While the economy has chugged along at a promising pace with low unemployment and increased consumer spending, restaurants have seen a positive impact in 2018 as consumers choose to spend more on dining out. But, with the recent stock market volatility, upticks in inflation, declining home sales, growing credit card debt and other economic downturn indicators beginning to percolate, some economists are hinting that another recession could soon be around the corner.
In the restaurant industry, same store sales and traffic are up slightly for November, but the six-month outlook has been stagnant or trending down for the last several months as operators seem more uncertain about the future. Meanwhile, menu price inflation is now outpacing overall inflation, which suggests dining out is becoming more expensive relative to other lifestyle costs.
But, counteracting this trend is the fact that millennials now spend more on dining out than any other age group, and nearly half spend more on dining out than they’re saving. It seems most would rather spend money on prepared food than spend time preparing it themselves—a habit that could be hard to break, even if money gets tight. Meanwhile, their collective spending power has also surpassed that of the Baby Boomers, establishing Gen Y as a priority demographic for restaurant operators.
That’s why attracting millennials can be a critical strategy for business growth—or frankly for survival if, in fact, things do start to slow down. Figuring out how to do that can be tough, especially for restaurateurs who are perhaps a generation or two removed from Gen Y. Here are some tips for turning your restaurant into a millennial hot spot that can help weather any storm.
Regardless of where the economy heads in the short or long term, diversifying your audience reach by attracting more millennial customers can be a boom to any restaurant business. After all, those memorable experiences, interactive features and top-notch service will be a draw to patrons of every age bracket. Some things never go out of style, no matter what your age.
Source: QSR Magazine
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