Reports indicate that more people are visiting restaurants more frequently but that the average transaction per time is lower. International food festival franchise Taste goes to Amsterdam on June 24, offering fixed-price menus from top restaurants in an attempt to play off this trend.
According to Visa, European spending rates are on an upward trend since the final quarter of 2009. The report indicates that European consumers are spending on meals out rather than stopping spending altogether; however the report finds that while restaurant attendance has increased sharply since 2009, the average transaction per visit has been of a lower value, a trend which is mirrored in the USA.
As a result, lower-priced restaurants and menus are growing in popularity, and the annual series of Taste festivals aims to capture this trend. The festivals are a worldwide series of events celebrating fine dining to provide consumers with an opportunity to sample small portions of signature dishes in local restaurants for a low price. Visitors to the Taste festivals held throughout the world pay approximately 15 euros for a ticket and can then taste samples from different chefs for around 4 - 5 euros.
This year the event has already taken place in Sydney, Cape Town, Edinburgh, Dublin and London. The next in the series of Taste festivals continues in Amsterdam June 24-27 in Amstel Park. Taste festivals are also being held in Birmingham July 16-18, Melbourne August 26-29, Milan September 23-26, Johannesburg September 30-October 3 and finally Auckland November 18-21 of this year.
Restaurant weeks, which offer low-fixed price menus from renowned restaurants are becoming more frequent around the world; France held its first annual restaurant week from June 7-13 of this year and New York and Washington DC also held similar fixed-price events in 2010.
In 2009 Taste festivals throughout the world attracted 270,000 visitors who sampled over 750,000 dishes.