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Heard on CultureShift

Are Millennials Killing Chain Restaurants?

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Image credit: Photo via Applebee's

I think that a lot of people, of all ages, are kind of gearing away (from chain restaurants) for very obvious reasons.”

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Over the past few months, multiple articles have been written about the decline in sales for casual restaurant chains such as Applebees and TGI Fridays. For some, these restaurants are struggling in part because millennials are less interested in going to Buffalo Wild Wings, preferring to prepare food at home or eat at local establishments. 

While blaming the younger generation is easy to do, there has been some pushback against the notion that millennials are to blame for the failure of chain restaurants to stay relevant. 

Detroit News Staff Writer Melody Baetens wrote an article looking at this issue. She speaks with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper about the article and whether or not millennials are to blame for the decline in chain restaurant sales. 

I think that a lot of people, of all ages, are kind of gearing away (from chain restaurants) for very obvious reasons,” says Baetens.

People are getting more interested in where their food’s coming from, who’s cooking it, who’s getting, you know, the profits for this food, and it’s just…trending away from…chain sit-down restaurants that have the same menu in every town.” 

Click on the audio player above for the full conversation. 


Ryan Patrick Hooper, Host, CultureShift

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host and producer of CultureShift. As a longtime arts and culture reporter.

hooper@wdet.org Follow @HooperRadio

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