is your F&B business attracting the wrong age group?

October 31, 2014

by william choukeir


it’s saturday evening. the air is nice. three of us are walking towards the entrance of a mall. i catch myself wondering. why is virtually everyone shorter than me? and i’m technically short.

my eyes start curiously looking for patterns. which only lasts for 1/10th of a second. we’re surrounded by teenagers. the streets are saturated with them. so are the sidewalks. some are standing in the middle of the street, oblivious to the passing traffic.

we parked two minutes away, and yet it takes us 7 minutes of wading through teenagers to get to the entrance. not fun. and then something curious happens.

groups of kids are being asked by security to either leave the mall, or go stand somewhere else. one group approaches the entrance and is refused entry.

that gets me wondering. why is this happening? thinking to myself, i realize that one likely answer is this:

unknowingly, that mall created an ideal environment for teenagers. realizing that this volume of young visitors is affecting the ‘experience’ of their intended clientele, they enlist the help of security personnel.

a more elegant way of solving this problem is to ask: ‘what is it in this environment that’s attracting a younger audience? and what can we do to change that?’

although this story may be an extreme case, it is a real story nonetheless. i’m sure some of you have had similar experiences with other public spaces. from conversations with the casafekra team, i know that more than a handful of food & beverage businesses have similarly wondered: ‘why is the wrong age group frequenting my business?’

this article attempts to answer that question.

studies show (1) that specific age-groups expect specific environments. understanding the expectation of each age group, helps food & beverage businesses avoid unintentionally creating environments that attract the wrong crowd.

let’s look at each age group and the environment that attracts them (1):

generation y : born 1980-2000

  • They consider eating out as ‘everyday’ food rather than a luxury.
  • They don’t have as much to spend when eating out compared to older generations. This makes them value low prices, and are more responsive to discounts and offers.
  • They would rather go for a place that’s closer to home or work.
  • They expect great services and would rarely return to a place that fell short in this regard.
  • They favor fast-food and quick service items. Most frequented locations are burger places, followed by pizza places.
  • They have little tolerance for boredom. This makes them love places that allow them to easily go online while they eat.
  • They prefer places that make them feel that they’re welcome to stay as long as they like.

generation x : born 1965-1979

  • This generation values family, and are likely to focus on spending time with their children.
  • They prefer places that make them feel that they’re getting the best value for their money. All you can eat salad bars are a great example of this.
  • They prefer a comfortable environment with an active ambiance.

baby boomers : born 1946-1964

  • This generation holds a large percentage of professionals who can afford upscale restaurants.
  • They’re willing to spend money freely.
  • Many from this generation are entering grandparenthood, and prefer upscale restaurants that are family friendly.

living alone baby boomers

  • These are the upper end of the Baby Boomers generation where their no longer have children or grandchildren living with them (50-64 years old)
  • These have amongst the highest spending power between all generations and are not concerned with price.
  • They prefer upscale restaurants that provide a formal dining experience.
  • Their priority is excellent service and outstanding food.
  • Elegant and sophisticated spaces attract this generation.

seniors : 65+ years

  • The majority are on a fixed income and gravitate towards family friendly restaurants because they can get good value for their money.
  • Some are concerned with their health and would frequent places that can cater to special diets.
  • Since they have a smaller appetite, they appreciate smaller portions for less money.

which age-groups do you want to include?
which age-groups do you want to elegantly exclude?
casafekra® can handle the rest.


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(1) J. Lynn, Start Your Own Restaurant and More: Pizzeria, Cofeehouse, Deli, Bakery, Catering Business

2 Responses to “is your F&B business attracting the wrong age group?”

  1. […] at your audience through the lens of demographics, the age group of the audience plays a huge part in their preferences. younger guests belonging to generation y […]

  2. […] team to define the types of furniture for each zone. all of this ensures that each zone attracts its unique audience, and serves its own function (coffee & cigar lounge, casual dining, social space, etc.); all […]

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