With over 95 million Millennials in the U.S. alone, it is no surprise that brands have taken to marketing their products to the largest generation to date. As a whole millennials are known to be more confident but also have a high sense of tolerance politically, socially and globally. This generation values wealth, though they were thrown into a financial crisis when it came to securing jobs and in response they have the highest unemployment rate worldwide. Millennials were raised in a digital age and have been around technology their whole lives, from phones to computers, laptops and other devises. With the high number of young people flocking to restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars the food service industry has started to manipulate their marketing efforts to cater to millennials. Health, community and service are a huge factor in what place a millennial chooses to eat and targeting their needs has become a vital part of the success of a restaurant.

    From NPD’s article "Five Consumer Trends Shaping the Future of the Food and Foodservice Industries” it states that "from 2003 to 2013, consumption of fresh foods – fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, fish and eggs grew by 20% to over 100 billion eating’s and it’s the youngest generations, Generation Z and Millennials, driving the trend.” This is no surprise as one major trend in millennials is healthy eating. Whether it be organic, fresh, not packaged foods, free rage, locally grown or hormone free, millennials are pushing for better food, better for you food and better tasting food. They expect top quality when it comes to their meats, fresh vegetable and meals, they want a unique experience with their choice and this is all due to their opinion, that natural is better. This has made for an interesting shift in the types of foods top hotels, restaurants and cafes are purchasing. The concern for the type of food and where it came from is part of the process of where a millennials chooses to eat.

    Not only do Millennials expect quality food but also quality service. Western Europe and the U.S. have accepted that every person walking into their restaurant has a cell phone with a number of ways to review their place of business. Central and Eastern Europe are picking up on this trend but have yet to conform to the expectation that they are there to be of service to their customers, where a large portion of them are tourists and millennials. Millennials highly depend on technology to decide a place to dine out. They can see what is on the menu, reviews of the service, food and atmosphere and provide feedback for other consumers. Though some wouldn’t relate social media to the success of the food service industry it is imperative for restaurants to know they’re being rated and that every customer counts. Just like before technology appeared, word of mouth is how people hear about a "cool” place to eat, or the type of service you get at that place, but now all of that information is online for the world to see, and millennials are a driving force for this trend.

    With this digital world connecting all of us, millennials have created a new expectation for a unique experience while dining out. They are known for their strong sense of community both locally and globally and this new outlook has challenged restaurants, cafes and hotels to create a new, unique, and interesting atmosphere. One new trend that directly relates to millennials demand for natural food is "Farm to Table”. This new concept utilizes all of the traits generally held by them. One of the panellists at the Leaders in HORECA summit that will take place in Prague, Czech Republic on November 26th and 27th, Osvaldes Plienaitls, Director of Harmony Park has perfected this new dining concept:

"Food and beverage (is) becoming very local. By "local” I mean produced by local farmers or even by the restaurant itself. Food trends are going beyond the organic food and biodynamic farms are taking over. At Harmony Park we grow our own crops, vegetables, fruits, life stock. Our goal is to be (a) restaurant, which is supplied by our self-sustainable, green biodynamic farm. Food is not only about eating, it supposed to give you an emotion, a lasting memory that connects all senses and changes your understanding through experience.”
    Millennials are shaping new concepts in dinging out however because of their financial and employment situations they are not going out as much as previous generations at their age have. The same report from NPD states "This generation is in a life stage when they would, historically, visit restaurants more often than other age groups, but in recent years they have cut back to the point where 50+ year-olds go out more often than Millennials do.” Despite this fact they are the ones driving these new dining out trends and changing the way restaurants, hotels and cafes are targeting their customers. Quality food, service and atmosphere are expectations that millennials expect from their experience and these are trends that are going to be around for some time.
For more information on the Leaders in HORECA Summit please contact Lauren Jenkins at +420 246 093 274 or email her at LaurenJ@INTLBC.com Leaders in HORECA will take place on November 26th and 27th in Prague, Czech Republic at the International Hotel.