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  • 2030 age: 52 (39 in 2017)
  • Location: Manchester, UK
  • Job: Restaurant owner
  • Sector: Catering

Mel has owned her own restaurant for many years and has worked in the catering industry for even longer.

While demographic trends and changing consumer needs have changed the industry a lot over the years, more recent developments have dramatically shifted when, why and how people go out to eat as well as their relationship with food.

The home, rather than a pub or restaurant, is increasingly becoming the main venue to entertain.

More and more of those who can afford to are living alone and a greater number of on demand services and experiences are now available straight to their door

While Mel has been able to use some of these on demand services to sell her restaurant’s products, she has had to find new ways to entice customers in.

Consumers, driven primarily by millennials who are emerging as the dominant spenders, prioritise novel and engaging experiences over other forms of spending. To keep up, restaurants and events have had to increase the originality and scope of what they offer to attract new customers.

While Mel has plenty of experience in the managing, service orientation and marketing aspects of her work, she realised she lacked enough proficiency in other important skills, such as originality, to create and deliver the kinds of experiences consumers are looking for.

Through her contacts from catering events in the past, she was able to build relationships with partners who could help her do this; everyone from designers and performance artists to experimental chefs and scientists. By working collaboratively with these very different partners and leaning on her extensive interpersonal skills, Mel has managed to create a very successful series of one off experiential dining events.

Building on what she learnt from her customers, she has created experiences that reflect their values and needs, such as sustainability, local production and cooking and eating together. Nutrition and food is increasingly becoming a question of worldview. More than ever Mel is having to use skills like critical thinking and decision making to fulfil what her customers are looking for.

Skills (S), knowledge (K) and abilities (A)

Originality (A), fluency of ideas (A), judgment and decision making, active learning, oral expression, oral comprehension, active listening, sales and marketing, critical thinking, service orientation.