Millennials have the numbers and the power to significantly influence the profitability and overall success of franchise brands. And those brands actively pursuing Millennials are reaping the rewards, according to a recent EquiTrend Study from The Harris Poll. This technologically-driven generation with rising disposable income is increasingly dictating which of America's brands are coming out on top.
More and more restaurant brands are meeting Millennials where they are by investing in technology, like mobile ordering and payment, and by removing artificial ingredients in food and replacing them with fresher more natural ingredients. In essence, these brands are giving this raised-on-technology-generation what it wants. Brand of the Year winners in the restaurant category of the study this year were Five Guys, The Cheesecake Factory, Chick-fil-A, Ben & Jerry's, Starbucks, Moe's Southwest Grill, Papa John's Pizza, and Subway.
"More engaged with more brands than ever before, Millennials - the largest generational cohort - are reshaping the U.S. brand landscape," said Joan Sinopoli, vice president of brand solutions at The Harris Poll. "With prime earning years still ahead of them and a strong sense of values, they are dictating culture through the brands they buy. Millennials are using their new spending power to explore the world around them, purchase and feather their new nests, and take steps to financially protect their growing families."
Also of interest, the study determined Millennials gave restaurants higher marks in all sectors identified, including burger concepts, casual dining, chicken chains, coffee concepts, sandwich shops and ice cream places, than their older counterparts.
This year, more than 100,000 U.S. consumers assessed more than 4,000 brands across more than 450 categories, including 90 restaurant chains.
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