How to Enhance Food Tourism in your Restaurant
Foodies like me are eager to try out something new, delightful, and scrumptious. Adventurous eaters satisfy that craving with fine dining, a restaurant segment that has struggled to persevere pandemic restrictions. According to a recent study by Statista.com, the global foodservice market’s size was $3.4 trillion back in 2018. Of that, food tourism generated approximately 1.1 billion dollars worldwide, and that figure is expected to rise. We know your guests have a taste for something fresh and daring. How do you satisfy that craving for food tourists new and old?
For a restaurant, authenticity can be difficult to pin down. The idea of authenticity is a shifting narrative, one that is loaded with much subtext that includes an inherent value judgment on what is and isn’t “real.” The problem with the concept of authenticity then is that while food is a cultural identifier, those cultures are in a regular state of flux. For example, while fortune cookies are synonymous with Chinese fare in the United States, they are not Chinese in origin.
Still, while authenticity is in many ways a cultural construct, perception is reality. In the case of food tourism, the idea of authenticity is tied to several factors that converge under the umbrella of sticking to the original recipe. Authenticity for restaurants is derived from its place of origin, especially for traditional dishes and cultural meals made in specific ways with particular ingredients with a recipe and preparatory style that adheres to local traditions.
For restaurateurs looking to encourage food tourism, consider dishes with readily available ingredients and an attainable preparation method. In doing so, you can impart an accurate perception of serving food in the right cultural context and prepare it according to traditions.
Culture, Traditions, & Customs
Part of food tourism is using your mealtime to explore your environment, and restaurants are a great avenue to absorb local culture, customs, and traditions. Restaurants capture visitors’ attention by providing them with an ambiance and overall setting that can hint at the cultural tapestry around them.
For example, Washoku (Japanese cuisine) represents a centuries-long dialogue of regionally specific foods that reflect Japan’s socio-political history. Washoku cuisine was recognized by UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2013, which is an excellent starting point for owners and operators looking for fresh ideas on how to appeal to food tourists.
Food tourism often relies on local restaurants for destination dining experiences. Whether it’s accurate or not, foodies search for a restaurant that feels genuine, and local fare is a great cultural introduction. An excellent way to engage locality in your menu items is to seek farm-to-table recipes that combine traditional recipes with local fare. By utilizing the farm-to-table aesthetic, you can appeal both to foodies and environmentalists, which you can use in your cause marketing efforts.
It goes without saying that traveling offers you an opportunity to learn and experience new traditions and customs. Predicting the future is always uncertain, but one commonality among food tourists is the eternal quest for new experiences. Creating novel dishes unique to your restaurant adds flair to your menu while enticing potential visitors. Likewise, it grants you the opportunity to educate and delight your guests by providing the right history and context for each meal. Remember, food tourism is predicated on learning and appreciating new things or remarkable takes on classic dishes.
Novelty can come in all sizes and shapes with no fixed parameter. However, cultural connections and traditional practices can excite customers. For instance, in Thailand, ice cream is not churned but stir-fried and served as cold scrolls in a bowl or container. The whole process is great to watch for bystanders and onlookers, which is a novelty experience for those who are not aware of I-Tim-Pad.
Outstanding Services & Facilities
Regardless of where guests choose to dine, there are a few expectations that have to be met. This includes healthy and hygienic food, setting, environment, sitting area, cutlery, and overall cleanliness. Make sure that you thoroughly clean your restaurant, from your surfaces to your technology.
Beyond hygiene, remember that guests crave outstanding service. You can prevent order bottlenecks with the right technology, which enhances guest satisfaction and reduces mispacks. Likewise, guests remember bookings and reservations that are handled quickly and efficiently; waiter and table services provided adequately; and friendly staff. These intrinsic values, along with other conveniences like a parking area, valet services, and other facilities, can build rapport with your diners and improve word-of-mouth reviews.
Food Tourism Conclusion
Ultimately, food tourism is all about a fantastic dining experience. Novel, local fare is a great way to set yourself apart and immerse your guests in the culture surrounding you. Consider engineering your menu to include foods and beverages native to your region. Train your staff on how to engage with food tourists by exploring a dish’s history or tips on other locales of potential interest in the area.Have any other tips on how to encourage food tourism through your menu offerings and environment? Let us know in the comments section below.
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About the Author
Samantha Kaylee currently works as an Assistant Editor at Crowd Writer. This is where higher education students can acquire professional essay help from experts specializing in their field of study. She loves to dine out, and during her leisure time, she would often visit exciting venues to try out new cuisines and delicacies with friends.