Millennials Boost Chipotle (CMG), Defect From McDonald’s (MCD)

Aug 25, 2014 8:58am

Morning Money Memo…

GTY chipotle kab 140825 16x9 608 Millennials Boost Chipotle (CMG), Defect From McDonalds (MCD)

Employees prepare orders for customers at a Chipotle in Hollywood, Calif. on July 16, 2013. Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

There’s another troubling item on the menu for McDonald’s to chew on: Millennials are defecting to other restaurant chains.

“Increasingly, younger diners are seeking out fresher, healthier food and chains that offer customizable menu options for little more than the price of a combo meal,” reports The Wall Street Journal. Sales at McDonald’s U.S. restaurants are down slightly in the past year.

For the second time since 2012, the world’s largest fast food chain is replacing the head of its U.S. division.

Data compiled for the Journal by restaurant consulting firm Technomic found that McDonald’s customers in their 20′s and 30′s “are defecting to competitors,” and that visits by 19-21 year-olds fell nearly 13 percent since 2011. “Millennials, more so than older generations, prefer to visit restaurants that offer new and unique foods and flavors,” says a Technomic report.

For many restaurants, less is more. Chipotle and Five Guys, two of the chains that are taking a bigger bite of industry sales, feature slimmed-down menus.

“Burger King recently decided to cut way back on the number of new products and focus on fewer – but better – roll-outs,” reports USA Today. McDonald’s CEO told analysts he wants to simplify the menu.

With changing consumer habits and a growing taste for fresh, tastier food options, many companies are re-considering their options. Technomic says the number of menu options at the 500 largest restaurant firms fell 7 percent this year .

Millennials are far less likely than other adults to be covered for disasters:

“We found that one in four millennials lack health insurance,” says Laura Adams of insurancequotes.com. “They’re really far behind on other types of insurance as well like renters life auto when compared to older consumers.”

Many don’t see why they need coverage, noting that “66 percent of 18-29 year-olds they say they’re either very or somewhat confident that they’re prepared for just about any financial disaster.”

The travel industry got fee-happy coming out of the recession and now hotels are catching up with car rental companies and airlines.

A new study released today by New York University professor Bjorn Hanson predicts hotels will take in a record $2.25 billion in revenue from fees this year, 6 percent more than in 2013 and nearly double that of a decade ago. Nearly half of the increase can be attributed to new surcharges and higher existing fees.

The stock market is coming off another strong week. The big stock S&P 500 Index rose 1.7 percent last week. Futures were up this morning.

International stock markets are mostly higher today after top central bankers in Europe and Japan said support for their economies would continue and additional help is possible.

Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC News Radio abcnews.com Twitter: daviesnow

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