Is your workplace ready for Generation Z?

It’s strange to realise we’re in the final weeks of this decade.

When January 1st ticks around the 20-teens will be behind us and the 2020s will officially begin. With everything that’s happening politically, socially and economically, it’s difficult to plan confidently for the future but it’s still important to be prepared (as far as possible) for what the ‘20s and beyond will bring. That’s why Nestle Professionals’ new ‘Cater the Future’ report is well worth your attention, because the arrival of Generation Z into the workforce is going to significantly change the hospitality landscape, both as employees and as consumers.

Consider these statistics:

  • According to the ‘Cater the Future’ report, Gen Z will form 24% of the global workforce by 2020.
  • By 2030, Millennials and Gen Z will account for 75% of all employees.

Gen Z is the generation born between 1996 and 2010. They’re socially and environmentally conscious, fluent with tech, and focused on issues like a healthy work/life balance and ethical consumption.

But what does that mean where the hospitality industry is concerned?

If you want to attract Gen Z into your workforce:

  • 44% of Gen Z want a flexible working schedule and will gravitate towards companies that offer flexible, smarter working policies.
  • Gen Z want to make our society better, and a third are willing to take a 10-20% pay cut if it means they’re working for an operation they care about.
  • Social impact is a Gen Z priority, meaning employee volunteer and charitable giving programmes will be vital tools for strengthening teams, skills and leadership.

When choosing a place to work, health and wellness initiatives are also huge deciding factors for Gen Z:

  • 76% said it is vital for employers to prioritise their wellbeing.
  • 57% said they would work best in an environment with break-out areas and quiet spaces.
  • 81% value social and communal spaces.

The message is clear: more Gen Z’s will want to work for your business if you give them flexibility and autonomy in how they perform their roles, can demonstrate that your business is socially responsible, and show concern for your employees physical health and mental wellbeing.  That’s the way to attract and retain the very best Generation Z talent, encourage their loyalty, and lift yourself above your competition by proving what an informed, conscientious employer you are. It won’t require a massive culture change, either – all you need to start this process is clear, honest communication between you and your team members (so you can mutually agree the first solutions to put in place) and an open-door policy so they’ll know you’ll always listen to their concerns and act upon them where appropriate. It doesn’t matter what generation your employees are from, once your team members see you’re implementing the changes to help them work more happily and effectively and that you’re actively supporting their welfare, they’ll give you time to put the rest of the pieces in place.

If you want to attract Gen Z as customers:

  • You must understand their purchase behaviour. Gen Z are extremely tech-savvy and 82% of them are using social media as a tool to influence their eating choices. They appreciate digital solutions like apps or online booking tools to pre-order food and make reservations. They’re also heavily influenced by the experiences of their peers. 50% of Gen Z will read at least three ratings or reviews before making a first-time purchase. 64% said tailored price and loyalty rewards are important.
  • Because 44% of Gen Z are also drawn towards flexible working, the Nestle report suggests that contract caterers should consider food and beverage delivery options or even a meal takeaway service so employees can enjoy a nutritious, balanced meal when they’re working out of the office.
  • Gen Z have a holistic view of their own health, and more than 50% consider themselves flexitarians or meat reducers. They are conscious diners who need to know the details about where their food comes from.
  • Sustainability and recyclability are a huge draw for Gen Z. They trust brands that are environmentally friendly and can prove they’re ethically conscious in the products they source and the way their business operates.
  • 69% of Gen Z are more likely to buy from a company that contributes to social causes.

Whatever the future holds, we need to be aware of the expectations of the next generation – not only as customers, but as team members too. The Nestle Professionals’ ‘Cater the Future’ report offers a lot to think about from both those angles. You can download your own copy from here:

If you’d like to talk more about attracting and recruiting top-tier Gen Z or Millennial talent, give our friendly team a call on 020 7580 4398 or email Whether it’s Generation X, Generation Y or Generation Z, finding your perfect team members is as easy as A, B, C when you’re working with Prime!