Survey on Hospitality in Brabant

"Hospitality is in our genes"

Brabant and food have gone together for centuries. People from Brabant are known for their hospitality and love of the good life. Where does their feel for hospitality and gastronomy come from? What is it about this hospitality that sets it apart, and what does a good time in Brabant really taste like? You can experience all this in December in the RAVANELLO pop-up restaurant in Breda during the 'Month of Hospitality'.

Lots of research has been done into what characterises hospitality in Brabant over the last year. Hospitality: can you taste it, then? "Of course you can" is what Bert Smit (senior lecturer and researcher into guest experience and service design for the Hotel Management and Facilities Management Course at Breda University of Applied Sciences, formerly NHTV) He led a study over the last 7 months looking into the famous Brabant welcome in the leisure sector.

"In general terms, the study confirms what we thought, our gut feeling: people from Brabant enjoy getting other people to have a good time. That natural attitude is special. "Hospitality is in our genes" If we look specifically at the hospitality industry, then it's also the informal way of doing things that stands out: entrepreneurs see their business as an extension of their living rooms. Guests really feel welcome, actually seen and heard", says Smit. That's worth its weight in gold."

That attention to the individual is what distinguishes Brabant from the Randstad cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht, and the parts of the Netherlands above the two main rivers, according to this researcher. "In general, things are more formal and business-like in other parts of the country. In the restaurant trade, it's particularly true that small businesses, family companies, and businesses in cities or the countryside of Brabant that have strong local roots and involve the region in what they serve in their restaurants are appreciated. Local and regional cross pollination, interconnectedness, giving each other a chance - the visitor notices all of that.

The future
Experience researcher Smit expects entrepreneurs in the leisure industry to keep looking for new ways of doing things in the future. "Relationships will become even stronger, and therefore more valuable", he predicts. If we look at the restaurant sector, we can see connections starting to happen with various tourist attractions, sights, and for instance, bicycle hire businesses. Together they can achieve great things."

A dining experience
The fact that all of Brabant has been "European Region of Gastronomy" in 2018 has led to many special initiatives. In any case, there's definitely one you can still experience: the Dining Experience by food designer Ralph Geerts. From 2nd to 22nd December, he's going to leave his catering business Ravello to its own devices, and conduct his business from the former tax office on the Gasthuisvelden in Breda. For 18 evenings, the Ravanello team will cook a five-course menu inspired by facts, fables and interesting things to know that have been gathered from around the province around the theme of hospitality. You can find more information about this unique pop-up restaurant at hoeproeftgastvrijheidinbrabant.nl.