As a restaurant operator, don’t even think — not for a moment — about treating a baby boomer as “old.”
Baby boomers are the large meal the U.S. population boa constrictor has been digesting, with those Americans born between 1946 and 1964 numbering about 79 million and making up about 26 percent of the total U.S. population.
A Pew study revealed that the typical boomer believes “old age” does not begin until age 72. And while they are latecomers to the digital revolution, they are closing the gadget and social media gap with younger generations.
A separate study of the demographic by The NPD Group showed that baby boomers usually feel 9 years younger than their chronological age. Also noteworthy, money lost on investments during the recession is creating a growing divide between the haves and have-nots, and some are being forced to put off retirement.
According to NPD, by industry segment, drivers included:
Fast food: A wish for frequent-visitor cards. “They want to be rewarded for their loyalty,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant industry analyst for NPD's foodservice division.
Family dining: “They want pick-and-choose options, to be treated like a valued customer — like, ‘I’m glad that you’re here’ — and value combos,” she said.
Casual dining: “They are looking for daily specials, to be rewarded for their loyalty,” Riggs said.
NPD found that coupons for baby boomers could stimulate business and that these older customers are looking for those coupons and deals on the Internet.
Based on a report by Ron Ruggless