What group spent $78 billion in restaurants in 2016 and may or may not even be of legal drinking age yet?

Say hello to Generation Z.

When it comes to dining out, they’re more conscious of price than their millennial predecessors, but only 67% of them consider the nutritional content of their food. That’s a 13% drop from millennials, a group that dines out 20% more than their predecessors, boomers.

Maybe this is just the disgruntled, attention craving millennial in me, but why all the talk about Generation Z? Most of them can’t even drink yet.

Simple: they’re changing restaurant industry trends and forcing a real hard look at restaurant menus all around.

Some quick facts about Generation Z and the food trends they’re craving, according to Technomic’s new College and University Consumer Trend Report.


restaurant guest eating a bowl food

The food trends for 2017 seem to be aligned with this generation’s preferences. With the rise of bowl foods, all day snack menus, and the revival of the burger.

A Connected Outlook on Food

While it’s true that millennials value the full dining experience more than other generations, the connectivity of Generation Z is not to be rivaled.

All restaurant marketing strategies need social media. With these checklists, you can set up and master the major networks in no time at all.

Download The Checklist

Diners in Generation Z have never been to a restaurant without a phone in hand. That means their reliance on technology is much heavier. Splitting checks, previewing the menu on Facebook, and even posting online reviews in real time is the norm.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that this generation is ordering takeout from restaurants more than any other generation.

Generation Z restaurant industry trends


So what’s a restaurant owner to do?

Keep your restaurant menu fresh, sustainable, and innovative. Get yourself online ordering and delivery service, and of course, jump on the restaurant social media bandwagon. Easy, right?


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In a perfect world, Theresa would spend her days reading good books and writing all the time... and she'd own all the shoes her heart desired. When she's not on the hunt for shoes, you can find this Rhode Island transplant on the hunt for food that comes close to "Long Island". Her favorite? Caffe Dolce Vita in Providence's historic Federal Hill.