11 key factors for attracting Generation Z to your restaurant
In order to attract customers in these times, we must adapt to the market’s new characteristics. One of them is the growth of a new type of consumer, who is very young and will set the trends of today and tomorrow. They are called “post-millennials”, the successors to millennials, identified by the letter Z.
Who are they?
Generation Z consists of people who were born from the mid-90s to the mid-2000s. They are mostly teenagers or young adults whose global percentage will surpass that of millennials in 2019.
What characterizes them as consumers?
They are true digital natives. The internet is their means of expression and consumption. They are used to having brands become part of their lifestyle and day-to-day life.
It is natural for them to look up opinions online and read their friends’ posts as a form of assurance before making a purchase.
They are aspirational and entrepreneurial, which is why they have a greater appreciation for companies, businesses and brands that use positive and altruistic messages and that seek to continuously improve.
Why attract them to our tables?
To ensure our earnings over the next 10 years, since they will be the largest generation of consumers and the players who will make key purchasing decisions.
To have long-term, loyal clients. Since they are so young, they are at an age of experimentation, however, if they particularly like a restaurant, they will visit it over different stages of their life.
Because of these clients, we are increasingly becoming digital.
How do we attract these clients?
Here are 11 key factors for having Generation Z seated at your tables:
Understand their true motivations. If we understand the way in which they look at life, what they like, what they don’t and why, we will have a great advantage when offering them the restaurant’s products.
What is the best way to obtain this information? By analyzing their digital footprint. Monitoring their profiles, interaction and the type of content that they consume is the best way to understand how to please them.
Conduct online marketing in the right channels Generation Z is primarily on , Snapchat and YouTube. Facebook is more for their older siblings, the millennials. Furthermore, they love to follow influencers.
So, it is ideal to have an impact in the stories of influential people or in videos on their YouTube channels, for instance.
They are the first ones to look up opinions online on specialised websites before choosing where to go. As such, make sure that your restaurant has a profile on TheFork by clicking here and on TripAdvisor by clicking here.
Speak their language. It would also be very strategic to use this generation’s vocabulary and manners of speaking in the restaurant’s marketing as a sign of empathy. Every country or region has its expressions, so it would be interesting to use these clients’ typical expressions or words to create menu descriptions, messages on social media, call to actions in e-mails, printed advertising, etc.
Attract them with discounts. They live and grow up in the age of immediacy and as such, they find it very appealing to receive a discount and enjoy it with just one click without having to jump through too many hoops, pass a test or enter contests. They receive it, show it at the restaurant, and redeem it. Therefore, e-mail marketing with discounts can be even more effective for attracting these clients.
Offer them technology. Being born in the era of digital dynamics and living with an omnipresent mobile, they prefer intuitive and fast services where everything is as clear and readily available as possible. Therefore, a digital menu with interactive tablets that explain the products and even lets them order them without middlemen will be a highlight. The same goes for having a digital payment service.
However, they also like it when the staff care about them. Ideally, you would give them mixed treatment, where they would have independence but also personalised service.
Maintain quality. Many would deem it a shallow matter, but although they can be very attracted by the way the dishes are served, they will appreciate it more if the food is delicious. They are starting to earn their own money, so they will think carefully about where to spend it. A sassy and creative dessert will grab their attention, but if it’s not tasty, they won’t come back.
Have a global cuisine. It is more natural for this generation to consume products from all corners of the globe. They are more used to exotic species, spices, textures and products, more than any other generation. Change and curiosity are also part of their day-to-day life, which means that they are open to a more international and experimental cuisine. The offering would have to be varied and rich in ingredients in order to impress them.
Offer them flexible and personalised service. “Create your own menu” is a phrase that they love, since they appreciate the power to change recipes and adapt them to their tastes and needs. Considering the amount of information that they process and the fast pace of their lives, it is natural for them to not have static tastes.
They don’t have their meals on a fixed schedule either, which is why they prefer establishments where they can do so at any time of the day. A flexible and adaptable restaurant is the perfect one for this generation.
Welcome them in a communal setting. In addition to eating, these clients like to hang out, spend time in groups and enjoy a social evening. As such, they appreciate casual, modern and cozy restaurants with informal settings with elements such as long tables for social gatherings, bars or cafeteria-like spaces. They want to feel at home and not be pressured to make a purchase and occupy the space.
Be transparent and authentic. Exaggerations to impress and attract clients are a thing of the past. Generation Z consumers like brands that show their authentic side and eschew brands that use gimmicks to catch their attention and then sell them something different. All the information they need to avoid being tricked is a click away for them.
Therefore, they prefer transparent restaurants that deliver on what they promise and have open kitchens where they can see how their food is prepared and waiters know about the products. They also prefer “real” food that is prepared with local, fresh products that are healthier and do not contain too many additives.
Attract these clients with a social brand image. Generation Z is born with an awareness of the planet’s deterioration and social changes, which is why they tend to participate in campaigns related to social responsibility, sustainability and the defense of gender and racial equality, etc.
As such, it would be easier to attract these clients with recyclable tableware, or biodegradable takeout packaging. They also find it very appealing if the restaurant designates part of its income to or holds events in the same vein.
What do you think about having a more “Z” restaurant?
And if you found this article useful, click here to digitally adapt your business with TheFork.