As a restaurant, you want your customers to walk through your door once only to want to keep coming back. Though every customer is different, there are ways to use generational marketing to appeal to specific demographics. Here are a few tips for marketing your restaurant to different generations, in order of oldest to youngest.
Born between 1946 and 1964, this generation is looking for a good balance of price and value—which makes them a prime customer to try up-selling. Though most people enjoy positive experiences with servers and staff, this generation pays special attention to social norms and courtesy, expecting friendly and attentive service. Some ways to market to baby boomers is to train your employees on etiquette and include surveys on receipts for customers to provide direct input. Also, try using Facebook to get the attention of customers in this generation since it is one of their most preferred social media outlets.
Generation X consists of the people born from 1965 to 1980. Those in this age range are looking for good value when they visit your restaurant. They tend to be less concerned about trends, so stay true to your brand and earn their loyalty—which will be more solid than with other customers. Also, Gen X is populated by lots of mid-life families. To reach this generation, try beefing up your marketing strategy with family nights and value menus.
Millennials are those born between 1980 and 1994. This generation is much more technology-focused than previous ones, so increase your online presence. Engage with reviews you find online, respond to comments on social media, and keep your website up-to-date. Though there are many ways to market your restaurant toward Millennials, keep two of their key values in mind: convenience and transparency—emphasize aspects of your business such as ethical sourcing and to-go options. Also, many young families fall into this generational group, so try having an engaging kid’s menu or child-friendly décor and ambiance.
The most recently named generation, Gen Z, are those born from 1996 to 2015. It may be true that many of your customers in this age range will be younger with less purchasing power, but if you get them talking about your restaurant with their friends, your brand recognition will skyrocket with youth and their parents in the area. Also, if you thought that technology was important for millennials, wait until you engage with Generation Z. They are active on all forms of social media and are deeply inundated with technology. Try finding ways for them to use their smartphones in your restaurant and provide free Wi-Fi.
Despite the fact that every person is different, there is value in generational marketing. Make the best use of these tips for marketing your restaurant to different generations by noting which age groups frequent your business. As with all marketing strategies, innovation and reflection are the keys to success, especially when dealing with so many types of people.