Millennials – people born in the period from the early 1980s to the late 1990s – are changing the food service industry in profound ways. For this generation, often also called Generation Y, independence ranks high in their scale of values. Trend studies have found that independence, autonomy and particularly self-realisation are central values for this age group. For a large majority of this cohort, independence and the ability to determine one’s life oneself are particularly important goals. Likewise, having fun and enjoying life are firmcharacteristics of Generation Y goals.
Surveys have found that about 10% of millennials prefer vegetarian dishes. No surprise that foodservice establishments have started placing a strong focus on vegetarian dishes. These young diners also want to see clear labelling of allergens on the menu. So the demand for lactose or gluten free dishes isincreasing.
Millennials also act differently in the matter of selecting restaurants. As is well known, they are assiduous users of social media and use social media to find a restaurant. So, for restaurants. it has now become important to have their own social-media manager. The aim is to attract guests into the restaurant via their social networks and for which it has become important to invent creative content and try to involve the diners.
To take an example: cooks must know when they are plating that their work will be found immediately on Instagram. Today every dish, every bottle, each decoration or description of the dishes on the menu transmits messages which will be found again in digital space. With the digital space becoming an extension of the dining room, a social-media manager is needed to integrate digital communication culture into the business as a whole.