Why Restaurant Chains Need to Focus on the 'Wow' Factor of Guest Experience

Millennial spending is still the trend to keep up with in the food and beverage industry. Predicted to be the biggest spenders in the next 10 years, according to a report by CBRE, millennials are frequently the target demographic of restaurants and bars.

A large reason for the interest in attracting the millennial customer stems from the fact that they simply eat out more than previous generations. Not to mention this report from Restaurant Marketing Labs that claims their generation has a spending power of $2.45 trillion.

A lot of different ideas surround the “hows” and “whys” of marketing to millennials, from a focus on local foods to revamping a brand’s social media strategy. But like any generation, Millennials are a diverse group with many different needs and wants. This leads to the question: is there any one way to enrapture this group and build brand loyalty within them?

Like most efforts, there’s no “one simple trick” that easily increases revenue, but there is a general essence that bars and restaurants—especially large-scale, multi-location brands—should be focusing on: the “wow” factor.

You can load up your menu with all the craft beers and local organic menu items you want, but the key to establishing brand loyalty lies in making an impression that lasts. You need to wow them.


As I briefly mentioned earlier, large brands with multiple locations especially need to adopt their own methods of wowing guests. As far as values go, distrust in big business is abundant for both Millennials and Gen Z, but their business is not lost. They need to feel good about where they're spending their money. They need to feel like it’s a place for them, that’s as modern and ambitious as they are. They need an entire, atmospheric experience rather than just good food.

You can’t wait until the food is presented or they take their first bite, that wow moment needs to happen as soon as a new guest walks in. Of course, many more wow moments can and should take place throughout their stay—but that first impression is so very important.

It’s about creating an atmosphere that speaks to their wants—and what they want is a different experience than they’d get from “every other place.”

Think of how many restaurants have a random mix of pop music and flat screens with nothing more than muted cable TV channels playing. This might work for playing big sports games, but other than that, venues are wasting their TVs with unengaging content.


Passive patrons aren’t going to be easily swayed into a longer stay or an upsell. People who enjoy every aspect of the experience, however, are not only likely to stay longer, but also to come back often and tell their friends about it.

As far as effectively creating ambiance goes, music videos are the go-to entertainment solution that bar and restaurant chains need to adopt. When the right music playlists are paired with the visual stimulation that their accompanying videos provide, the atmosphere is differentiated from the everyday dining experience that so many have grown accustomed to and bored of.

Music videos are one of the most popular forms of media today, and a perfect way to modernize music in the food and beverage industry. Guests walk in hearing the music they love, then are surprised that the in-house TVs are also playing the videos—in this moment is the wow-factor. The excitement builds as they’re led to their table, waiting to see how they’ll be wowed next! A perfect start to an incredible experience. 

Here at Control Play, our core focus is to WOW guests with innovative digital video experiences. We want that excitement to accumulate in your guests as soon as they walk in, and last throughout their visit. Encourage guests to stay a bit longer for an additional drink or menu item, have them telling their friends about the experience, and witness them coming back time and time again!

We can show you exactly how it works with a live demo. Speak with one of our Business Development Executives and we'll work with you to enhance your guest experience and bring that WOW factor:

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Kevin Avram

Learn how Control Play will WOW your guests with innovative video experiences!Schedule A Live Demo

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