Every generation has different tastes. Depending on the target market of your restaurant, along with your local demographics, your clientele can vary wildly. You may market yourself to one generation or all of them.
Here’s a list of restaurant marketing tips for Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, and Gen X. Make sure to check back next week for Part 2 where we’ll be covering Millennials and Gen Z!
A small note: Generational cutoff dates vary depending on you ask. For the purpose of this article, we’ll be using Wikipedia’s dates.
We’ll start with the Traditionalists (also known as the Silent Generation). Born between 1925 and 1942, this generation has seen a lot (The Great Depression, World War II, just to name a few things).
- This generation isn’t quite as technologically savvy. That’s not to say they aren’t using digital media, but it may not be what you want your sole focus to be.
- As their name implies, you’re going to want to focus on more traditional marketing methods to attract these folks.
- Present a good value. Like I said, this generation went through the Depression. Saving money is a habit a lot of Traditionalists still practice.
- Many restaurants offer senior discounts to customers over a certain age. This can be particularly attractive to this value-minded generation.
Next up, let’s talk Baby Boomers. Born following World War II, this generation ran until sometime between 1960 and 1964.
- Baby Boomers have the most spending power of any generation. According to Visa, they’re set to continue being the biggest spenders well into the next decade. If your restaurant averages higher ticket prices, you may want to consider targeting Baby Boomers.
- As far as social media goes, Baby Boomers are set on Facebook. 90% say they prefer Facebook over Instagram, according to a survey conducted by Olapic.
- Baby Boomers like trying new things. According to Technomic’s 2018 Generational Consumer Trend Report, 66% are interested in new flavors, particularly when mixed with old favorite (a new twist on a burger, for example). Don’t hesitate to get different with your specials menu.
- Unlike Traditionalists, Baby Boomers are eager to check out new technology options. According to research from the National Restaurant Association, 40% want to use mobile devices to make reservations, use rewards/specials deals, or place orders. The survey also mentions that they’re interested in checking out technology features related to loyalty programs. Maybe consider building a digital loyalty program?
Following the Baby Boomers comes Generation X. Starting in the early to mid 60s, they lasted until the early 80s. Between Baby Boomers and Millennials, Gen Xers are a smaller generation (thanks to falling birth rates after the baby boom). They are still very much worth paying attention to.
- Gen X grew up watching technology boom. At the same time, they remember what it was like before the Internet came around.
- This generation has the highest brand loyalty of any of the generations, according to a study from eMarketer. As a result, they won’t hesitate to shell out for the brands they care about. Fostering loyalty with this generation is an absolute must if you want to maintain their business.
- Echoing Traditionalists, many Gen Xers look for a good value, thanks to habits formed during the Recession.
- Try marketing to families in order to attract Gen X. At this point in their lives, a lot of Gen Xers have large families and are looking for ways to keep them entertained. Maybe consider holding a family night.
Marketing Across Generations With CoGoBuzz
Want to make marketing across generational lines easier? Get started with CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service.
Our affordable service leverages WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions to incentivize customers to return to your restaurant, even after just a single visit. Leveraging your in-store WiFi, we’ll get you more Facebook followers automatically. Because customers login to WiFi with their Facebook profile, Email, or phone number, we even produce fully realized customer profiles. On top of that, our service comes packed with a fully-digital, text-based loyalty program. Use it to engage and reward every generation on a more personal level.
Check out the rest of our website to learn more about CoGoBuzz!
Which generations does your restaurant market to? Sound off in the comments!