The ABCs (and XYZs) of Generational Tastes

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According to a recent article in Nation’s Restaurant News, there’s a new generation driving a significant amount of business in today’s restaurant industry — and it’s not millennials. While “boomers” still account for the largest segment of restaurant customers, Generation Z is making quite a splash.

The article quotes a study by market research firm The NPD Group, which analyzed the financial impact of Generation Z (those born after 1995). Not only did these children and teenagers represent nearly $80 billion in sales last year alone, they also drove major changes in almost every aspect of restaurant operation — from menu offerings and ordering to amenities and even concepts themselves.

The big takeaway? This generation is plugged in — even more than their millennial predecessors. So whether it’s leveraging the power of social media, shifting toward healthier menu items or keeping up with the latest craze to draw customers (think Pokémon Go parties), restaurants are changing the way they think when it comes to this constantly connected, group-oriented generation.

At this rate, it won’t be long before millennials are telling stories beginning with, “Back in my day…”

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