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5 Convincing Reasons Generational Marketing is Essential for Every F&B Business

While it’s never easy, opening shop is just the first step towards making it a success. We know you’ve already gone through leaps and bounds just to open your doors. However, to make sure you have a welcoming customer base when you do, it pays to know about generational marketing. 

Every business has its respectively unique products and selling propositions to customers. Restaurants aren’t different except you’re providing food to customers. One under-appreciated rule in the F&B industry and generally in business is you can never please everyone. In knowing your brand’s identity, you can understand its significance and appeal to people of different ages, lifestyles, financial capability, and more.

Generational marketing focuses on not only the audience’s age but also the attitudes, possible reception, spending capability, perspectives, and other aspects that help you understand their personality and interaction with your restaurant brand.

Demographics Always Matter

Marketers of different eras have always considered age’s correlation to lifestyle and spending capacity. For example, fine dining will never be attractive to majority of teenagers who are still in school or university. However, it will attract people who love artisan food or an ambiance that isn’t common.

You’ve definitely eaten at a family-style restaurant. Most of their menu items is something both adults and children can eat. If you’ve been to a specialty Japanese restaurant, you won’t see anything kids would love to eat. Restaurant owners of different timelines and generations have always recognised the value of demographics, and combining it with generational marketing will help you create satisfied and loyal customers too.

Generation-Centred Communication

Do you remember telling your parents “OMG” and they thought you mentioned someone’s initials? This is just one example of a gap in linguistics and lexicon between different generations. It’s easy to have designers create some solid advertisements for your fusion Chinese-Indian cuisine, but using hip language will make it appealing to the younger generation. It’s possible that university students may love fusion cuisines but will definitely lack purchasing power. 

However, try this: make your fusion Chinese-Indian cuisine advertising language into something appealing for Baby Boomers or Gen-X-ers who have the financial means to try your dishes consistently. You’ll have a dedicated fanbase that has a great love for your fusion dishes and can keep eating at your place too!

The Level of Explanation Detail

You won’t have problems with millennials and Gen-Z customers when it comes to using online ordering apps and platforms. Just a simple three-step “download-start app-place order” instruction in a one-minute social media-shared video is enough. 

However, for baby boomers and some non-techie Gen X users, they may need additional instructions and phone-based support. Baby boomers are especially keen on having phone-based communication. On the other hand, Gen-X customers may just need a single but detailed instruction to understand how to use a new platform.

Detailed explanations matter in both instructions and your offers. Poor language might confuse some audiences when it comes to promotions. This may lead to some negative experiences that can mean losing customers and having a poor effect on your brand.

Communication Channels

Baby boomers aren’t too keen on surfing the Internet beyond an hour or more. However, millennials and Gen-Z-ers are more likely to surf social media during their breaks. Gen-X-ers are more likely to respond to text message and email promos and advertisements. 

Knowing whether your audience prefers seeing advertisements on television or the Internet plays a huge role in the success of your restaurant marketing efforts. It helps you create accurate spending budgets that can help elevate your business to new heights.

Food Preferences By Age

You’ve definitely heard of a similar case: a couple had brought a child into a fine dining restaurant. In the child’s discomfort, he or she began to misbehave. Consequently, this shattered the restaurant’s overall ambiance, which is a huge contributor to the taste and overall appeal of the venue.

However, if the restaurant owner deliberately placed a sign explaining that children are not allowed in their fine dining venue, they will have prevented the issue altogether. While this is a radical case, food appealing to Millennials may not appeal to Baby Boomers. On the other hand, food appealing to Gen-Z may be quite appealing to Millennials in some way. 

Knowing your target audience’s favourite food or taste palette can increases the chances of success for your business. Here are some ideas about the different food preferences of different generations.

Baby Boomers: The Tried and Tested

Born after the Second World War, their generation loves the tried-and-tested flavours of both home cooking and fast food. According to Gordon Food Service’s research, most of them love eating fried chicken, seafood, sandwiches as a major contributor, pasta, Chinese, and Mexican dishes.

However, it’s unlikely they will eat anything experimental and radical. Most of the time, Baby Boomers love their food tasty, beautiful to look at, relatively plenty in quantity, and just “looking normal.” 

Generation X: Tradition and Innovation

Having grown with the home-cooked meals of their Baby Boomer parents, Gen-X people tend to prefer both traditional and new, groundbreaking dishes. In fact, they often look for fine dining or traditional-style venues.

According to Hitchcock Farms’s research, Gen-X people love eating fast-food such as pizza and burgers. They find quick-cook meals like mac & cheese still appealing. However, they still love the taste of home-cooked meals and anyone’s culinary abilities.

As this population has gone beyond their middle-aged years, it’s highly likely organic and healthy food regardless of source can be highly appealing to them.

Millennials: Groundbreaking and Exciting

Their generation was the first to maximise everything the world celebrates about the Internet. In fact, Millennial restaurant owners, chefs, and other personalities were the first to discover using different videos and photographs to showcase how exciting food can be — even if it’s still experimental and has an unknown taste for the majority.

In turn, majority of Millennials are willing to eat their traditional pizza, pasta, burgers, and everything fast food (because they grew up on them), and their parents’ home-cooked meals. On the other hand, they will very much give organic, artisan, virtual kitchen or restaurant-cooked meals a shot with almost no hesitation too.

