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Food

4 new ways to appeal to millennials

On-trend seafood dishes can help capture this important—and changing—demographic
Photograph: Shutterstock

Restaurant operators constantly have to be on top of changing preferences and trends, and that includes preferences of different generations of diners. After all, what appeals to a baby boomer may not be the same thing as what appeals to a millennial. And with 24% of millennials saying they are ordering food from restaurants more often than they were two years ago, compared to just 18% of Generation X and baby boomers, according to Technomic’s recent Generational Consumer Trend Report, operators may want to focus a little more of their energy on how to appeal to younger diners.

There are four simple ways for operators to do this with seafood.

1) Highlight quality and freshness                

Highlighting food quality is key for snagging millennial diners. More than other generations, millennials cite freshness as a purchase driver, and as far as fish is concerned, freshness is the No. 1 claim diners ages 18-34 look for. For operators, showcasing the quality of fish is paramount in appealing to millennial diners. Make sure to call out quality on menus—it can be as simple as calling a dish “Fresh Fish of the Day” instead of “Fish of the Day.”

2) Focus on innovation

One of the biggest traffic drivers for millennials, according to the Technomic report, is the introduction of new and exciting products on the menu. What’s more, 45% say they prefer to visit restaurants that offer new or innovative flavors and ingredients. Operators looking to appeal to the younger demographic have to offer more than a standard “protein and two sides” plate. Tilapia lends itself well to more interesting formats—think street tacos, salads, bowls, multi-protein entrees and even small plates and appetizers. Or draw inspiration from casual-dining chain Logan’s Roadhouse, which offers Tex-Mex Tilapia: blackened, wood-grilled tilapia filets topped with creamy queso and red chili citrus sauce, served over rice mixed with roasted corn and black bean salsa. By switching up the format, the menu stays interesting and diners stay interested.

3) Menu international flavors and cuisines

According to the Technomic report, 62% of millennials say that as they have gotten older, they are more willing to try new foods and flavors—more than any other generation—and 44% say they would like restaurants to offer more ethnic foods and beverages. Introducing global flavors on menus is easy with fish dishes. Much like in the aforementioned tacos and Tex-Mex dishes, tilapia offers the perfect base, thanks to its neutral flavor and light and flaky texture. At Samossa Bites, a casual-dining restaurant in New York, Fish Curry is on the menu at lunch, and it features tilapia in a tomato and onion sauce, served with naan or roti, premium basmati rice and salad.

4) Offer customizable meals

Diners love to make meals their own, and millennials were practically raised with “create your own” restaurant concepts that allow them to pick and choose the ingredients they want in their meal. Bowls work particularly well for this type of meal, so try offering bowl meals such as burrito bowls, salads, grain bowls or stir-fries with tilapia as a protein option and all the toppings diners are looking for.

Appealing to millennials with fish dishes is easier than operators may think. By highlighting freshness, focusing on innovative new formats, showcasing international flavors and offering customizable meals, restaurants will have no problem attracting younger diners’ attention—and keeping it.

Get a free sample of Regal Springs Panko Encrusted Tilapia today at regalsprings.com/panko-free-sample/

For more tilapia recipes and ideas, visit regalsprings.com/foodservice/.

 

DATA SUBSTANTIATION:

24% of millennials saying they are ordering food from restaurants more often than they were two years ago, compared to just 18% of Generation X and baby boomers, according to Technomic’s recent Generational Consumer Trend Report, freshness is the No. 1 claim diners ages 18-34 look for.

Consumer Behavior

Purchase driver

One of the biggest traffic drivers for millennials, according to the Technomic report, is the introduction of new and exciting products on the menu.

Traffic drivers

What’s more, 45% say they prefer to visit restaurants that offer new or innovative flavors and ingredients.

According to the Technomic report, 62% of millennials say that as they have gotten older, they are more willing to try new foods and flavors—more than any other generation—and 44% say they would like restaurants to offer more ethnic foods and beverages.

Demand for Innovation

Demand for Ethnic Foods

This post is sponsored by Regal Springs

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