Understanding Gen Z preferences
While inflation has been weakening in relation to where it was in the middle of 2022, it’s still proving to be stubborn. Although economists are cautiously optimistic that things are headed in the right direction, restaurant operators are still likely seeing guests react to the challenges on their wallets. But their responses likely differ by generation, according to research from Technomic – and that may impact how operators decide to promote their menu and market to these in-demand guests. In a recent podcast for Restaurant Business, Technomic’s Lori Rakoczy said younger consumers in Gen Z aren’t looking to cut out restaurant dining altogether in response to higher prices. What they will do is choose less expensive menu items across their preferred restaurant segment or even their preferred restaurant itself, and they will comparison shop for their favorite foods in third-party ordering platforms, which make it easy to find a cheaper burger in town. Knowing your breaking point on price will continue to be important to attracting this crowd – including considering point-of-sale data in relation to costs and studying how that is impacting traffic, as well as tracking the competition to better understand how their prices compare. For this generation, elevating their experience is about convenience. That means doubling down on digitally driven methods of ordering and pickup processes and minimizing wait times – such as making it seamless for them to order ahead but eat their meal in your dining room, or otherwise leaning on your digital tools to ensure you can get food to these guests at the time they are expecting it.
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