Trends AssignmentCultural Diversity in Todays Restaurants By Dan Sanderson Jeremy Salentine Dylan Evenson Hospitality Marketing & Sales UW-Stout Menomonie November 11, 2012
Over ViewSection 1: This section is where you introduce and describe the factors that have been shaping andforming your hospitality trend (historical overview perspective). Provide an overview of its reach andscope within and outside of business (reach and scope) and specific information to assist your peers inunderstanding the potential of the topic (current and potential impacts). This section should beapproximately 1 page. The United States was created and established by immigrants coming from Europe in the earlyseventeen hundreds. Today immigration rates are increasing day in and day out. Majority of restaurantstoday target one food ethnicity for their restaurant identity, for example Chinese, Mexican, Indian,Vietnamese, Hmong, Italian, and American. The catch in this trend is that some restaurants today aretrying to create a menu with different ethnic sections consisting of different dishes to offer from thatculture. By creating establishments like this it eliminates the option of choice in choosing where to eatreferring to ones preferred taste for the night. For example a family wants to go out to dinner. The dadsays to the family, “What do you guys want for dinner tonight?” One of the children says Chinese, theother says Mexican, and the mother says Italian. This forces the family to compromise and make adecision where and what type of food they want for dinner. With the development of this trend ofmulticultural restaurants this no longer becomes an issue. Now the whole family can be satisfied and nocompromise needs to be made if a restaurant that serves all these types of foods is available. Peopletoday are giving this trend a name for example “Spoon Full Of The City” and “Whole World On aPlate.” These titles are only fitting because every year Caucasians are becoming the lesser-populatedminority in the United States and more ethnicities are taking the place as the higher populated cultures.So, to keep up with the demand, restaurants are realizing what is happening and adjusting correctly.They are including more and more ethnic dishes to suit said cultures, which in return keeps the “used tobe” minorities coming back for more. Also, more restaurants are becoming more profitable in regards tosuiting everyone‟s palette regardless of the ethnicity in a single restaurant setting. In retrospect foodestablishments are using this trend to attract multi ethnic groups. For example in Minnesota there is arestaurant called African Forest Restaurant. They state on their website it is their duty to focus onservicing Minnesota‟s growing immigrant community‟s demand for an ethnic eating experience. Forlack of better term we are a multi-ethnic cuisine restaurant that responds to Minnesota‟s immigrantcommunity need for selection and choice. This is a local example which helps the consumers understandthe restaurant markets understanding that they need to deliver the consumer a variety of ethnic foods thatsuite multiple desires and preferences all in one place. This benefits a larger customer base such asfamilies, business gatherings, social events, get togethers, and dates by eliminating compromising andargumentation in regard of where to eat. “Over all places that identify themselves as ethnicestablishments numbered nearly 78,000 in 1999 and recorded sales of $30.5 billion. Our research resultsdo not identify any single ethnic style of restaurant as desired, but rather suggest that incorporatingstrong multi-ethnic influences in the menu selection will be popular. Again, variety is the underlyingelement for this concept.” (http://www.bplans.com/ethnic_food_restaurant_business_plan/market) ExamplesSection 2: In this section, you must provide an account of your chosen trend and its impact in the worldof business. You are required to provide two specific cases of how the technology trend is impacting orshaping hospitality marketing and your thoughts about their reaction to the trend (case example 1 & 2).Your thoughts should include how the business addressed the trend and a critical analysis of what theycould have done to be more successful (perceptions of what they did). You will also need to extrapolate
from the cases and your understanding potential applications for other industries and provide two,specific applications in unrelated industries (potential applications outside of hospitality and tourism).This section should be approximately 1 – 1.5 pages. There are multiple accounts of this trend appearing across the nation. The areas and destinationthese multi ethnic restaurants are appearing in include large cities and living areas with a diversepopulation and a variety of ethnicities and cultures. They are also being established close to Airportsand in high traffic tourism areas like casinos, resorts and hotels. These multi ethnic restaurants arechoosing these destinations because they‟re menus, environment and dishes attract guests who havedifferent taste preferences associated with their cultural association and nationality food preferences.The most difficult piece to obtain for these restaurants is having the ability and knowledge to properlycook a variety of ethnic foods. The majority of restaurants in existence focus only on a certain ethnicityof food. In order to bridge the gap between ethnic food preferences many of these restaurants arecreating dishes explained by them as having “ethnic fusion.” Basically ethnic fusion is the act ofcombining two or more ethnic flavors and styles in an individual dish. A common example found acrossthe board was creating sandwich varieties with a variety of ethnic foods dishes inside. An example of this restaurant is named the “African Forest Restaurant.” This multi ethniccuisine is located in Brooklyn Park Minnesota, a southern suburb of the Twin Cities. There focus is“servicing Minnesota‟s growing immigrant community‟s demand for an ethnic eating experience.”They‟re multi ethnic cuisine allows the Twin Cities Immigrant community a