How to Speak to Gen Z

Our cheat sheet to hacking the Gen Z audience

Generation Z is the new “it” group, a demographic that’s unlike any other—say marketers trying to connect with us.

Let me clue you in: Gen Z (those of us born after 1995) is not hard to impress.

Teens want quality dining experiences without the stuffiness and they want to be treated like adults. It sucks when we go into a restaurant and the waiters are jerks or ignore us because they think we won’t tip well. Sending your youngest waiter to a table of teens would probably go over best.

If restaurants want to connect with young people, they should work on communicating with us just as they do with older customers.  Here’s some of the language we use but it’s meant for teenagers.

We would never eat at a restaurant where they spoke to us like we speak to our friends. You would probably just widen the divide by making the encounter awkward and weird.

If you use a phrase here and there on social media or on your menu, it may work. You just don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard so be careful not to overdo it.

Aight bet
Your response when someone challenges you.
“You definitely cannot fit more than 18 grapes in your mouth at once. “Aight, bet.”

Glo up
Suddenly being more attractive over time.
“She really glo’d up.”

Hype
To get excited, excitement.
“Get hyped!” or “This is hype.”

L/that’s an L/L
When something bad/embarrassing happens to you; same thing as saying, “take a loss.”
“She already rejected you twice, man.  Just take the L.”

Lit
Describing fun or when it’s hoppin’.
“This party is lit.”

Real talk
Emphasizing the truth.
“He’s convinced. Giving the real talk worked.”

Salty
Angry or mad.
“After I copied off his test he was a little salty.”

Shook
Being surprised.
“I’m...shook.”

Slay
Do something really well when you gas up your friends.
“yaaaas girl slay.”

Thirsty
Trying too hard to impress and looking desperate instead.
“It’s not working. You look too thirsty.”