Generation Z as a guest in your restaurant: this is how you bring them in!

11 Aug 2023
Reading time 5 min

There is no doubt that as an entrepreneur you have to prepare for Generation Z because of the enormous purchasing power that this new generation has. With its own preferences and habits, Generation Z puts the restaurant experience to the test. How do you reach this new generation of guests and get them to eat at your place? We provide you with tips.

Who is Generation Z?

Generation Z, Gen Z, Zoomers, the successors of the Millennials identified with the letter Z. These young people were born roughly between 1996 and 2010. They are the first generation that cannot imagine life without the Internet and grew up completely with smartphones and tablets . Due to the experienced world problems, they are seen more realistically and more pragmatically than their predecessors. Authenticity and sustainability are key for Gen Z. This young convenience generation is also only satisfied with fast, fresh and affordable.

Why connect Generation Z to your business?

  • They are real digital minded and express themselves online. New discoveries are all too happy to be shared and experienced. This will help you put your business on the map and bring in new and returning guests. Plus, Generation Z pulls the strings when it comes to deciding where to eat out with the family.
  • They empty their wallets. Generation Z is known for spending a large chunk of their monthly budget on restaurants and coffee shops. Generation Z spends an average of 44.12 euros per week, while this is 39.22 euros for Millennials, 14.54 for Generation X and 7.09 for Baby Boomers. Purchasing power increases significantly every year. DUO inside? Bring on the cocktails.
  • They are leaders of the convenience generation, which will include half of the Dutch in 2030. Generation Z switches eating out for something else quite easily due to hybrid consumption behaviour. The share of meal and grocery delivery has never been so large. Of generation Z, 4 in 10 order food at least once a week. This will boost the food service market for the next 10 years.

With these six insights you bring in Gen Z

  • Personalized and flexible service

Eating the same burger as the rest of the place? No, Generation Z stands for individuality and celebrates the individual, preferring to put together their own meal. Therefore offer choices; a snack board that you can customize yourself or toppings of your choice for their burrito or bowl.

Place and time play no role on the web, which translates into a dynamic lifestyle. No fixed breakfast or lunch times, or working hours. It is therefore a good idea to offer dishes in different portions, for a snack or full meal, because this way your offer fits in with Gen Z's flexible lifestyle.

  • Provides restaurant experience and food that aligns with their values

According to Food Service Institute (FSIN), public concern about the climate is increasing. It is also becoming increasingly important for hospitality companies to add value to the sustainable proposition. Gen Z watch their carbon footprint and are socially aware of the environment. If something is not good for the world, it quickly loses meaning. 97% think it is important that restaurant chains do business meaningfully and are involved in food waste, plastic reduction and the purchase of responsible(er) products. As a restaurant you score points with plant-based options, short transport lines for food products and supporting a local charity.

In addition, invest in ways to make your restaurant more sustainable and reduce your daily amount of waste. With the kitchen manager you can send orders directly from the table to the kitchen. You work more efficiently, prevent errors and have less paper waste, which reduces the ecological footprint.

  • Customize your restaurant by identity

For the younger generations, eating is much more about being with friends and escaping the busy life. Generation Z certainly wants a quick bite to eat, but if they have the time, they don't want to feel pressured to be looked out of the window once the plate or glass is empty. Generation Z feels comfortable in informal spaces with long tables to share, restobar-like spaces, where they can eat, drink and chat for a longer period of time. By getting the right balance in the table setting, Gen Z'ers can sit with you for hours without taking up a table you need to keep your profit margin high. Because of the welcome feeling, Generation Z will come back more often.

  • Speak their language and offer them technology

Growing up with a smartphone in one hand and iPad in the other, Generation Z clearly prefers intuitive services and expects hospitality companies to accelerate their digital initiatives as well. Having a digital menu, being able to order or pay without the intervention of the hostess, is a tip.

In addition, it is strategically smart to apply Gen Z vocabulary in your restaurant marketing; on the menu or in texts on Instagram post, for example. It is attractive for Gen Z to receive an offer or extra and enjoy it in 1 click, without having to go through too many steps. Meal deals and packages can be very effective in attracting Gen Z.

Generation Z does not shy away from discussing unconventional topics. They are more attracted to companies or brands that show what they stand for. Straight to the point; especially in pictures. Show that open kitchen with real products and a passionate team!

  • Reach Gen Z through the right social media channels

No Wi-Fi, no life: Generation Z is always online and constantly switching between various channels, of which Snapchat and YouTube are currently the most popular. Consistent interaction across multiple channels is critical to a successful customer experience. There has also never been a generation where social taste and influencers play such an important role in their consumption behavior. TikTok food tours to make new culinary discoveries are extremely popular.

Generation Z is therefore known for consulting Instagram channels and review sites before making a choice for a restaurant. If you want to reach Gen Z and lure it to your restaurant, make sure you use your social media channels to increase your awareness. And that you collect reviews (content generated by guests) and may therefore be visible.

  • Provide fast operation and flexible service

For Generation Z you are not distinctive if you are fast and flexible. The information overload and continuous stimuli have developed a filter with an attention span of 8 seconds. If you want to be able to serve this always busy generation quickly, a mobile POS system with a back office in the cloud is a must. This way you can automate daily activities and serve Gen Z faster.

‘Gen Z’ is here

Even if your restaurant is open to all kinds of different target groups, know that the expectations and needs of new generations change. It is therefore good to delve into emerging generations and to fine-tune your business operations. Because if you know what they care about, you can get their attention and the more likely they will be sitting at your table soon!

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