The industry has been preoccupied with millennials, but in their wake is another demographic group that operators cannot afford to overlook. Members of Generation Z--consumers under age 23--are using foodservice more now than they have previously. While fast-food establishments are within the young consumers' price range, fast-casual and casual dining are turning their heads with the promise of tastier food and a better atmosphere.
They're also extremely tech-savvy, and that doesn't mean focus on a smartphone screen to the neglect of other devices. Gen Z consumers use internet and TV ito catch up on current events. Even with proliferation of restaurant apps, Members of that age cohort--which ranges as young as 10 years old in some assessments, and just ot 18 in others--tends to use restaurant websites to order food. Overall, it is the generation most likely to use technology to its advantage when choosing a dining location.
An opportunity to socialize is also prized. Gen Z is constantly connected to friends and family. Its members can lean toward restaurants where they can sit and eat together.
Many of the brands Gen Z customers visit the most often are locations that specialize in snacking occasions. Pinkberry, Ben & Jerry’s and Jamba Juice are the most visited foodservice locations by Gen Z consumers.
Gen Z preferences
Gen Z is more likely to actively seek out new flavors
Familiar options will help appeal to a wide audience, though unique flavors can help differentiate and drive traffic
As unique and ethnic options become more available, consumers may not feel the need to actively seek out new flavors and may consider new flavors to be a favorite
Source: Technomic Consumer Trend Report Series
Gen Z isn’t motivated by prices, name brands, or nutritional information
While a majority of Gen Z consumers analyze menu prices in order to find the best value, young Gen Zers (13-15) drive the under-indexed percentage
Many Gen Z consumers live at home where parents normally choose restaurants when dining out, so Gen Z relies on older consumers to make sure they eat healthy
Source: Technomic Food Service Planning Program