May 20, 2016

Family Dining for Millennial Parents

Millennial ParentingIn the ever-evolving restaurant industry, one fact remains constant: going out to eat is often a family affair. While the fact that families love to eat out continues to span generational boundaries, the ways in which restaurants can maintain the business of these families is perpetually changing. It is imperative that foodservice providers understand this consumer group and their restaurant behaviors.

According to Service Management Group research, when deciding where to eat, 60 percent of millennial parents said they were highly satisfied when allowing their children pick where to eat. This aligns with the changing family mindset that millennials are influencing today, including being more likely to include their children in the household decision making process.

With more millennials venturing into parenthood every day, it is important for restaurants and foodservice providers to develop a firm understanding of what it takes to become a family favorite.

  1. Encourage Food with Benefits

Millennial parents have a strong understanding of what is and is not healthy. As more brands are embracing authentic messaging, food labels, product packaging and menu lists must provide more transparency in regards to what the meal contains. In regards to their fresh meat choice, one-third of consumers say it is important for them to be served meat from animals that were raised humanely. The millennial segment specifically over indexes when it comes to avoiding eating meat that has been overly processed or has artificial flavors and colors and prefer natural/all-natural meat whenever possible.

  1. Span the Flavor Scale

Millennials are always interested in trying new flavor profiles. Spicy, zesty and exotic flavors tend to win with these young parents. This segment is highly influenced by what they see in their surroundings, including trendy cooking shows, Instagram and Pinterest. Their kids, on the other hand, aren’t as predictable. Have you tried to get a four year old to branch out beyond mac and cheese or chicken fingers? Not easy! With this in mind, it is important that restaurant brands offer a spectrum of flavors in order to win with the entire family.

  1. Remember that Kids Like to Customize, Too

It is no secret that customizable brands are winning with millennials, a generation that constantly seeks out ways to make products more unique and is willing to pay the premium for brands that follow through. Think about top fast casual brands that are fully integrating the customization mindset– Pie Five is relatively new to the fast casual dining scene but has gained millennial family love by creating an environment that encourages eaters to get whatever they want. This mentality is very prevalent among young consumers as well. Children have grown up in an era where the tools they need to make decisions for themselves are readily available. They look for options that give them exactly what they want, at the dinner table and beyond.


For more information on foodservice solutions designed to help win with millennial parents, contact your local Cargill sales representative.