When running any kind of business, it can be hard to get the attention of Gen Zers. From ecommerce gurus who market favored products to sell from home to accounting businesses, marketing to Gen Zers is a real puzzle. This generation, the youngest in the world, is resistant to traditional advertising and demands attention not only in person but also on social media platforms. And when you’re running a more traditional business, like one in the restaurant industry, it can be especially challenging. After all, millennials are “killing” many restaurant chains already, and Gen Zers seem to be following suit. Why go out when you can stay at home with delivery from Seamless?
But just because it’s a challenge to market your restaurant business to Gen Zers, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. And if you get their attention, they’re incredibly loyal customers. So if you want to get them interested in your restaurant, here’s how.
Have a strong online presence
In the restaurant business, there’s nothing that beats the experience of being in the restaurant itself. There’s a magic that comes together when you’re making delicious food and combining with stellar drinks and an atmosphere that makes customers feel like they can only get it from you. But if you want to draw in Gen Zers, this isn’t enough. The same experience that someone gets the second they sit down at a table in your restaurant: that’s what you need to duplicate with your online presence.
Having a great website, that’s beautiful and reflects the vibe of your restaurant, is hugely important. One great example is Paradise Palms, a chic vegetarian restaurant in Edinburgh, Scotland. Upon walking into the place, you can tell immediately from the low light, plants, and neon light signs that it’s an alternative, hipster kind of place. On their website, there’s the same feeling, with carefully selected fonts and colors. There’s also a beautiful illustration of the restaurant itself, and when you scroll down, of its interior--which mimics the very act of walking in.
Additionally, you need to match your social media profiles to the aesthetics of your restaurant and website. Be active as much as you can on Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook, and engage constantly. Remember that this generation grew up with devices in their hands as long as they can remember, so it’s worth using bots or hiring a social media manager so that you can stay in touch 24/7. Considering that Gen Z is going to comprise 32 percent of the worldwide population of 7.7 billion in 2019, it’s worth doing all this now so that they’ll be loyal customers.
Provide as much info as you can--and a mission
In addition to having a strong online presence, another way to get Gen Zers interested in your restaurant is by providing them with as much information as you can about your restaurant. Nothing is going to send a Gen Zer running faster than realizing that there isn’t any information about pricing, making reservations, or dietary restrictions on your website. Ratings are important too, and having your business listed on Google Maps and Yelp is going to make them take you more seriously--in addition to improving your Local SEO.
Additionally, having a mission is important for Gen Zers. As a restaurant owner, this can include anything from a commitment to sourcing ingredients locally to donating your proceeds to a charity. Whatever you choose to do, write about it a lot, and include a page on your website that explains this. 76 percent of young people in a survey said that they purchased a product or would consider purchasing it because they want to show support to issues the brand supported. So the more you make this a part of your brand, the better you’ll do with Gen Zers.
Finally, you need your business to be mobile-friendly. Design your website so that it’s easy to see all the content on a small screen--especially the pictures of your food, and their descriptions and prices. Additionally, think about adding mobile-friendly tools such as making reservations easy to make (no one wants to have to spell out their full name and address just to reserve a table for four). If you want to get creative and reach out to this demographic, it’s not a bad idea to get creative and use a personalized cocktail-making app or offering delivery service on Sunday mornings if your business is in a college town.
Considering that 40 percent of Gen Zers in 2017 said that a working wifi connection was more important to them than working bathrooms, you might want to install free wifi in your restaurant, too.
These are some of the best ways for you to market your restaurant business to Gen Zers. What other strategies do you think would work?