Is your restaurant attracting the right people?
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Is your restaurant attracting the right people?

According to a study by Santa Maria Foodservice featured in Big Hospitality, alternative generations have a preference for not only different foods, but different eating environments too. Some of the study’s results are really interesting and include things you may have never before considered.

Here’s a list of different age groups and their preferences when it comes to dining out, whoever your service is aimed at- have a look below and see if you’re targeting them in the correct way.

 Age 18-34

This age group typically prefers foods that are sweet, salty or sour.

If your restaurant is aimed at this audience, make sure you include a lovely dessert menu filled with sweet treats for your customers to enjoy. You could also feature some salted fudge brownies on there, to appeal to those who like the contrast of sweet and salty on their taste buds.

In order to spark further interest in your premises, you could create a tangy cocktail- the majority of this age group will love to indulge in an alcoholic beverage with their meal, so tempt them to your restaurant or bar by creating something that specifically suits their tastes.

Possibly one of the most important things to consider which came from this study is that 47% are put off trying something new because they’re worried about how much it costs. A great way to conquer this is to make sure your prices are reasonable, and advertise these so people aren’t second guessing. If you have a website which you know receives a lot of traction, make sure you post the price next to each item, this way people will be immediately happy with your service before they’ve even tasted your food. It’s also great to put on deals for special occasions, large groups, couples and different dining times.

According to the study, 28% of 18-34 year olds would try something new when eating out. Use this information to your advantage and create a quirky menu with lots of interesting foods on. People might be drawn to your restaurant time and time again because it offers something unique which isn’t obtainable anywhere else.

The study also states that 18-34 year olds eat out 3 times more than those who are 65+. Make the most of this by drawing them straight through your establishment’s front door.

 Age 35-49

This age group love to try new foods, and their favourites are strong and savoury flavours.

People of this age will try anything interesting that you offer them, so create a tasty menu full of main courses that include bold and daring flavours. It seems that this generation don’t want traditional meals, so if your restaurant is aimed at this target audience be aware that established recipes might not be your best sellers.

According to a separate study featured in fast casual, “many of today’s consumers say they are increasingly driven to try new flavours (37 percent) and that new flavours can influence them to visit a restaurant (41 percent).”


This age group, quite surprisingly loves curries which range in strength from medium-hot. They prefer spicy food more than any other generation.

A study by Technomic in 2013 and featured in fast casual suggests, “The demand for spicy flavours continues to rise: for the first time, a majority of consumers (54 percent) say they prefer hot or spicy sauces, dips or condiments, compared to 48 percent of consumers in 2011 and 46 percent two years earlier.”

If this study is anything to go by, spicy food will now be even more popular- if you haven’t got this option on your menu already, it’s time to!


Unlike the younger generations, this age group do love traditional meals, however, they don’t particularly like salty or sour foods, and aren’t keen on curries and spice either.

Unsurprisingly, many of this generation love nothing more than eating in their local pub or independent restaurant.

Although this generation aren’t always fond of trying new foods, they say the biggest thing that will entice them is the description on the menu. This is a great tip to bear in mind, if you own a pub or restaurant that targets this age group, make sure you include lots of details about each food item.

Lunch is apparently the most important part of the day for every generation, with Summer approaching this is a great excuse for you to add some new seasonal flavours to your menu and draw people to your restaurant for some daytime dining. Create an outdoor eating area and people will be attracted to your establishment on every warm summer’s day and evening.

If you need some finance to help your restaurant appeal more to the generations you’re targeting, We could provide you with finance from £3,500-£500,000. We offer a flexible Merchant Cash Advance product which is repaid every working day, this means that we only get paid when you do! To find out more click here, or get a quote.