April 29, 2019 |
After the baby boomers, the generation X and the millennials (Gen Y), a new generation is entering the F&B industry – both as customers and employees. But what does this new generation want and how can restaurateurs adapt? Let’s have a look at the following six tips on how to deal with generation Z.
1. Generation Z is not generation Y. That may sound logical, but often no distinction is made between generation Y and generation Z and both are understood as a millennial generation. But while the millennials were born between 1980 and 2000, the Gen Z are children of the new millennium. The older ones of this cohort are now reaching adulthood and are pushing into the world of work and gastronomy.
2. A second important factor are the demographics: this generation is smaller in number than its predecessors. The baby boomers carry their birth rate even in their name. The average birthrate of generation Z per year is about half as much as the peak years of the baby boomers. Growing up with a more stable economic situation and low unemployment rate, good economic data and forecasts – a generation comes into the world of work that has less to compete for jobs than its predecessors.
3. Exercising power is less attractive to generation Z. Sociologists and researchers have found that engaging actively is not so important to many generation Z members. This does not apply to every individual, but rather represents the overall tendency. On of the reasons for this is that this generation grew up with very clear structures. Full-time schools and full-time care during their childhood and adolescence then universities with very well-tainted systems because of the Bologna reforms, so they had little to decide for themselves. While the Gen Y likes to ask questions, challenge the status quo and take decisions, the Gen Z wants structures in which they can easily fit in.
4. Generation Z wants to work to live and not the other way around. Problems such as permanent stress, burnout and loss of quality of life have been experienced by the generation through their predecessors (parents, older siblings, older colleagues, etc.). They do not want to make these same mistakes, and this is their way of distinguishing themselves from the generations before. Employers who have demanded an attitude of constant availability, unpaid overtime and similar things from their employees, will find it difficult in the future. Industries where these conditions are the norm, and which also offer lower salaries compared to others will even face more difficulties in the future.
5. The foodservice industry is heading towards turbulent times when it comes to young talent from the generation Z. The war on talent for pragmatically oriented young people who are demanding clear structures begins. Time will tell if this means a rise in the usage of automated processes both in the kitchen and in the front of house, in order to be able to work with fewer staff, or whether companies manage to adapt to the new circumstances differently.
6. Companies that are starting to deal with, understand and adapt to the new generation Z will be in a better position than those enterprises who continue to treat every generation he same. That might sound logical, but the realisation and adaptation is quite a process, since it involves such basic things as changing working hours and salaries to become more attractive as an employer. Also, the early connection to educational institutions and potential future employees is key in order to show the opportunities of growth and development that a company has to offer.