RESTAURANT PHENOMENON #1
These 20 somethings are changing the way we do biz.
Millennials, Gen Y or Echo Boomers - whatever you choose to call them - are movin' and shakin' the restaurant business. Here are some facts about them:
- They range in age from 17 to 35
- There are 105 million of them -- that's 25% of the population!
- They seek affirmation from their peers on even the smallest decisions
- Their direct spending power is $200 billion - add parental support, and it bumps up to $500 billion
- They don't worry about online privacy so live-on-line
- They are interested in health but don't always make that choice
- They are connectors and share, love a cause, and want change
- They love a deal, a coupon, an offer they can't refuse...
And here's the best news... they are obsessed with the culinary world thanks to the Food Network and beyond. Therefore, they spend an amazing amount of their modest income on food and beverages. The New York Times wrote a great article called "The Unaffordable Luxury of Food," which recounted stories of young New Yorkers with modest incomes who find the epicurean way of life is essential.
Better pork belly than cocaine.
RESTAURANT PHENOMENON #2
LOVE A GOOD LINE
Believe it or not, the Gen Y generation loves to be where the action is and they are happy to stand in a line.
SPRINKLES CUPCAKES in Corona del Mar, CA opened SPRINKLES ICE CREAM beside their popular cupcake shop to what looks like equal success! It's a good thing they switched gears to ice cream - almost simultaneously, the WALL STREET JOURNAL wrote that "the icing is coming off America's Cupcake craze... the dessert became a cultural and economic phenomenon proliferating across the country, selling increasingly elaborate and expensive concoctions... and now the novelty has worn off."
The ladies at CHICO'S next store can't figure out the fuss... they say the replaced Gelato Shop had better products - a sign of clear generational differences.
Also a "CREAMISTRY" will open soon in Irvine, CA, using liquid nitrogen to solidify the creams. The Millenials, the Gen Y Generation, and the Echo Boomers definitely love energy and innovation. Just a little backrground info, it replaces a yogurt shop which was previously a smoothie headquarters.
Change is happening fast.
RESTAURANT PHENOMENON #3
CHEFS, MIXOLOGISTS & RESTAURATEURS
Long before a fad spreads into a trend, visionary chefs, restaurateurs and mixologists start crafting something new and creative to energize, entertain and attract today's diners. This usually begins with independent restaurant operators who can experiment, test the market, make rapid changes and more easily challenge convention.
HERE ARE 7 INNOVATIONS SPREADING ACROSS THE INDUSTRY
• Mergers between Bar and Kitchen or Mixologist and Chef
Entrees are paired with a cocktail as beverage specialists raid the kitchen walk-in
• Chef Driven Menus unleash creativity as chefs weary of customization
Guests trust the chef's tasting menu and share the kitchen experience
• House-Made Branded Alcohol Drinks add Differentiation and Profits
Barrel aging cocktail concoctions of spirits, bitters, and syrups add to the fun
• Pickled Foods add Flavor, Fun and Profitability through Preservation
Pickling like canning allows out-of-season signature menu items all year
• Ethnic Asian and Latin Flavors Blend in a New Peruvian Fusion
Ceviche - fresh fish marinated in lemon juice with avocado et al leads the way
• Farm-to-Table Produce Movement Spreads to Protein
Snout-to-tail dining spurs a return to in-house butchering and the intro of new cuts
• Communal Dining Gathers the Guests and Encourages Engagement
With the disconnect of smart phones a new need for community is occurring
RESTAURANT PHENOMENON #4
UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
Continuum, a leading global design and innovation consultancy, notes 5 key millenial preferences for dining out:
1. #chillspot - WANT TO HANG OUT
They want an atmosphere where it is cool to chill and chat with new people.
2. #fomo - FEAR OF MISSING OUT
Their plans change, groups form and regroup... they're constantly on the move.
3. #friending - GOOD SERVICE IS ABOUT BEING GENUINE
They want their servers to be who they are, as long as they are taken care of and having a good time.
4. #fooduniform - EAT TO ASSERT INDIVIDUALITY
They want to modify and substitute menu items to create their perfect meal.
5. #tagme - GEN Y VALUES EXPERIENCES
They crave an experience worth sharing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. They want a restaurant to be a stage and their food, props for photos and hashtags.
RESTAURANT PHENOMENON #5
TOUCHPOINTS ALONG THE GEN Y DINING JOURNEY
AWARENESS - How did they hear about it? Yelp or friends or ?
ARRIVE - What's their first impression? Fun...
DINE IN - How are they greeted - More friends coming. Can we sit now?
SEAT - Can I move this table? Where can I put my stuff?
ORDER - Can we chare? Gluten Free? Can I sub Quinoa?
ENJOY - How do they have a good time, Tag Me? More joining party.
PAY - How do they close out the tab? What's taking so long? Tip?
SHARE - What will they say and to whom? Photo op?
TAKE OUT - Order/Pay - What do they want/how? Menu on phone.
WAIT - How do they spend their downtime. Checking my smart phone.
RECEIVE - Concerns? Get it home? Sustainably packed?
UNPACK - Get situated, no dirty dishes, snap a pic...
EAT - How did they enjoy? Where's the sauce?, Eat on the couch...
DISPOSE - How & when does the experience end? Good leftovers?
FINE DINING? DON'T WORRY.
Elegant fine dining restaurants are NOT a thing of the past, there are just not many on the radar screen right now. There will always be special occasions when ALL generations will want to dress up and celebrate. They just won't be as often as in the past. Guests of all ages will continue to enjoy a lovely setting, delicious food and great service. They may not be attracted to the real white tablecloth fine dining of the 80's and 90's, but they will seek the finer dining restaurants when they need to impress.
IF YOU NEED TO MAKE SOME CHANGES,
WE'RE HERE TO HELP.
We are always grateful for all the wonderful clients, who are also our friends, that FoodPower has been able to work with hand-in-hand. It's great to see that our clients continue to grow long after we have left. You can always follow their growth on our FoodPower Facebook page HERE!
If your year is off to a rough start, call us, we may be able to help. While it may not seem obvious to you, there are many factors that can directly relate to profitability and growth. In most instances, these elements are clear to the objective, experienced eye, but nearly impossible to see for the owner/operator who sees them eight days a week.
We at FoodPower can help you find your profit centers, quickly and objectively, so you can maximize your strengths. What's more, we can coach you as to how to sort out your specific issues in a way that brings your costs down and your profit up! We are talking about TRUE, QUANTIFIABLE CHANGE that captures your profits and minimizes your losses. Our rates are surprisingly affordable and, with the vast majority of our clients, we pay for our services many times over.
We are ready at FoodPower to go the extra mile
and inspire you do the same!
To the power of food!