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Article

The Role of Hotel Restaurants in Gastronomic Place Branding

Purpose – This paper aims to display the role of hotel restaurants in gastronomic place branding. The authors view hotel restaurants as having a great potential in the promotion of local gastronomy.

Design/methodology/approach – The research was done in several stages. First, the authors selected six destinations (Lapland, Catalonia, Saint Petersburg, Marseille, Parma and Munich) according to the classification of gastronomic brands based on the settlement type. Second, the authors studied conceptions of hotel restaurants located in these destinations to see how they reflect local gastronomic brands. For this purpose, restaurant menus, verbal descriptions of interiors and names of establishments were analyzed using elements of content analysis. Finally, the authors conducted several interviews with hotel managers in one of the destinations to distinguish the challenges of gastronomic branding within hotel restaurants.

Findings – The results allowed defining the role of hotel restaurants in gastronomic branding depending on the following factors: hotel’s affiliation with a chain, hotel’s star rating and destination type.

Practical implications – The authors argue that gastronomic branding raises attractiveness of hotels, its restaurants and destination on the whole. This research was presented to the Tourism Committee of St Petersburg, resulting in increased attention to gastronomic branding among the city authorities.

Originality/value – The role of hotel restaurants in gastronomic branding has not been studied previously. However, hotel restaurants differ from other actors of gastronomic branding due to the necessity to comply with hotel’s conception, brand and standards.