sosiaalinen syöminen

Five reasons why social eating interests people

Throughout history, having a meal together has been an important moment to share. Recently, social eating has become even more popular than before. Nina Sjölund, the development manager for tourism and food trade at SOK, tells us why sharing a meal has suddenly become the number one trend in the restaurant world.

 

1.       It meets changing needs

Eating has made families gather around the table for centuries. During an evening meal, people have shared joys and sorrows, told each other their latest news, and celebrated anniversaries and other special occasions. Eating has always been a social thing, but in recent years, the accelerating pace of life has created new forms of it. 

"Because of work and leisure activities, sharing meals has become more complicated.  But the need for social interaction has not disappeared – this has been proved by the popularity of Restaurant Day, for instance", says Nina Sjölund.

2.       It combines several pleasure

Because everyone has to eat and, at least occasionally, get refreshment and meet with friends, it is easy to combine several pleasures and needs at a meal.  You can always find time for a shared meal, even during a busy week schedule.

"You get more time for yourself if you don't have to take care of preparing the menu or making sure that everything goes well during the meal," says Sjölund.   

3.       It gives you an opportunity to sample new tastes

Sharing food enables you to experiment with tasting and getting to know new flavours. Instead of one main course, you may see huge serving platters and several small sampling plates being brought to the table. An example: the Trattoria restaurants have developed a concept called La Tavola Italiana, where the table is filled with risottos to share, seasonal vegetables, different kinds of meat and cheese, and of course, freshly made bruschetta and the best wines of the house – here even the pickiest people can find some food they like!

4.       It helps you multiply the experience

Italian food culture is an archetype of social eating.  In Italy, you enjoy eating face-to-face, having a conversation, laughing and singing. La Tavola Italiana also gives you an opportunity to double your pleasure by sharing. Food tastes better in company that matters.

"These days, restaurants are able to meet people's social needs. The menus for larger parties, from the first course to the dessert, are tailor-made to be shared, and the interior design in many restaurants favours booths for groups of people", says Sjölund.

5.       It offers the possibility to communicate with strangers

Shared portions create a topic of conversation among people who don't know each other very well. In the future, people may more and more enjoy eating together with complete strangers. 

"At a meal, it is easy to make new acquaintances. In the future, surprisingly mixed company may gather together to share a meal.  Sharing a moment around a meal is the easiest and the most natural way of creating new social ties", Sjölund tells us.