What Matters to Millennials

Millennials visit restaurants more than other generations so understanding what resonates with them can be the first step to building a foodservice operation that becomes a destination for this age group.

Members of the Millennial generation, people between the ages of 19 and 34 years old, have a distinct perspective on dining occasions, placing more value on attributes like social responsibility, sustainability, local, organic, grass-fed, and hormone-free offerings, according to Technomic, a Chicago-based foodservice market research firm. Millennials foster emotional connections to brands and their loyalty stems beyond experience.

"Success with today's Millennial consumer will depend on making an emotional connection and setting expectations," said Darren Tristano, Technomic EVP. But establishing an emotional connection can pay dividends. That's because Millennials visit restaurants more frequently than any other generation, Tristano added.

As part of its study "This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.&utm_medium=Press+Releases+Which+restaurants+win+with+Millenn&utm_source=TailoredMail&utm_term=Understanding+the+Foodservice+Attitudes+and+Behaviors+of+Millennials&" target="_blank">Understanding the Foodservice Attitudes and Behaviors of Millennials," Technomic developed a list of the top-ranking restaurant chains based on the three factors this demographic values most. Here's a breakdown of the results.

Social Responsibility — Acting in a way that is good for the environment, treating employees well.

  • Quick Service: In-N-Out Burger
  • Fast-Casual: McAlister's Deli
  • Family Style: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
  • Casual Dining: Logan's Roadhouse

Food Quality — For Millennials, food quality goes beyond taste and visual appeal, also incorporating sourcing elements such as grass-fed and free-range into their quality perception.

  • Quick Service: Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop
  • Fast-Casual: McAlister's Deli
  • Family Style: Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
  • Casual Dining: Red Lobster

Supports Local Community Activities — Makes charitable contributions, supports community organizations.

  • Quick Service: Chik-fil-A
  • Fast-Casual: Corner Bakery Café
  • Family Style: Bob Evans
  • Casual Dining: Bonefish Grill
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