Young sector leaders see bright future

Scott Munro & James Douglas, Red's True Barbecue

Scott Munro & James Douglas, Red's True Barbecue

Young leaders in the eating and drinking out sector are more optimistic about the future and better tuned in to the value of technology, CGA Peach data shows.

A breakdown of figures from CGA Peach’s exclusive Business Leaders’ Survey, in association with Korn Ferry, shows that nearly a quarter of leaders aged under 40 are ‘very optimistic’ about the future—compared to only 10% of leaders aged 40-plus. It partly reflects the fact that younger leaders tend to front up emerging and often dynamic businesses that see great potential in the future, whereas their older counterparts are more likely to be leading established businesses in which scope for growth is sometimes not so big.

The survey also shows that younger leaders tend to be more engaged with technology on the frontline of restaurant operations. Leaders aged under 40 usually see tech as a tool for interacting with consumers—like making brand statements, delivering offers and engaging with people away from restaurants—whereas older leaders see its value more in its business-oriented use, as in finding back-office efficiencies.

Asked about likely sector trends for the future, sub-40 leaders over-index on delivery and street food—suggesting that they may be more attuned to the habits of younger generations. They are also much more likely than their older counterparts to single out healthy eating and free-from foods as popular trends for the next few years.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given generational shifts, younger leaders are also much more engaged with environmental issues than older bosses, and deem things like sustainable sourcing, supply chain transparency and social responsibility as more significant than do leaders aged over 40.

CGA Peach’s Business Leaders’ Survey drew responses from 261 individuals in all, including 60 aged under 40. 

You can purchase the full Business Leaders' Survey Report here