10 Millennial Food Trends to Attract More Loyal Customers to Your Restaurant

millennial food trends

When marketing your restaurant, one of the most important factors in choosing channels and types of promos is the audience. You must clearly define your target clients to know how to best attract them to your business.

One key category of clients is millennials who spend 44% of their food dollars on eating out.. Not only do they have a big shopping power, but they also consider themselves foodies, so they are the perfect audience for your restaurant.

If you want to increase your sales, consider hopping on these millennial food trends:

Who is considered a millennial?

A person is considered a millennial if they are born between 1981 and 1996. Therefore, in 2023, millennials can be any age between 27 and 42. This a generation that grew alongside the internet and technology. Therefore, the huge advancement impacted their preferences, including food-related ones.

Why should you cater to millennial food preferences at your restaurant?

The millennial generation is comprised of people who are well into their adulthood, which means they have the means to dine in and order from your restaurant. Here are a few millennial food statistics that will convince you to implement at least a few millennial food trends:

  • 22% of the U.S. population is a millennial, the biggest share amongst all other generations;
  • The millennial generation is expected to peak at 81 million people in 2036;
  • 50% of millennials state they order takeout one to two times per week;
  • Millennials state they are more willing to pay small, local businesses than large retailers;
  • Millennials spend most of their money on entertainment, such as going to restaurants, movies, and sporting events.

10 millennial food trends you must implement

Now that you know that there is a large number of millennials who have the money and want to spend it on restaurants, it is time to find out how to persuade them to choose your business over your competitors. Start by implementing as many millennial food trends as possible from the list below:

1. 18 % of millennials follow no-carb or low-carb diets

Be it for health reasons or diet, one of the most popular millennial food trends is menu items that either contain no-carb or contain a small amount of them. Therefore, if you want to attract people from this generation, it is time to update your menu.

The easiest way to do this is to use our free online ordering system which has an incorporated menu creator that empowers you to create an attractive menu in no time. You can also make an unlimited number of changes free of charge.

For example, you can add a new category in your menu titled “No-carb menu items” where you will showcase all dishes that fit into this category:

millennials restaurant spending

You can also add nutritional information for every item on the menu. This addition will surely be appreciated by all health-conscious millennials who like to know exactly what they are eating.

millennial food trends

2. 80% of millennials regularly purchase meat alternatives

While the older generation’s diet focused mainly on meat, we’ve seen a shift in preferences for the younger people. Both millennials and Gen Zs are searching for dishes that taste great but don’t contain meat anymore.

There are countless ingredients that can be used to up the protein intake in a meal such as mushrooms, tofu, beans, etc. If you decide to hop on this millennial food trend, you must mark your dishes as Vegetarian or Vegan so clients know their options at a simple glance.

Create a menu that showcases a variety of millennial food trends Set it up and go live in minutes with our online ordering system Start now

If you use our menu creator, you can mark your menu items as any of the following with a simple click: “Hot, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Halal, Nut-free, Dairy-free, or Raw”. Watch this video to learn more:

3. Organic ingredients are sought after

One of the most prolific millennial food trends is being interested in the ingredient’s origin. Where are they sourced from? Where were they grown? And most importantly, are they organic?

If you own a restaurant that uses or plans to include organic ingredients, you must market this selling point everywhere to get millennials interested in your food. Do it on your website, on social media, and in your menu item’s description.

For example, this can be a description for an eggplant pizza:

Easy-to digest dough made with sourdough and locally sourced flour, topped with organic tomatoes and eggplant, all enveloped in tasty buffalo mozzarella.

millennial restaurant trends

4. Promotions can attract new orders

48% percent of millennials state they would be convinced to order by a free delivery promotion. Other promotions such as a free item for a certain minimum order or a 2+1 meal combo can persuade people to order more.

