Growing up, my fast-food intake was very limited.
I remember getting Burger King kids’ meals every Halloween on the way to go trick-or-treating and visiting Cooper’s in Scranton for our birthdays each year. (Free lobster and cake? Yes, please.)
Those few special occasions aside, it was all home-cooked meals.
Now, I eat out at least twice a week — more if I’m delaying the inevitable and am in a grocery-shopping standoff with the boyfriend.
A recent article in the Los Angeles Times, “Favorite millennial restaurants: In-N-Out, Chick-fil-A,” said my fellow 20-somethings have a direct spending power of $200 billion. And apparently we’re out to spend a good chunk of that change on food.
Interestingly, the article notes, we’re not just looking for tasty treats:
They’re not just looking for tasty treats at a good value. What they want is much more complicated: an emotional connection to a brand that is socially responsible and sustainable, using thoughtfully chosen ingredients and considerately employed workers.
I’m not sure that I’ve ever had an emotional connection with a hamburger, but maybe I’m alone on that. Despite its 2011 PR snafu and lack of Sunday service, fellow millennials ranked Chick-fil-A tops in charitable contributions and support for community organizations.
Other millennial “good value” food favorites include Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Red Lobster, Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwich Shop and the elusive In-N-Out Burger (pretty sure the only Double Meat I’ve ever seen is in Las Vegas).
While I enjoy eating local when possible, I can’t say I’ve ever sought out a restaurant chain based purely on emotion. In the end, I usually just follow my taste buds.
And right now they’re telling me I should hit up Chick-fil-A for lunch.
Fellow 20-somethings? Do you eat at restaurants based on an emotional connection or do you seek out whatever your stomach tells you? Leave a note in the comments section below.