The oldest Gen Zers are between the ages of 18 and 24, an age group that historically enters the most intensive phase of restaurant use. However, history may not repeat itself with this generation, according to The NPD Group.
When Gen Xers were young adults, they averaged 284 visits per person per year. Millennials, as young adults affected by the Great Recession, made 40 fewer restaurant visits per person per year compared to their Gen X counterparts. restaurant per person in the 12 months to February 2022, down 66 visits from Gen Xers in 2002, according to an NPD study.
The pandemic is a big factor in Gen Z’s restaurant visits, but it’s not the only one. They also have more interests vying for their money than previous generations, such as footwear, beauty, and tech categories.
Additionally, half of Gen Zs surveyed by NPD said higher menu prices had an impact on their restaurant visits. Price is the most important attribute among consumers aged 18 to 24 when choosing a restaurant, reports NPD.
“Restaurant owners and their manufacturing partners need to adapt quickly to how Gen Z consumers think and feel,” says David Portalatin, NPD food industry advisor and author of Eating Patterns in America. “An understanding of what menu items to highlight, what food attributes they seek, what menu innovations appeal to them, and what advertising platforms they prefer will help you win favor with this valuable generation.”