Meat Picks | 11.6.14

Millenial Mayhem

Last week the NPD Group, a leading industry market research firm, released a study on the latest spend trend findings related to Millennial influence.

Coveted as the sweet spot market niche for everything from tech to tacos, restaurant owners may be surprised to learn where the 18 to 34 year old age group spent most of their $95 billion food bucks for fiscal year ending June 2014.11.6 NPD Chart

Marketers would like to think 25-34-year-old Millennials, settled into careers, buying homes and having children, are devoted to the fast casual category. But according to NPD’s findings, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Of the 14 billion restaurant visits made by Millenials in this fiscal time frame, the destination majority weighed in at QSR s (quick service restaurants) across its 18-34-year-old population. While trends do provide an increase in fast casual spending, the number is extremely small when compared to the big picture spend.

Other notes made by the study pointed to voice and expectations. What this 74 million + population says on social media about where they go, and what they found there, remains one of the biggest cursory markers for the industry. Foodservice providers acknowledge brand injury through technology and the power of influence at hand.

Price promos, coupons and loyalty programs are also uber-essential to Millennials because they “expect to be rewarded for their loyalty”, reports NPD. What sets this group above others may be the fact that when their “dining expectations” aren’t met they are, “quick to spread the word.”

Down the road, NPD says growth in this spending segment, “the largest of the six key US generational groups”, will be further spurred by Hispanic influence.

New Fest in Town

11.6 RamenOrganizing Chefs, Bill Kim of bellyQ, Tai Dang of Embeya and Gene Kato of Sumi Rolata Bar appeared on Lunchbreak earlier this week in honor of Ramenfest.

The inaugural event, which debuts this Saturday, will challenge a line-up of 20 local chefs to interpret their take on the classic dish – a polar opposite to the pennywise micro-cook student favorite.

A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales and a planned silent auction will also benefit Common Threads, dedicated to educating children about different cultures through food and art.

The event sold out immediately online, and the Chefs are already hoping to make it bigger and better next year by adding a culinary contest to the mix.

From the desk of John Cecala || Website  LinkedIn  @BuedelFineMeats  Facebook

PDF Creator    Send article as PDF   

For the Love of Grace

If you’ve been to Grace, you absolutely get why they won big at the Jean Banchet awards gala in Chicago. Grace took five of the top awards: Restaurant of the Year, Best Service, Chef of the Year (Curtis Duffy), Best Chef de Cuisine (Nicolas Romero) and Best Sommelier (Valerie Cao) .

Buedel President, David Shannon, and Chef/Account Manager, James Melnychuk, recently had the opportunity to dine with Chef Tai Dang (Embaya) and his wife (Danielle Pizzitillo) at Grace.

GroupPic3This was the first time David and James had actually dined at Grace and their experience was superb. For those of you who have yet to do the same, here is a firsthand look at the type of experience you can expect:

amuseDavid Shannon couldn’t say enough about the ambiance and comfort of their experience, “you feel a warm fondness being there – like a happy childhood memory that comes over you. The cedar smell [from the Amuse] made you feel like you were at an old fashioned inn.”

From the Chef perspective, James was taken back by the “refined brilliance” of the food. He described the freshness, number and combination of ingredients as a, “craftsmanship of the chefs bringing across their talents.”

Menu1

Both menus were enjoyed over a dining experience that lasted four hours. The group enjoyed a total of 10 courses in 20 minute intervals with a variety of beverage pairings throughout. James describes Grace as, “high class cuisine without the lab equipment”, and offers that, “taste is visual, by the nose and by the tongue.”

foodsquareOne might think there would have been ample room for a stumble or two in such a long service cycle, but to Grace’s credit, David and James mutually agreed their experience was nothing short of a perfect performance.

dessertstrip“The service at Grace makes you feel like you’re on Iron Chef,” ascribes James, “…you feel like you’re the President.”

From the desk of  John Cecala   @BuedelFineMeats   Fan Page   Slideshare

Free PDF    Send article as PDF