Millennials have spoken and they want to work in companies that have values. That includes the hospitality industry.

If you are wondering which generation has the largest population today, guess what? Millennials win! That is everyone born from 1981 up to 1996, also known as the Generation-Y. 

Millennials are indeed the world's biggest age group and demonstrate some very intrinsic characteristics compared to other generational cohorts. No other previous generation has been so dedicated to bringing Sustainable Development Goals closer to reality. From climate change and poverty to peace, prosperity, and justice, Millenials are setting trends with their everyday life choices that make SDG goals seem not far to reach. 

Y-Generation's sustainability-conscious mindset isn't manifested merely in a certain buying behavior. Moreover, it is also reflected in the companies they prefer to work for, with the hospitality industry being no exception. Among all the companies within this sector, Millennials prefer to invest or work for those who consistently demonstrate sustainable practices. According to Jim Clifton, CEO and Chairman of Gallup, this is a generation that wants to work for companies whose mission and culture reflect and reinforce their own values. 

Now, if you are a restaurant or hotel manager looking to attract your fair share of this large millennial workforce, you might be wondering what those values and characteristics that Generation Y has. In this article, we have put together eight of them, some of which you may have already embraced while leading a more sustainably run hospitality company.

Eight Millennial Characteristics To Consider in Making your Hospitality Business Sustainably Run

1. Health conscious

Millennials prefer healthy food over fast food. 8 out of 10 millennials think that healthy eating is the key to long-term success and wellbeing. Millennials are using technology to reduce the risk of developing diseases and other problems associated with aging. Artificial intelligence programs are transforming global health care into quantifiable services. Because of their easy access to health information online, millennials are considered the most health-conscious generation. They can access health information online to get ideas on healthy foods like avocados, chia seeds, cayenne pepper, and more. They have been able to learn more about sleep anxiety and night walking, as well as the negative effects on their health.

Overall, when it comes to wellbeing, the millennial generation is committed to having a balance between work and life. They make lifestyle choices that are both good for their physical and mental health.

2. Spiritually Conscious

Spiritual consciousness is a Generation-Y attribute and a source that inspires equality, reconnecting Millenials with goals aimed to protect the environment. According to Matthew Hedstrom, who is a religious studies associate professor at the University of Virginia, millennials are spiritually more conscious than previous generations.

They identify more with spirituality than organized religion being less attached to the latter. Pew Research Center's 2015 findings revealed that 34% of millennials do not identify with any religion. Millennials are more concerned about human rights than religion. They believe that all humans are equal and have a deep connection with spirituality. They feel a deep connection to one another, regardless of their gender, race, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation.

They are shifting away from mass-consumer capitalism. They are looking to find spiritual connection through meditation, yoga, prayer, attending concerts, a belief system of heaven, and karmic forces.

Many millennials travel the globe to experience many religions. They have chosen spirituality in an effort to allow everyone to hold their beliefs. They have rediscovered spirituality instead of worshipping at various altars. They are drawn to religious products and any product that links them to nature. They are determined to protect the planet and their future, so they choose companies that promote sustainability.

3. Socially conscious

Millennials are socially aware because of the way they grew up using the internet before social media. 79% of millennial workers are loyal to companies that care about society. They believe corporate social responsibility is crucial to alleviating poverty and improving lives. They encourage their employees to give their time and have several companies donate 1% of their profits to charity.

They communicate their social connections online via social media apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and others. This allows them to share and get information, making them the most connected generation.

4. Ethnically Diverse, Optimistic. 

Millennials being the largest generation, are also open-minded just because they were raised in a connected world. They are connected via social media and use technology with high hopes that it can advance a more sustainable future. They form friendships with people of all races, genders, and ethnicities. They don't hesitate to support diversity and inclusion at every level of life.

5. Technology-based

Millennials outnumbered Gen Xers, just a few years ago to become the largest workforce in America. This generation is unique in that they are web-savvy, curious, and independent. They also have a lot of tolerance. The generation of millennials was raised in an electronic world that encouraged their desire to learn new skills. They know how to use their smartphones, laptops and other technology gadgets to improve their job performance. They can't imagine life without their cell phones and the internet.

6. Embrace experiences and ethical spending

Millennials value experience. They are proud of their digital personalities and traits, including traveling, being digital nomads, taking part in university exchange programs, and working in foreign lands, among others. They invest their money in ethical and sustainable experiences, such as eco-lodges. They are attracted to ecotourism because they believe it will reduce their carbon footprint.

7. Educated, Knowledgeable

The millennial generation has been called the most educated and well-informed in history. They are motivated to learn and have access to higher education. This cohort has seen an increase in education levels due to student loans.

A report from the Pew Research Centre shows that 63% of millennials value a college education and are working towards obtaining one. According to the report, 19% are college graduates already, while the rest are still in college and nearing graduation.

Social media has enabled millennials to share information and increase their knowledge through the emergence of social networks. They are familiar with computing devices from an early age and know how to make the most of them. Many take online courses to learn skills that will help them in the gig economy.

8. Financially Conscious

Millennials have 20% lower incomes than their parents. Their property ownership rate is lower than that for baby boomers. This means they rent instead of buying property. They choose to use the "sharing economy", which allows them to rent cars rather than buy them. Many millennials are focused on saving money to make up for their low income. A recent Bank of America survey found that 16% of millennials between the ages of 23 and 37 have saved at least $100,000 for retirement. They want to save for the future.

Millennials are also investing their money in socially responsible investments (SRIs), which is known as "impact investing." Impact investing, also known as "green investing," is investing in organizations that make a positive difference to the world. Adam Connaker, an associate at The Rockefeller, discovered that millennials invest in systems that make a positive impact on the world. They want to make a difference in their communities' futures and improve the quality of life for all people.

The rise in interest among Millennials in Socially Responsible Investing (SRIs) is notable. Fund tracker, Morningstar, has been monitoring 234 mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) invested in SRIs linked to Generation-Y. Due to increased demand for socially responsible investing, the assets in these funds have risen 142% since 2012.

There is no doubt that the Y-Generation is aware at all levels. Being committed to changing the world, Millennials who want to work in the Hospitality Industry wish to do that in a socially responsible way. They are more diverse in race and ethnicity and that brings them together to support equality and fight for human rights and environmental protection. So if you have a hospitality business where such sustainable and ethical practices are part of your everyday life, the chances are that you can inspire some of the top of the millennial pack to work with you!

Your restaurant can become a sustainably run restaurant, too. Just drop us an email at