Millennials and Gen Z consumers view dining as social experiences that should be celebrated and shared on social media, according to the 2018 Culinary Visions Panel’s Mindful Dining Initiative study.
“Our studies show younger adults, in particular, enjoy the social aspects of dining out,” says Sharon Olson, executive director of Culinary Visions Panel. “Today’s younger consumers grew up with technology and their facility with it allows them to use technology to make their lives more convenient.”
The study of 1,500 U.S. adult consumers found that 58 percent of those surveyed between ages 18 and 34 like to take pictures to share on social media when dining with a group. In contrast, 44 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 54, and just 22 percent of those age 55 and older, said the same thing. Additionally, 39 percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 say that they think about whether a restaurant is a good place for photos when going out to eat, and 38 percent say they have dined at a restaurant before with the express purpose of sharing a photo on social media.
Convenience is also a driver of restaurant use, and younger consumers may be quicker to embrace technology in foodservice because they value quickness and convenience. Forty-eight percent of those between the ages of 18 and 34 say they prefer using kiosks or touch screens to order because it’s quicker. The same is true for 32 percent of those between the ages of 35 and 54. Just 12 percent of those 55 and older agree.
While technology enables and facilitates younger consumers’ lives, they don’t want it to replace face-to-face customer service. Of those surveyed, 64 percent between the ages of 18 and 34 years old said they would love to go to a restaurant where the server calls them by their name. In contrast, 58 percent of those surveyed between the ages of 35 and 54, and 54 percent of those aged 55 and older, said the same thing.