What do you think of when you hear the words “smashed avocado on toast”?  Millenials of course.  Maybe you’re sick of hearing about it but there’s no doubt that smashed avocado on toast has become a totem for the spending trends and ideology of a powerful group of consumers – Millennials.

It’s strange to think that something so innocuous as green fruit and some sliced baked goods have come to represent an entire generation of Australians.  Don’t be fooled by the simplicity of smashed avocado as a symbol – further studies are showing that Millennials do have a unique perspective on how they spend their big bucks and on what. Millennials also see work very differently from the generations that came before.  Is your hospitality business positioned to compete for and win Millenial’s loyalty both as customers and as employees over the next decade?

This is an important topic to consider, after all, analysts suggest that by 2030 Millenials will represent 54% of the population and will be earning two out of every three dollars. Millenials are “more educated, connected, digitally empowered and demanding than their parents, Millenials are the most powerful consumer cohort in history” writes Macquarie analysts.  Millennials are driving the future of customer-focused businesses with their preference for spending their dollars on desirable experience rather than material possessions.  Their lives are an ongoing quest for unique and personalised experiences.  No surprises there … you know this stuff … but are you strategizing how your hospitality business is going to remain relevant?  How will you drive demand?  How will you stand out in a sea of competition?

Hospitality businesses (especially high-end kitchens) have a reputation for being a difficult working environment.  You need employees.  How are you going to attract great talent?  What do you need to change to become a desirable workplace?  You don’t just need to worry about competing for Millenial dollars but you also need to establish a reputation as a place where Millenials want to work.   According to a recent Deloitte Millennial Survey, Millennials cited that culture is more important than money with 67% of those surveyed stating that a positive work environment is the most important consideration when choosing a new employer.

Employees are critical to your venue’s success, you need them to deliver amazing customer service.   The hospitality industry is very rewarding for those with a high EQ and a passion for customer service.  Millennial power can be harnessed to deliver breathtaking customers service while simultaneously future-proofing your business. It’s no secret that Millennials are seeking meaningful and authentic experiences and that has proven true when it comes to their work too.  And, by the way, studies show they work just as hard as previous generations (no matter what you hear to the contrary).  It turns out that Millenials just aren’t prepared to work unpleasant hours or do unpleasant jobs like longsuffering previous generations did.  They believe work should be enjoyable and fulfilling – not something to be endured.  Jobs with unusual hours are being left to immigrants which there are plenty of thanks to Australia’s relatively high migrant rate.  And guess which cohort most immigrants fall into?  Ironically, they’re technically Millenials too as they fall into the same age bracket.  But that’s a conversation for another day.

Maybe you’re tired of hearing about Millennials?  Even if you are, you can’t ignore it and you can’t stop what’s coming.   This influential cohort, armed with a smart device and a passion for finding and creating meaning, will shape the future of your hospitality business.  Are you ready?