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determined sense of wanting gratification quickly, while at the same time being willing to work for it. This is a self-taught generation, one of action. "I want it and I want it now”—so says Payton Duncan, an intern at Paytronix, and moderator of a recent webinar on “Everything you need to know about Gen Z.”. As a loyalty technology company, Paytronix has been developing an understanding of this customer demographic and sharing those insights with its customers. With these webinar insights, together with the EY report, one can begin to glean important clues about Gen Z behavior for the purposes of marketing to them. UNDERSTANDING GEN Z

To understand Gen Z, one should start with the environment they grew up in. According to EY, this generation has grown in an era of violence and turbulence. Gen Z only knows a post-9/11 world and, consequently, the war against terrorism. Add to this the advent of cyberbullying and school shooting violence, and their environment has been turned into a very shaky and uncertain predicament. EY cites a statistic that over half of of youth today report being cyberbullied. This type of upbringing has led to a need for Gen Z to be self-aware and self-reliant and for their parents to demand it from them. In an era of turbulence, Gen Z expects to change this environment for the better. Whereas Millennials may have been considered selfcentered, Gen Z has self-awareness. Gen Z has turned Millennials’ idealism into realism, actively looking to be “agents of social change,” says Duncan. “She notes that according to Fast Company, 76 percent of Gen Z care about human impact on the planet and want to know how they can be change agents. Gen Z consumers will EATERY PULSE NEWS | 20


expect businesses to more transparent and to be better global citizens. Are companies being eco-friendly, like Starbucks and other chains that are ditching plastic straws? Are they treating employees well? Positive business attributes and identities will most likely lead to better engagement with Gen Z and a higher shopping intent. The broad access to technology has also made everything searchable and discoverable. There is more detail and nuance to the world that can be uncovered. Duncan says that Gen Z consumers, like herself, enjoy food from other parts of the world. They consider themselves inherent foodies, but they always want to know what is in the food. They place much value on food labeling and understanding ingredients. According to Duncan, more restaurants should act like fastcasual chains, offering innovative food at a quick pace. Embracing technology is also key. “In the 

Eatery Pulse DC Restaurant News | Summer 2018