Fast Food Chains Court Gen Z Customers
As major fast food chains (QSRs) seek to secure a clientele among younger generations, they are being forced to rewrite the playbook to meet the needs of these customers. From their different food preferences to their openness to new technologies, these consumers are calling on brands to do more to win their loyalty.
Giant QSR KFC, for its part, began testing chicken nuggets on Monday (July 18) in a bid to appeal to Gen Z consumers.
“So many young consumers are not interested in eating bone-in chicken for whatever reason,” KFC chef Christopher Scott said in an interview with Yahoo Finance. “It’s a completely different flavor profile than what everyone else has on the market…Bringing this to Boneless Avenue is such a huge place that’s opened up for us.”
Likewise, Gen Z and Millennial consumers are more likely to opt for plant-based options, and in recent years, major restaurant brands have tried a wide range of protein alternatives.
The menus are not the only thing to be redesigned for the preferences of the younger generations. Major fast food and fast food brands have jumped into the metaverse to appeal to these consumers. Search the latest edition of PYMNTS Restaurant Readiness Index, created in collaboration with Paytronixwhich is based on a survey of more than 500 QSR and full-service restaurant (FSR) managers across the country, finds that this is the top reason restaurants invest in metaverse initiatives.
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Specifically, 56% of managers interested in using the metaverse in the next three years said they were motivated by the technology’s potential to attract new, younger customers.
Data shows younger consumers are more engaged in the Metaverse and curious about the Metaverse, according to research from the July edition of PYMNTS’ Digital Divide study, The Digital Divide: The Move To The Metaverse, also co-created with Paytronix, which is based on a survey of approximately 2,700 American adults who regularly purchase food from restaurants.
Read more: Study shows restaurants see the metaverse as a new loyalty game
The study finds that 40% of Gen Z and Millennial restaurant customers report a high level of interest in the Metaverse, well above the population-wide average of 24%. Additionally, 54% of Metaverse Participants and Metaverse Curious Consumers want to incorporate restaurant shopping into their Metaverse experiences.
The QSR Wendy’s channel, for its part, has launched a series of branded experiences in Meta’s Horizon Worlds in recent months. In February it was reported that McDonald’s had filed at least 10 trademarks for its name, logo, McCafe and rights to various products in the virtual world, and around the same time it was observed that Panera Bread had filed a trademark application for a chain of virtual cafes called Paneraverse.
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Chicago-based Asian-style restaurant brand Wow Bao, which has hundreds of virtual locations in addition to a handful of physical stores, will also soon announce a new metaverse game, as the company’s CEO. Geoff Alexander hinted in a recent interview with PYMNTS.
“There is a great way to build community; there is a great way to build loyalty; there is a great way to create rewards; there’s a great way to build engagement,” Alexander said, “and when we do our announcement for the metaverse, I think we’ll be able to address all of those different points and do something that doesn’t has never been done before. ”
See also: Wow Bao leverages vending machines as restaurants rethink self-service