In Defense of Marketing to Gen X
Appealing to millennials is not the end-all be-all for restaurant brands, and franchise marketing execs should take notice.
Gen Xers, usually in the shadow of millennials and baby boomers, are an equally important customer base for restaurants, finds a new NPD Group foodservice study. Generation X, that consumer group ages 36 to 52, now represents 23 percent of all restaurant visits, not a significant difference from boomers and millennials, who represent 26 and 25 percent of visits, respectively.
The study, “What Matters Most to Key Generational Groups,” points out that not only do Gen Xers enjoy dining out, they also are more likely to have dual income so they have the money to do it. Like their younger counterparts, they place high importance on food quality, the ability to customize, and craving satisfaction.
With restaurant traffic growth stalled for the last few years, franchise restaurant operators are looking to increase their traffic share wherever they can.
“In a competitive environment it’s important for restaurant operators to understand how to gain the attention of important consumer groups,” says Bonnie Riggs, NPD’s restaurant industry analyst. “With a better understanding of what matters most to key generational groups, marketers can address the unique needs/behaviors of these consumers and create strategies to enhance engagement and increase sales by building loyalty among those groups most important to their business.”