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Updated December 16th, 2023 at 19:19 IST

What is ‘menu anxiety’? Gen Z suffers with food dilemma

In an effort to measure the overall enjoyment of the dining experience, researchers surveyed over 2,000 individuals in a British restaurant.

Manasvi Asthana
Representative image.
Representative image. | Image:Unsplash
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A recent survey conducted by British restaurant chain Prezzo reveals that the challenges of anxiety among Gen Z individuals are influencing their dining behaviors with a majority admitting to experiencing "menu anxiety" when at restaurants.

In an effort to measure the overall enjoyment of the dining experience, researchers surveyed over 2,000 individuals, questioning their level of relaxation when eating out.

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Approximately 86% of young adults in the Gen Z demographic (aged 18 to 24 in this study) acknowledged experiencing "menu anxiety" when dining in restaurants. This contrasts with 67% of respondents across all age groups.

A portion of these young adults shared that their anxiety levels are so high that they end up requesting others at the table to communicate with waiters on their behalf. “While most people look forward to dining out during the holiday season, we know as our research shows it can be stressful for some,” Dean Challenger, CEO of Prezzo, told The New York Post in a statement.

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The prevalence of this particular fear seems to be prompted by the rising and often exorbitant costs of dining out. Respondents expressed concerns about being unable to find something they like on the menu or, after ordering, experiencing regret about their choice.

Taking it to an extreme, nearly 40% of Gen Z consumers stated that they would abstain from dining out if they couldn't review the menu beforehand.

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In a parallel study conducted in the United States, it was discovered that three out of every 10 Americans experience "menu anxiety," with Gen Z individuals surprisingly exhibiting higher levels of nervousness compared to older generations.

Gen Z consistently reports elevated levels of general anxiety, influencing even typically lighthearted and enjoyable activities like going on vacations and dining out.

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According to a recent study by Gabriel Rubin, Professor of Justice Studies at Montclair State University, it was revealed that Gen Z exhibits a higher level of fear towards the world compared to preceding generations. He explained that many Gen Zers he’s studied have trouble socializing in real world conditions.

 

 

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Published December 16th, 2023 at 19:12 IST

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