Menu Ideas to Woo Millennials

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Millennials are the next up and coming generation in spending power and here are some ideas for your menu to capture their dollars.Millennial Generation

Millennials, that giant, influential generation born between 1977 and 1992, are looking for a wide variety of flavours and dining experiences when they eat out at a restaurant. With just a few menu tweaks, you can tailor your operation so that it appeals to their cravings.

Menu Magic Words

Menu descriptions are key in helping you enthrall diners and get them to order your food. Enticing menu language helps drive up the emotional crave factor. Interestingly, different words and phrases resonate with different generations. Millennials say that these words speak volumes:


Millennials are willing to pay more for a menu item if the item features ingredients which are antibiotic-free, organic, or unprocessed and natural. As this generation continues to emphasize clean, healthy eating habits, they continue to ask for transparency in dishes which ultimately helps drive sales of these menu items.


Locally sourced ingredients are not only good for your menu. They imply freshness, and they also demonstrate your commitment to community, putting money back into local farms, and continuing to create positive relationships between restaurants and their food suppliers. Additionally, 48 percent of all diners, regardless of generation, said that foods described as local comes across as being tastier.


According to Technomic, Inc., more than 87 percent of millennial diners said they’re more likely to order a menu item if its ingredients are labeled as fresh. This term embraces more than just fresh fruits and vegetables. Use it when describing menu items like freshly caught seafood and fresh-roasted coffee beans.


Forty-five percent of all diners, in all generations, said that their restaurant choice was influenced by whether or not the restaurant served menu items that include free-range poultry and/or grass-fed beef.

The Dining Experience Millennials Crave

You don’t have to be a flashy gastropub to be appealing to millennials. But they do respond positively to lively environments with social food. They also like a point of view—simply find your brand voice, stick to it, and let your customers know that you’re speaking to them.


Millennials are the have-it-your-way generation, driving customizable dishes to new heights of creativity. Propelled by the Chipotle model, customization is an expectation with this generation. They respond to bold choices, allowing them to direct their own flavour adventures.

Feel-Good Food

Millennials are driving the change in conversation around better-for-you fare. Rather than sacrifice, they want satisfaction, but they want to feel good about the choices they make. They’re looking for health-positive cues that promote nutrient-rich menu items. They want their calorie spend to be worthwhile, seeing a 300-calorie miso-glazed salmon as a good investment, for instance. To convey this message, look to menu words like superfood, organic, fresh, and unprocessed.

Prepaying and Online Access

Prepaying and buying food at kiosks appeal to millennials more than any other generation. This is not surprising, considering this cohort is made up of digital natives. Nearly 60 percent of them say they would use call-ahead or online ordering for delivery or takeout, and 45 percent of them would like tools which let them see the progress of their order.

Make sure that your millennial diners are satisfied each and every time they dine at your restaurant by serving craveable dishes and using desirable technologies. By providing a menu filled with new or unique, better-for-you and customizable foods and flavours, they’re sure to find the foods that they’re craving.

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