Get more millennials to order your food by adding promotions to your restaurant’s menu. If you use our online ordering system, you can add attractive deals in a matter of seconds. They will be the first thing in your restaurant’s online menu, so customers won’t be able to resist them.

millennial food trends

Check out this informational video that shows you how easy it is to set up an irresistible restaurant promotion:

5. Dining out should be an experience, not just a meal

Food may be the main reason people visit your restaurant, but it is not the only one. Most millennials state that when they dine out, they are looking for an experience. 78% of millennials declared they prefer spending money on experiences rather than buying something desirable

Here are a few tips that will help you not only attract the most numerous generation but also persuade them to become repeat clients:

  • Offer impeccable service:train your employees to create an unforgettable experience for your clients by providing fast service, being polite, and offering recommendations;
  • Bring in music: elevate the dining experience by adding live music on your less busy nights;
  • Organize special events:trivia nights, parties, tasting events, these are just some ideas for creating an experience for your clients. Pick what works for your audience.

6. Online ordering is on the rise

While millennials enjoy a great night out, they also like to eat good food from the comfort of their home, without putting in any effort. That’s why one of the most common millennial food trends is online ordering.

Attract more people to your restaurant and increase your sales by installing an online ordering system on your website. You can get the free one from GloriaFood with a variety of useful marketing features designed to help you grow your business online in just 10 minutes:

After you add the "See Menu & Order" button on your website, clients will be able to browse your menu, pick their favorites, pay, and order in just a few minutes. Convenient both for you and your customers!

Attract more millennial clients by allowing them to order your food online Install an online ordering system to your website for free Start now

If you don’t already have a website, you can generate one with our restaurant website builder. The included menu button will be placed in the most visible spot above the fold so it will be the first thing clients see, leading to an amazing restaurant customer journey.

millennials food delivery

7. Ethnic cuisine is high in searches

If you already sell food that is specific to one country, you are in luck. Because millennials like to try new things, one of the rising millennial food trends is including ethnic cuisine in your menu.

Having menu items with different flavors, textures, and plating will give you an edge over other restaurants in your area that sell more common food.

If you want to jump on the trend, you can pick a day where you experiment with cuisine from different countries such as "Ramen Sundays" or "Curry all day on Mondays."

8. Food certifications for humane treatment of animals

It’s no secret that the newer generations, starting with millennials, care more about their food’s provenience. Some already reduced their consumption of meat or completely removed it from their diet.

Some of the ones who still eat meat make sure that it is sourced from places that treat their animals humanely. Therefore, if you want to hop on this millennial food trend, you must put in more effort and ensure you source your meat produce humanely.

Afterward, ensure every client and potential client knows you care about where your meat comes from by showing your certifications on your website, in your menu item’s description, and on social media.

millennials food trends

9. Farm-to-table concepts make a buzz

The most well-known Michelin-starred restaurants focus on elevating locally sourced foods because they know their audience. One of the most popular millennial food trends is the farm-to-table concept that ensures organic food, humane treatment of animals, and sustainability for local producers.

To perfectly encapsulate the concept, it would mean creating a restaurant from scratch which may not be on your radar if you’re not looking for a rebranding. But you can still get some of the hype from farm-to-table by organizing events where you cook only with local products.

Get in touch with local producers, get to know their produce, and then have a monthly meet-up between them and your clients where you cook delicious meals that will get you loyal customers.

10. Restaurant food plating is a selling point

Millennials are the generation that grew up with the development of cameras, from films to cameras with only 2 megapixels to phones that can now film in 4K. They are used to documenting everything, including food, through images and lately, video.

Therefore, if they are eating out, millennials like to show their friends how good their food looks. If you want more clients, it is time to step up your restaurant food plating game so every photo a client takes turns into art.

millennial beverage trends

Moreover, every time a client posts a picture, you not only get free user-generated content to promote your business, but you also get new customers who were attracted by the great food plating they saw online.

Final Words

Millennials are the generation with the most spending power right now. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to attract them to your restaurant and convince them to order more by implementing the millennial food trends listed above.

Otilia Dobos

Otilia Dobos is sometimes a content writer, other times a copywriter, but always produces high-quality content that helps clients up their marketing game. She devotes her attention to helping restaurant owners have a successful business with well-documented and SEO-optimized articles.

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