Much has been made of millennials creating a “New Normal.” This generation has not only driven businesses to think differently to appeal to customers, but to operate differently as millennials come of age and join the work force.
To understand the potential impact on the restaurant industry, Q1 Productions recently completed a landmark study examining how millennial chefs differ from culinary professionals classified as Generation X or Boomer.
Millennial chefs are more inclined to push the culinary envelope; 52 percent report that they like to take risks in the dishes they create, versus 45 percent of Generation X chefs and 39 percent of Boomers.
Social media has become a prominent source for culinary ideas; 54 percent of millennial chefs say they use Instagram for menu inspiration.
Bold/unique flavors and fresh ingredients are consumer demands commanding widespread focus from chefs, but transparency in sourcing is one example where the percentage indicating strong focus was higher among millennials (49 percent) than Generation X (38 percent) and Boomers (39 percent).
Other topics explored include generational differences in concern over high-profile industry issues (e.g., animal welfare, green initiatives, local sourcing), supplier selection criteria and more.
“Our findings illustrate that some attitudes and practices among chefs are universal in nature, but others do vary generationally,” says Tim Powell, vice president of Q1 consulting and author of the Understanding and Selling to Millennial Chefs study. “Suppliers that understand how the millennial chef mindset differs from previous generations will be better-equipped to navigate industry changes as this group gains further influence and authority over menu and purchasing decisions.”