Underwater And Virtual Reality Dining Rooms Are On The Menu In 2023

It's true, when it comes to dining out, the number one priority is the quality of the food and the flavor but atmosphere and experience also play an important role for many people when it comes to choosing a restaurant. The restaurant consulting group, Gilkey, says, "Atmosphere is extremely important for any restaurant. When guests feel comfortable and relaxed in the environment, they are more likely to stay longer and order more food and drink." 

According to a new study conducted by marketing firm ADM, the days of daily meat and three veg are gone with 74% of the global community wanting to try a variety of flavors and 63% experimenting with different recipes in the kitchen. They also suggested that people were after "fun and playful brands." Yelp's report confirms this sentiment. Searches for unusual dining experiences such as underwater restaurants were up by 263% since last year and 109% for dinner theatres. 

Another food trend report from Mintel suggests that tech-savvy Gen Z and Gen Alpha will be inspired by advances in space exploration — especially as it becomes more of a reality than speculation — and they suggest the food and drink market will be inspired by all things space themed and may involve things like "lunar minerals and zero-gravity dining."

New dining experiences comes with a learning curve

You've probably heard of experiences such as "dining in the dark" which first came about in France in 1993, according to DSQ. The idea behind it was that you would truly be able to experience the taste of the food as one of your senses of sight was reduced thus heightening your other senses. 

However, virtual dining provides a very different experience where your senses are not tasting what they're seeing. Rene Brinkley, a reporter for CNBC, described a New York virtual dining experience hosted by The James Beard Foundation. Time had to be taken for the diners to get used to being "strapped into a Facebook Oculus headset" and learning how to eat the food without spilling it everywhere. Brinkley then described visuals of "pink pineapples and blue cherries falling from the sky, meat dancing through the air...all set to music and narration." Of course, the actual food the dinners were eating was not what they were seeing. 

Some virtual reality experiences in exotic locations such as Ibiza, Spain can set you back up to $2,000 (per CNBC) but as it becomes a more common experience, you can possibly expect it to cost a lot less and be available in places closer to home. 

Underwater dining, on the other hand, has become such a popular phenomenon in aquariums around the globe that it makes you wonder why it was never thought of before.