If you’re under the age of 35 and have eaten in a restaurant lately, chances are you asked a specific group for help to make your choice.
Choosing where to eat isn’t easy for anyone, regardless of generation or geography. And, perhaps not surprisingly, half of all Americans look to recommendations from friends and family when making the big decision. Perhaps that’s partly based on with whom we eat and how we eat: those closest to us know us best. But the impact of offline word of mouth and chatter from a consumer’s own social media environment varies.
Statistic #1: When choosing a restaurant, Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than are Gen X and Boomers.When choosing a restaurant, Gen Z and Millennials are 99% more likely to rely on social media and online reviews than are Gen X and Boomers. #ChatterMatters Click To Tweet
As we discovered in Chatter Matters, our 2018 report on word of mouth, younger generations are 99% more likely to lean on their friends and family than older generations when choosing a restaurant. Equally surprising among younger consumers is the impact of advertising on their decision-making: 33% of Gen Z say ads cause them to usually (or always) try new things, compared with 21% of Americans overall.
Statistic #2: 33% of Generation Z say ads cause them to usually (or always) try new things, compared with 21% of Americans overall.33% of Generation Z say ads cause them to usually (or always) try new things, compared with 21% of Americans overall. #ChatterMatters Click To Tweet
Is it that younger consumers are more driven by trends, or approach their dining decisions with more enthusiasm than older generations?
It might have something to do with the dining BEHAVIOR of younger generations. A recent study by Piper Jaffray found that Chick-fil-A is the favorite restaurant for teens, topping even Starbucks. And, in that same study, they also found that food is the No. 1 driver of spending for teen consumers.
Statistic #3: Chick-fil-A is the favorite restaurant for teens, topping even Starbucks.
Starbucks is particularly good at creating short-term demand for products. Remember their Unicorn Frappucino? If unicorns aren’t your thing, how about the Zombie Frappucino?
There were reports during the Unicorn Frappucino hullabaloo of Starbucks baristas going home with unicorn dust in their hair and near permanent grimaces on their face.
It might be that the lower average purchase price for most younger consumers during their dining experience influences how they wind up eating and choosing where they eat. It’s not a $65 per person splurge; it’s a chicken sandwich or a drink that doubles as a sugar bomb.
Interested in learning more about the impact word-of-mouth marketing has on America’s collective buying decisions? Check out our full report for free.