Gen Z Adults: Normal Aspirations, Extraordinary Context
Young adults have long loved to eat out in restaurants – and Gen Z today are returning to this normal. Compared to spring 2020 (the early days of the pandemic, when restaurant dining plummeted for all adults), we have witnessed a large increase in occasions that take place at restaurants among Gen Z (+9% pts from spring to summer 2020), which is now consistent with their levels of pre-pandemic restaurant dining (10% in 2019).
However, who they’re eating with has changed drastically. Typically, about half (52% in 2019 and 51% in spring 2020) of Gen Z occasions take place alone, whereas this summer, only about one third (32% in summer 2020) took place alone. While restaurant dining typically supports more social eating, economic disruptions due to COVID-19 have driven many young adults to move back in with parents or others, providing more opportunities to eat with others and far fewer alone occasions among Gen Z.