Many restaurants and service providers have been scrambling in the last few years to reposition themselves for millennials. But in the process, some businesses have been passing over older diners, who have more disposable income (and eat out more frequently).
A new consumer study finds that baby boomers make up a large and lucrative group of patrons and are a prime demographic for your business. The findings were pretty revealing: More than half of people between the ages of 53 and 72 use foodservice on a weekly basis. With many of these same persons working beyond the age of 65, they have more spending power and in some cases just as much social influence.
So how do you capture the coveted Baby Boomer generation? Well, they’re not unlike other demographics, they like unique experiences and quest for flavor in the same way millennials do. But other choices drive Boomers dining decisions too:
Healthy Eating Plays A Big Part
While Boomers rarely follow diets like paleo or Atkins, they are health concise and are seeking more healthy food options. Boomers tend to be more flexible in their food choices and more than 50% of them say they plan to increase their consumption of plant-based food.
Presentation & Personal Service Matters
Boomers appreciate clean and tidy restaurant environments, and restaurant sanitation and food safety are a big concern. 63% say the cleanliness of a restaurant plays a deciding factor in where they eat, and are turned off way more than millenials by dirty utensils or bathrooms.
Boomers come from an age where personal interaction played a big part, so customer service and guest experience are big for this demographic. That said, while Boomers do use technology, they’re least likely to place an order from a mobile device or app – they value a more human approach when it comes to dining.
Taken by Takeout
Boomers (and older customers in general) are more picky when it comes to grabbing and going. 70% of baby boomers expect order accuracy and 75% expect food quality to be on par with what they would get dining in.
Flavor and Deal Seekers
Boomers rank second behind Gen Xers in searching for discounts and special offers. With half of Boomers surveyed saying a deal or discount will majorly influence their dining decision.
While boomers may be perceived as creatures of habit, in reality, 66% of those surveyed said they enjoy experiencing new flavors and new concepts – especially when they are added to old boomer standbys like burgers and chicken.