Marketing Your Restaurant to Gen X

Waitress carrying plates

Tucked between the influential baby boomers and millennials, Generation X is an adventurous bunch who grew up in an era when technology exploded onto the scene. They’re drawn to a variety of restaurants, and often search for places with a fun, upbeat atmosphere. According to Flavor & The Menu, Gen X is less concerned about finances when eating out than any other generation, making them a generation worth understanding. Another reason to pay attention to Gen X—they typically hold the purse strings for Gen Z, that younger generation born after 1992 —many of whom call Gen Xers “mom” and “dad.”

Who is Generation X?

Born between 1966 and 1976, Generation X makes up 15 percent of the total Canadian population, bringing more than $12 billion in spending power to the table. Their world has been shaped not only by the digital age, but also by the advent of social media.

Advocates of a healthy work-life balance, Technomic reports that they look for restaurant atmospheres that allow them to separate from the stresses of their daily lives, meaning they’re often bold, adventurous diners who come with a craving for signature cocktails.

The best part is, you might already be set up to market to this generation.

How do you market to Generation X?

Gen X is looking for the perfect marriage of adult-friendly and family-friendly restaurants. Below are smart ways to market your restaurant—and your menu— to these diners:

Growth flavours. A generation of flavour-curious diners, Flavor & The Menu reports that lime, ginger, pesto, and mesquite/smoky flavours are making an appearance on Gen X’s wishlist. Adding some of these flavours to dishes already on your menu can be a simple way of tapping into what they crave.

Global dining. Like all generations, Gen X loves pizza and burgers, but a larger percent says that they enjoy more exotic flavours. Sixty-six percent of diners enjoy Mexican cuisine, while 63 percent enjoy Chinese, and approximately 30 percent are craving Japanese cuisine or Mediterranean.

On-the-go. Technomic shares valuable insights on Gen X’s flavour preferences in its 2014 “The Generation Consumer Trend Report.” With many of this generation working full time and raising families, speed of service and convenient location help influence what Gen X craves. Technomic says they are more likely to order restaurant delivery than any other group. Freshness and speed also matter when serving Gen X. Fifty-four percent say a convenient location is key. Technology has played a key part in on-the-go convenience as well, as 43 percent of diners say they use technology more today than they did two years ago, and 14 percent of Gen X members with smartphones say they use their devices at least once a week to look up nutrition information.

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