About the Episode
I recently read an article that talked about the top three restaurants for Gen Z. As someone who isn’t in that generation, I can still understand and fully support why they choose who they did. When it comes to service, generally all people want is etiquette service, a good environment, and to be taken care of at the end.
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- Meeting expectations every time
- Service, environment, and being taken care of
- Consistency is attractive to buyers
- Making quick food a beautiful, full experience
What shakin’! Hey, we’re back and we’re going all in. I saw something in the media the other day. It was a report, an article, if you want to call it whatever you want to, but it was Gen Z’s favorite restaurants. And I was taking a look at these because I, I started to, you know, it was like their top 10 restaurants. But I was looking at the top three because the top three is really what was being focused on. And it’s pretty interesting because I’m looking at the number one, I’m like, dang, that’s like one of my favorites too. Which we’ll get into what it is. But there’s reasons behind why this is, and I don’t even know if anyone really recognizes it, because it comes down to service, it comes down to the environment, the atmosphere, and just the way that people are treated.
That’s what we’re talking about today, is the service, the atmosphere, and just the way that people are treated. And this, this report about Gen Z’s favorite restaurants just encapsulated all this. And as I was looking, I’m like, I get it. And I go to all three of these restaurants also because of the same exact reasons that I could think of. I’m like, Huh? Like I’m not Gen Z. You know, I don’t, I don’t even know what Jen, I am no joke. Like, I mean, there’s so many like, overlapping. Maybe somebody can tell me, you know, because Gen Z is pretty well defined, I think, but I don’t know. I’m 42 years old, so if anyone wants to DM me, shout out at me, whatever, tell me what actual generation I am, then we’ll see. Okay, cuz 42, I don’t know if I’m Gen X, I don’t know if I’m Gen Y.
I don’t believe that I’m Gen X. Okay. I, I just don’t know. But anyways, let me know. So these restaurants, are you ready for ’em? We’ll start with the, with the number three first and then we’ll work our way up to the top one. Okay? The number three was Chipotle. And let me tell you, I love Chipotle and I saw this as Gen Z’s third favorite restaurant, right? I will go to Chipotle a lot for a very specific reason. Well, I’m probably more like Reun I because their food is fresh all the time, right? And I, I’ve done like a little, a little take here because I go up and I always look at the line. I know what time to beat the crowd now because it’s always consistent, right? But I always love that I can customize and get more of what I want.
Meaning what I will typically do is I’ll do this for lunch and I’ll get either a bowl or a salad. I don’t know if you knew you could do salads there right? Then. I’ll always get chicken because chicken is just very dense and protein for me. And I’ll double it right now, you know, I’m just gonna list ’em off for you. Number two, Starbucks. Go figure. Bet you didn’t see that one coming. But this number one might surprise you, especially with all the political stuff that is surrounding this company, which is so interesting to me that it still came out. Number one for all of these idiot politicians, and I’m gonna call it that these idiot politicians that have tried, tried to dump on this place just because of what they do and how they do it. And it’s so interesting to me because America has spoken, Gen Z in America has spoken that they don’t care about the politics, they just care about the atmosphere, the service, and the way that they’re treated.
Because Chick-fil-A hit number one, that’s right, not McDonald’s, right? It has tens of thousands of restaurants. But Chick-fil-A has about, I think it’s 2300, 2,300 restaurants across the United States of America, hit number one. And that was just amazing to see this. And I don’t know if you’ve ever eaten there, this is what we’re gonna talk about today because they even have a checkpoint system, right? Because their drive through line moves so wicked fast, so wicked fast and all the way at the very end, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, at the very end of whenever they deliver, hand you your food or if you’re eating inside, when they drop it off at a table, they will always say, or even just a refill, right? A refill. I get diet lemonade there, I love ’em for that too. I get the diet lemonade, but even just a refill, they will hand it to you and say two words, always consistent.
My pleasure. It’s so incredible because it, the way that you feel when you’re, when you’re in this place is just taken care of. No joke. And then even from a Starbucks perspective too, if I look at these other ones too, they’re always there to just meet your needs in Starbucks. Uh, you know, I’ve had a drink that I didn’t like. I tried one just like two weeks ago. I can’t remember what it was. It was like some honey, something or other. And I typically go for espresso. People that know me know that, but every once in a while I’ll get something like an oatmilk-something just because it’s like an indulgence for the month or the week, whatever. And I didn’t like this new drink that they had. And I just said, You know what? I really don’t like this. Could I order something different, fully intending to pay for it?
I even said, you know what? And I’ll pay for it. Like, no, no worries, we’ll just take care of you. You, we want you to enjoy your drink. I was like, oh my gosh, this is incredible because as I’m looking at these three, right, it doesn’t matter, the politics. Now Starbucks has been involved in some pretty interesting politics too, right? Absolutely. They have over the past couple of years. The Chipotle, I don’t know so much, but the top two, if you look at ’em, Chick-fil-A tends to lean towards the right side. Starbucks leans towards the left side. But the point is, we don’t care. All we care about is the service environment and being taken care of. Isn’t that incredible the way that you’re treated that last one, isn’t that absolutely incredible? To me it is because of this checkpoint system that Chick-fil-A has, I don’t know if you knew this right?
