Food Pursued


Food Pursued


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“Four Seasons” and “food truck” don’t naturally go together. So it’s with amusement that we read the luxury hotel brand going pedestrian — slummin’ in the hood, so to speak — with a food truck that’ll make the rounds in California, Arizona and New Mexico. The truck, called FS Taste Truck, will be making pit stops at neighborhood hot spots, farmer’s markets, and local events serving fare created by their hotel chefs. Four Seasons says it’s a way to keep their chefs engaged in something that is relevant, fun, unexpected and “will foster the notion that Four Seasons does things differently.”

(Clever campaign, now that we’re throwing out the book on fine dining.)

What’s interesting is that while other hotels are building farms into their backyards or remaking their mini-bars into artisanal hampers and restaurants into quasi art galleries, Four Seasons took a bold move to break out of their gilded, controlled environment and take their message to the streets in a way that makes the brand more accessible and – dare we say – mass.

There’s a bigger context to this this story as well: the growing culinary tourism trend and how hotels are tapping into it. It’s no longer enough for hotels to host celebrity chefs or offer farm-to-table inspired menus. Increasingly, people are travelling for food experiences (check out ourFuture of Food study) and this trend will continue to grow.

These foodex (food explorers) are more informed, seek authentic and unusual experiences, and have hi/lo palettes that crave roadside grease spoons as well as swanky fare from World’s 50 Best restaurants.  Some will pay a premium to stay in farms rather than fancy hotels, and will hire ‘food sherpas’ (cleverly coined by NYT food writer Jeff Gordinier) to plan their travel itineraries.

So as hotels cook up their F & B strategies, a bit out-of-the-box thinking may serve up some wonderful surprises.

(Image source: Four Seasons)

Paul Calder

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