The Future of Fine Dining – Area Talks 2021

“Fine Dining is like high fashion for clothing and F1 for cars, it’s something that will always exist.” It’s not about restaurants where you go just for the food. It’s about places where you go for an amazing experience. 

Manu Buffara, Sven Elvefeld, Gerhard Huber, Kaja Sajovic and Raymond Wilders were guests at a presentation on “The Future of Fine Dining”. All of our panelists were from different corners of the food industry. We’re talking about the future, the meaning and the threats to Fine Dining.

Future of Fine Dining

During the crisis, many restaurants closed, and others had to change their style. Last year, many people said fine dining was a thing of the past. Today we all know they were wrong. It was exaggerated, and these restaurants are still in business. But how does it work now and how should it work in the future?

Creativity and open-mindedness

Manu Buffara said the crisis forced chefs to be more creative. They had to create amazing experiences for guests despite limited funds. Many times, they created something unique from a really simple product. She pointed:

“Every crisis is difficult, but we learn.”

Manu Buffara also noted that locals started visiting restaurants during the crisis. She said that working with locals is important because they can showcase products that people actually use, know or produce. She began working with the locals, supporting many of them. To survive, chefs need to keep an open mind and that is the secret to a restaurant’s success.

Online matters

Raymond Wilders raised a very important, more technical point. There is a huge gap between how good restaurants work offline and online. He said that in a restaurant, every detail is crucial. A lot of investment goes into the excellence of the service offered. But at the same time, the online world has a lot to improve. According to his words, the next step is to make restaurants stand out as an online brand. We see that many chefs have lots of followers, while restaurants themselves stay a bit behind. It’s a problem that should be solved.

New initiatives, new technology

“Every crisis is creating opportunities” – many chefs are opening new initiatives like a supermarket line or burger stand. Many of them turned out to be huge successes. The fine dining world in a way gives the opportunity to experience food from the best chefs in the world with a little bit more accessible prices and quality. We also have seen restaurants process olive oil like a spicy olive and sell it, some of them also sell merchandise, like T-shirts. Many restaurants earn their revenue through online services. These initiatives probably will stay with us. Thanks to them we still can enjoy fine dining restaurants at an equally high level.

Is that the first fine dining crisis?

Gerhard Huber noted that this is not the first time. In the past, after the French Revolution or during the World Wars, fine dining also went through a crisis. Huge changes had to take place at that time.  Nevertheless, there have always been and will always be people who have disposable income, who want to go out and eat well.

Now customers appreciate going out to restaurants even more. You can observe that they respect dining out. This has been noticed by everyone who works in catering. That’s why it is so important to always look for solutions and have an open mind in difficult times. This will ensure that fine dining restaurants survive and continue to provide an amazing experience to their guests.

Check out the interview with Fatmata Binta:

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