How to capture the Generation Z crowd

By Sam Stokoe

- Last updated on GMT

The Church Inn in Birmingham has 'cool seating' such as big blue booths and renovated Victorian toilet seats
The Church Inn in Birmingham has 'cool seating' such as big blue booths and renovated Victorian toilet seats

Related tags: Alcoholic beverage

If your designs are on bringing 18 to 25-year-olds into your pub, you must have something more than an alcohol promotion, says Sam Stokoe director at commercial interior design consultancy Newman Gauge

The latest challenge for licensees is to attract, engage and gain customer loyalty from Generation Z, the 18 to 25-year-olds market.

In our experience, people of Generation Z have plenty of disposable time but limited disposable income. They are looking for an environment with an informal atmosphere and a social-dining experience with a strong value proposition above alcoholic promotional offers.


Generation Z tell us that they want a place to meet first and foremost, a private place where they won’t be overheard, they prefer zoned areas that are subtly divided into age-appropriate settings, and a variety of intimate enclosures for couples and small groups along with larger areas for informal parties.

We’ve recently designed a number of pubs with these elements in mind, offering value for money in age-appropriate-styled environments.


Marstons’ Dapple Grey in Staffordshire, for example, welcomes Generation Z into a new Pizza Kitchen concept by providing an informal dining area with mid-height-styled seating and harder finishes. This environment encourages those in search of a more formal dining experience or better suited family seating to relocate to more appropriate areas provided in alternative zones. We also provided a mix of intimate and group seating for larger parties in the covered Pizza Kitchen garden enclosure to complement the interior.

The Church Inn, in Birmingham, another recent project for Newman Gauge, pulls in the 18 to 25 crowd most nights with its rustic blend of French/Deep South bespoke styling. It has been developed to complement the restored character of this city pub and provide a fitting setting for unique events, with one-off talking points such as the ‘confessional’ attracting Generation Z and turning them into loyal patrons.


Creating a pub Generation Z wanted to socialise in, not just at weekends, had to be more than just a venue for drinking and dining. It had to create a sense of ‘belonging’, and we believe we created that with its one-off lighting pieces, cool seating arrangements from big blue booths to renovated Victorian toilet seats and an open, yet inviting outdoor space for larger groups to congregate in warmer months.

Creating a desirable space for 18 to 25-year-olds to drink, dine and socialise in night after night, week after week is all about working with their wants, needs and habits. Drinking is no longer the biggest draw to a pub — the environment, the dining offer and social opportunities are, and we have seen that using our recent clients’ customer research.

If you want a busy pub filled with 18 to 25-year-olds, create intimate spaces, create open, group-orientated spaces, offer more than just a drinking culture, add a bit of personality with one-off pieces and ultimately welcome them!

Related topics: Property law

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