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Gen X Restaurant Menu Ideas

Generation X is the original group of adventurous diners, seeking menu items from Asian and Latin flavours to signature cocktails. Born between 1977 and 1992, they still seek out excitement on foodservice menus. Here are strategies on how to capture their attention, and get them coming back for more.

Five Menu Magic Words that Appeal to Gen X

One of the most powerful marketing tools is your menu. These magic words can help attract Gen X diners, keying into their cravings:


Gen X look for authenticity on menus, from global flavours to handcrafted cues. This is an overarching trend throughout the industry, but Gen X holds these values as dearly as millennials. Authenticity doesn’t preclude global mash-ups—it’s not about replication of traditional recipes. Instead, it’s about authenticity of experience with ingredients and techniques that convey craftsmanship and creativity.


Most modern consumers, regardless of age demographic, are demanding hand-crafted, made in-house menu items. For Gen Xers, homemade has become an important signal of better-for-you family fare. They want to feed their kids well-made, real food, knowing someone is in the back of the house stirring the pot and feeding their families nourishing food.


Gen Xers look for premium menu cues. They’re also more willing to pay for premium ingredients than boomers, and have more disposable income than millennials and Gen Z, according to Technomic. Certainly, premium ingredients help here—a well-placed dollop of burrata over a salad or a burger topping of caramelized onion instead of raw white onion, for instance. But also use words that convey premium techniques, like fire-roasted, house-pickled and hand torn.


Tying in with Gen X’s demand for authenticity, global flavours give them a chance to try something bold and unique. With their most popular foods being Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, and Mediterranean, offering ethnic dishes on your menu ensures they’ll find something they were craving.


Technomic says “fresh” particularly resonates with this generation. Of course, fresh produce is an expectation today, but you can convey freshness through over menu items, like fresh-caught fish, freshly roasted coffee and freshly squeezed juices. 
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