UNiDAYS survey states what students want from the hospitality industry – FE News

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Trying to engage an entire generation that has an attention span of eight seconds is no easy feat, and for the hospitality industry, it can seem like an impossible task.
But that doesn’t mean Gen Z is out of reach for businesses looking to add them into their target audience.
UNiDAYS have asked 4,200 students about their dining out habits, whether they plan their meals and who’s recommendations they’re actually listening to. 
The survey also looked at how Gen Z feel about healthy eating, and whether or not they’ve retired the stereotypical noodles and crisp sandwich student diet.
This has revealed a deeper insight into how Gen Z interacts with the hospitality industry and healthy eating, to help brands take their next steps. 
The survey highlighted that Gen Z are definitely good customers to have, as once they’ve paid their rent and bills, 78% said they spend the majority of their money on food.
To get these high spenders through the doors, brands should ensure veggies are available for their customers, as 79% of those surveyed said healthy ingredients are important. 
But it’s not just veggies; 63% of students said that having ingredients that are high in protein on offer will increase their chances of spending their money.
Menus shouldn’t stop there though as 58% of the students surveyed said that organic food matters a lot to them. 
Their dining habits are also something that UNiDAYS wanted to look into, as it can have a huge impact on how brands target their deals and discounts for Gen Z.
51% of those surveyed said they do not follow a meal plan, meaning meal plans are out the window and off-peak discount deals are in. In fact, 93% of Gen Z are more likely to dine out at restaurants that have deals available. 
The survey also revealed that 48% of local restaurants offer discounts to students, and 78% of students are using them.
But how are brands supposed to communicate with Gen Z to get the best results?
The results showed that it’s not just through social media that Gen Z get their dine out inspo from. In fact, just 20% use their phones to find out which new foods are trending. 
Instead, the majority (41%) said that they discover new menu items inside of the business. 
They’re also more likely to dismiss social media influencer’s opinions, with 19% opting to follow their friend’s recommendations.

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Josh Rathour, CEO at UNiDAYS, said: “We know that brands are on the lookout for new and innovative ways to capture the interest of Gen Z, as they’re a fantastic customer.
“They are always sharing what they love, and we hope this new insight will help brands to adapt to their habits and keep up with the trends.”
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