How do I market an ethnic restaurant in a region that is extremely diverse in population yet hasn’t grasped the concept of “real authentic” food? In a society where everything is frozen, plastic, drive-thru, pre-prepared, or microwaved, the idea that food is actually cooked from scratch and cooked with love is foreign to many. The question that quickly pops up is who really has time to cook food especially with so many gadgets that take up the majority of peoples lives?
Authentic food is hard to sell sometimes because the lure of fast food places and chains attracts people by name recognition. Most people don’t venture into cuisines that are foreign to them or do not have an “Americanized” feel or flavor to it. Perhaps its comfort level and being able to identify with the food that is served.
The downside of having a dining establishment in a small town that has a metropolitan flair is that its not as appreciated by the local clientele. Many of these suburban locations such as Kent boast a large minority population and many ethnic restaurants that mirror the community. However, the sad part is that most of the ethnic restaurants are frequented by their own ethnicity. What an attraction it would be if ethnic restaurants and authentic ones at that could be a destination for customers in small towns as well? Kent has a strip of restaurants and businesses that run down 104th in the East Hill region that could be designated as an “International District”.
How wonderful it would be to have a real international district that offered real food and services for real people? The concept is amazing and would prove to be a draw for many outlying regions in the area. This would definitely place a spotlight on the region and most importantly draw attention to the hard working ethnic businesses and restaurants that strive to bring fresh, authentic food to customers. Food that is made from real vegetables and straight from the farms. Food that actually has nutritional value and prepared with a mother’s touch. If more places could offer food that listed the first ingredient as love, wouldn’t our society be a more loving place? Stay tuned for the International District concept in Kent…