Millennials – that emerging generation of workers now in their 20s to 30s are making up a larger part of the workplace. By 2020, 40 percent of the working population will be considered the millennial generation, according to Forbes. And all the research shows that millennials value a different dining experience than their predecessors. However, there are some things vending, micro market and coffee service providers can do now to attract the under 30 crowd to the break room.
1. Offer individual value items.
Millennials are stretching their pay checks. This means they are looking for value over brand, in many cases. They are price conscious. Millennials also like to build their own meals, valuing the ability to personalize. Thus, offering different, individually priced options that can be paired together or paired with something they brought from home is imperative. Offering coupons and loyalty programs that include free products is another way to appeal to this generation.
2. Offer healthy, gourmet options.
Despite being frugal, millennials also gravitate to foods that are considered better for you, whether it’s enhanced water or organic sandwiches. Here is where they will splurge on a national brand if it is “trendy.” That might mean a brand name or a trendy type of food such as coconut water or sushi. Because many millennials also have a refined interest in food and beverages, offering new and unusual entrees will lure sales. One such example would be fusion cuisine where different cuisines of a region or sub-region are combined into a single eating experience.
3. Use technology
Generation Y is never without their cell phone, they prefer to use a self-checkout kiosk at the grocery store and they communicate best via text making them primed for the vending or micro market experience. Use it to your advantage. When updating a payment acceptance system, make sure it accepts mobile payments – and advertise that fact on the machine. Transform the vending machine of the past into something millennials are drawn to with interactive touchscreens, large or small. And micro market kiosks are a natural fit for this generation.
The Forbes article I referenced earlier also suggests something we should all consider – to adjust and adapt to the millennial. We should make them feel welcome rather than force them into our views and structure. This is especially true when we are trying to provide them service and lure them into making a purchase. There are too many other food options to ignore the changing attitudes of any part of the workplace consumer. If we start implementing these changes now, we can gradually evolve to match the changing workforce.