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Menu Anxiety: A Growing Worry for Younger Generations

August 1, 2023


Lots of us have been there. You're scanning a food menu and get that nervous feeling. It might be because you find it hard to pick just one dish when everything looks so good, or you're worried about making the perfect choice and not regretting your decision. Many people, especially the younger generation, experience this kind of stress when ordering food.

New research shows that about three out of ten people experience menu anxiety when ordering food at a restaurant. The study, undertaken with 2,000 adults, found that younger adults, like Gen Z and millennials (ages 18-43), experience this more, with 41% saying they get nervous. On the other hand, only 15% of the older Gen X and baby boomers (ages 44-77) feel the same kind of worry.

To combat some of this anxiety, about a quarter of younger adults (24%) reported looking at the menu online, before their visit, helps them plan their choices, compared with only 15% of older adults who do the same. At What The Pitta! you can find our full menu online along with a full list of allergens to help you make an informed choice and avoid that decision paralysis.

But what really counts when deciding what to eat? As you might expect, the main thing people consider is taste (71%) – we all want our food to be delicious! Which can be backed up by our many amazing 5* reviews on Google. Also, how much the meal costs is important too, especially with the current cost of living crisis, with 57% of people thinking about their budget when ordering food.

However, it's not just about the taste and cost of food – people are increasingly thinking about bigger issues. The effect our food choices have on the environment is something that more and more people are starting to pay attention to, especially as we face another summer with record high temperatures around the world.

A team of researchers in America tested climate change alerts on a fast food menu and discovered that these warnings helped people choose more eco-friendly meals.

By presenting a red symbol indicating the environmental impact of beef dishes, researchers saw that nearly a quarter more people decided not to choose these items compared to those who didn't see the alert. Although, positive labels promoting eco-friendly items like salads didn't have the same effect.

And separate research has also shown that a meal marked as 'vegan' or 'vegetarian' may attract more younger adults in particular to give it a shot.

If you have menu anxiety, What The Pitta! is a great place for you. Online, you can find all our menu items with photos so you know exactly what you're getting. You can also choose your meal in the knowledge that vegan food already has a dramatically lower impact on the environment. We've teamed up with the lovely people from KLIMATO to calculate the carbon footprint of our dishes, with labels on all our menu boards across all shops and delivery platforms.

So, for only 0.5KG CO2e, you're getting a delicious vegan doner kebab with a whopping 37g of protein, which is fantastic news for anyone who wants to make a difference when it comes to our planet without losing out on taste... or forgoing those cheeky kebab cravings! Maybe we'll singlehandedly make menu anxiety a thing of the past?

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