The Herman Trend Alert
November 22, 2017
Immersive Experience Dining
In our continuing effort to cover how organizations are using experiences to create deeper relationships, we found this phenomenal example of an immersive dining experience. Hidden away in an old Shanghai neighborhood is the restaurant Ultraviolet that serves high-tech haute cuisine to diners at a single table every night. The goal is for the guests to feel and retain an "experience memory". Quoting from their website, "The psycho-taste is everything".
A once-in-a-lifetime experience
With 20 courses of the finest Western food from world-renown French Chef Paul Pairet, you'll pay 4000RMB/person ($603USD) and wait three months to get a reservation. If you're going to be in Shanghai, be sure to plan ahead.
No windows, only video screens
The dining event is held in a stunning high-tech window-less room. "Each course is enhanced with its own taste-tailored atmosphere: lights, sounds, music, scents, projection, images, and imagination... and [of course] food."
Dining as theatre
Each course of the dining experience is meticulously choreographed to touch each of the five senses, a kind of "food theatre". Using ambient music, video projection technology unorthodox utensils, and atomized scents, Chef Paul's purpose is to heighten the taste of the food with a totally immersive sensory experience.
Food served at the exact right time
Chef Paul believes that there is an exact right time and perfect environment for every dish he serves. Every aspect of the atmosphere is tailored to the particular dish.
Fun with the food
Between two of the courses, the staff runs laps around the table to the Rossini's William Tell Overture. Obviously, no one takes themselves too seriously.
Behind the scenes
It takes an army of people to create these multimedia immersions, plus twice as many servers as guests. A control room in the kitchen allows the staff to give perfect service.
An award-winning concept
This pioneering concept was opened in May 2012 by Chef Paul and the VOL Group. How many dining experiences deserve a standing ovation? Only this one that we know of. Not surprisingly, CNN selected Ultraviolet one of the World's Top 50 Restaurants in 2017.
Experience junkies will gravitate towards immersive experiences
Many years ago, our author Joyce wrote a Herman Trend Alert about "Experience Junkies", how people were attracted to stronger and stronger experiences. Since this type of immersion represents the ultimate multi-sensory dining experience, we expect to see aspects of this immersive experience show up at restaurants around the world.
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