How to Win Over Gen Z

Instagram and food delivery are the future of restaurants when it comes to attracting Gen Z.

According to a Colliers International, Gen Z diners get recommendations on where to eat from their social media feeds, reported Houston Business Journal (Jan. 15). As Gen Z diners are more socially conscious, health-focused, and experience-driven, restaurants need to be Instagrammable—not only through their dishes, but also through their décor.

“Restaurants now need to carry an experience for the customer that will make them want to dine in. So, in order to appeal to Gen Z, the restaurant really has to awaken and impress all of the senses beyond just taste,” said Hannah Tosch, associate with Colliers. “Gen Z is looking for so much more in a restaurant than the food itself.”

Some restaurants are even commissioning artists to paint large murals on their walls, making them the perfect backdrops for social media photos.

Additionally, as of 2020, Gen Z represents 40% of consumers, and they are increasingly using food delivery services, according to Tosch. Restaurants are leaning into this trend by focusing more time and energy on delivery orders, while ghost kitchens are popping up more and more.

These dining changes are also affecting how developers are designing condos and apartments. Some multifamily units do not contain ovens, as Gen Z is cooking less, and developers are including food delivery lobbies for tenants to wait for their orders.

“Gen Z holds a new level of spending power, but the restaurant industry will have to earn their dollar,” the report said. “Taking all of these factors into account to appeal to this next generation will be crucial for the future of the restaurant industry’s success.”

In regards to grocery, Gen Z is expected to shop differently than their parents, according to a report from Field Agent. When asked how their grocery shopping would change over the next 5-10 years, the top responses from Gen Zers included eating healthier, cooking “fresher,” shopping for more people, using grocery pickup, and saving money.

Gen Z’s affinity for online ordering doesn’t stop at restaurants, as 32% also expect to be shopping for groceries online in the next 5-10 years. “I’m sure online ordering will continue to grow and become the primary way of shopping,” said one respondent.

However, when they do cook, “cooking a meal completely from scratch” is preferred by 75% of respondents, versus cooking a meal using an all-in-one meal kit.

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