A Taste of Things To Come to the Capital Region in 2021
“There is strange comfort in knowing that no matter what happens today, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.”
― Aaron Lauritsen, 100 Days Drive: The Great North American Road Trip
Spring officially has arrived! I am starting to feel that I can really plan on offering food tours in June of 2021. Restarting my dormant business, Taste of Troy Food Tours, is in some ways like reliving my 2016 experience of starting up as a new entrepreneur in a relatively young industry (food tours) and one that was unknown in Troy. It is true that this time around I come with actual experience, some stronger street cred and a strong network of partners and loyal customers. However, it is not only my business that needs to awaken from this past year of hibernation, but many of my Albany and Troy vendor restaurant partners, as well.
Most of the businesses that provide services to the public need to be aware of and monitor the ever changing state requirements and guidance for re-opening and safely providing our services. We need to assess our comfort level and ability to provide a quality experience while keeping our team, our vendor providers and our customers safe.
I was listening to an interview with the President and CEO of Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) recently. She was being asked about the steps needed to ensure safety for audience members, performers and all supporting stage staff. What is seen when you attend a performance, is just a scratch on the surface of all the layers underneath to bring us the music, dance etc. The same is true for wedding venues, concert halls, restaurants, amusement parks, farmers’ markets, movie theaters and tours.
Restarting tour operations and planning new food tour routes!
How to Restart a Tour Operation
Currently, I am assessing the status of my past vendor partners. I have begun to reach out to them to explore their interest in again partnering with my food tours. I hope to hear back from them soon, yet I know they are figuring out their own practices to expand to 75% capacity and bolster customer confidence in dining. When we have agreed on the taste to offer, I will need to revise my talking points. Since some restaurants have closed, I need to reconfigure the flow of the tastes, keeping the mileage around 1.5 miles, with a taste stop every 15 minutes or so.
What Goes Into Planning a Tour Route?
On top of all this, I also have some ideas for new tour routes – The South Central Troy Food Tour that was to have been launched last year and a yet to be named route in Albany. For the new route in Albany, I need to explain food tours to my possible new taste vendors. I have to explore their menus for the most delicious items, ways to safely offer them to tour guests, timing considerations for tour arrival and best ways to communicate numbers for each tour, dietary needs etc. Once the taste stops are set, learning about the restaurant owner to tell their story on the tour is key. Then I need to walk the route and see what other points of interest are along the way to point out to my tour guests. Finally, I need to begin updating the website to show we are open for business and begin promoting my tours to past customers and to the public at large.
Looks like this Spring will be a busy one. However, I am looking forward to being able to greet my tour customers again and share my curated perspectives on the food delights of the Capital Region. I am indeed comforted by the fact that the Sun is finally rising again and I will be able to provide tasty things to do in Troy and Albany this season! Have a delicious day!