Create an experience at your foodservice establishment to attract millennial diners, new research from the National Restaurant Association (NRA) suggests.

In its 2019 State of the Restaurant Industry report, the NRA finds that customers ages 21-38 would like restaurants to provide technology that improves the dining experience, offer more environmentally sustainable items, and create easier opportunities to order takeout and delivery.

“Demographics are destiny in the restaurant industry,” says Hudson Riehle, the National Restaurant Association’s senior vice president of research. “Understanding and meeting the dining demands of millennials is not only critical to the industry’s success, but also their loyalty to its restaurant brands.”

Key findings from the report:

  • 51 percent of millennials would like to be able to choose their own tables from a seating chart located on the restaurant’s website during the reservation process.
  • Over 60 percent of millennial diners would like restaurants to use technology to make ordering and payment easier, as well as make takeout and delivery more convenient.
  • 56 percent of millennials placed a delivery or takeout order using a restaurant app or website in the past year, and are more likely than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers to order meals using self-service kiosks at quickservice or coffee shop restaurants.
  • 58 percent are more likely to choose one restaurant over another based on its ability to provide sustainably grown, raised, and manufactured food.

Millennials are willing to pay more to get more when it comes to the dining experience. By improving that experience, operators can set themselves up for success in the coming years.