The Tasty Trend That Restaurants are Dismissing
Savvy restaurateurs who keep abreast of the culinary trends that help “flavor” the food and hospitality industry, understand better than most that Food Tasting Tours are one of the best ways to present their signature dishes to discerning patrons. They’ve come to realize the presiding value of having a group of traveling tourists or even local enthusiasts to sample their finest entries, write reviews about their experience and then share this with others via word-of-mouth or social media. Even restaurants with the most robust of advertisement budgets will attest that this type of relationship marketing as described above will do more for a dining establishment’s brand and business than an ad will ever or could ever accomplish.
Yet, many restaurant owners and chefs overlook the benefits and value of food tour because they still operate their establishments under the T.A.R.E. (Tables As Real Estate) principle. This past-proven, business model of treating each table as a stake of property within the establishment with its own designated value, was always intended to be a guiding principle, not a governing mandate. Yes, while true, each patron visiting an establishment could technically be considered a “shareholder” of sorts who contributes to that table’s worth during each visit – their experience as your guests far out-values the T.A.R.E. principle, both in spirit AND in principle.
Here’s why – demographically speaking – food tourists and participants in food tours are typically, “foodies”! The recently coined term of foodie is ascribed to those who love to celebrate the gift of great food! These are typically, highly cultured individuals with a discerning taste for the finer things. They love to travel, to embark upon journeys of discovery and to catalog their experiences along the way. When going to new cities and even new countries, they want more than just to discover the points of interest; they equally want to discover the local eateries that help flavor the culture. To them, enjoying great food while learning of a city or country’s highlights and history is the culmination of their traveling experience!
Since food tours are by definition – a tour, meaning there will be several other destinations along the way that taste-testing tourists will be visiting, each restaurant stop-over is just that – a sampling and a taste of the best that particular locale has to offer. To the restaurants who’ve been fortunate enough to be selected as part of a food tour, this means the establishment will be “giving up” table real-estate for patrons who will not be purchasing full meals. While the food tours do pay the establishments for the food items they’ve ordered, the guest-tourists are instead taste-testing a sample of the best that establishment has to offer.
Yet, to the forward-thinking restaurateur, he or she sees this for the business opportunity that it is – the chance to impress a foodie and give them sufficient cause to be that establishment’s brand ambassador. When people who are passionate about great food start to share their dining experience with their network of other foodies, it will create a kind of culinary consciousness that will draw in others from near and far!
Even more beneficial than a typical food tour, where individuals RSVP and are included with other tourists from around the country and the world – can be the private, company sponsored food tours that bring in their employees for team-builder events. When considering that just one private company food tour at an establishment can equate to a plethora of residual business from new patrons, more positive reviews and free, word-of-mouth advertisement, every restaurant owner, chef and operation’s manager should rush to open their doors whenever a food touring / food tasting company is on the “scout” for new places to include in their tour. Food tours are a win-Win-WIN for the restaurateur, several times over!
Food tasting tours like that of the Carpe DC Tour in Washington DC and the Food Tasting Network in Austin, TX bring fun, friends and family together in a profound way that only good food can deliver up! Food tours are much more than a tasty trend, they are a culinary and culture craze that’s taking the country and world by the proverbial, taste-buds! If your establishment has not caught on to the food-touring trend yet or gotten in on the bountiful buzz, what are you waiting for?