The restaurant industry’s condition isn’t what young industry leaders wish for at the outset stages of their careers. But social distancing, quarantining, a shaky economy, and a consumer base wary of leaving their homes is the ongoing reality, and young, gifted folks in foodservice have been grappling with the situation with both grit and ingenuity.
Take Dig Food Group’s Taylor Lanzet, who helped pivot her company to deliver meals and fresh produce that would have been served in restaurants to the communities left most vulnerable by COVID-19, delivering a total of 75,000 pounds of food in less than a week. Or Olivia Ross, director of marketing for eight-unit chain Halo Burger, who opened crisis communication channels for customers and employees in a matter of minutes and launched the Halo Family Fund to financially support team members.
While it’s an understatement to say recent circumstances are less than ideal for foodservice leaders of all ages, if anything, this year’s hardship has proved the mettle of our industry’s young movers and shakers. Here are 15 of those young leaders who are 35 and under and who we believe are worthy of your attention.