July 01, 2013
For our Multiunit Foodservice Equipment Symposium in Austin, Texas, last month, we had the good fortune to host Joe Pawlak, v.p. at Technomic Inc., Chicago, as our keynoter. His presentation, “Foodservice 2013 and Beyond: New Rules for a Changing Consumer,” included a lot of information on the so-called Millennial Generation, consumers born between 1980 and 2000. By 2020, they’ll represent 50% of the workforce and account for $40 of every $100 spent in restaurants over the next 10 years. As Pawlak described Millennials—including their needs compared with those of all other generations and what they perceive as “value”—I realized our July issue’s focus on authentic ethnic equipment is timely in terms of equipping operators to deliver what Millennials want.
For example, compare Technomic’s primary and secondary consumer restaurant needs. All generations want affordable prices, fresh food that’s high in quality, a meal and experience that are worth the price paid and accurate orders. Millennials, however, have strong secondary drivers. They want access to foods they’re craving or are in the mood for (no settling). They expect to customize their meals. And they want to be able to try new and unique foods and flavors.
In this issue, we have several features that speak to these generational expectations, starting with our Focus on eight categories of specialty ethnic equipment (p. 20) that deliver authentically prepared foods with the flavors consumers crave.
In our Unit Design on Boston University’s brand new Marciano Commons (p. 35), you’ll find tandoor ovens along with vertical rotisseries, hearth ovens, pasta cookers, crepe makers and more. Most telling: A majority of the cutting-edge stations feature a small sauté range and cold ingredient well because they enable chefs to customize orders throughout the foodservice facility.
Our Exclusive on what chefs want to cook (p. 30) features an equipment matrix from Storm Hodge at the University of Washington, Seattle. He and his team sat down before a renovation and decided what they wanted to cook, creating this matrix of the equipment they would need to succeed.
The Millennials are here, they’re beginning to spend big and they’ll continue to drive trends for decades. Fortunately, you can equip to deliver.