There are opportunities for restaurants, hotels, pubs, B&Bs and other hospitality businesses to get involved in food tourism. Hospitality businesses play a vital role in creating visitors’ experiences through food and drink offerings. Serving local food that tells a story can make a trip to Northern Ireland memorable. You can use menus to showcase local produce and traditional recipes.
Northern Ireland’s food story
Enhance the experience you offer by telling Northern Ireland’s ‘food story’. Communicate to customers where their food came from, how it was made and who was involved. For example, tell them about the local farmer who reared the meat or grew the vegetables. You can communicate this through your staff or by highlighting local producers on your menus.
Menus are a vital tool in telling the story of your food. You can include information about local history traditions and food produce. This helps to create a fuller experience for visitors.
Opportunities for food providers
Food providers like restaurants and pubs can offer authentic food experiences:
- work with Northern Ireland producers and suppliers to create truly local food offerings
- ensure your staff are knowledgeable about the food they serve and where it came from
- use your menu to showcase local ingredients and produce
- create a ‘20-mile menu’ (or 10 or 5-mile) using only very local produce
- offer dishes that reflect local, traditional cuisine
- get involved in food initiatives and events like markets, festivals and food trails
Opportunities for accommodation providers
Accommodation providers like hotels and B&Bs can offer food experiences, even outside the dining room:
- work with other businesses to offer food themed packages that could include a food tour or experience, meal and accommodation
- provide welcome hampers that showcase local produce, include information about where and how the food was produced
- work with food producers and providers to develop food tours and trails
- communicate to your guests about local produce and food traditions