It is interesting that his longevity in the industry is seen as a negative, not as a positive by himself and some in the industry. His vast experience should be viewed (by himself and others) as “added wisdom” gained by trial and error. Burnout doesn't have to be a foregone conclusion for men and women who have lasted in a particular job or industry, but admittedly it often is.
The dictionary definition of burnout is “the end of the powered stage in a rocket’s flight when the propellant has been used up.” With people, a lot of energy perusing various goals is used up- and when people are burned out they feel somewhat used up and complacent. You can hear the burnout in someone saying, “We tried that once before and it didn’t work so it won’t work now.”
The foodservice industry, like many industries, is dynamic: customer preferences change. That should present challenges to all of us, “forcing us to rethink what we “always knew”. My advice to my friend in this industry is this, "you need to become a student of your industry. Think of new approaches or new ways to use old products and concepts. This will provide you renewed energy. As a veteran you shouldn’t worry about making a mistake. You of all people should know that a failure or setback really becomes an opportunity.
When any of us start worrying about burnout, we should stop thinking about the past and look to the future. As business analysist Peter Ducker has said, "The best way to predict the future is to create it."