Price, Popularity and Participation Rewards: Millennials Deciphered

Doing well is the result of doing good. That’s what capitalism is all about.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson, the man ever praised for his beliefs and philosophies on self-reliance and the nature of man, may not be the first person who comes to mind when you think about a market focused on technology and boosting the bottom line. But, believe it or not, Emerson's insights can show restaurants how to appeal to their customers and reap the benefits of a large customer base.

In less than a decade, social networking and daily deal sites have revolutionized the way restaurants interact with loyal and potential customers. The ubiquity of marketing tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare and Groupon has lead to a perception in the industry that more “likes” and deep discount are the determining factors in attracting the ever-wired millennial generation, and will translate into more business profit.

Many times, an organization is too quick to jump on the social media bandwagon, and risks missing important strategic and research-backed plans. In fact, a recent study by Socialbakers found that (with the exception of a few industries) a bigger fan following on social media often means a lower customer engagement rate. This tells us that to benefit from social media a business needs to learn to leverage social media, not just provide a constant stream of information that will be ignored by customers.

It takes more than passive status updates and half-off coupons to build a strong web presence that can drive growth and increase brand loyalty. A successful social marketing campaign starts with understanding Millennials.

Understanding what makes Millennials tick and what drives their decision making will help you successfully reach your audience, and deliver a call to action that is too good to ignore.

As a millennial myself, I can tell you that people of my generation have been somewhat unfairly labeled the "me-first" generation. Conventional wisdom (and possibly a bad rap) would lead you to believe that we have closets full of participation awards and are driven by an overwhelming sense of entitlement. However, research shows these anecdotes can’t be any further from the truth.

Our generation, perhaps more than any other generation that came before us, feels a deep sense of civic responsibility, and is willing to actively support businesses and organization that play a role in affecting change in the world.

Consider the results of a recent study conducted by The Boston Consulting Group:

Millennials, more than Non-Millennials, prefer active engagement in cause campaigns, such as  volunteering their time (31% versus 26%), cause-support purchasing (37% versus 30%), encouraging others to support a cause (30% versus 22%), and participating in fundraising events (27% versus 16%). Thirty-seven percent of Millennials report being drawn to products co-branding with cause campaigns where their purchase is a form of support.

Armed with this knowledge, large restaurant chains have developed massive cause marketing campaigns, in cooperation with national partners, designed to persuade Millennials to trust their brand, and join in the cause. This data tells us that social media involvement, when paired with well-planned fundraising and cause awareness can be extremely successful.

However, it's hard to get anything past the Millennial generation. They are constantly bombarded by information and have developed an unconscious ability to instantly determine if a cause marketing campaign is just a subtle ploy to increase the bottom line through savvy public relations campaigns. This potential problem can be solved by creating social media campaigns that give Millennials a chance to be heard, and that do more than ask them to become one in a million Facebook "fans."

Gone are the days when restaurants could rely on the old rules of capitalism and economics to ensure business success. Millennials are forcing businesses to use their hearts and minds equally when making critical business decisions.

Try spending a little less time focused on increasing your popularity and reducing your prices and a little more time partnering with good causes, and spreading the word through smart social media campaigns. This is where Emerson was ahead of his time. He knew that when a business does good in its community, it will thrive in a world of capitalism.

The millennial generation is much more likely to reward businesses that participate in campaigns that affect the issues we care about most. Trust me: rewarding participation is what we do best.

Views: 98

Tags: cause marketing, social networking


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Report: Consumers want more protein, need more education

A majority of U.S.  -More

California Walnut Beet Carpaccio Flatbread
Jump start their appetites with this fabulous flatbread appetizer topped with beets, goat cheese, arugula and California Walnuts. For this and more great recipes, visit

Vegetables take over dessert menus

Top pastry chefs in the U.S.  -More

Rising takeout demand drives new Mama Fu's footprint

Austin, Texas-based Mama Fu's Asian House debuted a smaller footprint unit focused on feeding a growing demand for takeout an -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Souplantation & Sweet Tomatoes Certified As Nation's Largest 'Green' Restaurant Chain

National Group Salutes Country's Only Large Restaurant Group to be 'Certified Green Restaurants®'

National Restaurant Association and EatStreet Release Online Ordering Guide

The National Restaurant Association and EatStreet have released a free educational guide focusing on online ordering and emerging restaurant technology trends.

Boyd's Coffee Launches Single-Cup Coffees For Retail And Foodservice

The coffees come in a variety of roast levels and include organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified™ options: French No. 6®, Red Wagon® Organic Coffee, Good Morning™, Hi-Rev® (delivers more caffeine), and Lost Lake™ Decaf Organic Coffee.

Arby's Announces Development Deals With New And Existing Franchisees

ARG recently sold 14 company-operated restaurants in Tampa, FL to Mosaic Investments, Inc. (Mosaic), a fully integrated investment firm based in Atlanta. In addition to remodeling existing locations slated to commence at the end of 2014, Mosaic has committed to build 13 new Arby's restaurants in the Tampa area over the next nine years.

Smoothie King Appoints Vice President Of Business Development To Drive Brand's Expansion Across The U.S.

Prior to joining Smoothie King, Bruno served as vice president of retail sales, operations and franchise development for Fannie May Fine Chocolates, a division of, where he oversaw a $69.5 million retail division that included 100 corporate stores and 45 franchised stores.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion - Michel Laberge (2014)

Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

TED: Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win - Sarah Lewis (2014)

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service