In this episode of Every Other Thursday, foodservice and hospitality expert Marsha Diamond joins us. Marsha has a uniquely diverse background that spans the full range of foodservice from operations to sales/marketing, to being a Professor in the International School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, to business developments and solution selling, and to executive management of a national association.
That’s why we always learn a lot whenever we sit and talk with Marsha Diamond. We think you will, as well.
In today's episode, Marsha gives us her perspective on the current state of our industry, the latest trends in menu development and the ever-changing American dining habits.
Here's a clip of what Marsha had to say about the impact of changing demographics and the graying of America:
“I think that because the internet has made everything so small in the sense of global, you can get on (the internet) and find anything and learn about different things. Obviously, you have to view the right sources and so forth.
But I think that because people are experienced - whether they're experiencing through eating or through a video or through friends - is that there's a variety of foods out there that haven't been available, or you can even order them online.
So, it doesn't necessarily have to be a grocery store it's easily e-commerce to get those things. I think through the global reach and in the media, savvy people want more. Years ago, college universities, even, healthcare, senior living were able to serve more traditional (meals).
What you would think of in those settings today, as you have the graying of America, you have people wanting and expecting more.
They want sushi, would you have ever seen that in a senior facility before. Probably not. You probably didn't understand that it's not only fish. You can do so many varieties of sushi. You could do everything from vegetarian to fish, to just, outside rice paper. And there's so many things and they call it.
So, now the idea is Thai food. When I grew up, did I know what it is? Not unless I lived in that community. Today, you are able to understand Thai and the seasonings and the culture of not only Asian influence, but Spanish and different heritages (like) Soul food. Again, if you are near a metropolitan city, you may see some of those cropping up. But if you don't and you still want to experience it, the idea is that's where the Internet's come into being. So in your audience, wherever you are, you have to look at your audience.
“When we come back to non-commercial, we talk about students. Universities have been doing this for a while because students are from all over the world sometimes and you have to embrace their cultural inclusions. So, you bring that food in and then you find out other students who aren't even from that area are going to that channel of culinary and experiencing and enjoying it. And that expands and it expands.
Where you think about vegetarian and universities with such a small sector. It's huge now. And not because someone's a vegetarian, but because they like the taste and experience the types of food.
So I think the graying of America, I think it's just about that we've had more people who have traveled, been around and are more experienced. I also think you look at the younger populations and they too, did you, you see a child eating with, so with chopsticks, you didn't see that, but now you do. You see the culture inclusion of different foods and different techniques of eating and people from all over the world, living together in closer and closer to proximity and, therefore, sharing experiences, holidays, tradition, and heritage.”
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