Build-your-own-meal Platforms Thrive Amongst Millennials

Allowing diners to customize menu items has been part of the quick-service firmament for years, but increasing demands from younger diners make the build-your-own-meal platforms a must today.

In fact, while speed has been key to the quick-service experience, it might now be playing second fiddle to choice when these young guests decide where to eat.

“The reason is Gen Y, the millennials,” says Bill Guilfoyle, associate professor of business management at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. “Every restaurant, especially in quick service, is moving to attract this group.” Millennials “love customization,” he says. “They don’t want the same old thing, but would rather do their own thing.”

This ability to create a meal takes a number of forms. Some brands provide a broad range of ingredients and let the customer build their entire dish; some offer chef-crafted options that can be tweaked. Some concepts package meals into com-
binations of two or more menu items, while others take a more a-la-carte approach.

Bowls are a popular serving method at Teriyaki Madness. Guests can choose among seven proteins prepared mostly teri-
yaki-style, along with steamed or stir-fried vegetables atop a base that could be one of three types of rice or yakisoba noodles.

The most popular combination is white rice, chicken teriyaki, and a mix of vegetables. The food is cooked and assembled in the kitchen when ordered.

The staff at Teriyaki Madness is trained to understand the flavor profiles of the ingredients and to deal with dietary needs of guests with special requirements. “Then it’s easy to help customers put together the best combinations,” Haith says.

You can find the full article in QSR’s March 2017 issue.

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