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Abstract

Ethnic-themed restaurants are one of the most powerful influential socializing agents of foreign cultures. The most common reference point for those seeking enriching leisurely cultural experience is object authenticity. Yet little research has been done on authenticity in eatertainment experiences from both supply and demand perspectives. This paper attempts to fill the lacuna through exploring how ethnic-themed restaurant owners/managers use markers to create a genuine version of their food and cook in the virtual cyber world and how patrons project authenticity to their experiences on the blogosphere. The preliminary results indicate that patrons continue to place emphasis on experiencing the 'other' in an objectively authentic setting but in a negotiated manner so that it relates to their comfort and style. More effort is needed on the part of management to understand consumer demand and 'typify the market niche'.

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Experiencing ‘Otherness’ in Ethnic-Themed Restaurants

Ethnic-themed restaurants are one of the most powerful influential socializing agents of foreign cultures. The most common reference point for those seeking enriching leisurely cultural experience is object authenticity. Yet little research has been done on authenticity in eatertainment experiences from both supply and demand perspectives. This paper attempts to fill the lacuna through exploring how ethnic-themed restaurant owners/managers use markers to create a genuine version of their food and cook in the virtual cyber world and how patrons project authenticity to their experiences on the blogosphere. The preliminary results indicate that patrons continue to place emphasis on experiencing the 'other' in an objectively authentic setting but in a negotiated manner so that it relates to their comfort and style. More effort is needed on the part of management to understand consumer demand and 'typify the market niche'.