Gen Z consumers prefer these quick-service brands

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Gen Z woman
Gen Z shoppers have unique preferences and behaviors.

Some quick-service chains do a better job of generating traffic from Gen Z customers than others.

Gen Z respondents are 58% more likely to visit Chipotle compared to respondents from other generations, according to a new survey from Numerator. They are 43% more likely than other generations to visit Starbucks, 26% more likely to visit Jack In The Box and 8% more likely to visit Chick-fil-A. 

Gen Z respondents are less likely than respondents from other generations to visit Wendy’s, Taco Bell and Burger King.

Breaking down the Gen Z cohort by specific age brackets, the "Zooming in on Gen Z Buyers" study found that Panera Bread and Little Caesars Pizza are more likely to be visited by 18-to-20-year-olds. Starbucks and  McDonald’s by 21-to-23-year-olds, and Chipotle and Jack In the Box by 24-to-26-year-olds. 

Other findings

  • Younger Gen Z consumers 18-to-20-years-old are most likely to use their own money for dining out (68%), apparel (65%), and groceries (64%). 
  • Groceries are the top retail product category purchased by 24-to-26-year-old Gen Z respondents (72%). 
  • Product categories such as apparel, automotive, and grocery see a decline in purchasing among 21-to-23-year-old respondents, a time when Numerator analysis indicates many consumers become more financially independent and conscious of budgeting.
  • Three in 10 24-to-26-year-old respondents say that deliveries from online stores are convenient, compared to 15% of 18-to-20-year-old respondents.
  • Close to half (45%) of surveyed Gen Z consumers say they use their mobile device six or more hours per day (61% more likely than all respondents), and 29% say they browse products on social media (38% more likely than all respondents). 

Numerator surveyed over 1,600 Gen Z consumers to learn more about their opinions and outlooks, combined with verified shopping behaviors of over 5,000 Gen Z buyers to validate how and where they’re spending their money.

Survey: Gen Z consumers have unique digital engagement preferences

According to a recent Human8 survey of over 1,000 U.S. consumers, one-third (34%) of Gen Z respondents feel anxious if they have to disconnect from the Internet even for a day. And eight in 10 (81%) Gen Z respondents have engaged in metaverse activities.

Gen Z respondents lead all other surveyed generations (millennial, Gen X and baby boomer) in paying for digital products, creating avatars, and visiting branded spaces in games. Compared to older generations, Gen Z respondents have a more positive image of social media companies.

While 55% of surveyed Gen Z consumers feel these companies have too much power, this percentage rises to 73% for Gen Y, 66% for Gen X and 76% for baby boomers. About four in 10 (39%) Gen Zers follow social media influencers they can relate to.