According to Technomic's Generational Consumer Trend Report, the Millennial generation, aged 18 to 33, rivals the Baby Boomer generation in size. As a result, restaurant chains are adjusting their tactics to make their foodservice operations more appealing to this sizable demographic.
For the first time in four years, the restaurant industry will experience real growth, according to the National Restaurant Association's 2011 Forecast.
Although the business climate seems to be improving, relief appears to be a ways off for foodservice operators.
While the majority of the foodservice industry took its lumps during the U.S. recession, the fast-casual segment remained resilient. In fact, the segment enjoyed a 4.5 percent increase in sales in 2009, according to Technomic, a Chicago-based market research firm. While the segment did benefit from consumers trading down, its success was also due to operators' willingness to continue to develop their menu mix to meet consumers' ever-evolving tastes. Take, for example, Camille's Sidewalk Café.
A group of seasoned foodservice professionals have joined forces to join Culinary Equipment Group, a multiple-line manufacturers' rep group.