From saloons and speakeasies to discos and dance clubs, recreational activities during times of leisure for young people of all eras usually consisted of getting dolled up and going out. That is, until now.
Today, brand name restaurant chains like TGI Fridays and Applebee’s are shuttering locations nationwide due to a new generation of consumers who are increasingly choosing to stay in. The trend is evident all across the board – nightclubs are being abandoned left and right, with millennials now viewing them as places primarily reserved for special occasions like birthdays or bachelor/bachelorette parties; local watering holes are continuing to disappear, and a Nielsen TDLinx report noted the shutdown of more than 10,000 neighborhood bars around the country just within the last decade.
As a millennial who belongs to this new generation of consumers, this had me wondering: why aren’t people my age leaving their homes? To get to the bottom of this, I did a little digging.
First, we have the fact that an increasingly large segment of the millennial population is unemployed, relegated to temporary / contract gigs, and thus, dead broke. The latter has shaped an entire generation of consumers like me into a very different kind of spender. With what fleeting disposable funds we are fortunate enough to come across (or save), we spend on products and experiences that maximize convenience while minimizing cost. A typical outing, whether to a bar, club, or restaurant does quite the opposite – pushes cost up, pulls convenience down, and in turn, disincentivizes millennials from going out.
Second, thanks to modern technology, millennials now have limitless ways to enjoy staying in as mobile apps and on-demand services have brought the luxury of everyday conveniences right to our very doorstep. Food delivery apps, in particular, are a driving force behind this trend. This is made quite evident by the fact that 69% of millennial men and 58% percent of millennial women, all from urban areas, have ordered food delivery in the last three months, according to a poll by the Washington Post.
In this way, food delivery has taken on a fundamental role in redefining the conventional concept of leisure. More importantly though, combined with the economic condition of most millennials, as well as current trends in technology, food delivery is shaping the lives of people in developed countries all across the globe. So the next time you place that fried chicken delivery order, take pride in your role as a leader in shaping the future of our society.