LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many sectors of the local economy have been hurt over the last several years.
With people cutting back on expenses, the restaurant industry has had to come up with new ways to bring in customers.
It's noon at Posados in Lufkin and a certain group of customers are missing.
"We're having pressure with demographics, certain age groups not eating out as much," said Posados' Regional Manager John Corley.
Posados isn't the only restaurant suffering.
According to a national consumer marketing group, NPD, over the last four years, restaurants across the nation have seen a 16% decrease in traffic from the 18 to 30 year-old range known as millennials.
There has been a 4% decrease in all ages over the last ten years, affecting 50 to 60 million people.
One place millennials are not leaving is fast food places.
"If you go into a larger restaurant, you don't get that one on one time that you really want," said "Which Which" Manager, Amber Dunn.
Eateries like "which which" have latched on to the millennial customers and have found ways to reel them in.
"Social media is a very important part in keeping up with this generation," said Dunn.
Dunn says that you add that with online ordering and you get a fast paced experience that goes along with the millennial lifestyle.
The recent surge in social media marketing has led the bigger chains to change as well.
"This market here and in Nacogdoches are giving away a Caribbean cruise, and we still continue to be competitive with our pricing and we are doing some discounting to draw guest in," said Corley.
Even with the new marketing campaigns Dunn says there is one thing that trumps all.
"Customer service because we really value our customers. It's like they're not really customers, their friends," said Dunn.
Marketing experts also say that part of the shift in eating out choices by the millennials could do with some places offering more healthier choices than the fast food chains.