Millennials, millennials, millennials – that’s all we seem to hear these days.
But what if, as a restaurateur, you have plenty of this particular generation already sat at your tables? What about the generation that it’s assumed is hoarding significant amounts of disposable income?
You want in on that, clearly, and while you may have been tempted to focus your restaurant’s marketing efforts on attracting as many millennials as possible, we think you should be employing the following tactics to avoid missing out on all that baby boomer business.
Who are baby boomers?
Definitions of baby boomers vary, but it’s widely accepted that it defines anyone born between 1946 and 1964. At the time of writing, that means a baby boomer is typically aged anywhere between 53- and 71-years-old.
Although clearly not always the case, members of this generation often have a good level of disposable income and have had to adapt to the new digital economy.
Here’s how to attract them to your restaurant:
1. Consider what matters to them
To market your restaurant business to a particular generation, you need to understand their wants and desires.
With baby boomers, you’ll want to consider the following:
- A desire to be healthy. People often place a greater focus on their health when they reach 50. This might be because of a wake-up call that has prompted them to live a healthier lifestyle or the simple fact they want to take better care of themselves as the years advance. Healthy menus are therefore a must.
- Grandkids. Baby boomers sit squarely in an age bracket which might indicate the presence of grandkids. And, if that’s the case, their eyes will light up when given the chance to indulge the little people in their lives. Events that give them the opportunity to share time with their grandkids at your restaurant will usually chime very well with this generation.
- A love of tradition. Baby boomers are just as capable of moving with the times as millennials, but many still love tradition. Homely cooking and new takes on old dishes will therefore be welcomed.
2. Don’t suggest they’re ‘too old’!
The fastest way to lose the attention of the baby boomer generation is to inadvertently suggest they’re too old for your restaurant.
That might sound obvious, but it’s an easy mistake to make.
Baby boomers quite rightly view life after 50 as their most exciting years. The aforementioned focus on healthier living and introduction of grandkids means they often have a renewed desire to life life to its fullest, too.
Your marketing and special offers should take this into account by leaning on the things that matter to them when promoting the restaurant (see tip 1) – it shouldn’t talk down to them or patronise.
3. Don’t be afraid to get nostalgic
Here’s where you need to tread that ‘suggesting they’re too old’ tightrope very carefully…
Plenty of baby boomers love a bit of nostalgia, and while we’ve already covered the benefits of accounting for this in your menu, there’s a lot more you can do to pique their interest.
Consider putting on 70s and 80s themed nights and connecting your brand with imagery, colour or symbolism from a baby boomer’s youth – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing so, and you should find plenty of people take the bait.
Are you a baby boomer? What would (and wouldn’t) attract you to a restaurant?
Tell us in the comments section below!