Who are iGen and how will they impact your business?
iGen, also known as Generation Z, is a huge group of young employees coming up to ages where they are making an impact on the workforce.
Most demographers define this age group as those born in the mid-1990s to mid-2000s, making them roughly ages 13 to 23. They make up 25 per cent of the population Canada-wide, which makes Gen Z bigger than both boomers and Millennials. In the next few years, that figure will balloon to 33 per cent of the population. In British Columbia, we actually have a statistically smaller group of older iGens and won’t feel the bump of this generation until the youngest of them are of the age to enter our workforce.
Across the country however, this is a huge and diverse generation and the fastest growing group of employees, customers, and voters. Regardless of their numbers in BC, they are the current wave of employees that we are bringing into restaurants as servers, busers, hosts and kitchen team.
Just when you thought you were starting to understand Millenials, this generation is a whole new group. They grew up with cell phones, had an Instagram account before they started high school, and do not remember a time before the Internet.
As a result, Gen Z is already the most influential group of technology trendsetters. They offer an accurate glimpse into the future of communication.
What does that mean for your business? Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News tells us in a recent article that the first impact is that they don’t only eat regular meals. To meet their needs, operators have to think outside the box: all-day brunch, late evening specials, early bird specials, a new version of the happy hour. Value and price are important – and offering something that fits with a snacking lifestyle.
They are the “Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk” generation. They order custom and expect customization to a simple request. Their world is multicultural and their food selections are too – expect more global and fusion flavours with local ingredients becoming the norm. BC restaurants are a leader in fusion cuisine already – so this is a great opportunity for us to lead.
More good news – they like to dine out: Gen Z diners already outspend boomers in reported monthly expenditures on food prepared outside the home.
It’s all about the story and that’s where local fits in again. They want to know what’s in that menu item and where the ingredients came from and whether or they’re fresh or organic. They want story and an element of the unknown or unusual. As leaders in local, BC restaurateurs have another fabulous opportunity here to stand out and lead the way.
It’s a new generation but the opportunity for restaurants here is fantastic. Read about about iGen and plan your menu to target these new consumers and workers.
For more information, check out this article in Canadian Restaurant & Foodservice News online: https://www.restobiz.ca/get-ready-gen-z-coming-disrupt-your-business/