Convenience is another factor that has compounded the problems for these old steak houses. When it comes to speed of service and delivery, casual dining is still playing catch up. For a millennial, there is no point in waiting for a waiter to come and tell you about the day’s specials, then ask what you’d have for a drink before finally discussing what you want to eat. This is already 15 minutes of your precious time that have been wasted at the restaurant. When you consider just how job-focused the current generation is, you’ll realize that they would prefer a swift service with no hiccups. In essence, millennials neither have the time nor the patience to wait for what they consider frivolous service. Not to mention the pretentious wait staff that won’t even eat there themselves. As an alternative, they’d rather have their food delivered at work or pick it up at take-out joints.
The advancement in technology should is another reason why old steak houses are dying. Nowadays, people tend to live their lives more through their phones. This means that they have little regard for real-life human interactions because their social lives only happen to be in their smartphones. The implication is that social places where people would meet and interact over a nicely made piece of meal and drinks like old steak houses are being overlooked.
The same is true when it comes to ordering their meals; most people today would instead place their orders through an app and have them delivered or pick up their freshly cooked meals at the counter then sit with a small circle of friends, if not alone to eat with their phone or tablet by their side.
You can’t also ignore that there has been a lot of activism against consuming animal meat, with Millennials leading the charge. Animal rights activists are taking the fight to diners and restaurants that are serving meals like beef, pork, mutton, etc. And thanks to technology, the message to their peers to boycott these outlets is spreading like wildfire. It is common to see adverts castigating killing animals for food popping up on your Facebook and Twitter or as you watch a video on YouTube. That is why there has been a steep rise in vegans and the push for healthy eating. This is not good news for diners serving red meat like old steak houses. Generally, attitudes towards red meat are changing; it is full of iron, cholesterol, and saturated fat. All these are linked to heart disease. For a health-conscious individual, red meat is not something you would readily indulge in.
In reality, however, millennials may just be a scapegoat for the casual-dining industry not being a feasible business model in the contemporary world. The big question for those operating steak houses is whether they’ll make efforts to fully adapt to the changing socio-economic marketplace they are finding themselves within, or risk getting extinct altogether.