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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.”

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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