Food and drink
Most tourists need to be able to find places where they can buy meals and drinks during their stay in a tourism destination. For some tourists, food and drink is an important part of the holiday. Even tourists who are self-catering will visit some restaurants or other places to eat during their stay. Some destinations are well-known for the food served in the restaurants, and in some cases, this is the major appeal of the destination. In many destinations, local specialities of food and drink will appeal to tourists. Recently, destinations have been encouraged to provide a range of options to give visitors a wide choice of places to eat. Also, more and more locally-produced foods are now available. Food and drink in tourism destinations could be provided by local business or world-wide chains such as McDonald’s and KFC.
Leisure tourists – these may be staying in hotels etc. on a full-board, half-board or B&B basis or self-catering. Most leisure tourists will use a range of food and drink establishments, depending on their budget.
Business tourists – will usually eat in the hotel in which they are staying. They are also likely to use some of the more expensive restaurants in the destination.
Different ages – younger tourists are more likely to go to places where food and drink is fairly cheap. They might use chains such as Wetherspoons or fast-food restaurants such as Burger King and Pizza Hut. Families with young children are also likely to use this option. Many couples are more likely to look for quality food and are more likely to use the better restaurants and those promoting locally-produced food and drink. Older people are more likely to enjoy traditional foods such as an English breakfast or fish and chips.
Different cultures – Many people from different cultures will want to sample food and drink associated with the destination. Others will find fast food chains familiar and convenient.
Food and drink – different types
- Restaurants – serving lunches and evening meals, with alcoholic drinks available. Quality expensive restaurants may have awards such as Michelin stars or excellent reviews.
- Pubs and Clubs – serve a range of beer, wine and other drinks. Many serve food such as burgers and pizza.
- Cafes, Coffee & Tea Shops – tend to serve non-alcoholic drinks and snacks. These can be locally owned businesses or national chains such as Costa Coffee.
- Fast foods – serve burgers and pizzas and most are international chains. Tourists are attracted to them because they are familiar and convenient.
- Local produce – many food and drink providers are now promoting the locally-produced items they have available. These can range from sausages from a nearby farm or beer from a local brewery.
- Farmers’ Markets – these are increasingly popular, provide additional appeal for tourists and provide the opportunity to buy locally-produced foods.
- Celebrity Chefs – famous chefs have opened restaurants in a number of tourist destinations. This has increased the appeal of the destination since more people are now watching TV cookery programmes.
- Food events – some destinations are organising food festivals to promote food items and recipes from the locality.
Products and services
- Any new restaurant or other place to eat and drink will add to the appeal of a destination.
- Restaurants winning awards for the quality of their food will attract more customers.
- Increasing numbers of food outlets are offering healthy options and are aware of the needs of people with food allergies.
- More vegetarian and vegan foods are available.
- Restaurants may specialise in foods from a variety of countries, such as Asian and European foods.
- Restaurants can offer a range of special deals for different types of customers, such as kids’ meals, pensioner specials etc.
- Restaurants can be involved in a range of events which are held in the destination.
- Most fast food chains will be promoted centrally and will have the same price in any outlet in the country.
- Locally-owned restaurants will promote themselves through tourist websites and ‘what’s on’ guides. By no means all restaurants have their own website.
- Tea and coffee shops will advertise outside of the premises and possibly in local tourists’ brochures.
- Food festivals, farmers’ markets and other events will be promoted by the local council and/or tourist board.
- Locally-owned businesses will make their own decisions about their menus, prices and promotional activities.
- Organisations wishing to build new food and drink facilities will need planning permission from the local authority.
- Any establishment selling food has to be inspected by health and safety authorities.
- >Any pub, club or restaurant has to have a licence obtained from the local authority.
- National or international chains of fast food restaurants will only open a new facility after a lot of research to ensure that the facility will be profitable.
- Many tourist boards can provide a list of all the places to eat and drink in the destination.
Nearly every establishment selling food and drink is in the private sector, so developments and improvements to facilities will need to be funded from profits or by means of a bank loan
Make some notes about how places selling food and drink in your chosen destination can increase the appeal of the destination to different types of tourist.