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Jun 16, 2014 10:25 PM

Millennial Dining Trends: What Have You Noticed?

I attended a food industry discussion panel tonight, not as an industry professional but as a curious food blogger who works in the tech industry. The topic:

Cracking the Code on Millennial Dining.

Some takeaways were that, compared to older generations, millennials value:

Personal relationships over celebrity status
Newness over brand name cachet
Access over monetary gifts
Time over money
Customization over everything else

How have you seen millennial trends affect restaurant in your area? Positives? Negatives? In SF, we've seen an uptick in:
-"secret" everything: menu items, cocktails, rooms, entire clubs
-mix n' match dining: lounges attached to restaurants
-mix-use spaces: coffee bars that turn into restaurants that turn into clubs
-apps for everything: bill pay, bill split, reservations, "nearby and open"

Detailed post on the panel and a few more photos here:

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yes, an app for everything. Now there's one for menus:

    1. Only thing I am aware of is loudness, catering to people who are more on devices than actually conversing continuously with one another.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        But never making eye contact.

      2. I've noticed young folk (and sadly, people my age) think it's acceptable to yap or text while placing an order, or even dealing with a retail clerk in general. Also youngn's who are out to eat, on a date, whatever, and will place their phone next to their plate...and fiddle with it, instead of their companion

        7 Replies
        1. re: BiscuitBoy

          >>and fiddle with it, instead of their companion<<

          I was distracted by Freud on the violin.

          1. re: Kris in Beijing

            HA! Or Nero. I typed it fast without thinking...change one letter and still has the same connotation in my conext

            1. re: BiscuitBoy

              Fiddling with your companion--the adult version of the Happy Meal. :)

                    1. re: Kris in Beijing

                      Hmmm, I don't suppose you're kris from exo?

          2. Interesting.

            I see the same things in the business environment with employees. As a boomer, it is a tough adjustment.....but adjust we all must do!

            1. The funniest part about this to me is that a generation so aware and leery of being "marketed to" would participate in helping the marketers. I'm kinda disappointed.

              I would've thought the best approach would be a restaurant with enough "fuck you" in it to randomly morph - near constant reinvention. Oh, and definitely no traditional advertising or announced focus groups.

              1 Reply
              1. re: MGZ

                There have been a few chefs competing on Chopped in the last 2-3 years who have essentially been doing this-- shop their markets each day, write a new menu each day.