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Millennials Love Chain Restaurants

A new poll finds that this generation views chain restaurants as convenient and prevalent.
June 7, 2017

​NEW YORK CITY – Millennials love experiences, but not enough to give up the convenience and ease of dining at chain restaurants, NBC News reports. A new EquiTrend Report from Harris Poll discovered that this generation puts more stock in restaurant chains than older generations. Favorite chains include Five Guys, Chick-fil-A, Starbucks, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Ben & Jerrys, Papa John’s, Subway and the Cheesecake Factory.

“Millennials are huge fans of convenience,” said Yohan Varella, a millennial marketing executive. “We don’t like prepping and cooking our own food, we enjoy food we can eat with our hands, and we’re usually on a budget, so chain restaurants pretty much are the personification of the answer to our wants. We don’t want to wait for 30 minutes to be seated at an exclusive restaurant, we want our food to be available wherever we are, whenever we want it.”

They may embrace adventure, but millennials would rather know what’s coming when they order at a chain restaurant. “I know that chain restaurants all have the same protocol and pricing so I won’t be surprised when going to a different location,” one millennial told NBC News. “It’s comfortable and well known.”

Chain restaurants are evolving to meet the technology needs of millennials with apps and other mobile solutions. Chick-fil-A debuted its mobile app last summer. “The app was downloaded more than two million times in the first three days of the launch, ranking it as the No. 1 free app in the Apple Store during that time,” said Michael Lage, senior manager of digital experience for Chick-fil-A. “It's been a great success among millennials and other busy customers who are looking for easier ways to order.”

These companies are also using social media to connect with customers, particularly millennials. “Food makes for wonderful digital imagery,” said Bruce Clark, an associate professor of marketing at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University. “User-generated content probably helps here as well: A restaurant experience with friends is more likely to be shared through social media such as Snapchat than say, the purchase of a TV.”