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Attract generation Z to your restaurant

Each generation has its own habits and expectations. It is clear that, compared to previous generations, Generation Z expects a completely new guest experience. This generation, born between about 1997 and 2012, is known for their thoughtful spending and specific preferences. In this article we look at how to reach Generation Z and how your business can meet their expectations.

This article discusses trends that characterise this generation. We also share practical tips on how to translate these trends into valuable suggestions for your hospitality business.

Even with the increasing prices, as many as 46% of Generation Z dine out at least once a week. They also have a large influence on their parents’ spending and are accustomed to frequently dining out or ordering takeout. These developments cause huge changes within the industry and it is wise to adapt.

Instagram-worthy?

Many influencers use social media platforms to share their restaurant experiences through videos and photos. Especially restaurants with eye-catching or extravagant interiors take the spotlight. And let’s not forget the cocktails that are captured because they are considered ‘Instagram-worthy’.  As for the preferred social media channels of this demographic, it is evident Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat dominate. This is partly driven by Gen Z’s brief attention span and these channels match perfectly with this. Consider TikTok, for instance, where videos sometimes last only 15 seconds.

Create your own social media content

Seize the opportunity to establish your business’ presence on social media. By using these platforms, you will increase your visibility among your target group and make your concept more appealing to them. For example, share your top three most popular dishes or create an engaging video with your team. You do not have to hire an influencer right away; consider asking help from (young) colleagues who are familiar with these platforms.

Digital expectations

You probably heard it before: Gen Z was raised in a time of remarkable technological advances. Almost all of them grew up with mobile phones and are naturally skilled with technology. It is therefore understandable that they expect this technology to be part of their dining experience. This includes features like ordering, paying, and making reservations, online. As well as menu access and viewing images of dishes, beverages, and the restaurant’s ambiance on social media and the web.

Optimise your service

Gen Z may not be part of your target audience at the moment, but they are growing up and may become your customers (or employees) in the future. So it is worthwhile to delve into this new generation. They are used to digitalisation, which means your business can hardly be left behind: speed and efficiency are simply expected. With an up-to-date POS system, you can offer this demographic the service they expect.

Presentation matters

Generation Z actively seeks unique experiences and restaurants with an original concept. A thematic interior, creative dish presentation, and to see live cooking all arouse the curiosity of this generation. This works well for social media, which is a major plus. Like millennials, they are more likely to spend money on experiences rather than on stuff. Gen Z also has no problem with having meals delivered when they are looking for a quick bite. For this, they expect efficiency, whereas during a dining-out experience, things like presentation, interior design, and aesthetics play a bigger role.

Create a personal touch

Gen Z often seeks out laid-back venues where they can enjoy drinks and snacks with friends. Therefore, set up comfortable benches to create an informal atmosphere. Additionally, an open kitchen, tableside grilling, or an impressive cocktail bar will wow your guests.

Make your restaurant unique. Consider authentic decoration, matching colour palettes and furniture that fit specific themes, be it vintage, industrial, natural, bohemian or hotel chic. And incorporate design elements that invite guests to share their experiences on social media. Think of showcasing captivating artwork, or introduce decorative pieces that catch the eye.

Moreover, consider developing a signature cocktail or dish that matches your restaurant and the desired atmosphere. This will add a personal touch to your menu and better convey the unique identity of your business.

Health comes first

It may be surprising, but Gen Z does value healthy food. They are genuinely interested in restaurants that offer nutritious and healthy alternatives. Moreover, influencers have a lot of impact on these young people. Some of these are called ‘fitfluencers’, they promote a healthy lifestyle and regular gym visits. As many as 72% of Gen Z consider healthy eating an essential part of their physical and mental well-being. And they are not only interested in the ingredients, but also in the origins of food.

Customised menu

Make sure your menu includes a wide range of healthy choices, ranging from vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dishes. By offering a variety of options, they can choose dishes that suit their individual preferences and health goals. An effective strategy is to use clear symbols, such as a small plant icon, to signify vegan dishes.

In addition, you can give guests the freedom to customise dishes, where they can add or remove ingredients. Or introduce a dare to share’ concept, where guests have the opportunity to share dishes. This resonates particularly well with the younger generation.

Another valuable tip is to use local and fresh ingredients. This not only benefits health but also contributes to the sustainability. And using fresh ingredients is appreciated by all generations.

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