Marketing to the millennials

How can restaurant and pub brands attract the millennials? It is one of the biggest challenges of modern marketing, and a new report from CGA Peach has some of the answers. 

In Looking for Tomorrow's Growth, our exclusive research project with Barclaycard, we take a close look at this crucial segment of 18 to 34 year-olds—a generation that is much studied but often misunderstood. 

Download free report

Download free report

One certainty is that this group is more engaged with eating and drinking out than any other in history. More than half of them eat out at least weekly, and a third at least three times a week, our report shows. A third spend £100 or more a month on food out of home—compared to fewer than one in five of those aged 55-plus. 

Another thing we know for sure is that this generation lives online. Smartphones and social media are pretty much universal, and that has profound implications for the way millennials interact with restaurants and pubs. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the rest have transformed the way they communicate with brands, whether for good or bad, and have given them far greater access to recommendations from friends, family and other online influencers. 

A side-effect of this is that millennials love to discover new experiences. Our report shows that one in four consider themselves to be among the first to visit new eating and drinking brands, compared to only 5% of the over-55s. It has made millennials a demanding bunch, craving new and different things and slashing their tolerance of poor restaurant and pub visits.

But it doesn’t necessarily make them fickle, and it doesn’t make them impossible to reach. Millennials have grown up in a branded dining environment and are willing to return time and time again to restaurants that give them a great experience. Looking for Growth shows that a larger percentage of millennials claim to be loyal to the brands they use than is the case among other age groups. And really, what they want is no different from anyone else: great food and drink, consistently delivered. Much harder than it sounds to pull off, of course, but brands that get it right are in great shape for the years ahead. Millennials will carry their habits and loyalty into later life—and reaching them now is the big win for all operators.

Looking for Tomorrow’s Growth has been produced by CGA Peach in association with Barclaycard and it is available for download here. It pulls together data from a variety of sources, led by CGA Peach’s market-leading consumer-side and industry-side measures including BrandTrack, Coffer Peach Business Tracker and the AlixPartners Market Growth Monitor. For more about the report and CGA Peach’s suite of bespoke research services, please contact Chris Jeffrey at chris.jeffrey@cgapeach.co.uk.