5 Restaurant Marketing Strategies To Attract The Gen Z

restaurant marketing

Attracting new customers is highly crucial for any restaurant business. For a country where youth make up the highest population, it is vital to run restaurant marketing strategies specific to the needs of the younger generations.

While restaurateurs are aware of the millennials, Gen Z ranging from the ages 4-24 years old is another equally important demographic you should be paying attention to. In India, their population will rise to 472 million by the coming year. It is expected that the Gen Z will take over the millennials, as they will be more technologically advanced and outgoing.

The younger guests have different expectations from the food industry. They look for faster service and pocket-friendly prices. With Gen Z kids taking over it is necessary to run restaurant marketing campaigns specifically designed to attract them.

This article will assist you in developing a restaurant marketing plan that would cater to the younger, tech-savvy generation called Gen Z!

Gen Z Eating Habits and Behavior

Understanding the eating habits and consumer preferences is critical to devising any restaurant marketing strategy. The younger crowd is now more informed than ever, is constantly online, aware of the social as well as global trends, and this reflects in their eating habits as well.

  • The Gen Z researches extensively about the place they wish to dine at. They like to plan their meal in advance.
  • They are adventurous with their food and like to try out unique and innovative menu options.
  • They also look for more healthier and pocket-friendly options when dining out or ordering food online
  • Also, Gen Z prefers eating at an off-peak time if they are offered some discount. This is also great for any restaurant owner to increase sales during off hours.
  • The attention span of Gen Z is also significantly less. Thus, coming up with eye-catchy restaurant marketing campaigns that deliver the message quickly is important.

Restaurant Marketing Strategies That Are Sure To Attract Gen Z To Your Restaurant Business

The eating habits and behavior of Gen Z is quite different from that of the millennial generation or the Gen X. If your primary customer base consists of kids and teens, you should be creating specific restaurant marketing strategies targeting them

Here is a list of restaurant marketing ideas that will help you lure in the younger crowd.

1. Social Media Marketing

For the generation born in the era of social media. It is safe to say that social media marketing is an excellent way to attract Gen Z. Nearly half of Gen Z is always online surfing through various social media platforms.

Here is a list of social media platforms you can use to market your restaurant business to Gen Z.

(i) Instagram

In recent years Instagram has flourished as one of the most popular social media. Its interactive and user-friendly interface makes it more desirable among Gen Z.

Therefore, it is imperative for a restaurateur to pay a lot of attention and thought into curating the best restaurant marketing campaigns for Instagram. Research shows that thirty percent of people will avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence is not good.

As a restaurant owner, you know how important it is to entice your customers and Instagram lets you do that, it helps you put your best “food” forward and interact with Gen Z in the most authentic way. For advertising on Instagram, you are required to have a business account.

You should add more vibrant and eye-catchy events as you’ve got only eight seconds to catch their attention. Make your Instagram feed look aesthetic and update it timely.

You can hold giveaways on your page and offer discounts to the winner. This is a great strategy as Gen Z is always on a lookout for excellent discounts.

Ask your followers to share your pictures and tag your restaurant. Later you can pick a winner randomly and offer them some great discounts.

(ii) Snapchat

Snapchat might be a new player in the social media arena, but it sure is impactful. It has seventy-three percent active Gen Z users! It has several business-related applications for small as well as large restaurants. Marketing your restaurant on Snapchat is a great way to attract Gen Z.

Once you have created an account on Snapchat it is now time to make some friends who can see what you are posting. You can get your own code and place it all around your restaurant for people to quickly add you are their friend. You can also post this code on your other social media accounts like Facebook, Instagram, etc. or on your website. This will increase your reach.

Post engaging posts on your Snapchat. You can hold public polls on your Snapchat stories and ask the younger crowd what they would like to see next.

Also, come up with your restaurant’s stickers that people can use when in and around your restaurant to increase its popularity. Make your sticker look appealing.

