Mobile-first, fast and convenient are just three words that Generation Z live by. How is this new breed of youngsters influencing some of our biggest fast-food brands and what kinds of change will they need to make to entice this younger demographic into supporting their brands? Let’s take a look below and find out.

Augmented reality

It appears that KFC globally is already looking at ways in which they can capture and captivate the Generation Z cohort using new innovations, in a bid to secure this technologically savvy group of young people.

In the US, the huge fast-food chain have partnered with Snapchat to bring augmented reality images of the ubiquitous Colonel Sanders and actor George Hamilton aboard a floatie, debuting in an Ad Spot promoting their new ‘Extra Crispy Colonel’ chicken sandwich.

According to KFC’s U.S. CMO Andrea Zahumensky:

The pool float trend was taking over social media and thought it would fit perfectly with our notorious Extra Crispy lifestyle campaign.

Fast ordering via mobile

In Shanghai KFC’s artificial intelligence is being used to develop apps that allow a new generation of fried chicken lovers to order on the move. This young group of people has been raised on fast-moving instant technology. Generation Z’s will be able to order KFC from home, or on the way to work using the mobile app and collect their meal while traveling.

Artificial intelligence

More research from Shanghai’s KFC showed that many young people who had moved to Shanghai from China’s provinces were not happy to speak Mandarin to staff in KFC stores, due to feeling embarrassed because of their heavy accent.

With this information in mind, KFC worked to develop an AI concept store in Shanghai and launched ‘Du Mi’, first-ever AI service robot in the fast-food industry in China that can understand different accents to take orders.

Using brand new A1 technologies, such as internet data mining, natural language processing, and multi-level computing, this uber clever robot accurately recognized the three largest dialects in China. Amazingly, it can also give order recommendations based on the information it has previously processed.

Vegan burgers

Although fast-food joints and healthy plant-based eating isn’t usually a match made in heaven, KFC in the U.K. have recently launched their vegan ‘Imposter’ burger. Joining the ranks of other fast-food heavyweights in the UK such as Greggs who earlier last year launched their vegan sausage roll.

This healthier quorn chicken fillet sandwich’ is a perfect alternative for Gen Z’s who are looking for food that is fast, but also that is healthy and environmentally more sound. At the time of writing it is only currently available in three of their stores, so it will remain to be seen if this healthier alternative to fast food will score with this new generation.


In order to fully engage the swift thinking and moving generation Z, it appears that fast-food giants such as KFC are looking to retain the loyalty of this much younger, but more technologically and ethically aware section of society by connecting with them using state of the art innovation and offering plant-based options. It remains to be seen if this is enough to retain their loyalty.