By Adele Rankin
More research and discussion has been generated about Millennials than any other demographic in recent memory since Generation X. Determining what draws them to a certain product, and perhaps more importantly, what keeps them coming back, is the focus for everyone from hotel brands to retailers. Restaurateurs can also learn a few lessons from these extensive studies that can transcend just the Millennial focus.
One of the key messages regardless of the specific product being sold is about celebrating authenticity. Diners are becoming more aware of the food they are eating, where it came from and how it is prepared. The veil has been lifted and food’s honesty is being celebrated, whether that means farm-to-table ideals, chef’s organic sourcing or really showcasing food in its simplest state. This sincerity in dining is surpassing mere trends and gaining a foothold in the mainstream ideology.
This truthfulness in the creation of a restaurant menu is also supported within the interior design of the restaurant itself. Younger generations of diners are less and less impressed by opulence, luxury or fine dining. This doesn’t mean they won’t spend the money on the food; if anything, they are willing to spend more than generations past. Instead, they want an atmosphere that feels comfortable and in support of the food. It is expected that the interior design is as well-thought out and crafted as the food is. Attention to detail and a unique voice to further promote the menu is key to the success of the restaurant.
A restaurant like Savio Volpe in Vancouver is a prime example of this ethos. A menu that is clear in its concept – rustic Italian fare celebrating freshness and regionality – supported with a design that is simple, clean and engaging. Even chain restaurants like the popular Cactus Club note descriptors in their mission statement like “local, fresh ingredients” and “warm and unpretentious”. Neither of these restaurants are scaling back their prices to reflect the handmade, flavour-first and genuine approach to dining, but what they are reducing is the pomp and circumstance that comes with it.
Millennials are vocalizing that they are willing to spend more for something they believe in, something they can stand behind and essentially something that is more open and honest. Restaurant owners and operators should be listening to these expectations to gain a wider audience, especially one with such influence and public focus right now.
About the author:
Adele Rankin is a Design Principal at CHIL Interior Design. As a Principal and Lead Designer, she is skillful at developing and implementing design concepts and collaborating with clients and teams to deliver truly inspiring interiors.
CHIL Interior Design is the hospitality studio of B+H, a global leader in interior design, architecture and planning & landscape. Applying a boutique approach while leveraging global resources, CHIL designs and creates unparalleled hospitality and residential experiences. Learn more at http://www.childesign.com/.