(iii) Facebook

Although Gen Z is less active on Facebook as compared to Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is still the highest used social media platform. It also provides highly targeted marketing based on age, location, and user behavior, and should definitely consider running marketing campaigns on Facebook.

Running paid ads on Facebook is a great way to attract the Gen Z. Also, remember to create Events on your Facebook page and invite your potential customers.

2. Influencer Marketing

Gen Z typically follows a lot of celebrities and social media influencers. When a well-known authority not only endorses but also speaks about their experiences with a brand, Gen Z tends to relate more.

Collaborating with food bloggers in your city or area is a great way to promote your restaurant to the young generation. Invite the food bloggers to your restaurant for food tasting or when you are organizing an event to promote your brand among their followers.

Read in detail how you can collaborate with food bloggers for running a successful restaurant marketing campaign.

3. Student-Friendly Events

Hosting restaurant event is a lucrative affair, It helps you in creating a buzz around the town and pulling in more patrons. They also help in boosting the business on a slow night. By elevating the overall customer experience and increasing the restaurant sales. Hosting events is an excellent restaurant marketing strategy.

Introduce student-friendly events like musical nights, dance parties, etc. to attract the younger crowd. Events like these are great for enticing Gen Z as they are high on energy and are looking for places that match their “vibes.”

Gen Z typically visit pocket-friendly places and don’t really stay out till late, so events should be held keeping these mind

Here is a list of some Gen Z friendly events.

  • Karaoke night
  • Talk nights
  • Hosting live gigs
  • Stand up comedy nights/afternoons
  • Dance parties
  • Inviting a guest DJ
  • Theme parties for kids
  • Book reading sessions

These events are extremely helpful in attracting the younger crowd. Such events are interactive and let Gen Z interact with people around them. 

4. Run Loyalty Programs

Running restaurant Loyalty Program to attract the Gen Z feel. Nothing entices them more than a good deal. Since the spending power of the Gen Z isn’t much, they are always on the lookout for discounts and loyalty programs that would help them enjoy a meal without spending much.

Keeping Gen Z hooked to your restaurant is an excellent technique to overcome a slow restaurant business. Use a POS system to easily integrate your loyalty program and run it smoothly through all your outlets. The POS will also give you crucial insights about your customer behavior such as their eating preferences, time of ordering, and more, and help you create a loyalty program best suited for your business. 

You can run two different types of loyalty programs depending upon your restaurant’s average sales.

  • Point-based loyalty program: It is based upon the spend of the customers. They can collect points based on the amount they spend. These kinds of restaurant loyalty programs work best for fine dining where the customers tend to spend higher.
  • Visit based loyalty program: It is appropriate for a quick service restaurant or casual dining where the footfall is high, but the customers tend to spend less; you can offer a free drink or a side dish on every fifth or tenth visit.

Visit based loyalty program is the best suited for the younger crowd. As they don’t like to spend much but would often visit a place again if they find it to be pocket-friendly.

5. Word of Mouth Marketing 

Restaurant marketing through the word of mouth is no longer restricted to just people telling their experiences to their friends verbally. Word of mouth has gone digital and maximum organic promotion happens when customers check into a place or post pictures on social media.

Encouraging word of mouth marketing is also a great way to attract customers as Gen Z is pretty vocal about their experiences and tends to share them on social media and among their friends.

While having Instagram worthy food and a unique interior will certainly encourage the youngsters to post a Story or a Snap on social media, you can go a step ahead and include the Instagram icon in the menu next to the items that are visually appealing. This would tell the customers that the dish is Instagrammable and also propel them to post the picture online.

Use these restaurant marketing strategies to the fullest and attract the younger crowd and see how your sales skyrocket!

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Nikunj is the Communications Lead at Restroworks, a global leader in cloud-based technology platforms. In his role, he oversees global marketing and branding initiatives for Restroworks across APAC, the Middle East, and the US.


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