It is seven in the evening. A group of 10 people tour the historic city center, accompanied by a guide who describes the culinary traditions and typical products of the region and explains how they are intimately linked to its culture. They end their stroll in a restaurant where, against a background of traditional music, during a wonderful tasting session, they savor the dishes that have been described to them .
Result: the participants, delighted, leave glowing reviews on TripAdvisor, and for its part, the restaurant has won new prospects to its cause and is known through the publication of these opinions.
You have just seen gastronomic tourism in action! It is one of the recent trends which has the most wind in its sails in catering and which consists in combining the pleasure of travel and the table .
How does gastronomic tourism come into being?
Several sectors of activity are involved.
- Official bodies responsible for tourism promotion and gastronomic culture in each locality, which organize parties, festivals and events.
- Travel agencies that organize gastronomic experiences to attract more tourists.
- Restaurant owners, the main protagonists, who invest heavily to attract this clientele.
It is a production cycle from which everyone comes out winners . The culture of the different localities that have bet on this trend has everything to gain in particular.
There are many ways to participate in food tourism. The main thing is to have an argument, an offer of quality products and, of course, tourists eager to live this experience.
Is this the case with your restaurant? Read on and discover different ways to join this fabulous boom:
If your restaurant is located in a particularly touristic town, the ideal is to reserve at least one evening with typical products and to accompany your dishes with an atmosphere and visual marketing that recreate the culture of your region, and thus to offer a complete experience to customers. One strategy to put in place is to enter into partnerships with agencies that offer gastronomic tours.
In Copenhagen, for example, a city that has become the benchmark gastronomic capital in recent years , more and more restaurants are taking advantage of this vogue and creating special menus that reinvent typical Danish dishes, in the lineage of Michelin-starred restaurants that have made the city fashionable.
This is what the restaurant Aamanns Etablissement did , by chef Adam Aamann, famous for its revised and corrected version of smorgas (the typical Danish sandwich), using local and natural products. Today, more and more tourists are coming to Copenhagen to discover the city’s culture through its gastronomy.
Another way to take your tourism offer to the next level is to offer demonstrations of the preparation of your typical dishes, accompanying them with interesting anecdotes on the history of the ingredients and their cultural origin. To do this, opt for showcookings made by one or more cooks, chosen for their talent to fascinate customers with their stories and of course for their culinary dexterity.
This type of offer represents a plus for tourists, who can taste traditional dishes but also discover the recipes and preparation methods, and know the path taken by all the ingredients until they arrive on their plate.
The advantage is that customers’ passion for gastronomy is booming and that more and more foodies are interested in the wonders hidden in the heart of kitchens. Organizing a showcooking is therefore a sure solution to participate in gastronomic tourism and of course, to increase sales .
Wine tourism offers visits to wineries, museums, attractions and of course restaurants whose star product is local wine. It is a rapidly expanding form of tourism. According to the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization) , France, Spain and Italy were the most visited countries in Europe in 2015, figures which were maintained in 2016 and 2017. Part of this growth is due to the wine-making tradition of these countries, which receive tourists attracted by the discovery of wines.
The region of Tuscany, Italy, for example, is a wine tourism paradise . Located on one of its wine routes is the Badia a Coltibuono restaurant , in the heart of the Chianti vineyards, where everything revolves around wine . Tourists go there to savor its tasting menu of 4 courses and 4 distinct wines, each perfectly paired with the other .
If your restaurant is located in a wine region, the ideal is to partner with local producers so that tourists come to visit you and taste the local wines and your special recipes concocted to accompany them. Your restaurant can be the highlight of a wine route , where tourists experience the process from A to Z, from the vineyard to the table. You can also partner with wine bars or specialist wine stores to recommend that tourists go and taste their products in your establishment.
If your restaurant is close to the sea, or right by the sea, you have a superb asset to enjoy gastronomic tourism. You can offer your visitors special dishes prepared with fresh local produce , and combine your culinary creations with storytelling that tells the story of regional culture .
You can partner with agencies organizing hikes and sea excursions to include a memorable end in their trips in your restaurant where diners will taste the delicacies of the local fishing. It is a solution to find customers in summer and spring of course, but also during other seasons, especially in winter, with a special offer sure to entice tourists.
Food fairs and festivals are great events to take advantage of this type of tourism. During these events, your restaurant will not only have the opportunity to be among the featured local establishments, but your cooks will be able to organize cooking workshops , showcookings, and you will be able to propose miniature versions of your dishes , and sell them. during concerts and various other activities.
In Spain, for example, each year a city is elected gastronomic capital of the country. In 2017, the honor goes to Huelva , whose gastronomy is based mainly on fish, seafood and Spanish ham dishes. Throughout the year, the event organizers schedule a flurry of activities focused on these products and the number of visitors is skyrocketing. It is a solution to promote your restaurant in your region and in the world.
Tip: If your restaurant is not located in a particularly touristic region, remember that this is still an opportunity to choose gastronomic tourism. The idea is that the competition in tourist areas is strong and involves putting more effort into making your restaurant stand out from the crowd. On the other hand, if your restaurant is in a lesser-known, but equally interesting, region, there are still fascinating stories to be told through food . An iconic street, a historic building, special neighborhood anecdotes, everything can be used to attract tourists. If you have access to this unique dimension … take advantage of it!
A fundamental aspect for your actions to bear fruit is to make them known on all your digital channels. Your website , your social networks and especially your profiles on specialized portals are the ideal platforms for tourists to discover your establishment and visit you. In your TheFork profile, these customers can discover your gastronomic tourism offers and book at the time of their choice, via our app and on their mobile phone.
Is your restaurant on TripAdvisor ? Hope so! It is the most visited traveler portal in the world, on which restaurants enjoy maximum visibility for tourists from all over the world. In the profile of your establishment, do not forget to publish all the events that you organize , and to encourage tourists to leave their opinions of their experience in your restaurant. Internet advertising is vital for food tourism.
To plan your gastronomic tourism activities, remember that you have TheFork Manager, a reservation management software, which helps you organize your tables to efficiently serve both regulars and tourists. Click here to get it for free.