I recently went to a wonderful restaurant where we experienced great food theatre. This wasn’t about street food banter between stallholders and customers or pizza dough throwing showmanship. This was a clever way of serving up a memorable dining experience that struck the right balance of being genuine and authentic without being cliché.
Housed in a 15th century inn their brand story has a clear focus that it doesn’t deviate from – Traditional British Food from a bygone era. In keeping with its historic surroundings they have heavily researched food from the Tudor period. They have re-introduced recipes long forgotten as well as deconstructing British classics, bringing them back to life with a multi sensory twist and putting their own interpretation and personality stamp on it.
And importantly they draw the diner into the whole story telling – the dishes the food is served on, how all the staff talk knowledgably about each dish, beautifully designed display cards communicating the history and origin of the more unusual dishes. No detail was left unturned including the bar which was well stocked with traditional ales and even an olde rum cocktail to round the evening off. Everything they did reinforced this one core brand purpose of creating exciting and memorable food.
But why is this important? Well, we live in a world where consumers have so much choice especially in the food and drink industry. Brands therefore need to create positive standout to achieve recall and be “top of mind”. What do I mean by this? You want customers to positively talk about their experience and recommend to friends. If the experience is bland and run of the mill this is likely not to happen. I don’t eat out all the time but when we do I have been to plenty of restaurants where I can barely remember what we ate.
In this example they have created a unique restaurant experience that is not easily copied or replicated based on one great idea and lots of imagination. And customers like ideas and imagination. A great “out of the ordinary” experience is more likely to be shared.
Main image from: The Hinds Head Bray – Chocolate Wine Slush (definitely worth a try if you visit them!)
Note: Opinion is my own and independent. No promotional offer or payment was offered or accepted.