Photos by Vincent Kwan

Continuing from my article in last month’s magazine, I will be writing about what millennials and the younger generation are really looking for in Vegas restaurants. 

Las Vegas has undergone tremendous change in the past few years, especially in the food scene. But another great change that has happened to the city is the amount of people that have moved to Las Vegas. The city is now growing at a rapid pace with well over 2 million residents. With all this new migration comes a lot of diversity and of course, what everyone has been talking about, is the millennial population and how to cater to them. 

Restaurants in Las Vegas have been quick to realize that millennials are getting good jobs in the city and with the low cost of living, have a lot more income to go out to eat and enjoy themselves with family and friends. There are 5 things that restaurants and anyone looking to start a food establishment in Las Vegas should keep in mind if they want to cater to this emerging demographic. These things are geared towards Vegas but could be applicable anywhere. 


With so many distractions in Las Vegas and so many options to choose from, people are looking for restaurants and places to spend their money that will give them a good experience. This could really be anything from the atmosphere, to the presentation of the food, to the service and level of comfort people feel at a place. For example, many restaurants in Downtown Las Vegas and on the Strip are catered towards tourists but also the younger crowd. The food is more eclectic and also more engaging instead of just going in to get food and eat. Which leads me to my next point… 


More than anything, millennials love to share what they are doing, and especially eating, with their family and friends. You have probably seen them before, those obnoxious people in the restaurant always taking pictures of their food before they eat. You probably know someone like this or may even be one! But the fact is that millennials want to share their experiences with others and let others know what they are doing. From the presentation of the food, to the feel and look of the restaurant, make sure it is something that you are proud of and that others will want to share with their friends and family as well. 


While it may be true that millennials aren’t as concerned about saving for the future as older generations, it is still an important consideration when going out to eat. Millennials don’t want to break the bank going out to eat, but are willing to spend a little bit more for good food than most. Restaurants should make sure that they hit the “sweet spot” when pricing items on their menu. From what I have seen, while still not as pricy as New York City, Las Vegas prices are certainly getting up there, especially on the Strip. I would say a good range to target would be $7-$15 for food, depending on the menu item. 


A very important consideration not only for millennials but also for many people nowadays is health. People are more than ever, looking for healthy eating options when they go out to eat. The rise of healthy foods and the market for healthy foods has grown considerably over the years. Millennials really are starting to care more about what they are putting into their body. Also, dietary restrictions like vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, kosher, etc. are all things to consider. Restaurants should be mindful of these preferences when designing their menus or at least allow flexibility and customization to cater to customers. 


Finally, last but certainly not least, would be the story behind the restaurant or your food venture. Millennials really enjoy hearing about the background of the food and seeing how authentic and passionate someone is about it. This goes a lot in line with “brand,” but I think it is becoming increasingly important for millennials who are looking for that “human” component in companies nowadays. When starting your restaurant, be true to who you are and the food you are serving. Show your passion and enthusiasm and others will see it as well.

If you keep these top 5 things in mind when starting your next food venture, there is no doubt that you will succeed with not only millennials, but also everyone in the community. Las Vegas is quickly growing and along with it so is the food scene. People are always looking for the next tasty thing to share with their family and friends.