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Gen Z’s Tech Impact on Dining Out: What Restaurants Need to Know

Gen Z’s Impact on Dining Out

The restaurant industry has undergone a significant transformation over the years, and Gen Z’s impact on dining out is becoming more evident by the day. This generation is tech-savvy and highly adaptable, and businesses that cater to their needs with new technology are reaping the benefits.

In this article, we will discuss how Gen Z is changing the way we dine out and what restaurant owners can do to keep up.

Technology Adaptation

One of the most significant impacts Gen Z has had on the restaurant industry is the adoption of digital technology. This generation is more likely to embrace technology compared to previous generations, and they expect the same from the businesses they frequent.

Restaurants that adapt to the latest technology and engage with their customers digitally are more likely to flourish.

Digital Engagement

Digital engagement is a crucial aspect of Gen Z’s dining experience, and restaurants must use digital media platforms to enhance their customers’ experience. Digital engagement includes social media, online promotions, and interactive experiences that help create a personalized dining experience.

Restaurants can utilize social media to promote their business, showcase new menu items, and interact with their customers. Customers can share their experience on social media platforms, which, in turn, generates buzz and draws in more business.

Digital engagement also includes online promotions like loyalty programs, discounts, and giveaways that encourage customers to visit and dine out more often.

Digital Technology

The use of digital technology has also revolutionized the dining experience for Gen Z. Restaurants that use digital menus and online ordering systems can offer a more efficient and personalized experience.

Digital menus allow customers to access menus from their smartphones, reducing the need for physical menus. This increases speed and efficiency, leading to faster service times.

In addition, digital menus also provide tracking and analytic tools that help restaurant owners understand customer preferences, spending habits, and food trends. This information is valuable in making informed business decisions.

QR Code Menus

QR code menus have become increasingly popular in the restaurant industry. Instead of a traditional physical menu, customers can scan a QR code on their smartphones to access the menu.

This is not only convenient for the customer, but it also reduces the need for printing menus, saving restaurants time and money. QR code menus also provide tracking and analytical tools that can help owners monitor how often a menu item is viewed or purchased, enabling them to tailor their menu accordingly.

Digital Payment

Another technology adopted by restaurants is contactless payment methods. Gen Z values convenience and safety, and contactless payment methods are becoming increasingly popular.

Customers can use their smartphones to pay for their meals using applications such as Venmo or Apple Pay. In-app purchases through restaurant-specific apps are also becoming more popular.

Accelerating The New Normal Methods

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the process of implementing new normal methods, including the use of advanced technologies. Restaurants must continuously improve their methods to keep up with changing business environments, and the pandemic has made this transition more urgent.

Below, we discuss some of the changes in business practices that restaurants have had to implement.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) has come a long way in recent years and is now making waves in the food service industry. AI is being used to improve customer service, order accuracy, and speed of service.

AI-powered chatbots can help customers place their orders and provide personalized recommendations based on their previous dining experiences. AI is also being used to optimize the food ordering and preparation process.

This includes monitoring inventory levels, tracking food waste, predicting menu item popularity, and scheduling labor hours. The use of AI allows restaurants to operate more efficiently, resulting in cost savings.

Touchless for Safety

The COVID-19 pandemic has made touchless technology increasingly popular in the restaurant industry. Touchless technology includes motion-activated doors, voice-activated assistants, and contactless payment methods.

These touchless technologies ensure a safer and more hygienic dining experience for guests.

Cost Cutting

Labor costs are a significant expense for restaurants, and the use of AI and touchless technologies enables restaurants to cut costs while maintaining service quality. AI can help reduce labor costs by monitoring inventory levels and predicting food demand.

Touchless technology also allows for faster service times and fewer staff members required to manage transactions.


The restaurant industry is constantly evolving, and Gen Z is spearheading this transformation. Digital engagement, digital menus, contactless payment methods, and touchless technology are just some of the changes that are transforming the dining experience.

Restaurants that can adapt to these changes and provide customer-centric services will stand a better chance of success. The use of advanced technologies such as AI is also enabling restaurants to operate more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before.

Changes in Dining Out Habits

Dining out has been a popular pastime for many years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a shift in dining out habits. In an effort to reduce contact and minimize the spread of the virus, restaurants have adapted to new payment methods and app usage to provide a safer experience for their customers.

In this article, we will discuss the changes in dining out habits, including contactless payment, app usage, and wallet replacement.

Contactless Payment

Contactless payment methods have been around for some time, but the pandemic has accelerated their adoption in the food service industry. Customers can now pay for their meals using phone payment methods such as Apple Pay, without needing to touch any surfaces or exchange cash.

This reduces the risk of virus transmission while enhancing the overall dining experience. Contactless payment methods offer numerous benefits for both customers and restaurants.

Customers enjoy the convenience of not having to bring cash or credit cards, and restaurants benefit from faster transaction times and increased security against fraudulent activity.

App Usage

In addition to contactless payment methods, restaurants are also utilizing in-app purchases to offer added convenience to their customers. Customers can now place orders and pay for meals using apps like Venmo, which offers a convenient and secure payment option.

Apps like Venmo also offer a streamlined and user-friendly experience that allows customers to easily track their spending and manage their account. This added value is important to many customers who want to have a seamless dining experience.

Wallet Replacement

As more people adopt electronic payment methods, the need for a physical wallet is diminishing. Electronic payment options are now more widely accepted, and many consumers are now relying solely on their smartphones to make purchases.

In a recent study by Square, 60% of customers surveyed reported that they carry less cash than they did a year ago, and 19% of those polled reported not carrying cash at all. This trend is expected to continue, with more people opting for electronic payments in the future.

Electronic payment methods offer numerous benefits, including convenience, security, and speed. By leveraging these technologies, restaurants can provide a seamless dining experience that is both efficient and digital.

This allows customers to reduce the clutter in their wallet and reduce the risk of lost or stolen payment methods.


The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in dining out habits, including the adoption of contactless payment methods and app usage. As these changes become more integrated into the food service industry, the need for a physical wallet is decreasing as electronic payment methods continue to gain popularity.

Restaurants that can adapt to these changes and provide a convenient and safe dining experience will stand the best chance of success. In conclusion, changes in dining out habits have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to an increased adoption of contactless payment methods, app usage, and a decrease in reliance on physical wallets.

These changes have created opportunities for restaurants to provide a safer and more convenient dining experience for their customers while reducing costs and providing added value. As technology continues to evolve, businesses must adapt to these changes to remain competitive and meet the expectations of their customers.

By embracing these changes and investing in innovative technologies, restaurants can future-proof their operations and continue to thrive in a digital age.

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