And you’re gonna start to make correlations as far as how to treat your own customers throughout this whole thing, right? They have rhythms established at Chick-fil-A, they call it their checkpoint system. So that most of the people that they serve actually go through the drive through, right? They serve, I think it’s two to three times as many people through the drive through as they do inside the restaurant. And this is coming from a dude, by the way. My very first W2 job was at McDonald’s. I ended up being an assistant manager at McDonald’s by the time I was like the end of my 16 years old, cuz I started there when I was 15. And I see some similarities, right? Because you can go to McDonald’s and for the most part, stuff’s pretty consistent. But when you go to a Chick-fil-A, it is consistent no matter if you’re eating it here, you know, in Chicago where we have, you’re eating in California, eating it in their home state of Georgia, it’s just insane how consistent they are with their service, their food quality.
And this checkpoint system helps ensure that consistency. Now I hope you’re picking up when I’m laying down today, because whatever business you’re in, or whoever you’re working for, you have to have some kind of regular intervals with your customer base. You have to have these rhythms so that they know that they’re getting good service, they know that they’re in a good environment. You have to create that environment yourself. And third, they know that they’re going to be treated well. Human interactions. Chick-fil-a’s checkpoint system does this because they ensure throughout the drive through process, and if you’ve ever been in their drive through, even if it’s like raining right, or or snowing here in Chicago, they have this tenor, this, uh, these umbrellas that are set up. They have their people out there in gear to work through it. It’s just absolutely amazing to me to have these individual experiences as you go along the way.
Because no matter where you’re at, if you’re, if you’re taking your or or placing your order, or then when you finally pay, those are separate by the way. Then when you finally pay, it’s a different person. Then they have another person that’s right there for you. And then on nice days, they’ll have somebody even waiting outside for you to take your food from the window so you don’t have to reach up. And then they will just grab it and ensure that your order is accurate before even handing it to you. By the way, that’s a QC play too, because with health codes, I know at least in the state of Illinois, once you touch it, they can’t take it back once you touch the food. So they’re doing amazing things to ensure the service quality, the atmosphere, and how you’re treated. And also reducing their cost to make sure that their order’s right.
And then they don’t have to replace food if they don’t need to. It’s amazing, right? All of these are established with regular rhythms with their customers. If you take a look at Starbucks also, Starbucks has very similar things in place, not to the level that Chick-fil-A does. No way. But Starbucks has some very similar rhythms in place. I was at this past weekend with my two boys, the the Starbucks Reserve Roastery here in Chicago. And this is the largest Starbucks in the world, okay? Largest Starbucks in the world. It’s five floors, 35,000 square feet. It’s huge, right? Floor one is merchandise, floor two is uh, the cafe and bakery, which by the way, they have five ovens in that place. Amazing, right? They’re making sounds as they’re making these Sicilian pizzas. They’re making the, the, these like things, I don’t even know what they’re called, but they were amazing.
Floor three is the experiential coffee bar. Floor four is like their alcohol slash coffee creations. And floor five is a terrace. As soon as you walk in the door, there’s people there to guide you. No joke. As soon as you walk in the door, there’s people there to guide you. They’ll ask, What are you here for? And a lot of people that are just there to check it out, but me, you know, I’m pointed, right? And I’m like, you know what I want to eat then because I got my two dudes with me. Then I wanna go have some espresso flights and then we’ll see where things go from there, right? So they’re like, okay, well you’re gonna want to go up the escalator to floor two, to the cafe and bakery. And then after that, why don’t you take a trip up to floor three for the experiential coffee bar.
I’ve never been to this one. I’ve only been to one in Seattle, lived in Chicago. This one’s been open for three years now in Chicago. But with the pandemic and everything, it was just funky, I wanted the full experience. So just finally went right now, and my youngest dude just turned 12. So we had espresso flights all around. Awesome, right? The one in Seattle I’ve been to, it’s smaller. It’s a lot smaller. But this is my first time here at the one in Chicago. And from the moment I stepped in the door, there was service, there was atmosphere, and I knew that I was being taken care of all because of these rhythms that were established already, that they had predetermined with their customers, that they planned this journey out for their customers. If you don’t have a journey planned for your customers, they will go find somebody else.
Pure and simple. If you don’t create those three things, an incredible service or product and atmosphere and treat them the right way, they will go find somewhere else. Those three components, those three go into the customer journey. And this is all because of rhythms. You have to have those established in order to become the best of the best in order for long term value dollars to skyrocket and in order for retention to stay in a range that you like. So Gen Z, way to go. You picked out the three best that I could have possibly picked. I mean, we’re not talking about high end places, right? With, uh, with five star meals and courses and all that.
These are the places that America goes all the time, right? And you could think something to that, you know, all of ’em actually have some, some health choices that are there. Starbucks has a lot of sodium, I’ll give it that. But they have a customer journey at all three of those locations, no matter if it’s just 10 feet at Chipotle or five floors at a Starbucks reserve roastery, the biggest one in Chicago, or a drive through line where you talk to four people from the organization. By the time you have your final delivery of what you’re there for, it’s an absolutely incredible way to go Gen Z. You know what it means for your customer base to go ALL IN.