The story behind a dish (or the brand itself) combined with the eating preferences of young adults win the game. These consumers don’t just want to eat because they’re hungry; they want to see the thought and effort put into a recipe to decide if it’s worth eating. This whole trend starts with the ingredients and ends with the plating. From the very start to the end; eating is a whole experience now than ever. Young consumers choose to spend their income on experiences rather than expensive items. According to YPulse, nearly 42% of 13-33-year-olds and 46% of 25-33-year-olds consider themselves Foodies and they value food and dining in a way that was never done by older generations before.
Millennials become more educated about their food, allergies, and options each day. These shape the way they eat massively. The source of a food item is crucial. Is it locally produced, organic or modified? A single ingredient can be a deal breaker for the entire table. Does the dish contain nuts, dairy or gluten? Is it vegan, paleo? Customers demand to know a lot more about their food & make educated decisions on what they eat. The eating experience should be created very carefully.
There is a digital transformation in the world and dining trends are no exception. Automatization and productivity become key elements as millennials push industries to become more and more involved with technology. Technology is already an important element in restaurant management and now diners want to see it themselves. Customers demand to see technology. And the one thing every single customer at a restaurant interacts with is the menu. Thus, starting this technological transformation from the menu only makes sense. Toast says that 79% of diners agree that technology makes their restaurant experience better.
Technology also helps restaurants increase sales directly. It’s been reported that 71% of 18-34 year olds prefer to order for themselves from a tableside tablet. This makes the ordering process much easier for guests as they know exactly what they order and how they want it. There is no way there could be a misunderstanding as all the details of the order are seen clearly by both parties. +6% frequency of visit and +20% average spend per visit is measured when technology is used to place an order.
How a dish looks plays a huge part in the overall experience. Young adults start making purchase decisions as early as seeing a food. The design & plating reflects all the thought that went into preparing that dish and complements the eating experience. If the plate looks Instagrammable, appetizing and creative, there’s no way it will not be tried by a millennial. Fstoppers says it, “A beautifully executed food image will make the viewer’s mouth water and their stomach rumble!”
The end result of a great dining experience is great feedback and returning customers. Feedback is often achieved online by customers posting images & writing comments. These could be crucial for a restaurant as it is available for a huge number of potential customers. Online feedback can be great if you’re doing everything right and making everyone happy. But if something goes wrong or unexpectedly, everyone will hear about it as well. This is why collecting feedback from guests before it hits the comments would be a great way to address issues and offer solutions. 84% of restaurant customers return if the restaurant responds directly to their feedback which is not only important for retaining a regular customer base but also to attracting new customers.
According to Harvard Business Review’s 2017 survey among business leaders, executives primarily worry about their organization’s inability to change fast enough to survive and thrive in an increasingly digital world. Technology has to become a crucial element in the way we do business because it’s agile, fast and always has room for improvement. As more millennials are becoming active consumers, a technological transformation with the millennial effect is inevitable in dining.