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Attention, Restaurant Brands: Today's Students Are Tomorrow's Customers

The fact of the matter is that college students love to eat at restaurants–period.

While most universities give students a variety of on-campus dining, many college kids prefer to spend the money (that they don’t have) at off-campus quick service restaurants according to QSR.

If you’re a wise restaurant owner, then you should be figuring out plans to appeal to the student population. A study conducted by the College & University Keynote Report stated that while 58% of students eat at QSR restaurants, they receive the least satisfaction from that option out of the nine choices they were presented with––others included coffee shops, convenience stores and fast casual joints.

“[College students] are looking for brands that reflect who they are and what they believe in,” said NPD Group executive director of food and beverage consumption Susan Schwallie, according to the article. “They’re looking for a slightly elevated experience–fast casual resonates with them–and fresh food that’s offering something slightly new in terms of a flavor profile.”

The study also showed that 47% of students are limiting their meat consumption; 27% are flexitarian, 8% are pescatarian, 7% are vegetarian and 5% are vegan. It looks like if your restaurant doesn’t have meat-free options, today’s pocket-deepening vertical won’t be stopping in for a bite.

Let’s cut right to the chase: Millennials and Generation Z college students are true foodies and are up-to-date on the latest food trends and fads. If your food isn’t in, then you’re out.