Rapid changes in consumer demand and supply environment require better food sourcing capabilities to plan and manage growth. More specifically, the latest generation of food lovers, millennials, have brought a unique perspective to the industry with greater demand for fresh and organic products and sustainability. Their views on social responsibility continue to impact the restaurant industry more than ever before.
Caught in a vise, squeezed from one side by cut-throat competition and rising consumer demands — particularly those of the millennial generation, and from the other by increased costs and supply chain complexity, restaurant chains are pressured as never before to manage volatility and maximize profits. Yet at many chains, functions including supply chain, procurement, finance, menu management, operations and marketing fall short in responding to this crisis. This is largely due to the fact that they are struggling with outdated practices and legacy systems when, in reality, it is more important than ever to establish best practices in farm-to-fork supply chain and procurement orchestration. For restaurant companies to build resiliency and enhance their competitive position in today’s millennial-driven marketplace, this is the only way.
The most successful brands have tapped into the full potential of the millennial consumer. In an effort to speak to this food-centric generation, many have turned to modern solutions and business processes, which allow managers to source fresher products at lower cost; improve promotions and new product fulfillment; and do their part to deliver higher, more predictable and more reliable margins for their company and franchisees. Here are three ways the next-generation is shifting the supply chain approach: