Future of the American dining experience by Salome Ndackson

1 06 2009

I feel that the American population will continue to be driven by hunger and the comfort that food brings and not necessarily the suspense and creativity that could come become the dining experience. I think people will always want to go to the same restaurant that they’ve patronized for years, order their favorite dish and have it taste the exact same way it has always tasted.

According to my understanding of the American dining experience, a restaurant should be an extension of home. It should be familiar, comforting and inviting and the food should bring back memories that were probably made at said restaurant. I also think hunger is still the main reason why people eat out. People like the convenience of having someone else cook, which saves time and energy.

When I think about suspense and creativity as it relates to the dining experience, the restaurants Moto and elBulli come to mind. While these innovations are ground breaking, the return to organic food sources is having an even greater impact in the food industry. In a country that has become very health conscious because of the adverse effects of science and technology on food, I feel that the food industry in America is going backwards scientifically as opposed to forward. While making apple caviar is phenomenal, I think most Americans would prefer food in its most natural state.

Imagine an average middle class family where both parents work, and time and convenience are of the essence. Moto would not be the first restaurant that comes to mind. Chili’s or TGI Friday’s would be better suited because the main goals are hunger satisfaction and family time. This average middle class family is the norm for majority of the American population. Not many people can afford to spend the money to eat at Moto, where hunger satisfaction is not the goal, and more money is usually spent on “real food” after the fact.

Some may argue that restaurants like elBulli and Moto are the future of the American dining experience, but I still maintain that while people may like to try new dishes, they want to leave the dining room feeling satisfied and well-catered to by the restaurant’s staff.

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