Millennial Dining Trends 2019

A recent report surveyed more than 5,000 millennials in 18 countries and produced a number of insights about their restaurant expectations.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • Millennials spend 13% of their total income on restaurant food, both eating out and ordering in.

  • Millennials account for nearly 30% of restaurant revenue.

  • A majority of millennials either live with their parents or with a partner without kids. This means they have more disposable income for food, travel and recreational spending.

  • On average, US millennials order in 4 times a month.

  • In terms of restaurant style, during the prior 12 months, 43% had ordered online from a casual dining chain, 51% from a fast food chain, 22% from a high-end independent restaurant, and 11% from an upscale premium restaurant. Overall, 79% of millennials had ordered in during the period.

  • Value for money is an important factor in millennial purchasing decisions. Although many millennials want unique foods, and healthy foods, cost still plays a significant factor, with more than a third of respondents saying that value was still the most important factor.

  • Millennials are tech savvy and image driven. They are the most likely group to share their dining experiences on Instagram. They are most receptive to the emerging technology of augmented and virtual reality.

  • Millennials value reviews and social media opinions. In fact, 25% say they will pay more for food that has been highly rated.

  • Millennials value convenience more than other demographic groups. For restaurants that means ease of ordering via digital apps, and efficient, fast delivery. Even when going out to eat, 47% of millennials want to be able to order online before arriving at the restaurant.

OUR TAKEAWAYS (Yes - pun intended!)

While we are not yet at the stage of providing all menus in a virtual reality format, millennials are still influenced by good quality photos and videos. It is worth noting that 28% of restaurateurs plan to introduce some form of virtual reality during the next 12 months. We will be writing more about that so check back here often or subscribe.

Millennials desire for unique and eclectic and ethnic food lends itself to the virtual restaurant format where new menus can be created and tested with relatively little investment.

Healthy foods are also a significant consideration for millennials. Restaurant owners, both brick and mortar and virtual, should consider adding vegan, vegetarian and gluten free items to their menus.

Value for money is a significant factor. Menu pricing and delivery charges should account for this.

Aside from value, convenience is the next most significant factor in millennial purchasing decisions. Virtual restaurants must ensure their systems are optimized for fast delivery, with the food arriving hot (as appropriate) and well presented. Given that millennials also focus on reviews, any negative feedback should be quickly addressed.

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