Today’s Generation Y demographic prefers to spend on food and beverages than consumer electronics, apparel, footwear, beauty, cosmetics and accessories.
Speaking at the Catering News ME Big F&B Forum, held at the Ritz Carlton, JBR, yesterday, Markus Roeder, Marriott International and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Senior Director of Operations, Middle East and Africa, made a presentation at the Forum, on the group’s ‘Project Canvas’ initiative, which is designed to bring unutilised hotel space in line with Gen Y requirements, by supporting entrepreneurs in the F&B industry to launch their own concepts.
According to Markus, by 2018 Gen Y will have outstripped boomers and by 2020 more than half of all travellers be Gen Y. “We have 4,300 hotels and the issue is how we get them all in the right direction in terms of what the latest generation expect from F&B,” he added.
Furthermore, 48% of Gen Y are identified as foodies and 66% cooking enthusiasts, and they have a collective $2.4t spending power, and only 20% have reached their peak earning potential.
Marcus said: “We must build local to win local – nurture independent culture. There is power in supporting passionate entrepreneurs and allowing venues the freedom to reflect true and original entrepreneurial visions.
Project Canvas is still in the pilot mode, with seven global projects under measurement, and ambitions to role it out to Qatar, Oman and maybe even Saudi.
To qualify for the scheme, Markus said applicants must: “Have passion that excels and previous experience, but above all they must be real Dubai people. They must demonstrate a clear focus and POV – don’t be vanilla.”