2024 Gen Z Restaurant & Dining Trends Report

Explore the latest Gen Z restaurant industry trends based on our larger Diner Trends Report about consumer dining habits.

Gen Z Diner Trends Report

What’s Inside the 2024 Gen Z Restaurant Dining Trends Report:

  • 2024 data on Gen Z eating habits
  • Gen Z food trends, dining behaviors, and preferences for dining in and ordering delivery/takeout
  • The top deal breakers for Gen Z diners
  • Insightful information about emerging Gen Z food trends for 2024

Explore the latest Gen Z restaurant industry trends based on our larger Diner Trends Report about consumer dining habits.

This past year has seen many consumers shift their dining habits and reduce their dine-in and delivery/takeout budgets due to pressures of inflation and an unpredictable economy. As a result of this change, restaurant operators are feeling the weight of shifting consumer dining habits. Fortunately for those operators who primarily cater to Gen Z restaurant consumers, this group is among the few that have continued to dine-in and order takeout/delivery on a regular basis, and they do so more frequently than any other generation – all while spending more each time on average.

To better understand these emerging Gen Z eating habits, we surveyed young consumers from across the U.S. Our findings provide a wealth of insight into the Gen Z food trends, habits, behaviors, and preferences, and reveal what restaurant operators should look out for in 2024.

A Sneak Peek of the Top Gen Z Restaurant Industry Trends for 2024

Below is a brief preview of the latest restaurant industry trends, specifically highlighting Gen Z restaurant trends. 

Want the full picture of the latest emerging Gen Z diner trends? If you’re interested in learning more about how Gen Z’s behaviors, preferences, and dining habits are shaping the top Gen Z food trends of 2024, download the Gen Z Restaurant Trends Report now.

Embrace Technology, But with a Hint of Human Connection

Gen Z diners have readily embraced technology in the dining experience and most even prefer it. However, restaurateurs should be cautious about fully automating the dining experience, as Gen Z diners also value and crave human connection. 

Indeed, the majority of Gen Z diners still prefer the conventional way of communicating with restaurant staff one-on-one (and not through an app or QR code). This is evident in Gen Z’s preference for calling in to make reservations (64%), and looking at a physical menu and ordering from a server (53%), all of which demonstrate how valuable the human connection still is to Gen Z diners. 

When incorporating technology into the dining and takeout or delivery experience, it’s critical for operators to think about how it impacts the guest experience and to find a balance between the two. Ultimately, restaurant operators should take note of this Gen Z restaurant trend to make sure that the incorporation of technology is adding value to the experience, and not taking away from it. For example, if incorporating technology can increase the speed of service, that can be a huge plus, as Gen Z welcomes any technology that makes the dining experience faster and more convenient.

Time to Reevaluate Menu Pricing

Another one of many emerging Gen Z restaurant trends is the negative impact rising menu prices are having on Gen Z diners, with 93% of those surveyed indicating price as one of the most important factors when choosing to dine in at a restaurant. And if menu prices continue to increase, it will have a particularly detrimental impact on this generation’s decisions to dine at certain restaurants. In fact, a whopping 85% of Gen Z diners say that a restaurant increasing its menu prices would significantly or somewhat impact their interest in dining there. It’s a similar story when it comes to ordering takeout/delivery, with 82% of Gen Z saying menu price increases would have the same impact.

While Gen Z does dine-in and order takeout/delivery more frequently – and spend more on average each time – than other generations, it’s important to note that Gen Z diners are also particularly sensitive to inflation and price hikes. As a result, restaurateurs should explore alternatives to raising menu prices to prevent Gen Z diners, who are already financially sensitive, from returning. 

How We Identified the 2024 Gen Z Restaurant Industry Trends

To identify these Gen Z food and dining trends, we leveraged our own restaurant industry statistics, which were pulled from our larger, 2024 Diner Trend Report. For our 2024 Diner Trend Report, we partnered with research firm Maru/Matchbox to survey 1,500 diners from across the U.S. Our research was conducted from September 12th to September 21st, 2023. Survey results are accurate +/- 3% for the general population of American diners.

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