What is the Gastronomy of retail

Which value of gastronomy remains when it is not about food, uh?

I had a brainwave, ready to fire off some questions at ChatGTP. Like a toddler bombarding their mother with questions. There are a few industries that continue to intrigue me: Hospitality, Leisure, and Brands + Retail. I lose myself in Netflix’s Chef’s Table, of which I’ve now watched all seasons three times.

Because I remain fascinated by their talent, creativity, and desire to create complete experiences. Experiences that stimulate every sense. From the entrance to every bite that sends a burst of flavors your way. Everything in harmony, from the interior to the aesthetics on your plate, aesthetics on your tongue. True gastronomy is creativity for every sense.

If you search for gastronomy, you’ll find various definitions, but a few terms are leading: discovery, exploration and experiment , “culinary” art, appreciation of taste, presentation, ingredients, serving, and enjoyment.

Michelin-starred restaurants are inherently gastronomically inclined. Every year stars are awarded anew. Gastronomy is hospitality, but not every hospitality establishment offers real gastronomy. We have different categories within hospitality, from fast food to hotels and from bistros to restaurants, and so on… but how does this work within retail? How important do we really find this experience? Is there gastronomy within retail? Not everyone fits into a box, but compared to hospitality and entertainment branch, retail is still boring in most cases, “sorry, just my opinion.”

Of course there is a shift, we’ve been seeing experience and concept stores for years, but is this the gastronomy of retail? Is it about the product or the narrative and experience?

Ask yourself… what if I remove all my products from the store, what remains? A bare store or is it still an experience that stimulates every sense? Is there something like higher retail art?

First, focus on the narrative and a holistic experience. (regardless of the fact that this is of course inherent to brand building)

This is exactly what I asked ChatGTP:

What can non-food retail gastronomy offer? Along with a few follow-up questions, I search for intersection.

  • Artistry Expression
  • Sensory Experiences
  • High-Quality Materials Presentation
  • Visual Appeal
  • Seasonality and themes
  • Social Connection & culture
  • Storytelling & heritage
  • Ambiance and Atmosphere


Conclusion – of course, we want to meet our targets, keep our margins stable, and continue with what currently ‘still’ works. We avoid experimenting, let alone investing in a strategy that has not yet proven itself. There is a lot of friction between compensating for rising costs & creative experimentation, but that is exactly where the opportunities lie, grab them with both hands, no matter how small.


"Let the narrative come to life"

What is an in-store experience worth if people don’t come for the product – like inspiration or simply to stimulate the senses.  And what can you offer to ensure they come back for the experience and not the product? And how can you monetize this experience  and then sell the product. Don’t make an error in judgmente, Gen-Z are bricks-and-mortars biggest fans. So start thinking about how you can operate gen-Alpha.