selection and choicesuitable to their nationalities and ethnicities. They even have a separate menu available designedspecifically for their customers demographics and preferences. Some of their specialties include avariety African ethnicity dishes from Eastern Africa to Western Africa. They also serve a variety ofAmerican, Asian, Caribbean and barbecue dishes. Their food services are aimed to satisfy the variety ofnationalities living in the area as well as people who are visiting the twin cities for entertainment andlooking for a meal. Another example that models the idea of this trend of multi ethnic dining is Zara Restaurant andLounge located in Midtown Atlanta. This restaurant is very versatile and designed there business plan toattract a variety of groups who desire a variety of eating settings. The settings available include a tapaslounge, cosmopolitan bar as well as a full service dining area. Having a variety of eating environmentsassures a suitable setting for guests desiring different types of environments to match the situation theyare looking to meet. Zara restaurant and lounge main objective is to meat the growing demand for avariety of ethnic eating experiences all under the same roof. They label themselves as, “acomplimentary mingling of international cuisine on a single menu.” Not only does this provides adesirable opportunity for travelers but also caters to the midtown demographics of Atlanta. In order tosuccessfully provide an environment and dishes they have a diverse management and chef team to meetthe expectations that guests in search of multi ethnic eateries our interested in. Both of these examples are adapting there Menus and environments for the growing diversedemographics associated with their locations. In order to improve sales and capacity on a day to daybasis targeting a growing population of consumer preferences is critical. Tourist Destinations andCasino‟s also can benefit from multi ethnic dining services. These destinations have a particularly highnumber of tourists from all over the world. In order to better suite there desired experiences thesedestinations and tourist locations are also providing a larger variety of shows, music and entertainmentto attract the desires of tourists with different preferences.
Ultimately in many business environments the overall goal is to provide services and productsthat the customer or guest is looking for. Increasing the variety of service and products targets a largerpopulation of consumers and guests. Targeting a variety of cultural market segments by offering a morediverse service or experience increases the opportunity for more business and sales. If a givendestination is capable of suiting a group of guests due to their variety of options they eliminate otherdestinations due to their ability to suite every ones desires.http://www.africanforestrestaurant.com/http://equityshack.com/node/45Section 3: Within the final section, you will integrate the results of your expert interview inillustrating/demonstrating the future of the trend and whether it is „business worthy‟. The interviewmust be conducted with a hospitality or marketing expert and focus on gaining practitioner insight oran „on the ground‟ view of the trend (interview results)(interviewee bio as a reference). The focus ofthis section will be on buying/selling the trend and its potential impact moving forward. You willneed to discuss and present your expert opinion to include, 1) how this trend may or may not impactthe business landscape (business landscape), 2) how the trend itself will change moving forward(trend change), and 3) what will be needed to stay ahead of competitors (competitive advantage).This section should be approximately 2 pages. For our expert interview, we contacted the owner of restaurant we mentioned earlier in our paperof the African Forest Restaurant. The owner/manger‟s name is Carl Hughes. Carl is very experienced inthe service industry as he owns 4 restaurants in the great Minneapolis region. Carl graduated with aMBA from the University of Minnesota‟s Carlton School of Business. He opened the African ForestRestaurant back in 2008 with the intention of reaching out to Minnesota growing population ofminorities. And I think it‟s safe to say that he was right! Now in regards to seeing what Carl had to say in answering question number one, Carl‟sresponse was adamant to say the say the least. Carl stated that “This is something more restaurantsshould be doing. You simply have to adapt to the demographic, and in my case, the demographic ofgrowing minorities in the metropolitan region.” Now I couldn‟t have said it better myself. It is ouropinion that in order for a business to succeed, they must simply convey to what the consumers want,not what you think is right. And as more and more minorities continue to grow in the United States, theyare surely bringing their cultural practices with them. And with these practices come food and foodrelated venues. SO doesn‟t it make sense to appeal to the customer‟s tastes, backgrounds, and wantswhen it comes to running a restaurant? Now when we asked Carl about what he thought of the this cultural trend moving forward, hesimply said “It WILL continue to grow..I can bet you that you will see more and more restaurants dowhat I‟m doing now.” And Carl is probably right. If you were a smart restaurant owner in a minoritypopulated region, you should broaden your food cultures to fit what the minorities interests in food are. Moreover, when asked about what it will take to stay ahead of this trend in regards to thechanging economic structure and rival restaurants, Carl said “It‟s going to be about who goes most indepth with their menus..and who is going to be willing to go the extra mile to provide that unique,perfect sense of other‟s cultures” Once again, we believe Carl is right. The restaurants that are looking tostay ahead of the competition will definitely have to be as AUTHENTIC as possible. It‟s common sensereally. The more guests you want to attract, the more authentic and in-depth you‟re going to have to bewith their cultures and food related interests.