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  • Matt Wampler

The Importance of Targeting Multiple Demographics in the Restaurant Industry




Gen Z, typically defined as those born between 1997 and 2012, is becoming increasingly important to the restaurant industry as they come of age and gain spending power. According to a recent panel discussion, Gen Z is the "hardest segment for brands to attract right now," and restaurants that are able to successfully cater to this demographic are seeing success.


One key factor in attracting Gen Z is a strong presence on social media platforms, particularly Instagram and TikTok. These platforms are where Gen Z spends much of their time, and a restaurant's ability to create visually appealing content and engage with their audience on these platforms can be crucial in attracting this demographic.


In addition to social media, the rise of the "creator economy," in which influencers and creators earn money from their content on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, has also had an impact on the restaurant industry. Many digital creators, particularly those popular with Gen Z, have launched virtual restaurant brands or partnered with existing restaurant companies to create new concepts that appeal to younger consumers.


Legacy brands are also taking steps to attract Gen Z, with companies like McDonald's collaborating with popular celebrities and launching new products and marketing campaigns specifically targeted towards this demographic.

Overall, it is clear that Gen Z will play a significant role in shaping the future of the restaurant industry. Companies that are able to successfully cater to this demographic and understand their preferences and behaviors will be well positioned for success in the years ahead.


In recent years, there has been a focus on appealing to the younger Gen Z demographic in the restaurant industry. With their increasing spending power and heavy use of social media, it is no surprise that restaurants have turned their attention to this group. However, it is important for restaurants to not solely rely on targeting one demographic, and instead strike a balance in appealing to multiple age groups.


While Gen Z may be more active on social media and likely to be drawn in by virtual brands and influencer collaborations, older demographics should not be overlooked. Baby boomers, for example, still have significant spending power and may prefer a more traditional, physical dining experience.


Incorporating technology and automation can be a way to appeal to both younger and older demographics. While Gen Z may be more comfortable with technology, older consumers can also benefit from the convenience and efficiency it brings. Self-order kiosks, for example, can make the ordering process easier for all customers, regardless of age.


In addition to appealing to different age groups, it is also important for restaurants to find a balance between physical and digital experiences. While the shift to online ordering and delivery has been accelerated by the pandemic, there is still value in the in-person dining experience. Creating a welcoming and enjoyable atmosphere, as well as offering high quality food and service, can attract customers of all ages.


It is important for restaurants to consider the needs and preferences of multiple demographics in order to stay competitive and attract a wide range of customers. By finding a balance between technology, physical experiences, and targeting different age groups, restaurants can appeal to a diverse audience and ensure their long-term success.


Overall, the key to success in the restaurant industry is to be adaptable and responsive to the changing needs and preferences of customers. This includes appealing to a diverse range of demographics and finding a balance between physical and digital experiences. By doing so, restaurants can ensure that they remain relevant and successful in the long term.


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