Some Resto Statistics (courtesy CRFA)• Resto industry = $63 billion p.a. – 4% of Canada’s economic activity• Resto industry employs 1.1 million people – 6.5% of Canadian workforce; or, 4th largest sector• Resto industry employs 483,000 people <25 y.o.
Looking Back• Let’s pick just 10 years ago: – A few precursors to a “Local Food Movement:” – A chain-restaurant Region, generally; – A meat-and-potatoes appetite.
Business / Commerce Opportunities Ahead• Under-marketed [under-marketable?] restaurant sector• Social Media / Piggy-backing on WatReg’s Hi-Tech energy• Culinary Tourism
Then and Now: Marketing Minimalism• Historically and Today: – Restaurants = poor marketers • Limited resources – Local “ethnic” restaurants in Waterloo Region • Unique but silent
Social Media in Food and Beverage• Looking back only 5 years – Little social media – Many restaurants had meagre websites – Few were savvy at communicating w/ customers• Today: the same?
Future Social Media Smorgasbord?• What does Waterloo Region’s Hi-Tech energy offer? – Growing business / entrepreneurial interest in: • Facebook • Twitter • LinkedIn • Pinterest • Quora
Tourism• 2008 = 42.3 million overnight visitors to Ontario• In terms of food, WR needs to unify programs & energies “related to industry associations, food entrepreneurs” and food communities;• Tourism can provide opportunities for FnB entrepreneurship between a multiple stakeholders. – [ adapted from OCTA Strategy Plan]
Culinary Tourism Defined …• A tourism experience during which: – Appreciation – Education – Consumption – Reflection … occurs in and around food and beverage “that reflects local, regional, national cuisine, heritage, culture, tradition and techniques.” Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance, “Culinary Tourism Strategy and Action Plan: 2011-2015” [http://www.mtc.gov.on.ca/en/publications/Culinary_web.pdf].
Who Are Culinary Tourists?• Three distinct sectors: 1. 10% of tourists plan trips based on the food experience; 2. 80% include food experience in their larger tourism plans; 3. 10% of general tourists are “accidental culinary tourists” • [UW Professor Stephen Smith / OCTA Strategy Plan]• Obviously: Sector 2 should be our target…
Waterloo Region Culinary Tourism• Unremarkable / off the radar• Fragmented / disjointed• NOT part of OCTA [should it be?]• Some movement: CT = part of WRTMC’s evolution – All this represents: • Potential future business opportunities • Improved quality of life in Waterloo Region