Older Gen Zs, ages 18-24, in the U.S. are discerning when choosing restaurants, according to new data by the NPD Group. Although price matters to this group, their taste preferences and definition of value dictate the type of restaurants they visit. As a result, Gen Zs skew towards quick service restaurants, particularly fast casual, that balance value and focused menu. In the 12 months ending July 2022, Gen Zs made five billion restaurant visits, 4.3 billion visits were to quick-service restaurants, and 736 million were to full-service restaurants. Overall quick service traffic was flat compared to a year ago, while Gen Zs fast-casual visits were up four percent in the period compared to a year ago. Gen Zs favor major fast-casual chains that provide the menu items they want, value for the money, and messaging that reflects their interests, like organics and sustainability, according to NPD’s recently released Winning Gen Z Consumers study.
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