As my restaurateur boyfriend always tease me of being an epicure but know next to nothing about culinary arts, it was an opportune time to be invited at Unilever Food Solutions Culinary Festival 2014 two days ago. The whole day event was attended by more than 500 hundred chefs, business owners, and caterers coming from the Philippine food industry. The foodie in me got excited to see the continuous emergence of new food concepts!
Unilever Food Solutions
Unilever Food Solutions (UFS) aims to equip the food industry by providing product solutions, skills, and knowledge needed to have an efficient commercial dining experience. To make this possible, UFS created the Chefmanship Academy, a culinary training program designed to meet the diverse needs of food service professionals. Since 2009, it has offered a lot of topics through research and hands-on learning experience.
Culinary Festival 2014
This year, UFS celebrated the Culinary Festival 2014 by bringing together entrepreneurs and industry experts to observe and study the latest trends and practices happening at the country’s dining landscape. From business to operational matters food service professionals encounter each day, the event helped in addressing these by giving talks to push the growth of Philippine food industry.
Talks were led by RJ Ledesma, Chef Robby Goco, Joanna Manalastas, JJ Yulo, Chef George Lizares, and Pong Go. Throughout the talks, the resounding game changing trends in the industry are: integrating sustainability in menus, micro-targeting customers, and pushing the power of digital media.
Here are the gems I picked up from the resource speakers:
1. Create meaningful relationships with customers by customization and personalization of communications. These two are crucial in the success of the food business. With this, diners’ changing behaviour and preference can be easily noted and suited on how restaurateurs market their brand.
2. Provide original and evolving menus tailored to Filipino eating habits, changing lifestyle, and health restrictions.
3. Push the power of social media as Filipino diners become more highly digital these days. Well-crafted content, compelling stories, and excellent visuals play an integral part in succeeding at the food industry arena.
Truly, Unilever Food Solutions Philippines delivered a very thoughtful gathering to respond to the needs of the country’s food service professionals. Through Culinary Festival 2014, I have learned a lot about this business and I expect that the Philippine dining landscape will continue to evolve in the near future. For now, I’ll share these lessons with Kimchi Man. He must apply it in his restaurants, too!