Restaurants everywhere need to start paying attention to Gen Z. (That is, if they already haven’t!)

Whether or not you think Gen Z is worth worrying about it, consider the following. Gen Z Insights reports that Gen Z is set to account for 40% of all consumers in the United States this year. On top of that? They’re going to be the largest consumer population of all by 2026. That’s going to be here sooner than you think.

The future of restaurant marketing will be defined by Gen Z. It’s best to make sure you’re ready for when that happens.

Marketing Trends

Back in June, we covered what you need to know about Gen Z marketing in 2020. As we head into the final weeks of 2020, and look ahead toward a future where the coronavirus is finally behind us, Gen Z should be top of mind for savvy restaurateurs. Here’s the three defining factors we highlighted then.

Influencer Marketing. No generation is more associated with influencers than Gen Z. And for the restaurant industry, influencer marketing can prove surprisingly effective – even if you’re only running a local establishment. (Ever heard of nano-influencers?)

TikTok. Think TikTok can’t work for your restaurant? Think again. Not only have big brands like Dunkin’ Donuts and Chipotle found great success on the viral video platform, so have smaller, independent restaurants.

The Pandemic. When I wrote in June that this generation was going to be defined by a pandemic, I don’t think I quite realized the extent of what that really meant. While the Covid-19 has impacted everyone, it’s impacted Gen Z in a unique way. It’s disrupted childhoods, school dances, college, and even the first steps of their careers.

The Holiday Season

With another month left to go for the holiday season, you may be wondering what your restaurant can do to attract Gen Z in the immediate future. Here’s a few data points on Gen Z from a Datassential report that I talked about last week.

Holiday Opportunity. While Gen Z is the least likely generation to avoid eating out (something to note as you promote your on-premises dining), the youngest generation loves off-premises too. In fact, 47% of Gen Z are open to getting parts of their holiday meals from a restaurant.

Off-Premises Cocktails. Thanks to the pandemic, ordering alcohol to-go from a restaurant has become surprisingly prevalent. And Gen Z is apparently embracing it more than their older counterparts. Nearly one out of every three Gen Zers (32%) are open to having a restaurant deliver alcohol or cocktail kits.

Winterized Dining. Is your restaurant in a cooler climate? You’ve probably looked into ways to heat up your outdoor dining. Datassential notes that Gen Z (and millennials) are more likely to try new outdoor solutions for winterized dining.

Eating Habits

So, what do Gen Zers actually like to eat? If you want to attract them to your restaurant, you’re going to need to know that much.

Healthier Choices. In September, we talked about why now is the time to start offering healthier choices on your restaurant menu. If you’re courting Gen Z, this holds true. The Food Industry Association reported that 21% of the two youngest generations are eating much healthier than they were because of the pandemic.

To-Go Dining. Want to court Gen Z? Make sure you’ve invested in takeout offerings. Technomic’s Generational Consumer Trend Report found that 31% of Gen Z have no choice but to eat meals on the run. That means they’re not just getting takeout for the sake of it. Their lives have dictated that they have no choice.

Know Your Buzzwords. Organic. Locally sourced. Sustainable. You know the ones that I’m talking about. And while they may seem like buzzwords, they represent what Gen Z cares about collectively. This generation doesn’t just care about how good the food is. They want to know everything else too. Considering 61% of Gen Zers read menus online, incorporating these buzzwords into your menu may be just what you need to attract them in. (Assuming everything is accurate.)

Get Started With CoGoBuzz

Whether you’re one of our current customers, or you’re interested in joining the CoGoBuzz family, we’re committed to helping businesses affected by COVID-19.

For current customers, we’re providing free text message service, allowing you to send a link to order online, purchase gift cards, and/or notify customers of new hours.

For new customers, we’re offering our hardware at cost, donating our services, time, and covering shipping costs. Prepare for the future with CoGoWiFi Free to collect your customers’ phone numbers. There are no contracts or monthly fees, and we offer unlimited customer data storage.

Message from our CEO

“From pricing to packaging, our mission has always been to provide customers with unbeatable value. That’s why, in response to the coronavirus pandemic, we are seeking to provide the most aggressive offers to help suffering restaurants survive. We believe that half of small restaurants will fail in the year after operations return to normal. The restaurants that survive and thrive will be the ones that win loyalty and focus on bringing customers back over the following year.”

– Steve Gould, CEO

Click here for more details on how we’re handling the crisis.

What is your restaurant doing to court Gen Z? Let us know in the comments.