Ordinary people, people of all walks of life are becoming serious about food and they want to try everything. Note the success of Ocean Springs Epicure cheese shop with its wonderful offerings from around the world. People are going out to eat and they are looking for new experiences, but the rules have changed and the restaurateur who does not take note of the current climate will not make it in today’s market.
It just isn’t enough to offer heaping plates to customers, that was an old South tradition based on the rarity of going out to eat, (and that is not to say that a fair portion is not still attractive today) but it’s not the whole ball game. Another game changer that has occurred as the public has grown more informed is their ability to recognize inferior ingredients; if your signature dish has parmesan cheese shouldn’t it be Parmigiano-Reggiano? People know the difference these days and its these kind of quality issues that are driving their decision on where to eat.
The fundamentals that make up a great dining experience include atmosphere, service, presentation of food and preparation of food and you’ve got to get all of them right. Conquer the four foundations of a really good restaurant and your chances of success go way up, but there’s one more thing you have to do. Develop a menu that is all your own and offer signature dishes that can be found nowhere else. In this issue of the Gazette we feature the Bayview Gourmet and they are a prime example of the way to do it right.
When you go to New Orleans to eat do you expect just a regular sort of meal or is it your expectation of experiencing something really grand? Shouldn’t that same plan work in Ocean Springs?
The Peter Anderson Festival is coming up again in November and it’s an opportunity for Ocean Spring’s restaurants to shine like never before. It’s not a time to dump the menu you’ve worked so hard on all year and try to sell a thousand hot dogs instead. Highlight your signature dish, if it means extra hours for your staff or more staff then that’s the price of success, the benefit you will receive for putting your best foot forward will be repaid to you for the next twelve months as more people know what your restaurant is capable of putting out. This festival is a grand marketing event that will attract thousands of people to Ocean Springs and when we do it right many of the visitors will come back for another look.