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You’ve heard about them, but do you know them?

We’re talking about the millennials, a generation that is well-educated, tech-savvy and more mobile than any generation before them.

This crowd already forms a substantial portion of opinion-makers and shakers in the market, and has been the one to start several of the more recent food trends in recent years. One example of this is the explosion in popularity of fruit yoghurt specialist llaollao.

In Southeast Asia alone, there are over 130 million millennials – a quarter of the entire population. An interesting point to note is that these millennials are more willing to spend on luxuries and dining than other generations of customers. If they like you, they’ll form a bond with you, patronise your restaurant and tell their friends about you.

To capture their attention, you’ll have to get to know them and play to their preferences.

Millennials are attracted to more than just taste and smell; they’re attracted to your brand and restaurant, and also appreciate the overall dining experience.

This means that to capture the hearts of millennials, you’ll need to focus on:

  • Your brand: Make it recognisable, visible and likeable.
  • Your service: Service must be good, fast and done with a smile. Millennials are also technology-savvy, so allowing them to help themselves by ordering via a tablet can be a plus point.
  • Your food: Offer food choices that are unique and charming. Wrapping a story around your dishes can help it sell even better.
  • Your ambience and presentation: Some say that millennials “eat with their mobile phones first”, making sure to snap photos of their dishes – and post them online – before tucking in. So make sure your ambience and plating is always Instagram-ready!
  • Everything else: Pay special attention to menu design, furniture, lighting and other factors that give your dining establishment a special atmosphere that your millennial audience will appreciate, remember and tell their friends about.

What’s more, if your establishment focuses on green practices or social causes, that’s a definite bonus as the millennial crowd tends to feel a greater kinship towards businesses with social consciousness.

Remember, when appealing to millennials, it’s never just about the food – you’ve got to have the whole package. Get this right and win over this special group of customers, and you’ll find that they could be your most vocal supporters and marketers, especially on social media platforms.