Food Travel Primer And Tips

Food travel used to be a necessity back when humans had to hunt for sustenance. Now, it’s more of a pleasure and a passion for those with an urge to satisfy their taste buds. From restaurant critics forever on the lookout for a new find to culinary learning vacations and walking foodie tours, there’s a whole new world awaiting discovery.

All the major types of food travel are listed below, but those interested should realize that it’s not just about eating or taking a city tour. This has as much to do with preparing food and learning about the culture behind each dish and place. Not to mention the pleasure of the journey and getting to know each city intimately, as opposed to flying to ten different destinations just for the tourist attractions.

The single most popular type is culinary tourism. This can be in the form of visitors getting a package deal which includes a resort stay, free meals and cooking classes taught by expert chefs. It could also be a tour of a region famous for its culinary offerings, like Italy’s Tuscany, France’s Loire, California’s Napa Valley or Australia’s Hunter Valley.

Similar to culinary tourism are wine country vacations involving winery & vineyard tours and wine tastings. These areas are renowned for their fine dining restaurants offering gourmet cuisine and extensive wine lists. Wine country vacations in these scenic valleys can combine quality cuisine and wine with a leisurely getaway.

The simplest way is for foodies to take themed city tours that take visitors for a taste of the city’s best culinary offerings. This can be a walking tour of a specific neighborhood that is packed with restaurants. It can also be a bus or private vehicle tour that takes visitors all over the city to taste a specific dish or item, like a pizza or burger tour, or a visit to classic cafes or bakeries, and so on.

Wine/Beer Festivals also offer an easy way to sample many different cuisines from different regions or countries. Another trend that’s slowly getting more followers is the slow food movement. It’s a whole new subject, but let’s just say that those who have the time and patience to practice it will gain valuable insight into the local culture and learn how each dish is prepared.

Yet another big trend these days is the habit of eating at organic restaurants while on the road and frequenting only those establishments that use sustainable and local produce. Some travelers even stick to Vegan or prepare their own meals on the road to ensure it is organic and sustainable. It’s not as hard as it seems, but it does need a lot of advance planning to map out suitable restaurants along the way.

For those planning on embarking on a food travel trip or adventure, it might be worthwhile to consider becoming a restaurant critic. Most magazines and publications don’t have the budget these days to hire an in-house critic, so they’ll be happy to pay only for each restaurant review. There’s only thing better than tasting all kinds of cuisines while traveling, and that is getting paid to do the same.

Lessons Learned in the Tea Room

Take two parts training and three parts hard knocks. Shake them together and you get a lifetime of lessons learned on the front line in the tea business industry. 8 years of ups and downs have taught me a few simple steps that can save you hours of heartache if applied now.

Here are the top 3 lessons that I learned in the tea business:

Lesson #1 A Consistent Atmosphere Creates Loyalty

What does the public library and Starbucks have in common? I would venture to guess it is a consistent atmosphere. Before you enter the door you know what atmosphere to expect and are inwardly grateful.

Expectations met in this era of constant change can be soothing. Be it the old fashion “silence” of the library or the wafting smells of grinding beans an knowing what’s coming cannot be beat.

So, ask yourself…What type of atmosphere am I creating for my customers and how will I keep it consistent?

Consider your types of tea, food and services which all contribute to the overall impression and ultimate experience your guest will look forward to . The key comes in presenting that same experience again and again and again like clockwork.

If you can achieve that your customers will look to you as a refuge from the storm of life and keep coming back for more.

Lesson #2 The “Show” Must Go On

A tea business is a “show” and the “show must always go on. Just at a consistent atmosphere will keep your customer flow returning, a sense that someone else is in charge will extend a comforting blanket to a ragged and weary public.

If you plan to run a tea business think of it as a play. The audience need not be aware of the chaos behind the stage. They do not need to know that the lead actress has the flu or that the set has a hole in the wall which you carefully covered with a large mirror.

The audience wants is to be entertained and kept blissfully unaware of the dangers that lurk in the night. They long to enjoy themselves and get away from their day to day drudgery.

A successful tea business owner is like a great stage manager. He or she will make sure that customers are not aware of fires in the kitchen or the staff that didn’t show up. The smart owner recognizes that customers want the “show” to go on.

Think about this: Have you ever been to a small business where the owner told you all about their cares and woes? Did you feel relaxed? Not likely. Customers have their own set of problems. Give them a break and don’t share what goes on behind the magic curtain.

Lesson #3 A Dash of Mystery Keeps Them Coming Back For More

In the 1930- 1940’s serial mysteries played daily on radio and in movie theaters. These short episodes left audiences hanging in suspense compelled to return for next week’s installment.

So too, a tea business owner must project a sense of mystery and intrigue to keep clients enthralled. In today’s society, competition for one’s time is fierce. A creative entrepreneur knows how to keep their customers involved in their tea business.

Consider daily menu’s, themed events, costumes,festive holiday decor or even contests as part of the mystery your customers crave. A mix of consistency with the great unknown makes for phenomenal stage productions and unimaginable customer loyalty.

In summary, your mission, should you choose to accept it is simple. Provide a consistent, care free environment that sparks creativity and delight. Your clients will thank you with their money time and time again.

Dawnya Sasse is the creator of the ultimate tea business training school allowing students to discover the secrets of the tea industy,”quickly and easily” without ever leaving home.