It would seem that in our fast-paced modern world customers want more than just food and drink when they choose to dine in your restaurant now. The millennial generation is, without a doubt, fuelling this experience economy. More than 3 in 4, according to an Eventbrite survey, would choose to spend money ‘on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable’, and 55% of millennials say they’re spending more on events and live experiences than ever before.
It’s a social thing!
The reasoning for this is also quite obvious. Experiences are about creating life-long memories and for this generation, their best memories are from events and
experiences that they attended or participated in. The interesting point here is that through social media channels the experience is shared and even those who aren’t there in person, they can engage via these streams. The feeling is that by being part of these experiences makes them more connected to others, the community, and the world.
The importance of social media and experiences is backed up by the figures with 60% of millennials claiming experiences are better when shared on social media. But it’s not just the millennials that believe this because 45% of consumers aged 35-44 believe it too and even 34% aged between 45-54 shares this view.
Why restaurants must embrace the ‘Experience Economy’
It is widely reported that year on year; millennials are spending more of their disposable income, time and energy on creating these experiences. The more adept companies and brands are already putting more resources into creating those experiences. The social media platforms are tirelessly updating, testing and finding new ways to connect, interact and convey in real-time how we show our network what we are up to –right now!
The good news is that the experimental nature of millennials presents growing opportunities for experience-based businesses such as restaurants and food outlets to increase their business value. In order to capture this market, you must not only have a quality core product but also build your business around experience and experiential components.
What can you do?
Here are 3 simple tips to get you started
1. Set up your Social Media
First and foremost you need to make sure you have all the appropriate social media channels set-up and active. The beauty of this is that all the basic functions on these channels are free; you tend to only get into having to pay for them if you are advertising or paying someone to manage them on your behalf. Ensure that all your social media accounts portray your brand in the same way, for instance, they should all have the same thumbnail picture to make it easier for people to recognise it as you.
2. Think outside the box
Get your thinking caps on, engage your employees in the exercise and start considering how you can make your product more interactive and more experienced based. It is about linking your product to the various social media channels, so think pictures, video and sharing. Ensure that your customers are aware of your social media presence and encourage them to engage. This may be via reviews or competitions or general discussions.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask
I was always told, “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” So ask, the best people to tell you how to engage them are the very people you are trying to engage!
Good luck and please share your business successes or views on my Facebook page OutSauced Consultancy
Jonathan Butler is the Author of Business Recipes for Success: Four Steps to Building a Successful Restaurant and Hospitality Business available now on Amazon
More About Jon
An award-winning chef, hotelier, restaurateur, and author Jon has over 26 years experience in the hospitality industry. Having successfully operated his own businesses as well as helped many others to grow theirs. He launched OutSauced Consultancy in 2010, and since then, has helped a number of start-ups, entrepreneurs and SME’s within the hospitality sector, become more efficient, customer oriented and profitable.
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JON BUTLER - OutSauced Consultancy