By Marie Haaland // SWNS
Three in 10 Americans have “menu anxiety” when ordering food from a restaurant, according to new research.
The survey of 2,000 adults found younger generations were far more likely to have anxiety while ordering — 41% of Gen Z and millennials (aged 18–43), compared with only 15% of Gen X and baby boomers (aged 44–77).
Younger generations were also more likely to let others order first so they could see what they were getting (47% vs. 30%).
Conducted by OnePoll and commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress, the survey looked beyond “menu anxiety,” and it also asked respondents which factors were most important to them when ordering food.
Taste was understandably the most important factor (71%), followed by cost (57%).
The time needed for the food to be prepared (22%), how messy the meal would be (16%) and the foods’ environmental impact (15%) rounded out the top five factors.
A fifth of Gen Z and millennials selected “environmental impact,” compared to only 7% of Gen X and baby boomers.
Younger generations were also more aware of what that environmental impact is. When ordering from a restaurant, 62% said they’re “very” or “somewhat” aware of the environmental impact of their meal, compared with 42% of Gen X and baby boomer respondents.
“Our individual choices matter,” said Jessica Hann, Avocado Green’s Senior Vice President of Brand Marketing and Sustainability. “From how we eat to how we sleep, our collective decisions are inextricably linked to the health of our communities.”
The survey also asked respondents how seeing words like “vegan” and “vegetarian” on a restaurant’s menu affected what they might order — and results found that younger generations would be more likely to order those options.
For example, if “vegan” is used as a label on the menu, 39% of younger generations would be more likely to order the food, compared with 15% of older generations.
Similar stats were revealed if food were labeled as “vegetarian”; 34% of Gen Z and millennials would be more likely to order the item, compared to 17% of Gen X and baby boomers.
The survey also revealed that, overall, 77% of younger generations would like restaurants to be clearer about the environmental impact of different foods — versus 58% of older respondents.
“Understanding our environmental impacts shouldn’t just be a younger generation thing,” said Hann. “We should all be pro clean air, pro clean water and pro healthy climate. We’re all responsible for the planet we leave behind for our kids and grandkids.”
This random double-opt-in survey of 2,000 Americans (who have ever ordered food) was commissioned by Avocado Green Mattress between June 2 and June 6, 2023. It was conducted by market research company OnePoll, whose team members are members of the Market Research Society and have corporate membership to the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR) and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research (ESOMAR).