The National Restaurant Association
and Nation’s Restaurant News
(NRN) have recently been focusing on the variation in appeals for diners of generations XY&B.
NRN reported on the top five factors affecting restaurant brand decisions for Gen X. Convenience tops the list with atmosphere, authenticity of the brand, personal connection with the brand and service style ranking high.
Three restaurant chains stand out for Gen X: Subway, Chipotle and Starbucks.
Chicago-based restaurant research firm and consultancy Technomic
has released a survey of Millennial diners. The firm found three values that stood out when Gen Y decided where to eat.
Social responsibility topped the list of brand qualities for Millennials, so brands that do good for the environment and for their employees ranked high. In-N-Out Burger, McAlister’s Deli, Cracker Barrel and Logan’s Roadhouse were category leaders.
Of course, food quality was a key ingredient in making restaurants stand out. And for Millennial diners, sustainable and organic helped define quality. Two additional firms were added to the Millennials’ list: Jimmy John’s and Red Lobster.
The third factor Millennials see as important in making dining decisions is supporting community. Chick-fil-A, Bob Evans and Bonefish Grill are seen as restaurants that step up.
And for Baby Boomers, service style, atmosphere, convenience, healthfulness of food and a personal connection with the brand rank as key values. While many think of Ronald and the kids’ meal, McDonald’s attracts a multigenerational audience, but Baby Boomers who grew up with the brand are loyal and find the variety appealing.
Different appeals for different generations make menu planning and marketing a tough challenge for restaurant chains.
Generational differences in brand appeals make being a one-size-fits-all place to eat almost impossible.