomers are most interested in fast food, because it’s a quick way to get the meals they recognize.
  • They eat out for entertainment. 73% of Millennials and 62% of Baby Boomers say they enjoy the social aspect of restaurants. Further, 67% of Millennials and 56% of Boomers agree that eating out at a restaurant is one of their top activities to enjoy with friends. Sharable dishes, like a Turkey Flatbread Pizetta, are a popular option among groups.
  • Millennials dine out more often. 33% of them eat at restaurants 2–3 days per week. Meanwhile, a similar percentage of Baby Boomers visit restaurants just once every 2–4 weeks.

Content courtesy of Butterball Foodservice

Source: Technomic Generational Consumer Trend Report, 2018


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