Wednesday, 30 November 2011

How Foodies are Changing Restaurant Culture

In communities around the world Food culture is making a massive change. Gone are the days of the bourgeoisie, and coming into the forefront is the more accepting all inclusive culture of the "Foodie". But why is there such a dramatic change from the past to now.

The basis of this change is the push in the Food service industry towards education and inclusion. We are coming to a time where Food Service outlets need customers to understand the difference between varying differences in food quality. That there is a difference between food that is "organic, free range, first press,.. ect. And the reason that customers need to know the terminology and ultimately the difference is because these products typically cost more and without proper marketing there would be no future for these products.

With the changes in customer perception of what is considered high end food the industry is shifting from an emphasis of quantity to an emphasis of quality. Documentaries like "Supersize Me", and "The Future of Food” are excellent examples of how the public had been brainwashed, and also how standards of what is considered food has deteriorated over time.

Finally we are seeing a push back from restaurants and customers alike. The focus on food has meant an increased importance of regional local products and farms that are ethical and responsible. The focus on grass roots products and communication between distributor and supplier have filtered down to the restaurateur customer level. Now high end restaurants are more bistro style environments, where chefs are not afraid to run out of products if it means that the product that they put out is fresh and of the highest quality.

While the foodie culture continues to experiment with new ways of delivering food to customers it is the attention to the quality of products that we need to continue cultivating to ensure that we do not slip back into the McCulture that has dominated the industry for the past 50 years.

The evolution of media has helped in some ways to advance and educate the general public. We now have entire channels on television that are dedicated to the Food industry which has helped to market certain products and various styles of cooking. Unfortunately it is very rare that anyone broaches the truly tough topics, and if they do they are met with heavy opposition. Chefs like Jamie Oliver are tackling food issues at a grade school level with his "food revolution". By educating children about proper nutritional choices he is unconsciously helping to ensure the succession of the foodie culture.

While the foodie culture is still in its growth faze it is important for people to get involved and shape the future of what it is to be a foodie. While there is a portion of this culture that is based on fun things like travel, wine and beer tastings, almost everything to do with being a foodie is based on sharing and experiencing knowledge as much as it is food.


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