Food Service Business Customers

Generation X

Young adults who were born between 1965 and 1977 may have lower incomes than the typical baby boomer, but they definitely have a desire to eat out. In fact, young adults eat a greater percentage of their dinners out than any other age group. They enjoy Mexican food, pizza, hamburgers, Asian food and sandwiches. Gen X consumers appear to prefer casual, convenient establishments to formal, upscale restaurants.

Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers make up the largest segment of the U.S. population. Prominent in this generation are affluent professionals who can afford to visit upscale restaurants and spend money freely. A decade ago, value was not the main goal for baby boomers who dined out, but as they have children and expand their families, value may become a greater concern. To appeal to this market, restaurants may want to offer a family-friendly atmosphere or, as a different option, an upscale, formal atmosphere where boomers can visit or entertain without the children.

Empty Nesters

This group consists of people in the age range between baby boomers and seniors (people in their early 50s to about age 64). They typically have grown children who no longer live at home, and their ranks will continue to increase as the baby boomers grow older and their children leave home. With the most discretionary income and the highest per-capita income of all the generations, this group typically visits upscale restaurants. They're less concerned with value and are more focused on excellent service and outstanding food. Appeal to this group with elegant surroundings and a sophisticated ambience.


The senior market covers the large age group of people 65 and older. Generally, the majority of seniors are on fixed incomes and may not be able to afford upscale restaurants often; they tend to visit family-style restaurants that offer good service and reasonable prices. Seniors typically appreciate restaurants that offer early-bird specials and senior menus with lower prices and smaller portions, since their appetites are less hearty than those of younger people.

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