Gen Z (Generation Z), brought into the world between the mid-1990s and mid 2010s, is leaving behind a legacy in additional ways than one. This educated and socially cognizant age is presently entering the labor force and turning into a critical purchaser bunch.

As Gen Zers shape the eatery business with their special inclinations and values, it’s fundamental for café proprietors and administrators to focus on the arising patterns. The term “Gen Z” refers to the generation that grew up with smartphones, social media, and the internet.

They are additionally the age that is most worried about supportability, wellbeing, and health. These elements are molding their eating propensities, and cafés that need to engage Gen Z need to consider them.

In this blog entry, we will investigate seven of the greatest Gen Z café patterns. We will talk about what these trends mean for restaurants and how businesses can change to meet this important demographic’s needs.

1. Plant-Based Eating

The rising popularity of plant-based eating is one of the most significant restaurant trends among Generation Z. As indicated by a new report by NPD Gathering, 19% of Gen Z shoppers recognize as veggie lover or vegetarian. This is fundamentally higher than the level of more established ages who follow a plant-based diet.

There are a number of reasons why Gen Z is so interested in plant-based eating. Some of these reasons include concerns about animal welfare, the environment, and their own health. Gen Z is also more likely to be influenced by social media and celebrity endorsements, which has helped to raise awareness of plant-based diets.

For instance, fast-food giant McDonald’s introduced the McPlant burger in 2021, targeting Gen Z and millennial consumers seeking plant-based alternatives. The company reported that the McPlant burger had exceeded their expectations, with strong demand and positive feedback from customers

2. Fast Casual Dining

Another major Gen Z restaurant trend is the popularity of fast casual dining. Fast casual restaurants offer a more elevated dining experience than traditional fast food restaurants, but they are still relatively affordable. This makes them a good option for Gen Z consumers who are looking for convenient, healthy, and affordable food.

Some of the most popular fast casual chains among Gen Z consumers include Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Cava. These chains offer a variety of customizable options, which appeals to Gen Z’s desire for choice and control. This level of personalization appeals to Gen Z’s desire for individuality and allows them to have control over their dining experience.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, a prominent fast casual chain, has successfully tapped into this trend by allowing customers to customize their burritos, bowls, and tacos. Their digital ordering platform and mobile app further enhance the convenience and personalization aspect, catering to Gen Z’s tech-savvy nature.

3. Local and Sustainable Ingredients

In addition, Generation Z is more likely to be worried about the sustainability of their food choices. They are more likely to patronize eateries that employ fresh, local ingredients. This movement is being driven by a variety of causes, including environmental concerns, food supply health, and food production ethics.

Generation Z is environmentally concerned and supports long-term sustainability. They are concerned about the origins of their food and its environmental impact. Restaurants that emphasize locally sourced and sustainable ingredients appeal to this generation. Establishments that collaborate with local farmers and suppliers, promote fair trade practices, and adopt eco-friendly projects are more likely to pique Gen Z diners’ interest and loyalty.

For example, the farm-to-table movement has gained popularity among Gen Z diners. Restaurants like Sweetgreen, a fast casual salad chain, emphasize using locally sourced and organic ingredients in their menu offerings. Their commitment to sustainability and supporting local farmers has been a key factor in attracting Gen Z customers.

4. Transparency

Transparency has become a crucial factor for Gen Z when choosing where to dine. They want to know what goes into their food, how it’s prepared, and the nutritional value it offers. According to a survey by Label Insight, 94% of Gen Z individuals are more likely to be loyal to a brand that offers transparency. Restaurants that provide clear and comprehensive information about ingredients, allergens, and sourcing methods build trust with Gen Z customers.

In response to this trend, some restaurants have implemented digital menu boards that display nutritional information and allergen warnings. For instance, Panera Bread introduced “Food Interrupted” in 2018, which provides customers with detailed ingredient lists and nutritional information to help them make informed choices. 

