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Diary of a future customer

A trip inside young, hungry minds

What do kids and young adults really think about you? Why do they go out? What do they want when they get there? These are big questions considering that Millennials control about $80 billion in food spending, and the younger set, with their families, spends about 50 percent more at restuarants per year than other consumers, according to NPD. To help illuminate these impressionable minds we asked six kids, teens and 20-somethings to keep food diaries for a week (if you look at our masthead, you’ll get a clue to where we found our subjects). We also turned to some of the most enlightening research on the topics to give more insight.

The picky eaters: 5 years old Wren Smith & 8 years old Felix Smith

A week of insights from dining with kids. Written by their dad.

Getting families in the door - Concepts that do it right

Talking to a teenager: 13 years old Ben Whitcher. Somebody has to do it. Talking to his mother.

Voices of their generation - What kids really think

The young foodie: 17 years old Ryan Allmendinger. Exploring cuisines with friends

The price-conscious young professional: 21 years old Shay Caplice. Living with mom and hunting for deals.

You just don’t get it - The mistakes restaurants make with young diners

The leftover king: 27 years old Evan Conover. Groupon, $5 foot longs and lots of doggy bags.