The world is changing, and it’s changing a lot. But not to worry, change is often a good thing; it can prompt the discovery of new quirky, and exciting ways of doing things.
Fortunately for us food lovers, our much-beloved restaurant scene has been unable to escape the creative powers of change, with modern discoveries in the culinary world giving rise to the popularity of Experiential Dining.
Initially considered just a bit of a trend to drive up Instagram likes or retweets on Twitter, Experiential Dining is now significantly growing in popularity and is increasingly popping up in more and more restaurants across Toronto.
So, what exactly is Experiential Dining?
Essentially, it’s a new, stimulating, and exciting way to dine out at a restaurant. It completely smashes the traditional and predictable dining pattern and tries to involve as many of the five human senses as possible.
The sole purpose of experiential dining is for restaurants to provide their customers with a unique and memorable experience. It does so through imaginative menus, unprecedented or special dining locations; extravagant decoration; or interluding activities in-between courses.
Something to stimulate not just your tastebuds or your nose but also your eyes, ears, and even fingers.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with the “traditional” way of dining. Sitting down to eat with a group of loved ones in a nicely lit, pleasantly decorated space with some quiet serenading music is often a fantastic way to enjoy your meal. And sometimes, the most classical and simple dishes are the best.
But sometimes, we all want to be excited.
Experiential dining can transport you away from the normality of day-to-day life, as your dinner is served to you in a cracked coconut, as you dine in the sky with 360-degree views over Toronto, or as you enjoy a cup of coffee and a slice of cake with a feline friend.
It can also enlighten you to a combination of flavours that you’d previously have never thought of.
See, we told you – change is good.
“But, why?” I hear you ask.
Experiential dining is an inspiring way for you to eat your dinner, drink your coffee, or create a memory with a loved one. It also provides restaurants a means to differentiate themselves away from their competitors.
As the hospitality and restaurant industry grows (we’ll gloss over the blip caused by you-know-what), businesses fiercely compete for their customers’ hard-earned dollars. An increase in the number of truck-stop, van/mobile, and pop-up restaurants has added to the competitiveness of an already competitive market.
Restaurateurs are now savvy that if they can give their diners a unique and memorable experience, they are likely to come back, and they’ve also realized that people are willing to pay a little bit more.
So that’s why what started as a bit of a unique trend has grown into an ever-growing and ever more important aspect of the restaurant industry.
Please keep your eyes peeled for more and more experiential dining experiences as restaurateurs get more and more creative in an attempt to entice you into their restaurants.