When looking at all the different cultures in the United States it is only normal to see all the different types of food. Every culture brings its own personal flavours to the country and all these different flavours and cultures make up the different eating styles and habits. The different food styles also vary per state in relation to their position, for example Massachusetts is famous for its seafood dishes, whereas Texas is famous for barbecue and grill dishes. But in general people can try any kind of food in any state because of all the large chain restaurants. On the streets finger food is offered, these are products like Mexican churros in California or Pretzels in New York City. One can taste a bite of local flavours without having to go to a restaurant. The most popular food in the United States is junk food or fast food, over 110 billion dollars are spent each year on unhealthy food, and this is more than 40% of all money spent on food. The phenomenon of eating out changed from being a once in a time thing to a day-to-day activity. Nowadays people in the United States eat out 3 to 4 nights a week. The number of people eating healthy is rapidly decreasing according to the food guide pyramid. Only 2 per cent of children in elementary and middle school eat healthy according to that pyramid. The reason for eating fast food is because people in the United States are always in a hurry, either on their way to work, home, sports or just waiting to go to their next meeting. But when it comes to a business dinner, it is a whole different story. When a business dinner is planned, extra care is taken into consideration. It is important to give the right impression and the prospect client or the boss should be impressed of one’s abilities. Therefore it is important to pick a restaurant that is elegant, and helps the employee get the new client or make their company at least look professional. And during these dinners it is not usual to order a hamburger and fries, but something more sophisticated like a salad, pasta, fish or chicken, something that represents the overall message of the dinner.
When people want to impress someone, they want to offer them something that is exquisite, something special that they will remember or cannot get at home. Because the United States is so large there are many different local products available. The product a specific region offers depends on the sources and the different cultures that are present in the specific region. For example Salt Water Taffy in Ocean City, New Jersey, this product has a history and is originated in Ocean City; therefore it is a nice gesture to a prospective client or an overseas client. Another way of giving a personal touch to the dinner with local flavours is setting the business dinner at one of the local restaurants that offer the delicacies of that particular area, for example the Maine Lobster. Seafood is considered to be safe food; therefore this could be served during a business dinner when one is trying to leave a good impression. Another way of proposing a new idea to a client is by inviting him for a drink, for example going to a nice wine tasting, or cocktail place that offers great local drinks such as Mexican oriented drinks close to the Mexican border, or a wine tasting place up in the hills that offers wine from that region. These places offer an elegant atmosphere and give an extra personal, local touch to the meeting.
Authors: Dionne Conijn & Miranda Bumann