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Is Your Bar Enticing A New Generation?

JodyP 22 May 2019
Is Your Bar Enticing A New Generation?

Joy Zarine, Nescafé ® Azera ® marketing and guest experience consultant, examines the changing demands of Generation Z

The days of the gloomy bar, offering a smoky mancave with traditional oak panelling and swirly carpets are, thankfully, long gone. Right now, it’s 2019 and ‘Generation Z’ has ripped up the rule book…

Generation Z are drinking less, turning away from the traditional 9-5 jobs and their eating habits have changed dramatically. Where once we would meet our future spouse over a pint and a Chardonnay, we now swipe left or right from the comfort of our own sofa.

The explosion of coffee shops confirms the idea that eating and drinking out still is the popular choice for today’s consumer – but why is this generation opting for a caramel latte over a cool, crisp larger?

It’s time to hone-in on what the upcoming generation actually want from a modern hotel bar. If we do not continuously work hard to attract and impress our guests, we are at risk of being left behind.

Provide alcohol alternatives

As discussed, this generation drinks less alcohol than others that have come before, and research from Nescafe® Azera® shows that there is room for their demands to be met better. Generation Z wants to be welcomed with open arms, whether they drink alcohol or not, with many saying that drinking establishments need to be more inviting to customers who don’t drink alcohol. 1

Furthermore, it found that a third wanted seasonal and interesting non-alcoholic drinks from a menu 2 . Quality long and short coffee serves, alongside options of superfood smoothies, and even matcha green tea all connect with a generation concerned with simple, quality and superior health benefits.

There is also a rising thirst for iced or speciality coffees, with nitro cold coffee adding to this phenomenon 3 . Take for example Nescafé® Azera® Nitro. Devised as iced coffee that can be infused with nitrogen, on draught or from a can, it produces a visual effect very much like Guinness. Research shows that this is just the kind of drink that the boom in non-alcoholic options is calling for with these products earning their place on the bars and in the fridges of many well-respected venues.

Think in Zones

Interior design and layout is more important to Gen Z than generations before, with 84% saying that it would influence their decision to visit compared to 65% of Gen X 4 . Hotels looking to increase custom and dwell time should consider the benefits of day-time zoning.

Many of Generation Z work from their smartphones and laptops. By including day-time workspaces in addition to drink and food areas, you’re giving the bar maximum opportunity to be used throughout the day. Work zones need power points and fast speed Wi-Fi, whereas cosy areas need cushions and low lighting. Hotels can use lighting to complement the setting and furniture that lends itself to your purpose.


Offer a space with a community feel by providing a long table that works for day-time business meetings over coffee as well as evening events, such as master classes or tasting nights. Equally, partnering with your suppliers and with surrounding businesses can create new revenue opportunities and attract new audiences that might otherwise pass by.

Embrace Technology

Generation Z has not only embraced technology but they expect it to be available as standard. Ordering apps and real-time table reservations attract a generation who crave convenience. Gen Z guests want fast, efficient service, smart websites and fuss-free social media connection. You can leverage other companies’ technology to increase your guest loyalty.

There is an endless amount of opportunity waiting for you.

Be brave and grasp it with both hands.

1 3GEM in collaboration with NESCAFÉ® AZERA® (December 2018). ‘Nitro-Generation: Inspiring the Next
Generation of Pub’ survey of 500 Generation Z and 500 Generation X consumers
2 Ibid 3 Ibid 4 Ibid