Momentive study: How Gen Z and Millennials are reshaping the restaurant industry

TECHNOLOGY

Momentive study: How Gen Z and Millennials are reshaping the restaurant industry

Gen Z and Millennials are redefining the restaurant experience as their eating and dining behaviors evolve throughout COVID.

Sam Gutierrez

May 27, 2022 | 2 min read

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Key findings:

  • Gen Z and Millennials are redefining the restaurant experience as their eating and dining behaviors evolve throughout the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Mobile orders, delivery, and takeout see growth throughout the pandemic, driven by Gen Z and Millennials, with demand for contactless payments also rising among these key demos
  • Restaurants’ social and environmental values are a greater priority for younger age cohorts
  • Gen Z and Millennials drive growing demand for healthier, more sustainable food options

Mobile orders, delivery, and takeout see growth throughout the pandemic

Dining behaviors popularized throughout COVID continue to persist, as appetite for in-person dining remains low. More than half of U.S. adults (55%) say they are dining at a restaurant less now than before COVID, compared with 11% who say they are dining at restaurants more, and 32% who are doing so about the same amount. Dining-in is now only one of many order options available to consumers: curbside pick-up, delivery, in-store pickup or takeout, and drive-through have also seen an uptick, especially among Gen Z and Millennials. 

Demand for digital orders and payments rise

How Americans want to pay for their food is also changing as payments go digital: about one in five (21%) say they are more likely to order from a restaurant that has contactless ordering and payment options, with Gen Z and Millennials once again driving those ordering and payment options.

Restaurants’ social and environmental values matter to younger cohorts

Younger consumers have expectations that extend beyond traditional aspects of the restaurant experience, such as food, cleanliness and quality of service; social and environmental values hold greater importance among Gen Z and Millennial consumers than among older age groups. They are also more likely to be on the lookout for deals and promotions, as well as flexible ordering options such as mobile ordering, self-order kiosks, and drive-through options.

Gen Z and Millennials drive demand for healthier, more sustainable food options

Expectations are growing for restaurants to offer menu items that align with specific diets or values, especially among Gen Z and Millennial patrons. More than half of Gen Z and Millennials say ethically-sourced ingredients are important to them (58% and 57%), compared to 52% of Gen Xers and 48% of those aged 58 and above. Vegetarian and vegan, plant-based, and gluten-free options also see greater demand among younger age cohorts.

Read more about our polling methodology here

Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below:

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