Many Customers, One Experience: Baby Boomers

Retired friends stopping by for lunch. A seasoned professional grabbing a coffee between meetings. Teenage students looking for a bite after school. Young parents providing the family a quick, drive thru dinner. In a single day, your restaurant can interface with as many as four distinct generational cohorts.

And while all of these cohorts expect an outstanding experience from your restaurant, the way they define an excellent experience differs significantly. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be discussing how restaurants can better understand and adapt to the preferences of each generation to deliver experiences that are capable of delighting any guest. Ready to get started? Baby Boomers are up first.

In the words of the Rolling Stones, “When I’m drivin’ in my car, and the man come on the radio. He’s tellin’ me more and more about some useless information… I can’t get no satisfaction.” Released in 1965, this tune is widely regarded as a defining track for the Baby Boomer generation, and ironically so. As the first generation to be acutely aware of consumerism and inherently anti-establishment, the Baby Boomer generation is marked by its skepticism. In order to serve this generation, therefore, food establishments must put their money where their mouth is—raising the bar for value, convenience, and consistency.

Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers range in age from 54-72. Members of this generation, which totals to 74 million U.S. citizens, have raised children, held jobs, and are now approaching or enjoying retirement. But while Baby Boomers may be entering a new phase of their lives, what they want from a restaurant experience won’t be changing anytime soon. When this generation dines out, they consistently prefer:

1 | Attractive Deals & Discounts

For Baby Boomers, the price must be right. In fact, 50% of Boomers say that they strategically seek out deals when purchasing meals from a restaurant. These include regular discounts as well as special Limited Time Offers (LTOs), which are often responsible for bringing Baby Boomers in the door.

But just because discounts bring Baby Boomers in the door doesn’t mean they are unwilling to spend once they’re inside. In fact, their collective spending power amounts to $2.1 trillion dollars, and they purchase an average of 193 meals at restaurants every year. If given the right discount, they may even be willing to sample an adventurous LTO. According to a recent survey, 66% of Boomers are willing to try new flavors, especially when they are added to classic items like burgers and chicken. Once Baby Boomers are in the restaurant, the key to enhancing their experience is simply to present the right deal at the right time. For restaurants, this necessitates a scalable, cross-location LTO framework that is flexible enough to optimize offers over time.

2 | Streamlined In-Store Ordering

When Baby Boomers visit a restaurant, research indicates they’ll typically be ordering in-person. 37% of Baby Boomers say they don’t understand the benefit of mobile payments, making them more likely than many younger generations to place and pay for their orders on-premise. When ordering in-store, Baby Boomers are also surprisingly likely to use self-service kiosks and tablets as opposed to simply relying on an employee to take their order at the counter. After all, 33% of all tablets are owned by users older than 50, proving that many Baby Boomers already feel comfortable with the device.

The kiosk is a Boomer favorite, but not any self-service experience will do. Restaurants must ensure that their self-service kiosks and POS tablets are Baby Boomer friendly. In addition to a streamlined user interface (UI) that displays contextually relevant deals and discounts, Baby Boomers appreciate readability above all else. As vision begins to deteriorate between the ages of 41 and 60, these guests prefer menu and interactive screen fonts that are of a legible size and darkness, with limited visual distractions. A clean and legible interface goes a long way in enhancing ease of use, maximizing content absorption, and ultimately, streamlining Baby Boomers’ in-store order experiences.

3 | Accurate Orders & Consistent Quality

Order accuracy is a critical KPI for restaurants, regardless of which guest they are serving. When it comes to Baby Boomers, however, the stakes are even higher. 70% of Baby Boomers say order accuracy is crucial to them, and this generation is 15.8% more willing to switch brands than the next youngest generation. Just one mistake could make or break a restaurant’s chances at receiving a second visit from a Baby Boomer guest. On the flip side, order accuracy can go a long way in earning Baby Boomers’ trust. 36% of Boomers loyally visit the same few restaurants each time they go out to eat.

For Baby Boomers, the concept of food quality is tightly integrated with order accuracy. 75% of Baby Boomers expect takeout food quality to be the same as dining in the restaurant. If quality falls short, they may end up finding a new go-to spot. Restaurants with robust middle of house solutions that not only promote accuracy, but also consistency, will fare better when it comes to meeting Baby Boomers’ exacting expectations.


Demanding Deal-Seekers
This experienced generation knows just what they want from each restaurant experience:

Serve to Satisfy Baby Boomers with SICOM

There you have it. Value. Convenience. Consistency. Master these pillars of the restaurant experience and you’ll be well on your way to countering the Rolling Stones’ lyrics with satisfying, loyalty-building experiences. Our technologies can help.

To keep Baby Boomers coming back for more, SICOM offers a range of dynamic digital signage solutions, an omni-channel point of sale solution, and intelligent tools for kitchen management, all of which help Baby Boomers identify and enjoy the meals and deals they’re looking for.

Contact SICOM today to learn more about our experience-first technologies, and make sure to keep an eye out for the next blog in our series—Many Customers, One Experience: Generation X.

Food Across Generations

Bridging the Generational Divide with SICOM

Contact SICOM Today

contact sicom

Jere Richardson
November 14, 2018

As the head of marketing and sales at SICOM, Jere's vibrant vision and deep experience are integral to ensuring the innovations we deliver are in lock-step with the needs of our market and capable of differentiating our customers in today's dynamic food landscape.

Connect with Jere on LinkedIn

Tags: , ,