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How to Keep GenZ Working in Your Restaurant

In 2018, The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and the Center for Generational Kinetics have taken a closer look into Gen Z and their professional expectations.  The results were positive for hotel and restaurant managers. GenZ is ready to fill positions that are difficult to fill. But, keeping them long term may be easier than keeping millennials loyal to your job.

When the NRAEF researched GenZ they found that 34% of GenZ want to own their own restaurant. They want the challenge. They want to be mentored. They want to learn.

  • 9 of 10 Restaurant managers started at entry level.
  • 8 of 10 Restaurant owners started their industry careers in entry-level positions.
  • 7 in 10 Restaurants that are single-unit operations.



The odds are in favor of GenZ reaching their goal of owning their own restaurant. How can restaurant managers take advantage of the influx of talent.

Half of all adults have worked in the hospitality industry. The odds are everyone in management has held an entry level job. This gives GenZ what they really want, mentors, confidence, and opportunity.

A restaurant can secure most of the upcoming talent by offering a competitive wage, mentoring, and teaching. The average Gen Z started employment 2 years before millennials. This means that many 23+ GenZ are more experienced, and have more realistic work expectations. This increases the likelihood of a good ROI (Return on Investment) for the extra mentoring and training.

Restaurant managers can retain GenZ workers longer by offering a living wage, opportunity as well as the opportunity to build skills and confidence. The Gen Z worker can impress potential employers and secure job opportunities in the hospitality industry by making sure employers understand:

  1. That your needs are not tangible, but that they are looking for soft skills.
  2. Outline that you are looking for long term employment and are willing to forego a higher income in exchange for mentoring.
  3. That they do not expect advancement or raises in the first few months.
  4. That you have a good focus, and ideas, that will help increase profits.

One of the main problems with entry level workers in the hospitality industry is that they often focus on day to day things like customer service, good experience, being polite. It often takes a few years to understand that the purpose is to keep the money flowing into the business, to keep customers coming back, and to the business, but why? To increase profits.

Job Interviews and GenZ

If a GenZ can breach this gap and understand that any business in the hospitality industry has one objective – to increase the profits. Let a job interviewer understand that you know the day to day tasks, but that you also understand the importance of financial statements, organization structures, purchasing and inventory, as well as marketing.

The best advice from transitional job coaches is to enter a job interview with a good understanding of the full scope of restaurant operations, and a long term plan, is the best way to stand out, and express that you are willing to stay at the job for longer than two years.




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