Gen Z Food Trends & Dining Habits: Catering to The Next Generation

Generation Z is staking its claim as the foodie generation, according to The Food Institute. Born after 1996 and currently aged 18-27, these young Americans are certainly blazing a creative trail. And restaurants should take note because their Gen Z food trends are influencing others as well.

About Generation Z Consumer Behavior

There are a few facts about Gen Z that are important for restaurants.

They communicate and learn information from their phone more than any other generation, and smartphones are an integral part of their life. Pew Research calls Generation Z the digital natives.

Pew Research also found that 22% of this generation are children of immigrants. This makes them the most racially and ethnically diverse demographic of any other and impacts heavily on the choices they make. They are also the most educated – 57% are enrolled in post-secondary education. However, this group has also seen their parents struggle and be impacted financially by The Great Recession (2007-2009.) From this, they learned to be more conservative in their spending.

So how does this all play into Gen Z food trends?

Gen Z and Food

Gordon Food Service, a 125-year-old food distribution company, says “Generation Z wants it all” when it comes to food preferences. They want food to taste good and have exciting flavors. They have $250 billion in spending power, they’re plugged in, and they have diverse backgrounds – all of which have exposed them to unique cuisines.

This is also the generation that grew up watching food shows on television, which introduced them at an early age to made-from-scratch food, exciting menu ideas, and different cultures. They are keen on terms like organic, natural, healthy, sustainable, farm-raised, and free-range.

The International Food Information Council 2022 Food and Health Survey asked young Americans what defined healthy food. Their answers? Good source of nutrients (35%), fresh food (34%), and food that contained fruits or vegetables (30%).

How Do Restaurants Appeal to Gen Z?

To attract the Generation Z crowd, Hospitality News recommends the following:

  • Keep menus innovative
  • Feature plant-based, organic, healthy, free-range, sustainable, and locally grown options
  • Engage with customers on social media
  • Provide online ordering
  • Include made-from-scratch ethnic foods
  • Make sure your restaurant has an inviting social experience
  • Offer customizable menu items

Overall, the major takeaway of Gen Z food trends is they want an experience, both in taste and in atmosphere, and they want to share that experience with their peers.

Fast Casual Rules for Gen Z

Food Business News reports that Gen Z consumers are more likely to choose fast casual, quick-service restaurants than older generations, choosing this style of restaurant 86% of the time. That’s a lot considering this generation logs 5 billion restaurant visits annually. They also choose fast casual because price and perceived value are the main factors in their decision-making.

This might be why the fast casual market has increased 550% in the last 20 years, which is 10 times more than the growth of the fast-food industry. That growth is expected to continue at nearly 11% by 2027.

This is just one more reason why a fast casual restaurant like Teriyaki Madness is poised for success.

Teriyaki Madness: A Gen Z Restaurant

Teriyaki Madness (TMAD) has it all. TMAD’s Asian food grill carries great, made-from-scratch food with adventurous flavors. The menu includes meat and plant-based choices with online ordering as an option. And have you seen their socials? You can see how much they love what they do every day. They have a lot of mad fun in this business, and you could too.

No experience? No problem. In fact, 60% of TMAD franchisees started with little to no restaurant or business experience! They just brought the right attitude to learn, grow, and work hard. The menu is simple but delicious, and the food is made fresh-to-order. They are a smaller-footprint eatery, which means bigger profits through more efficient operations. The Asian food industry is booming, and Teriyaki Madness offers a great investment option.

Get the Teriyaki Madness Franchise Report

Owning a business is an amazing experience, especially when you have a lot of fun at your work every day. Teriyaki Madness creates a great atmosphere in their shops, and customers are always treated with respect in the food served. Plus, the franchise owners make some money along the way. Download the franchise report for all the details.

Are you ready to

Join the Madness?

The people have spoken, and they want Teriyaki. Asian and Fast Casual are the two fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry. Join the Japanese franchise revolution and give people what they want: HUGE BOWLS OF AWESOMENESS!


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