Food IS Entertainment

Years ago, I declared that food had become entertainment, but at that point it was still pretty crude. The occasional appearance by a celebrity chef, or a class on how to roll sushi, that kind of thing.

We’re way past that now, and if you’re in the business of either producing or selling live entertainment, you need to pay attention to this.

The All-Star Chef Classic is a weekend of events being held in Los Angeles in March that, despite being all about food, is being positioned and sold just like an entertainment event would be sold. There are four events that occur over the weekend, each separately ticketed.

But I think the most remarkable thing of all is that these events are being held in Restaurant Stadium. What’s that, you say?

“This never-before-seen venue will be the center of the action at the All-Star Chef Classic, bringing over 250 fans ‘kitchen-side’ in an intimate VIP setting, where they can be as close to the action as possible without being in the heat of the kitchen.”

That’s right. It’s a purpose-built “stadium” for cooking and spectating.

What does this mean for you? Like the immersive stuff we’ve been talking about, food events done to this degree of care and customer experience raise the stakes once again on what people expect from a traditional, seated, watch-the-show or -game type of event.

It would be a big mistake for you to put this kind of event in a different (and conveniently noncompetitive) category from your theater or sports team or concert hall, because to the consumer anything that entertains, delights or captivates them is where their attention and money will go.

Food is entertainment, more than ever, and that changes things throughout the industry.

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