Millennials Are Old News: Meet Generation Z

Generation Z
Just when you thought you started to figure out the much-talked about Millennials, the older children of Generation Z started getting their driver’s licenses, graduating high school and starting college, and patronizing restaurants and stores on a regular basis. While they might not seem like a dominant force right now, Generation Z (born roughly between 1996 and 2010), they will represent 40% of consumer spending and 1/3 of the U.S. population by 2020. 

Though some Millennials spent their childhood and teenage years without the internet or even a home computer, Generation Z more or less grew up online with a instinctive goal to create a unique identity. While this push for individualism may make pinning down Generation Z, they do share enough traits that need to be acknowledged by restaurant owners and other businesses. Here are a few strategies to help you and your staff reach these new customers. 

Meeting Them Where They Are

Like younger Millennials, you will most likely not entice Generation Z with traditional advertising. Sure, they may have grown up seeing zany television commercials during Saturday morning cartoons, but online and digital video sites are where they like to spend their time (they are online 74% of their waking hours). Also, with fast-forward and Skip Ad options available at a moment’s notice, you must find a way to insert your content naturally into their view, and even more important, find a way to make them pause their scrolling. 

You can do boosted/promoted posts to have a larger reach, but the real impact comes when they already follow your brand and they receive your content on their feeds organically. Fortunately, once Generation Z follows and becomes a fan of your brand, they will most likely stay loyal to you as long as you work to keep the conversation going. 
 
Finally, when you do provide content to Generation Z via your website and social media, they want to see something authentic and not perfectly lighted and framed. Social networks, especially Instagram, are crucial for showcasing your restaurant “in the moment” and give the users the sense that they need to be there enjoying the experience (aka playing to the fear of missing out). 
 
Providing Easy Purchase Options
 
Though not all of them have full-time jobs just yet, Generation Z is entering the beginning stages of the workforce. Now that they have cash to spend, experiences (specifically the experience of food and eating out) consume approximately 78% of their income
 
While some of their food purchases will be from dining in, Generation Z also likes options that can be accessed from one or two clicks. Not only should restaurants have a social media and website presence, they also need a convenient and easy online ordering interface. Online ordering and customization allows them to get their food fast, when they want it and how they want it. To complement online ordering, restaurants should implement loyalty programs that provide deals to customers at the point of purchase, text messages and email. 
 

SIDEKICK wants to help your restaurant take your marketing and online presence to the next level. Contact us today to see how we can help!

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Chris Davidson

Author Chris Davidson

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