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Gastronomic Memories in Hospitality: Are we leaving the table hungry?

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posted on 25.05.2018, 11:14 by William J. Gregorash
The food service industry is all about feeding people away from home. This thesis is about the experiences of those who want to dine away from home, nearby or on holiday, foodservice in commercial context. To determine how gastronomic memories are created, twenty-one participants were interviewed using auto-driven photo-elicitation, the process explored trigger points within the tangible and intangible attributes of the presented experience. A focus group was also conducted using food-elicitation, an avant-garde meal served during the event. The findings demonstrated that food and atmosphere were equally deemed as a ‘driver’ in memorable experiences but the surprising factor that played the biggest role was the people themselves who were at the table. This discovery leads to believe that food, service and atmosphere are only in memorable experiences. Self-constructing a memorable gastronomic experience ensues during an event when the participant’s ‘state of mind’ is in tune with the surrounding attributes. This research shows that gastronomic experiences can be created that are unique to everyone but it is still up to the participants to determine if it will be memorable based on the interaction occurring around the table and how they personally construct the surrounding attributes. This study used photo-elicitation (also food-elicitation) discovered that there are two types of memorable gastronomic experiences, one that reflects the ‘state of mind’ during the event and the other focuses only on the food and beverage consumed. An incidental finding from this study argues that consumer experiences in gastronomy are overall becoming banal events due to polished best practices in the industry.



Davies, Andrea; Kavaratzis, Mihalis

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School of Management

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University of Leicester

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