How your restaurant business can attract Gen Z customers

As a business leader running a restaurant, you know how important it is to get customers walking in through that door. That’s why you make sure your Yelp page is up to date, and you’ve redesigned your web page so that it’s user-friendly, with menus available and opening hours easy to find. Unlike most businesses today–which are primarily run online–you run a brick-and-mortar store, which means you need to think about issues like hiring great chefs and waiters, and keeping everything up to standard in your restaurant. But something else you need to think about, which every business leader needs to, is how to attract Gen Z customers.

Generation Zers are hard to advertise to. They’ve grown up with technology around them 24/7, which means it’s hard to get their attention, and they distrust usual marketing strategies. Luckily, if you know them well enough, and how they behave, you can get them to become regulars at your restaurant. And here’s how.

Be mobile friendly

Most businesses these days know that it’s important to have a website where customers can find out more about what they have to offer. But when it comes to attracting Gen Zers, you need to go the extra mile. Your website needs to be not only minimalist and easy to navigate (the last thing anyone needs is trouble finding the menu or the number to call for reservations), but it also needs to be mobile-friendly. This means that it needs to be easily viewed on screens both small and large, and images need to load the same as they would on a computer.

Additionally, if there are any forms that have to be filled out, remember to make them easy to use. This means drop-down menus and not using autocorrect for names. Another plus of being mobile-friendly, outside of attracting Gen Zers, is that it’ll up your SEO! Google is prioritizing mobile-first sites more and more now. And considering that global mobile data traffic is projected to increase nearly three times between 2018 and 2021, it’s generally a smart move.


Be active on social media–especially Instagram

The fact that Gen Zers are constantly on their phones also means that they’re constantly on social media. So it’s no surprise, considering that they grew up socializing with their friends and family on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat, that they get a lot of information about businesses on social media. If you expect to stay connected with Gen Zers, by both getting their attention and making them loyal customers, you need a strong social media presence. Engage constantly when they react to your post, and work with influencers, people that Gen Zers really trust, so that they can show off what’s great about your restaurant.

So get accounts on every platform. Research Gen Zers and other customers, creating buyer personas so that you know what kind of content they’ll react best to. Increasing Instagram follower count is hugely important especially because this is one of Gen Z’s favorite platforms. So create an aesthetic for how you want pictures of your food and restaurant to look (using only one filter, because consistency matters), and choose a font that works. Additionally, use around 30 hashtags each time you post, and use the Instagram for a Business account so that you can get free analytics about your posts.

As of June 2018, the number of monthly Instagram users was 1 billion, so the sooner you start doing this, the more customers you’ll attract.


Create a strong brand and inform


According to Vice, “Gen Z is said to be much morerisk averse than previous generationswith…money. The theory is that growing up post the 2008-recession has left them with a more realistic outlook on the hellscape that is late capitalism.” Unlike the millennials who came before them, spending money is something this younger generation is more careful about. So if they’re going to be spending money at your restaurant, you need to show them that it’s worth their time.


So create a strong brand. In addition to reflecting this in your website and social media, it needs to be present in your actual restaurant. Make visits to the restaurant about the experience as well as the food, and ask customers for feedback so that they keep coming back for more. Don’t forget to inform them, too. If they know all your food is organic and your eggs are free-range, they’ll pay more. With 65 million peoplemaking up this generation, it’s worth the effort of marketing to them.

These are some of the best ways to get Gen Z customers sitting down at your restaurant and becoming loyal customers. What other strategies do you think would be effective?