Gen Z: The Next Level of Gastronomic Excitement

If Millennials were the first to maximise the Internet, then Gen-Z kids are the ones reaping the benefits of a safer, secure, and more welcoming Internet. In addition, they’re exposed to the improved methods of food photography, advertising, and experimental ideas that look delectable to their eyes.

According to RGA, Gen-Z and Millennials are two generations directing the trend of specialty food. Because both generations are very open to new flavour palettes and unique restaurant experiences, they’re the ones most likely to order from consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. These are the virtual kitchens and restaurants you see in social media and are now gaining traction into becoming their own major industry.

User-Friendliness Measurement Scale

If you’re reading this post, then you’ve definitely been exposed to new technology as a child. However, Baby Boomers have yet to touch computers except possibly past their middle age. Gen-X people are mostly familiar with computers, but a great part of their population might have similar technical difficulties as Baby Boomers. 

If you have a restaurant website that has complex navigation, it might be too challenging for Baby Boomers or some Gen-X audiences to use. Then again, these two generations are most likely to fish for restaurant phone numbers or emails to contact and secure an order from your restaurant.

Knowing your audience helps you determine the right user-friendliness and technical detail your restaurant website, app, and other online channels should have. Here are a few pointers that can help you make the best design decisions. 

Detailed Tutorials Are a Must

For Baby Boomers, instructional text such as “click,” “call,” “type,” and other similar verbs can help them understand what to do next. It can be difficult for many of them to comprehend a great many links on your restaurant website. Therefore, guiding them by telling them where to click, who to call, or what to do next is imperative.

Some Gen-X customers might find this helpful for themselves as well. Detailed tutorials can make it easy for them to order from your website or application. The best way to know if your website is friendly to these two generations is to use a test case before implementing your website and app design.

A Single Detailed Instruction is Enough

For most Millennial and Gen-Z customers, a single detailed instruction is enough. Because they’re more tech-savvy and inclined to online features and conveniences, they only need one simple instruction. For example, telling them to fill all the fields in your form is enough — both Millennial and Gen-Z customers do not have to be told to click a certain button if they can read its label as “next.”

Food Presentation

Chefs and restaurants worldwide have seen success and great followings because they’ve amazingl taken and processed photos of their dishes to a point it’s become so perceivably delicious across the digital spectrum. Truth be told, any restaurant can gain a huge following by presenting food in advertisements in the best possible manner possible. Here are a few tips on presenting your food in the best manner possible.

When is Anything ‘Too’ Fancy?

There’s no “too” fancy when it comes to food photography. However, a photo can be too processed. This means you’ve over-saturated, filtered, or used too much of any possible app colouring and processing tools available that the food looks too strange to a point it isn’t quite tempting in appearance. While weird filters and colour schemes can attract Gen-Z and Millennial customers, it might turn off Baby Boomers if they’re your target audience.

Another is the too-sophisticated appearance of your food. Unless it’s part of your marketing (either fine dining or just a unique, entertaining aesthetic to make an affordable dish look glamorous), using food models, arranged and elaborate backgrounds, and other details can make it look too pretentious and unbelievable that audiences won’t believe what they’re seeing. If a food photo looks great but it’s not making you any hungrier, then you may need to take another photo.

The Right Type of Brand Imagery

Brand imagery encompasses your food. The seamless aesthetic of your food resonates with its cultural foundations. The same cultural influences also build your restaurant’s look and overall appearance. In turn, your photos should present these details in the photos. 

For example, if you’re a Turkish take-out restaurant, a shot of your dishes displayed in front of your shop is a great presentation of food. Another would be one staff cooking or addressing a customer’s request. Take-out restaurants have an on-the-go feel, and showing a happy yet hectic restaurant makes for excellent brand imagery and storytelling.

Developing Restaurant-Customer Relationships

Any restaurant can have excellent food. While it is the core of every restaurant, your food is just one of its cornerstones for success. Your customer’s satisfaction relies on your restaurant’s efficiency and whether they’ve had an excellent dining experience.

Again, generation marketing is an essential factor in this aspect. You will talk to Baby Boomers using a different language and approach. It goes the same for Gen X customers, Millennials, and Gen-Z customers. 

Baby Boomers prefer non-digital communication when voicing their orders and complaints. If you’ve a majorly Boomer customer population, then having phone lines they can contact is a great channel to communicate and make them feel valuable. 

The same is true for some Gen-X customers. However, some Gen-X, Millennial, and Gen-Z customers are mostly familiar with using technology. Then again, Millennials and Gen-Z customers can perceive certain customer service actions differently than the other generations.

Paying attention to the concerns of each generation requires a different set of approaches. However, the best thing to do is to listen to them, allow them to make suggestions, see if you can apply it, and then render the solution. In turn, you can develop restaurant-customer relationships effectively with the generation your restaurant is targeting.

Age Speaks a Lot About Customer Preferences

When you know your target audience, you can make any marketing campaign a success. You create advertisements using language, references, and analogies they can quickly understand. However, it can be quite a handful to handle all generational marketing data in addition to F&B dish performance and delivery information you can receive on a daily basis.

Luckily, we have a platform that can help you integrate everything from generation marketing information to everything that’s happening in your restaurant. If you’d like to learn more, drop us a line at sales@ninjaos.com.

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