One Problem | Three Solutions: How Do I Attract Millennials to My Restaurant?

Some restaurant concepts that captured Baby Boomers and GenXers are having trouble attracting Millennials and younger patrons.

While there are many ways to go about updating your concept to make it more relevant to younger patrons, here are three areas you should focus your attention on:

  1. Brand Messaging

It’s critical to tighten your brand messaging to ensure it is both clear and consistent. Since Millennials are tech and media natives, it is easy for them to spot misaligned brand values. Define and communicate corporate values that are truly reflective of your practices. In addition to this, it’s important to be sure your messaging is different from your competition. There’s no point in chasing what others are already doing. Use your core values to differentiate your brand, and be sure to communicate them to your customers: be real and be unique. Authenticity is key to attracting younger consumers.

  1. Dining Motivations

Millennials are driven by two main dining occasions: convenience and social. They seek places that cater to both quick meals and comfortable atmospheres that allow them to linger with friends. Therefore, if possible, it’s best to solve for both in your space. Sharable items, community tables, and easy take-out options create a distinct vibe in your space that will resonate with Millennials. Show them that you can provide exactly what they’re looking for in your restaurant.

  1. Real Estate

Look at growing in urban and semi-urban locations. In the past, many concepts were found in strictly suburban areas. Many Millennials, however, work and live in the cities. The closer you are to their world, the more likely you will be included in their habits and lifestyles.

Need more information on designing for Millennials?

Designing for Millennials 

Burton's Redesigns with Millennials in Mind

Five Things Fast-Casual Restaurants Need to Attract Millennials 


Steve Starr, president of starrdesign in Charlotte, N.C., is a nationally recognized leader in restaurant and retail design. While his insight and expertise span the hospitality industry, his focus is on branding, consumer behavior and the development process.

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rdd Sept Oct 2017 cvr