You are where you eat: the eating trend is turning restaurants into theaters

The world is moving on to a new trend: making the dining experience “Instagrammable” and more cinematic, as new restaurants with more authentic content pop up daily.

The wonder of our present age is the contradictory tendencies. Right now, catastrophic fears abound regarding war, inflation, COVID-19, the climate crisis and a general decline. But then there’s this: a throwback to the Roaring Twenties, a time when people are dining in style again.

You are what you eat. But also WHERE you eat. Escape is the latest trend – an escape from everyday life into a world like in a Hollywood movie. A question on the zeitgeist is this: will the releases be more and more staged to be displayed on social networks?

The “dining experience” is taken to new heights – or lower, depending on your perspective. Marcella Prior-Callwey, leading food editor, helped to understand what the new megatrends in event catering are all about.

On West Berlin’s elegant Kurfuerstendamm boulevard, MQ restaurant offers California-style cuisine, while Berlin’s Italian restaurant Coccodrillo offers a wild mix of 1970s, Hollywood, diner and Italian disco styles, according to local critics.

This is the second trattoria in Germany of the Big Squadra gastronomic group, the German branch of the Big Mamma group. Prior to Berlin, the band had created a big stir in places like Paris, London, Madrid, Marseilles and Monaco. Big Mamma’s design studio, Kiki, loves designing retro-kitschy guest rooms in vibrant colors.

“Our goal is not to be seen as an Instagram restaurant,” said Chiara Baumgartner, Big Squadra’s communications manager. “But if it’s beautiful and exceptional, then photos will be taken and people will want to share them. It’s like that.”

Incandescent filament bulbs, vintage furniture

Naturally, photogenic bars and restaurants have been around for a long time, whether because of their jaw-dropping views, mountain or waterside locations, or because of their impressive space. But during the 2010s, it became clear that despite being located in boring places, cafes and bars increasingly feature trendy interiors. The gastronomic world has turned into a global village.

And whether it’s Manhattan Island or Barcelona, ​​the hot new spots share a lot of commonalities when it comes to interior design: visibly glowing filament bulbs, vintage furniture, brick or concrete walls. , chalkboards, hanging flower baskets, clipboard menus or even a bike on the wall, for whatever reason.

“Eventgastronomy” is the new theatrical attraction.

“The gastronomic world is now much more advanced than just wanting to be ‘Instagram,'” said Marcella Prior-Callwey of publishing company Callwey-Verlag in Munich. “It’s about the live experience, because only then can analog offerings compete with the digital world.” Its publishing house organizes an annual competition to find the “most beautiful restaurants and bars” in Germany.

“Restaurants are the new theatre. They are designed as a Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art),” Prior-Callwey said. Entrepreneurs aim to speak to all the senses with eclectic designs, setting-appropriate music and engaging menus.

Customers want to have the best time there instead of just watching others online, she said. “They say to themselves, if I’m spending money and investing time, then I want it to be amazing.”

The new gastronomic megatrend

Prior-Callwey said the pioneers of the so-called megatrend now spreading across Europe and beyond were, among others, from London. There, exclusive breweries like Amazonico, Sketch and The Maine Mayfair have led the way.

In such places, there is often an unusual combination on the plate and new ideas for how meals should be presented, whether for one person or more, known as sharing, Prior said. -Callwey. “Many customers want to see and be seen at these big city restaurants. But above all, it’s about the real moment they want to live.

The noble event dining experience is just one part of people’s current overloaded lives, in which everyone – from classical cultural institutions to the media to streaming services – is vying for customer wallets and, above all, their time and attention, she explained.

“We’re all inundated with offers clamoring for attention,” Prior-Callwey said. “And you have to offer something and fill the time in the most amazing way possible – and that’s exactly what these restaurants do.”

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