Raise a glass to 40 professionals, under the age of 40, who are helping to define new expectations for dining experiences across all spectra of restaurant environments, from Michelin-starred white-tablecloth settings to eclectic independent concepts to dynamic multi-unit brands.
At fifteen, the faux-alchemy of cocktails held a slightly different mystique for David Kaplan than it does for most at that age. Alcohol’s ability to intoxicate was eclipsed by its intrigue—each shelf containing messages in a bottle, holding secrets and history from far-away countries and skilled craftsmen.
Even at the highest level of fine dining, silver spoons aren’t given out for free in this industry. It’s for that very reason that restaurants embody the classical ideal of the American Dream: where the ladder to success is accessible to anyone who has the drive to start climbing and the diligence and work ethic to hold on.
It’s an old motto in marketing that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. This impetus to tell your brand’s story is increasingly being told by describing where a restaurant’s food and beverages come from.
Active lifestyles are in vogue, and that same health-conscious demographic is starting to drive demand for beverages with “live and active” label proclamations that line up with guests’ adventurous spirits—specifically the live and active cultures found in fermented beverages like kombucha, kvass, and kefir.