No catering service has universal appeal. This is a fact that is difficult for many new entrepreneurs to accept, but the reality is that you can never occupy any market 100%. When you try to please everyone, you will not please anyone in the end. So focus on the 5% or 10% of the market you can get and forget the rest.
Having said that, who is eating in the restaurant? Let’s take a look at the top customer market categories in the foodservice business.
This generation, also known as “millennials,” includes people born between 1980 and 2000. With a population of at least 75 million, Generation Y is by far the most racially diverse generation, more than three times that of a generation. X. Generation Y teens have an average weekly disposable income of US $ 118, and 40% of them have at least one part-time job. In terms of living arrangements, a quarter of people live in single-parent families and three-quarters of mothers have jobs.
They are forming a gastronomic habit that they will never forget, and they are the main market for catering companies. In fact, more than any other generation, they view cooked food as a staple rather than a luxury. Still, compared to the older generation, they don’t have as much money to spend on dining out. When choosing a restaurant, the most important factors for Gen Y are low prices, high-quality service, and distance from home or work. They look for discounts and coupons.
Gen Y members choose fast food and fast service items. Approximately 25% of restaurant visits are burger franchise stores, followed by pizzerias, accounting for 12%. However, they tend to be more experimental and open to extreme tastes. Another obvious difference between them is that they like where they can connect so that they can connect while eating, check email and social media, and play games, so make sure your WiFi is working. They also like restaurants, where they stay as long as they feel they can stay. In addition, they also like to use gadgets and/or self-service terminals to order food. Therefore, if you want to attract Gen Y customers, please keep your operating costs low, high interest, and high-tech/mobile friendly.
Generation X is a label for people born between 1965 and 1979. Although previous generations have worked harder than their parents to improve financially, Generation X is more likely to pay attention to the relationship with their parents. They are value-conscious and like fast-service restaurants and medium-sized restaurants that offer salad bars and unlimited buffets. In order to attract this group, provide a comfortable environment focused on value and atmosphere.
A separate category in this age group includes professionals who work and eat out with clients, partners, or colleagues. Business lunches, lunches and meetings provide great opportunities for restaurants located in the city center or in the local business district. Due to the large differences in corporate culture and form, restaurants suitable for business people range from high-end formal wear to business casual. However, they need to understand the needs of the lunch crowd, which means that because time may be limited, they provide fast service.
Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964, making up the largest part of the US population. This generation includes wealthy professionals who are capable of patronizing high-end restaurants and spending freely. Today, those at the forefront of the baby boomers are becoming grandparents, which makes them the target of restaurants that provide a family-friendly atmosphere and restaurants that provide a first-class formal dining experience.
Many people have become empty nests, but there are also some people who thought they would become empty nests in this life but saw their adult children go home, and some even had to take care of their grandchildren. This is a huge crowd that cannot be achieved through a one-size-fits-all product or marketing method.
This group is made up of people in the age range between baby boomers and the elderly (between 50 and 64 years old) who have adult children who no longer live at home. This group has the most disposable income and the highest per capita income among all generations and frequents high-end restaurants. They don’t pay much attention to price and focus on quality service and delicious food. Attract this group of people with an elegant environment and exquisite atmosphere.
The elderly market covers people over 65 years old. The elderly range from those who have a regular income and often cannot afford fancy restaurants to those who have big savings and are enjoying retirement. Depending on the socioeconomic status of the seniors in your area, you can choose a family-style restaurant that provides quality services and reasonable prices, or choose a high-end restaurant with a higher-quality but not rich sauce.
Compared to “older” seniors whose health may be declining, “younger” older people may be more active and have more disposable income. Other seniors may like restaurants that offer early-bird specials and smaller, lower-priced premium menus. Restaurants serving large numbers of seniors must flexibly manage menu items and ingredients to achieve health goals.
The 1990s brought a trend to the catering industry that continued into the 21st century: value appreciation. There is no doubt that Gen X and family-minded baby boomers are focusing on expanding their money.
Some other industry trends include
Food trucks, trolleys, and kiosks. Food companies no longer need customers to come to them. In many cases, restaurants reach customers in the form of food trucks, trolleys, or kiosks. Many mobile facilities with limited services operate in places that attract large numbers of people, such as shopping malls, universities, airports, stadiums, and arenas.
Also Read: Low-Cost Marketing Strategies