From Boomers to Gen Z: Dining Preferences Across Generations

Jun 24, 2024

Have you ever wondered what kind of food appeals to different generations? Technomic, a research firm that caters to the food industry, recently conducted a survey that shed some light on this topic. The data was presented at the National Restaurant Association Show and it breaks down what types of menu items resonate with different age groups.

The survey found that generational preferences vary quite a bit. Here’s a quick rundown of what each generation enjoys:

  • Gen Z: This generation is all about indulgence with a healthy dose of transparency. They appreciate menu descriptions that use indulgent language, regardless of whether the item is healthy or unhealthy.
  • Millennials: Millennials tend to favor familiar brands and crave transparency about the ingredients in their food.
  • Gen X: Comfort food is king for Gen X, but they also enjoy a bit of indulgence in the descriptions.
  • Baby Boomers: This generation appreciates the classics and enjoys exploring global flavors.
  • Matures (Silent Generation and Greatest Generation): Similar to Gen X and Gen Z, Matures enjoy large portions and descriptions that mention preparation methods.

These findings can be helpful for restaurant operators and chefs who want to create menus that appeal to a broad range of customers. By understanding what each generation is looking for, you can tailor your menu descriptions and offerings to better meet their needs.

In addition to the points above, the survey also found that:

  • All generations are interested in value for money.
  • Diners are increasingly looking for ethnic flavors and cuisines.
  • Healthy options are important to all generations, but especially to Millennials and Gen Z.

So, what does this mean for you as a restaurant owner or chef? Here are a few tips:

  • Offer a variety of menu items to cater to different tastes and preferences.
  • Use clear and concise language in your menu descriptions.
  • Highlight the healthy ingredients in your dishes.
  • Consider offering ethnic flavors and cuisines.
  • Provide good value for money.

By following these tips, you can create a menu that will resonate with diners of all ages.