Working “Y” in an “X” World

A generation gap has always been something prevalent through time. It’s the miscommication, the difference in values, then the critique of each generation.

“Generation Y” is no different from other generations but they are using this gap to learn from the past and  give a fresh twist to businesses.

One companies doing this is “El Carajo,” a tapas restaurant and bakery in the Miami area. The father and two sons run the restaurant.

"El Carajo" Family

“El Carajo” Family

Brothers, Javier Fonseca,25, and Carlos Fonseca,22, use their father’s wisdom in the business to learn how to run the restaurant. The father uses their new generation insight to help keep things fresh, new and original.

“There’s a great combination of having our youth and our energy as well as his experience.”

The generation gap complements the company. Those in “Generation Y” which have only been in the workforce for a couple of years are hungry and fresh  but the older generations have the experience needed to run the restaurant.

“My parents and even some of the older staff think things are done a certain way because it has to be done that way.That’s what they’ve experienced. That’s what they’ve seen.They’ve seen things fail and what we bring in sometimes ..is you know what that failed because of  the concept.”

The boys are even taking a traditional food called an “empanada” and using organic meat to appeal to our hormone conscious generation.

It may be a complement but there are some bumps in the road.There is friction between older and new generation but they find their way.

“When people are used to doing business in a certain way for 30 to 40 years and somebody comes in with a year or 3 years experience and tells you,’We’re not going to do it that way.We’re going to do it a whole new way and I am going to tell you how to do it.’ It tends to put people back on their heels a little bit and they don’t really tend to be open to that at least at the beginning…..we just kind of find our way through it.”

It’s a gap that in the end creates unique and fresh work environment with an appreciation for the older generation’s ways.

“A generation should always pay attention to the wisdom of the past.It doesn’t mean to follow it verbatim but you should pay attention and be open to listen because they went through it already.”

The boys will soon take the reigns of the restaurant and continue to mix the old with the new, creating a unique environment to satisfy both generations.

“You’re business isn’t just the customers you have now. You’e going to be building your future generation of customers.You want to have longevity in your company.”

For more information on El Carajo, click here.

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