When Considering A Restaurant Theme, You Need To Know  Your Target Customer

Theme restaurants combine entertainment with food. The ambiance, decor, menu, lighting, the servers dress, and music, etc. they all provide a  dining experience. When knowing who your target audience is the more of an impact, you’ll make on them. You need to gain a  deep understanding of who you’re serving and who you’re looking to appeal.

A target market is a group of individuals that share specific characteristics.

Their age, gender, income, interests, education, parenthood, marital status, lifestyle preferences and geographic location are some of these characteristics. The more you know about the specifics of your target market, the more successful your marketing and advertising strategies will be.

Do You Know Who Your Target Customer Is? 

Define Your Target Customer

One mistake most new startup entrepreneurs will make is trying to appeal to everyone.  You might attract the occasional customer who doesn’t fit your target customer profile, but that is an exception rather than the rule. Appealing to everyone is impossible.

Since you are a startup, begin with tailoring your restaurant to a specific demographic before any customers ever walk through your door.

 Factors That Influence Who You Should Be Targeting

Age Groups~Gender~Income ~Interests ~ Education ~Parenthood ~Marital Status 

Lifestyle Preferences  ~Geographic Location

In this post I will cover Age Groups and how they influence selecting a theme.

For example, children are attracted to cartoon characters, fairy tales, and animals. Bright colors prevail, with a straightforward food menu highlighting favorites that appeal to both children and adults.

A nostalgic theme such as a ’50s restaurant with a jukebox, soda fountain, and a menu of hamburgers and fries, with waitresses in poodle skirts and ponytails, has a broad appeal across different age levels.

A vampire theme could take advantage of the interest young adults have in this genre because of favorite books and movies featuring vampires.

Selecting the right age group, given your theme, and tailoring your marketing message to that group increase the chances of your restaurant gaining popularity.

Researching the ages of your potential customers will define their behaviors, values, opinions, cultures, interests, and lifestyles. 

For example, single young adults with middle to high-income levels will typically eat out more often than those who are married with children. 

Statistics On Age Groups  Eating Out Preferences

  • Generation Y “millennial generation,”  – those born between 1978 to 2000-tend to eat more often at quick-service, their restaurant visits are to burger franchises and pizza restaurants.


  • Generation X – those born between 1965 and 1977 – tend to prefer quick-service or casual establishments. They favor operations that offer all-you-can-eat salad bars and buffets. They like a comfortable atmosphere that focuses on value and ambiance.


  • 18 to 24-year-old eat out and drink alcohol outside the home more often than other age groups.


  • Wealthy, well-traveled  Baby Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, make up the largest segment of the U.S. population. Today, those on the leading edge of the boomer generation are becoming grandparents, making them a target of restaurants that offer a family-friendly atmosphere and those that provide an upscale, formal dining experience. The next generation, are more likely to look for ethnic or exotic food when they eat out.


  • Empty Nesters – consists of people in the age range between the high end of the baby boomers and seniors (people in their early 50’s to about age 64). Empty nesters typically have grown children who no longer live at home.  They have most discretionary income and the highest per-capita income of all the generations; they usually visit upscale restaurants. They are less concerned with price and are more focused on excellent service and outstanding food. Appeal to this group with elegant surroundings and a sophisticated ambiance.


  • Seniors – 65 and older tend to eat early and slowly, and they look for good values with small portions. The majority of seniors are on fixed incomes and may not often be able to afford upscale restaurants.  They tend to eat at family-style restaurants that offer excellent service and reasonable prices.


  • “Younger” seniors are likely to be more active and have more disposable income than “older” seniors, whose health may be declining. Seniors typically appreciate restaurants that offer early-bird specials and senior menus with lower prices and smaller portions, since their appetites are less hearty than those of younger people.

Knowing your customer is necessary to establish a successful restaurant. It may seem simple and straightforward, but there is often more to it.

Consider our team to help you determine who your ideal customer is, and then work on a strategy to attract them to your restaurant.