The Managing Director of Elliots was speaking recently at the Future Pub conference, hosted by trade publications M&C Report and The Publicans Morning Advertiser, on the subject of ‘Re-engaging a lost generation – how to attract 18 to 24 year-olds to pubs’.
Other reasons not to visit the pub included it having ‘nothing different or local’, ‘feeling out-of-place ordering cocktails or soft drinks’, male dominance, the ‘old guard’ at the bar and a simple dislike of beer.
James Hacon reminded the audience of the difference between the Generation Y consumer (born in the early 80s to mid-90s) and the Generation Z consumer (those born in the mid-90s to the present).
Where Generation Y grew up in a strong economy and used textbooks, Generation Z grew up in a time of recession and learned digitally. Where Generation Y spend money boldly, Generation Z is more likely to save money. Where Generation Y will share personal information willingly, Generation Z is concerned about privacy and unlike Generation Y, doesn’t let technology rule their lives. Where Generation Y tends to be very brand focused, Genration Z is ‘anti-advertising’.
‘#Fear Of Missing Out’, a hashtag that’s commonly used by Generation Z and Y, relates to the idea that they try to do everything and are not willing to let the opportunity pass them by,” James explained to Drinks Industry Ireland, “By not doing something they’re at fear of missing out or #FOMO”.
He pointed out that 18 to 24 year-olds there drink fewer times per week than any other demographic.
“33% of students don’t drink at all while 27% of 16 to 24 year-olds don’t drink,” he stated, adding that young people have the least disposable income – 22% below the UK average, or £174 per month.
However Generation Z-ers spend more money on food and drink than anything else at 23% of income.
Reasons given for visiting the pub included:
Sunday lunchtime with family
Space away from parents
There’s a demand for authentic and artisan products in the pub, he explained, adding that Generation Z are looking to pubs and restaurants to bring to life experiences to share and which demonstrate their individual nature.
After ‘selfies’ food ranks among the top hashtags on Instagram, he pointed out.
In order to bring more young people into a bar he suggested creating environments that are comfortable, not clinical — and to stock more soft drinks, cider and cocktails.
The pub should make use of proven, not gimmicky technology and should offer charge points and WiFi as a matter of course, he said. The pub should offer food designed for photography, recognise repeat business and leverage being ‘the local’, he concluded