6 things fiesta tourists want to do and how to impress them

6 things fiesta tourists want to do and how to impress them

Colourful costumes, overflowing food, and lots of singing and dancing—these are what Philippine fiestas are made of. Famous festivals like the Ati-atihan in Kalibo, Aklan; Sinulog in Cebu City; and Pahiyas in Lucban, Quezon attract tourists not just from other parts of the country, but also from all over the globe. How do restaurateurs, chefs, and cooks give them an experience they’ll never forget? By learning their expectations—and going beyond them! Here’s a rundown of what a typical tourist has in their itinerary, and what you can do to make their vacation even better:

1. They want to: Check out a show They want to:

Check out a show

Be it a flower parade, a tribal dance contest, or an exhibition of painted faces and indigenous costumes, the biggest event in a fiesta is usually any or all of those things. Tourists come armed with their cameras ready to capture the highlights of the event.

Make it better by:

Being courteous

While putting on a fantastic show is up to the authorities and organisers, you can do your part by being polite and accommodating to the tourists. This may sound like a little thing, but you’ll be surprised at the impact this can make. Just think, these people have come far and wide just to see what happens in your town’s fiesta. Helping make their experience a little more fun, a little more enjoyable by being friendly or by cheerfully repositioning our tables and chairs to give them a better view of the show will leave them with a good impression of not just the town but its locals as well.

2. They want to: Participate in the activities They want to:

Participate in the activities

2. They want to: Participate in the activities

Expect fiesta fever to take over and see tourists dancing in the streets and screaming “Pit Señor” at the top of their lungs.

Make it better by:

Joining them

Got a food stall right out on the street? Feel free to join the singing and screaming. Not only will your excitement be contagious, you'll also attract attention to your food business!

3. They want to: Try out the food They want to:

Try out the food

Ah, food. Now this is definitely one of the highlights of a fiesta. Concessionaires and restaurants try to outdo each other with their array of tasty local dishes and delicacies, and tourists can’t help but dig in! If the shows and exhibitions didn’t bring them to town, the food most definitely did.

Make it better by:

Making your food outstanding

While the secret may be in the signature seasonings, there’s also another secret that makes cooking for pros a breeze: cutting back on prep time. With the influx of arriving guests wanting to get a taste of authentic dishes, your kitchen will be constantly busy whipping up your specialties. Choose professional ingredients that minimise prep time yet consistently deliver delicious results. Not only does this save energy, it also allows you time to mingle with your customers and make sure they're enjoying their food.

4. They want to: Eat some more They want to:

Eat some more

4. They want to: Eat some more

Tourists are bound to find a favourite in your menu, so expect them to come back for more!

Make it better by:

Being ready with more food!

Apply the bulk cooking method with extra batches for good measure. Remember that a fiesta means double the hungry customers. There's nothing worse than turning away a guest because you ran out of your specialty dishes. As for the extra batches of food, as long as they are properly stored in a good freezer, there's no need to worry about spoilage.

6 things fiesta tourists want to do and how to impress them
5. They want to: Learn the culture They want to:

Learn the culture

There must be a point to all these parades and grand costumes, right? Trust tourists to be curious about the story behind the celebration.

Make it better by:

Studying your own culture

Every fiesta is rife with history and tradition. Let your knowledge go beyond general trivia by delving into what shaped the town’s customs. A bit of research will reward you with fascinating stories to share with customers.

6. They want to: Enjoy! They want to:


Ultimately, this is the objective—the whole point of attending the fiesta!

Make it better by:

Enjoying the festivities as well!

A stressed-out restaurant owner is not exactly someone a customer would like to see. An anxious, grumpy cook or server is not someone other people would like to deal with. So loosen up, relax, and have fun! The good vibes will rub off on your customers, you'll see!

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