5. Experience-Driven Dining

Gen Z consumers are also more interested in experiential eating. Gen Z value experiences over material possessions, and this mentality extends to their food preferences. They are looking for a unique and memorable dining experience that goes beyond the food itself. According to a report by Eventbrite, 78% of Gen Zers would rather spend money on an experience or activity than buy something they want. Restaurants that offer immersive and interactive experiences capture the attention and loyalty of this generation.

Pop-up restaurants and themed dining experiences are gaining popularity among Gen Zers. These pop-up restaurants offer limited-time experiences on a specific theme or concept, creating a sense of uniqueness and excitement. For example, The Cauldron pop-up bars in London and New York offer a magical experience where patrons can concoct their own potions and cocktails.

Gen Z Drive-Thru Usage Higher Than That of Millennials. Gen Z craves unique and immersive dining experiences. Surprisingly, a report by Bluedot found that Gen Z’s usage of drive-thru services is higher than that of millennials . This trend suggests that drive-thrus can provide an opportunity for restaurants to deliver a memorable experience while catering to Gen Z’s desire for convenience. By enhancing the drive-thru experience with personalized greetings, technology integration, and innovative menu offerings, restaurants can capture the attention and loyalty of Gen Z customers.

6. Delivery and Takeout

Gen Z consumers are also more likely to order food delivery or delivery than previous generations. This is due to a variety of factors, including the ease of delivery, increased delivery options, and the rising cost of eating out.

Businesses like Domino’s Pizza have found great success by focusing on delivery and pickup. Their robust online ordering system and efficient delivery infrastructure meet Gen Z’s need for convenience and immediacy.

Gen Z Opts for Delivery or Carryout When Company and Vibe Are Absent. Gen Z’s reliance on technology and their desire for convenience have led to a preference for delivery and takeout. However, it’s worth noting that Gen Z often opts for these options when they are alone or the restaurant’s ambiance is not a crucial factor.

According to a study by L.E.K. Consulting, 37% of Gen Z respondents reported using delivery services frequently. Restaurants that prioritise efficient delivery and takeout services, while also considering the packaging’s sustainability, can cater to Gen Z’s on-the-go lifestyle and desire for convenience.

7. Healthier Options

Finally, Gen Z consumers are more interested in healthier dining options than previous generations. They are more likely to choose restaurants that offer healthier menu items, such as salads, wraps, and smoothies.

This trend is being driven by a number of factors, including the rising awareness of the importance of health and wellness, the increasing availability of healthier options, and the desire to avoid unhealthy ingredients.

For example, fast-food chain Subway has positioned itself as a healthier alternative to traditional fast food by offering a wide range of fresh ingredients and customizable options. Their “Eat Fresh” campaign resonates with Gen Z’s emphasis on health and wellness.


Gen Z is changing the restaurant industry in many ways. They are driving demand for plant-based eating, fast casual dining, local and sustainable ingredients, transparency, experience-driven dining, delivery and takeout, and healthier options.

Restaurants that want to succeed in the future need to adapt to the needs of Gen Z diners. By offering these trends, restaurants can attract and retain Gen Z customers. By embracing innovation, sustainability, and providing exceptional dining experiences, restaurants can capture the loyalty and attention of this influential generation, ensuring long-term success in the industry.

Additionally, technology plays a vital role in catering to Gen Z’s preferences, with online ordering systems, digital ordering platforms, mobile apps, and innovative solutions like Techryde enabling seamless experiences and convenience. By embracing these trends and leveraging technology, restaurants can successfully capture the attention and loyalty of Gen Z, securing their place in the ever-changing restaurant industry.

Here are some ways that restaurants can use technology to appeal to Gen Z diners:

  • Offer online ordering and delivery options.
  • Create a mobile app that allows diners to order food, make reservations, and earn rewards.
  • Use social media to connect with diners and share photos of food, specials, and events.
  • Offer loyalty programs that reward diners for repeat visits.

By understanding the trends that are driving Gen Z diners and using technology to their advantage, restaurants can create a dining experience that appeals to this important demographic

Suggested Call to Action:

If you are a restaurant owner or operator, I encourage you to take a look at these seven trends and consider how you can adapt your business to meet the needs of Generation Z. By doing so, you can ensure that your restaurant is successful in the years to come.

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