The next generation of diners

There have been countless studies on the dining habits of Millennials, Gen Z, and even the boomers, but the next generation to watch out for is the Alpha generation. Born after 2010, these school-aged customers are growing up tech-focused, globally informed, and have different likes and needs when they visit a restaurant.

These factors make this generation unique, and restaurants looking to attract this customer base need to market and connect accordingly. With such a large age range, these guests could be ordering from your kids’ menu or visiting with their own children, so how do you reach them where they are and get attention for your restaurant? Develop a strategy that will appeal to the Alpha generation and grow your restaurant business.

Talk about technology

According to studies, 36 million people in the Alpha generation will be using the internet this year, growing up “immersed in mobile reality,” and that means that they look at technology and marketing differently than any other generation.

56 per cent of Gen Alpha kids have their own phones, and 19 per cent of their parents say that their kids spend one to two hours a day on social media. That presents a large opportunity to reach this generation and connect with targeted posts. They are looking for authentic content, and are socially and environmentally savvy, so they will respond best to restaurants and businesses that align with their values.

Making a menu

Gen Alpha have are being brought up by Millennials, a largely foodie generation, and their food preferences are likely to be more adventurous, often reliant on social media trends like viral TikToks and YouTube content for inspiration.

According to Datassential, top trending dishes on kids’ menus include beef fajitas, boneless wings, and mini quesadillas, so restaurants don’t need to adhere to a restricted menu of chicken fingers and buttered pasta. This generation is also open to a wide variety of flavours, with lemon pepper, sriracha, and honey barbecue on the list of the most popular sauces, again, showing that the ketchup-only condiment is a thing of the past.

68 per cent of Gen Alpha parents say they take their kids out for dinner twice per week, and 52 per cent let their kids order what they want off the menu. This market represents an opportunity for restaurants to build relationships and garner loyalty with parents and kids if their menu features dishes that will appeal to this generation’s taste buds.

Reaching this market

Meeting your customers where they’re hanging out is how you’ll get their attention and start to be on their radar. Using mobile marketing, post social media content, and encourage your guests to post reviews and content about your business to raise your online profile and attract attention.

This market is highly visual, so along with your online content, ensure that your menu is colourful, eye-catching, and engaging so you get their attention when they visit.

Influencer marketing can be a game-changer for a restaurant, as many of this generation follow their favourites, trusting their recommendations, and monitoring their content. Consider partnering to broaden your audience and get more Alphas into your restaurant.

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Getting to know this generation, where they spend their time, and the content they are interested in consuming will help restaurants attract and retain these customers as they grow up.