Coffee shops have become the newest living space, where people gather to work, chat, and relax. It can be argued that Gen Z has embraced this concept more than the millennials—must be something to do with them growing up with a Starbucks on each corner.
Unlike the older generation, they’re used to getting a cup of freshly brewed coffee everywhere they go. So, it’s not surprising that cafe operators are doing their best to discover what Gen Z prefers when it comes to the coffee shop experience.
Surely, many cafes have tried to attract the younger generation by getting rid of single-use plastics, introducing more veggies, and adopting a sustainable way of living, including recycling used coffee grounds. Are these enough? What does Gen Z want from coffee shops? That’s what we’ll cover in this post.
What Does Generation-Z Demand From Coffee Shops?
The birth of the Gen Z coffee culture did more than just give rise to a generation with a greater appreciation for coffee. This generation also demands full traceability and transparency in the coffee they drink, from the planting of the beans to the brewing stage.
In fact, a study conducted on the younger generations' coffee preferences confirmed that they are picky, and compared to millennials, they have a deeper connection with the coffee they drink. Most brands understand this, which is why coffee companies such as Caffe Streets advocate doing more than just brewing a high-quality cup of Joe. So, if you’re looking to target this unique group of people, transparency is key.
Gen Z wants to know that a part of the cash they pay for their favorite beverage is being used to make a positive contribution to society. It is also worth noting that most of them are environmentally conscious.
Whether it's contributing to a community-based program or sustainability, transparency will keep the youth coming to your shop every day or a couple of times per day. If a portion of your profits goes to a non-profit venture, then the price of your beverage will be worth it for the younger folks. So, make sure they know the non-profit programs that your shop supports.
The younger generation has high expectations when it comes to organic, clean food, and this applies to coffee as well. Whether it's the sandwich or the on which scone they're munching, the ingredients should have been obtained or prepared through a method avoided harm to animals.
To please this group of people, it would be good to use organically grown and processed coffee, and make sure to also add a bunch of organically farmed veggies to the menu.
Luckily, there are several organic coffee brands that you can include in your menu and you can even make it possible for them to pick the brand of coffee ground they want.
A marketing study established that over 43% of Gen Z college students regularly read labels on everything they consume—and this includes coffee. One thing to remember is that the latest generation is more focused on what they consume than the older generation.
Gen Z tends to purchase products with zero-calories, vitamin-enhanced, organic, low calories, and most importantly, they love anything made using “all-natural” ingredients. In fact, a huge percentage of the younger generation avoids products with artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and flavoring.
While the older generation came of age when restaurant technology was just evolving, there are times when the millennials miss the no-technology experience. This older generation is often drawn to nostalgic or retro feels. But this is not the case with a new generation that grew up with the most advanced tech in the industry. To make the cafe more appealing to this group of consumers, the place can adopt trendy tech, but more importantly, it should make it possible for customers to pay for their beverage using their iPads or smartphones.
Your establishment should also accept Apple Pay and digital money, in addition to cash and credit cards. Coffee shops that accept cryptocurrency are viewed as being on the bleeding edge of technology thus appealing even more to Gen Z coffee lovers. Enabling them to pay for their food using the latest technologies makes it easier for them to spend hours in your coffee shop. This convenience is added reason for them to come back when they need their daily caffeine fix.
Gen Z is used to instant gratification, which means that they don't appreciate waiting for their coffee for a very long time. This is a generation that’s used to ordering their beverage online, so you need to ensure you have invested in a reliable delivery service. They have also embraced things like ride-sharing and purchasing things online, so you should make sure your shop brings that instant gratification they seek.
Your beverage should be high-quality and deliver the ideal amount of caffeine they prefer. You should also have an open coffee brewing system.
To appease their coffee shop experience, it helps if your barista's cappuccino or latte art skills are exceptional. Unique and Instagram-able latte art can be a way for your coffee shop to stand out and be more attractive to the Gen Z market.
Other than offering high-quality beverages, most coffee shop owners lure the younger generation by showing them the story behind their success. Remember, the millennials gave birth to lifestyle social media influencing the platforms showcasing their lifestyles, including the greatest beverages and food. For the millennials, the product takes center stage.
On the other hand, Gen Z has diverted some of their attention from the product, and to them, the story behind the product matters just as much. They prefer knowing the source of the ingredient that makes the food or what makes the beverage delicious. Therefore, to attract the younger generation, the coffee shop should look for an exceptional concept that will engage this generation and tell them more about the source of the coffee beans and the brewing process.
It should be clear by now that Gen Z is looking for more than just a great cup of coffee. They want an experience, and they're not afraid to switch coffee shops if they don't get it. So, if you want to attract this generation, your coffee shop should focus on creating a unique atmosphere and offer special experiences that can't be found anywhere else. You should be ready to do more research if you plan to keep them coming and to bring in more young guys from your competitors.