Redefining the Fine Dining Restaurant Experiencehttps://www.chutegerdeman.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/FineDining.jpg1440428Chute GerdemanChute Gerdemanhttps://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/27b8b1d5d4480e694e1d763231b8e868?s=96&d=mm&r=g
From mobile apps to online ordering and delivery, not to mention cashless concepts and kiosks, the QSR and fast casual categories have been doing their fare share of reinvention. It signifies a response to today’s culinary culture and new consumer behaviors. Expectations in service and experience have evolved, but this only creates the opportunity for fine dining to be redefined. We’ve explored ten innovative ways to not only redefine, but also reimagine the restaurant experience.
Creating a Complete Dining Destination
There’s often the misconception that fine dining can’t be convenient. If restaurants consider the entire dining experience beyond just arrival though there’s an opportunity to create a complete dining destination. Valet and shuttle parking have long been options in the restaurant industry, but how about ensuring safety for patrons from the minute they step foot out the door and after they’re done dining?
A while back Uber rolled a feature called UberEVENTS for event organizers to purchase rides in the form of guest passes ahead of time for attendees. Imagine if restaurants took the same approach but a “dinner out” was the dining event. By giving guests the option to travel with Uber you take the stress out of parking. Take it one step further with an AirBnb local partnership, and you extend the experience into an evening out, and a getaway in their own city.
A Furnished Meal: From Fork to Furniture
For years restaurants have been adding retail components to their restaurant experience by selling things like wine, cookbooks, and gourmet food, but why not let guests purchase the whole experience. Have you ever been to a restaurant and said you love the serving glasses, or adored maybe the tables and chairs? Let guests order off the menu (literally) and purchase the products they see in the space. Getting the chance to actually use the product in context is a persuasive power, not to mention the opportunity for added revenue.
Customized Culinary Creations
Nowadays many restaurants will ask you if you have any dietary restrictions when you dine with them. Soon, we anticipate that won’t be the “ask” but in some cases it will be the expected. Instead of factoring beef, chicken, vegan or vegetarian, food considerations will be taken to the next level. Rumored to be one of the oldest practiced diets, the blood type diet is all the rage right now. Like they say, what is old is new again. We foresee these specialized diets coming into play in terms of customized dining menus. This diet in particular explores the notion that foods you eat react chemically with your blood type. For example Type O individuals are said to benefit from a high-protein diet, whereas Type A individuals might be better suited entertaining a meat-free meal.
The retail industry has advanced in terms of engaging a conversation with consumers past the purchase. Anticipate fine dining restaurants to start to adopt some of these techniques. Picture eating a meal then instead of just a receipt at the end of the meal, you’re issued a digital download. Complete with a meal prep list, and integration to your smart home assistant to aide you through the cooking process to recreate the meal. Sure you’re giving away a bit of the secret sauce in a sense, but you’re also giving the tools to let your customers enjoy again which can lead to loyalty in exchange.
Equipped to Cook
Have you ever been to a restaurant that offers a VIP back of house dining experience with the chef? What if that was everyone’s experience? Imagine a deconstructed kitchen as a display of the best cooking tools. The experience is not only about the food preparation but also the why behind what we use to cook. For example preparing dry spices pan toasted over oven roasted. Guests are literally learning the equipment and technique.
From Consumer to Cultivator
What if the consumer becomes a part of the food cultivation experience? Rooftop and community gardens are more popular than ever, especially in urban cities. What if consumers could cultivate their produce seasonally by renting a plot at a restaurant? You go in select the produce you want to plant with an on-staff advisor. Meanwhile, the in-house gardener keeps you updated on the progress and growth of your fruits and vegetables, and once the produce is at its peak, menu planning begins to feature those items. Meals are seasonally and personally inspired.
Memory Infused Menus
Molecular gastronomy, or the application of fusing food, science, and technology, has been either a hot button or hot topic for quite some time. Whether you’re on board or not, there’s an aspect I expect we can see more of in the future, which is transforming culinary classics into modern moments infused by memories. Do you have a childhood memory of a meal that takes you back to that very moment? Maybe eating a BLT with tomatoes fresh from the garden, or making strawberry pie on a summer afternoon with Grandma? Anyone can make delicious food, but tapping into that memory can create a magical experience. During an advanced reservation process restaurants could ask for guests to share a personal memory, in turn, the chef recreates in a modern way.
Dining Like a Department Store
Department stores have been around for well over a century, and while most of the headlines we hear are about their demise, it’s an interesting model to consider adapting to fine dining. Think about using a multi-level space and each floor serves a different course. Think that’s too grandiose? How about the tables within a single space serve a different course, and you rotate tables (as a group) through a full course tasting.
Cycling the Chef Selection
Think about the gym or a fitness class you take, do you have a favorite fitness instructor or like to change it up for the variety? People like variety in what they eat as well. Having a team of chefs to rotate and book for the dinner not only creates interest but also gives guests a reason to come back regularly. Talk about transparency in the kitchen! You’re not just getting background on the foods prepared, but also learning about the unique culinary expertise of the chefs at hand. Meanwhile, you build a stronger connection between consumer and chef.
Serving With a Soundtrack
From Pandora to Spotify to Apple Music, streaming has taken over the music industry. But it’s not just an individual experience. Consumers are creating playlists, sharing and even collaborating now more than ever. And not surprisingly research has found that the right mix of music can increase sales in the restaurant experience. I expect we’ll see more restaurants not only crafting their custom brand playlists, or compiling from community interests, but also looking to explore nuances like music by dayparts. Or how about personalized playlists by patron. It’ll be like integrating the mix tape experience into an intimate dining experience.