When you do a Google search for Millennials, the definition of the term is first on the page, but scroll down and you find articles on how Millennials are impacting the world. Headlines include “Where are Millennials?” or “The Millennials Are Coming!”. There are even articles on tips for successfully marketing to the generation. With many fast food restaurants experiencing decline in sales, research is pointing to Millennials as one of the factors. Sources like the Business Insider and Wall Street Journal, report that young consumers are moving away from fast food and dining in at casual restaurants instead. Casual restaurants like Chipotle or Panera Bread and ones with healthier options. So what are fast food restaurants doing to combat this trend and win back Millenials? McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Wendy’s and even Burger King are taking on the challenge and implementing new marketing strategies to bring back a vital customer. Even if you aren’t in the fast food industry, the tactics these restaurants are using can be utilized for any food service establishment.
If you follow Taco Bell on any social media site, you will get the message pictured to the right. Taco Bell has launched a new mobile payment and ordering app and blacked all their social media. This campaign was done to get attention in a surprising way from core customers who use social media. Taco Bell isn’t the only fast food restaurant working to make the industry mobile. Many restaurants are developing their own mobile ordering app to appeal to the Millennials who are on-the-go and want to be able to order their food and eliminate waiting in lines. The fast food industry is also enticing customers to sign up by offering special offers and deals exclusive to the app.
Instead of leaving social media, Burger King is utilizing the platform more than ever to stay relevant. Burger King’s strategies to bring back Millennials involve using nostalgia and staying current on social media . Burger King has used their social media sites to hype up the resurrection of the beloved chicken fries. In an attempt to appeal to those who loved chicken fries when they were younger, Burger King used Vine as way to grab the young consumers’ attention. Instead of waiting for the customers to come to them, Burger King sought out the best platforms to reach Millennials and made sure their content was in line with current pop culture.
Changing Up the Menu
McDonald’s has not only seen a decline in sales, but a decline of Millennials choosing their restaurant. Some have speculated that McDonald’s large menu could be to blame because too many options can be overwhelming. McDonald’s growing menu has added more “healthier” options due to the growing health conscious trend. Although they advertised their new healthier options with fresh vegetables, the sales still came up flat. Recently McDonald’s has taken a step back and said that they will be narrowing down their menu. Their newest campaign and attempt to be more transparent takes skeptics and reveals to them how their food is made and what is really in it. The campaign titled “Our Food, Your Questions”, includes advertisements of people asking about the infamous pink slime chicken nuggets and the grey frozen McRib. We will see in the next coming months how this pans out and if it appeals to Millennials or not.
Wendy’s may not be showing us what is in their food, but they are taking more risks with their menu. From the pretzel bacon cheeseburger to a variety of salads to the recent BBQ options, Wendy’s is trying to draw in the younger crowd by having not only more options, but unique ones. Their advertisements also reflect their effort by showing a group of young friends enjoying Wendy’s together and having a good time. Whether its with their modern redhead Wendy’s spokeswoman or ads with love songs dedicated to menu items, Wendy’s is customizing their marketing campaigns around Millennials.
Whether you’re a franchisee or have your own local restaurant, Central can equip you with the right tools to keep your business running smoothly. Check out our website or call one of our helpful Product Consultants at 800-215-9293.