Is your eatwith experience currently aimed at international travelers? There are many locals looking for unique, intimate, authentic experiences to share with loved ones close to home.
What makes an experience appealing to locals? Below we share ways you can adapt your experience to appeal to locals and attract a larger audience!
Identify your USP (unique selling point)
Identify something that makes your experience unique and stand out. Is it the exclusive venue? Do you serve a special dish that guests can’t find anywhere else?
Consider whether your experience in-line with local & current trends. Do you support local suppliers? Do you use seasonal ingredients?
Build your reputation with one special “signature” dish or cuisine, or a style of cooking - and nail it!
For example, host Geoff in San Francisco has a reputation within the eatwith community for his Bay Area seafood catches.
💡Stick to one thing and build word of mouth between the locals in your city.
Is your experience in a trendy neighborhood of the city? Are there other nearby attractions that attract locals/domestic travelers to your neighborhood - cool independent shops, art galleries, beautiful parks?
Is your experience easily accessible by public transport?
Locals are looking to dine in cool/secret/hidden/exclusive venues such as a rooftop overlooking the city, an art gallery or the intimate setting of a chef's beautiful home.
Locals are not looking for traditional local food in their cities. For example, Parisians are not looking for typical French-style food but are more interested in international cuisines or innovative cooking styles
Domestic travelers will often want to experience very traditional local specialties. For example, a Londoner visiting Edinburgh may want to try haggis but will likely also want to experience the city “like a local” too
Think creatively about your menu offering and try to avoid a standard 3-course restaurant-style menu. Consider offering an innovative 4 or 5 course “tasting menu”, offering smaller sample dishes
Use locally sourced, seasonal produce and local suppliers to support local businesses when possible
Offer a welcome drink/cocktail on arrival before guests sit down to dine, encouraging guest interaction pre-dinner
Offer a special dish that guests can’t find anywhere else - your “signature dish”
Offer an element of surprise such as a homemade liquor you present at the end of the meal to surprise and delight your guests, an additional “amuse bouche” course that is off menu or a theatrical dessert which is made in front of the guests. Get creative and make your guests spread the word and want to come back for more!
You know your city best, so it’s down to you to decide on a price that will appeal to locals and sell!
We recommend starting with a lower price, aiming to attract repeat customers and to build buzz within the community.
International travelers are more willing to pay higher prices for experiences, so you must take this into consideration
Find out more about setting your price right here.
Be creative and change up your menu depending on the seasons. Consider supporting local suppliers and sourcing seasonal produce. By changing up your menu every season you’ll attract repeat local guests over and over again, drawing them back to your experience to try your new dishes! You and your local supplier can even cross-promote each other on social media for additional marketing opportunities!
Also, seasonal produce tends to be cheaper, allowing you to cut costs and attract a larger audience.
The host - YOU!
Introduce yourself and tell your guests about your story. The eatwith experience is not only about food but also about creating connections and new friendships
Share your cooking inspiration and background - tell guests where you get your inspiration from and talk about your culinary experience
Interact with guests throughout the evening - guests will be excited about meeting local chefs/hosts in their city
Tell a story through your food and your inspiration behind the dishes served - before serving each course, introduce the dish and the inspiration behind it
For our hosts in touristic destinations who only have their menus in English, one top tip for adapting your experience for the local market is to create the experience page in your own language too. For example, host Rudi in Barcelona has both Spanish and English versions of his experience.
Translating your experience into more than 1 language will appeal to a wider audience!
Mix up your menu to get some regulars
Be creative and adapt your menu regularly to attract new audiences and encourage guests return multiple times. If you’ve WOW-ed a guest with one menu, they might not be willing to come back for exactly the same menu again, but if you offer something new, they’re more likely to return sooner!
Additional added value
Does your experience involve an interactive or extra-immersive element? For example, music, theater or story telling
Consider offering wine pairings with each course such as local wines from the region or a selection of your favorite natural wines
Offer a welcome cocktail on arrival. Make your favorite cocktail for your guests
Allow guests to BYOB (Bring Your Own Booze/alcohol)
Learn more about how fine-tune or edit your experience here: