Generation Z (Gen Z) has greatly impacted the foodservice industry, with food becoming the generation’s top spending priority. To attract this generation that was raised on technology, cafes, bakeries, and restaurants should look into adopting new strategies beyond traditional marketing to reach this digitally connected generation.
Who is Gen Z?
Following Millennials, Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2015. Currently, Gen Z makes up almost 20% of the US population, and has a larger buying power compared to other generations, especially in the digital space.
When targeting the Gen Z consumer, businesses should keep in mind that this generation has never known a world without the internet. They are tech-savvy, worldly, and accustomed to instant gratification, which has led them to embrace online ordering, eCommerce, and other conveniences from technology.
With this in mind, we have put together some effective strategies to attract Gen Z customers to your business.
1. Promote Your Online Ordering Capabilities
Online ordering and delivery are driving growth in the foodservice industry, with restaurant digital orders experiencing a 124% increase. Gen Z is expected to be the generation to most likely drive this growth. Brands that have online ordering capabilities, such as from their website or food delivery apps, should promote their services through:
- Your Business Website: You should be promoting on your website with call-to-actions, such as “Order Now” and “Add To Cart” buttons.
- Social Media Platforms: Spread the word about your online ordering capabilities through social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter to reach a larger audience.
- Third-Party Platforms: Add banners about deals and promotions you are offering on the third-party platforms you are on to capture more market share.
2. Diversify Your Menu Options
One of the most important characteristics of Gen Z is their interest in choice and variety. Gen Z is the one generation that places great importance on both the flavor and function of their food and beverages, rather than the brand itself. They have also grown up with more education around sustainability, different cultures, specialty diets, and clean label products.
Cafes, bakeries, and restaurants should stay on top of the coffee trends in the industry and incorporate them into their menus. For example, Gen Z is a big consumer of cold drinks, such as iced coffees and frappes, so it would be beneficial to look into offering customization options and add-ons to your menus in the form of plant-based milk and creamers, all-natural sweeteners and syrups, and sauces. This will not only enhance the Gen Z coffee experience but will also drive revenue and sales.
Aside from offering coffee customizations, Gen Z is more open to trying new flavors across the globe, so adding new menu items that deliver these worldly tastes will create a unique coffee experience for each customer. Some of these popular beverage options include single-origin coffees, Iced Horchata, and Vietnamese Coffee.
3. Offer Deals and Promotions
Iced coffee and cold brew are the most popular coffee beverages among Gen Z. According to Technomic’s Generational report, 56% of Gen Z purchased iced coffee from a foodservice location in the last month, making it the most frequently purchased drink.
Take advantage of this knowledge when offering deals and promotions to your Gen Z audience. Your business can benefit from offering discounted prices on coffee drinks, two-for-one deals, and “buy one get one free” options. These are just some promotional strategies that can be incorporated into a coffee happy hour, wherein consumers can cash in on these deals for a couple of hours during the day. Another great way to get repeat customers is to offer punch cards, wherein customers can accumulate up to 5-10 stamps to get a free drink. By incorporating these deals and promotions, your business can build brand awareness and consumer loyalty.
4. Emphasize Your Brand Story
Gen Z loves a good brand story and is willing to purchase products that resonate with them regardless of a brand’s size and acclaim. They are passionate about their values and want to invest in brands that share those values. By bringing your brand story to the forefront, you can humanize your brand by sharing its values with your community. To get your brand story noticed in a saturated market, you can look into these strategies to refreshing your brand, as well as their brand itself to bring in new value to the business and capture consumers’ attention.
As they get older, Gen Z will acquire more purchasing and economical power. The foodservice businesses that are able to successfully incorporate these tactics will be able to capture and retain these new customers with ease.
With generations of experience in the coffee industry, Gaviña Coffee is equipped with the insight to help you grow within this market share opportunity. Contact us today to start your journey to finding the right equipment, products, and merchandise needed to serve the best coffee experience to Gen Z.