American Millennials have also revisited an interest in their own foods, New American and comfort food restaurants popping up all over. Of course, the dishes must be presented in a less traditional way; but the slow-cooked foods of youth that encourage long dinners and longer conversations are gracing menus all over the country. What is different about this generation is their desire to eat this food in the most healthy way possible. That a restaurant chooses local and organic products whenever possible is expected. Alternatives to milks and meats for vegans and vegetarians is also incredibly important. This crowd is not afraid to try new foods, and America has seen a resurgence in rarely before used produce (beets, kale, and the like). Millennials will make meal choices not just for taste but also to benefit their bodies, and this is not simply a benefit, but a reason to choose a certain restaurant.
Those restaurants that are catching on to this trend have infused all of their menus with certain “health” hints, meaning that, while a sugary cucumber-based martini might not actually have any added value in terms of health, the fact that it’s made from a vegetable appeals to the young 20-something girl interested in maintaining her good skin and staying fit. Not all Millennial diners are willing to be tricked by smoke-and-mirror good decisions, however, and real health food restaurants are beginning to pop up with greater success. In addition the healthy menu items, young patrons are particularly interested in restaurants intentionally seeking out locally-sourced meats and veggies, fair trade coffees and sugars, and that are invested in the community.
Essentially, American young people are trying to be better. They’re trying to be healthy and conscious. The restaurants that take the time to apply these same principles to their business will find success among this crowd—one that is fully willing to put good money where their mouths are.