If I had the job of designing wine lists in a restaurant, I’d create one that would be double sided…

One side would continue to be strategically tailored to Baby Boomers, since their spending habits are still at the top of the spending curve. The traditional wine list would reign, because this is what boomers are used to.

The other side, however, would be something so radically different that a few boomers would find it of interest (those who love innovation), but most boomers would think it’s the kid’s menu… And, in fact, they’d be unwittingly right. It would be their kids’ menu; not one for children under 12, though.

Millennials would instantly get it, because it would be something akin to Sesame Street.

What makes me say something as seemingly ridiculous as this? Because I raised three kids on Sesame Street, and watched every segment of it with them as a stay-at-home mom. I totally understand the psychology behind what went down with not only this  Generation Y age group, but I also understand the psychology of Generation X (30+ adults). I paid attention to my children’s youth, dragging them from one lesson the the next, from one meeting to the next, from one recital to the next, one game to the next, and one Sesame Street episode to the next. I studied them from their first moment of entering the world until right now. I know them, because I remain present in their lives, and they openly talk to me on a daily basis.

Before you begin this menu, create a database, so you can actually change this menu each week, and keep track of what you’re doing. This way, it will be very diverse and exciting. With desktop publishing and affordably priced printers, this is a simple task these days. Yes, it’s ultimately a lot of work, but so was raising children. This generation is prone toward needing lots of attention; so just get on with it, if you want to forge the relational bond.

This menu should lean toward something akin to Sesame Street. This would immediate draw them in, because this is what they’ve been programmed to enjoy.

Use primary colors for images as a header or border, with a phrase they easily gravitate toward:

Wines For a New Generation

Make it global, because Sesame Street was not a regional show. It embraced the world and all the people in it, so should your menu.

Global Wine Region of the Week (Fill-in-the-Blank)

Variety of the Week

Food & Wine Pairing of the Week

Value of the Week

Sesame Street delivered quick information in rapid-fire snippets. “Today’s Sesame Street is brought to you by the Letter fill-in-the-blank (which ever is chosen for the day), and the Number fill-in-the-blank (whatever was chosen for the day).”

I wouldn’t overload this side of the menu, because Sesame Street just delivered the information so quickly that perhaps this is why so many of them gravitated  toward fast food restaurants. Primary colors, primary numbers, primary information.

Give them a few options for food and wine pairings, but don’t over load it.

This is not to trivialize their intelligence. There’s nothing unintelligent with this group of young adults. They think in quick snippets, and that’s how my wine list would deliver a new kind of message for an old way of doing business.