Young consumers are driven with a huge appetite for digital engagement. Technology is completely transforming the foodservice landscape and restaurant operations everywhere. With a full slate of professional and personal responsibilities, millennials and Gen Zers are utilizing technology to fill their need for convenience and rethink the way we order and consume food.
Born between the mid-1990s and mid-2000s, Gen Z is the first generation to grow up on a steady diet of digital devices.1 These digital natives are most likely to use technology to serve up restaurant options that suit their preferences. As they mature, they dig into their pockets deeper and deeper for foodservice.
- 69 Million Members in the U.S.
- 44 Billion in buying power and determined to spend more as they age.
- 1/5 of Budget currently goes toward food.
Born between 1981 and 1996, America’s largest demographic group occupies a big place at the foodservice table. Their hunger for instant gratification compels operators to engage them with digital experiences. Empowered by the rise of technology, millennials look to their digital devices to deliver instant value, which tops their menu of must-haves.
- 71 Million Members in the U.S.
- 2.3% of their meals are consumed at a restaurant (that’s one restaurant visit every other week)
- 58% Quick Click of Gen Z orders food from a restaurant on a laptop compared to 38% of millennials.8
From fast casual burger chains to casual-dining kings like Olive Garden and Chili’s, tablets and iPads have become fixtures on restaurant tables and testaments to the prevalence of tech in foodservice. From ordering a meal to calling a server to submitting payment, these devices provide end-to-end ease and convenience. Young consumers seem likely to eat up a foodservice experience enabled by the tech they rely on to streamline other areas of their lives.
According to the National Restaurant Association, the restaurant industry generates more than $800 billion in annual worldwide revenue. And restaurants today are driving serious growth by leveraging technology. The battle to earn a greater share of consumer dollars is more competitive than ever; and there is more pressure on restaurants to keep up with the evolving technology of food service.
Technomic, The Gen Z Selfie (Jun. 2016), p.2 3. NPD, Guide to Gen Z:
Debunking the Myths of Our Youngest Generation (2017), p. 3 4. QSR, “Why Now Is the Time for Restaurants to Court Gen Z” (Jan. 2018). Retrieved from https://www.qsrmagazine.com/outside-insights/why-now-time-restaurants-court-gen-z 5. Fry, Richard,
Millennials projected to overtake Baby Boomers as America’s largest generation, Pew Research Center (March 1, 2018).