Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Why 'Seven tips for attracting Millennials' is dumb

Posted By on Wed, Aug 22, 2012 at 6:48 AM

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So, I guess I'm a Millennial. And as grating a thing as that is to say, think and be, it's even more annoying for somebody to make culinary assumptions about these folks, apparently born between 1977 and 1995, and then interview somebody to support those assumptions.

And I'm sure Bret Thorn means well, and everything, but here we are, with Nation's Restaurant News running a Top Seven list of all the things this particularly uniquely weird tribe of humanity — that is also the country's largest demographic, at 76 million people — digs. In the spirit of the original story, I will respond with my own set of imaginary generalities.

Tip 1: Encourage sharing and interaction.
For Millennials, food is secondary to interactions with people. So they like smaller portions that allow them to share multiple dishes instead of ordering traditional plates just for themselves.

This is insane. If I wanted to interact with people, I'd start cold-calling my Facebook friends. (You're not supposed to like those, right?) I want food when I leave my own kitchen, not other people whom I hate. Put it on a small plate, put it on a large, put it on the back of a turtle — just send out something cooked, sourced and priced right.

For more on this, I'll point you toward New York Times food critic Pete Well's comment today: "In my experience, very few small plates really lend themselves to sharing. ... Either they look like a car crash by the time you’ve divided them in four, or your portion ends up being so small you hardly get to know it before it’s gone."

Tip 2: Remember that less is more.
Millennials are not only fond of small portion sizes, but they also like fewer ingredients.

"Millennials can't read further than you can chuck 'em — so write small." If I'm to be said to have any expectation about an ingredient-list's size, I'll only say that a long string of multi-syllabic shite almost always means that something is going to be bad for some bodily function, and it's probably one I use a lot.

Tip 3: Put food and preparation on display.
Just as Millennials like transparency on their labels, or knowing the origin of the cattle they’re eating, they like open kitchens for the same reason: They like to know where their food is coming from.

Um, well, yeah that one's true. SHOW ME THE HONEY. SHOW ME THE HONEY.

Tip 4: Make dishes familiar but not boring.
“Family foods done interesting,” like the Korean taco, are a gastronomic goal of Generation Y, LaRosa said.

No. Well, yes, actually, but don't justify the weird and new because it's weird and new. Just make your dishes well; then we can talk about out-of-this-world fusions like mixing penne with pici.

Tip 5: Offer food that's good for you, but not “healthy.”
Millennials see “healthy” food as bland, but they like wholesome food, including slightly exotic green vegetables, such as kale, and simple proteins, including rabbit.

This is crazy. It's like reading something written by a crazy person.

Tip 6: Create dishes that travel well.
Often on the go, Millennials like easily transportable food, such as tacos.

PEOPLE LOVE TACOS BECAUSE TACOS ARE BETTER THAN BREATHING, not because you can tear them in half, phonebook style, and put one in each pocket like that goddam gum commercial.

Tip 7: Run beverage specials.
Mixed drinks are growing in popularity with Generation Y, LaRosa said, as is wine in casks.

Having no clue whether Thorn meant boxed wine, or "wine in casks" — said like a person who has never slept outside a liquor store might say — I'll only offer a strong endorsement of cheaper alcohol.

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