NEW YORK — Millennials get a lot of flak, and now that generation is blamed for the downfall of big-chain casual restaurants.
Several nationwide brands such as Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s and TGI Fridays have experienced slumps in sales and have struggled to attract customers. They have been forced to close some restaurants as a result, in some cases.
The CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings released a letter to shareholders recently, blaming lost revenue on the smartphone generation.
Sally J. Smith said millennials are cooking at home and ordering delivery more than previous generations.
“Millennial consumers are more attracted than their elders to cooking at home, ordering delivery from restaurants, and eating quickly, in fast-casual or quick-serve restaurants,” Smith wrote.
Fast-casual dining such as Chipotle and Panera Bread have seen their sales increase over the past few years because of their convenience and lower prices.
The restaurants are also facing added competition from grocery stores that have added things such as pickup and delivery.
Meal-delivery subscription services such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh have also grown in popularity.