Gen Z diners already outpace all other groups in monthly spending on food prepared outside the home. As their spending power continues to grow, now is the time to work your way into the hearts and minds of Gen Z.

Here are 3 ways you can get Gen Z into your restaurant and keep them coming back again and again.

Find the Right Social Circles

You’ve heard over and over that social media is the key to reaching Millennials. Well, the same holds true, but even more so with Gen Z.

Gen Z’s media consumption habits are clear and particular: the average Gen Z teen on their phone, and less than an hour a day watching traditional television. And they’re 59 percent more likely than the rest of the population to connect with brands on social media. Want to get your brand in front of today’s average 18-year-old? Meet them on their turf: their cell phones.

But be cautious when it comes to social media advertising. Facebook no longer plays host to younger cohorts: look to newer media platforms instead. Invest in earning their attention on their favorite apps: Snapchat, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter. Create Snapchat filters for your restaurants, engage influencers on Instagram, respond to customer’s tweets (good and bad), etc.

Be Socially Conscious and Charitable (And Brag About It!)

While humility is a virtue, it can be worthwhile to toot your own horn when it comes to social responsibility.

We’ve all witnessed Gen Z’s public commitment to social consciousness. They are politically active and highly vocal, organizing marches and speaking out in favor of the causes they believe in. It turns out they want their favorite brands to be the same way. 90% of Gen Z consumers say they would buy from a company addressing social or environmental issues. Even more striking, 94% of them say that companies have a responsibility to address critical social issues.

To get Gen Z into your restaurant, you need to address social issues, make charitable efforts, and be very public about doing so. Of course, support only the causes you and your brand can genuinely get behind (members of every generation, Gen Z included, are allergic to empty PR stunts). 

Embrace Transparency

“Clean eating” has become a staple in Gen Z’s dietary playbook. In order to eat clean, you have to know which ingredients are in your meals – every single one of them. Restaurants can help clean-eaters eat out by offering up information generously: details about ingredients and cooking methods should be easily accessible. 

Even for those many Gen Z who aren’t focused on organic, non-GMO diets (Gen Z is more than happy to order – and then Instagram – a decadent, over the top menu item), transparency is critical. Seeking out ingredients, allergen information, and cooking processes is a force of habit. When nutritional information is not available, it raises questions about what a brand may be hiding.

So how do you work nutritional information into the guest experience? At a Self-Order Kiosk, you can weave the promise of health throughout the ordering experience. 

First, a clean design and intuitive menu flow lets your food get the attention it deserves. Photos of every element – from the completed meal down to a single sauce or topping – makes your menu and all its constituent parts feel more immediate and accessible to the guest. By seeing each ingredient up close as they build a bowl, burrito or burger, guests are made to feel like they have direct insight into your kitchen and your processes. 

Second, touchscreens give you the power to offer an abundance of information without making your menu feel cramped. By adding elements like “i” buttons, you can offer more details about each and every item – whether you want to provide information about allergens, sourcing, ingredients, or anything else.

Third, our self-order software offers a calorie counting function that adds calories up as guests order. A calorie counter lets guests see what their choices mean as they make them.

Looking to win over gen z?

Talk to us about how our restaurant technology can help you offer the kind of guest experience Gen Z craves.

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Steve DombroskiSteve Dombroski

Steve has a rich, frontline perspective on the power of omni-channel technologies to improve guest experience, increase sales, and reduce costs for restaurant, convenience, and grocery operations.

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