Update on potential Food & Drink Network

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Over the past year DAVAA volunteered to make efforts to bring together the bars, cafes and restaurants within Dundee to form a Food and Drink Network. As an Association that represents the accommodation operators in both Dundee and Angus we recognise the value of our collaborations and through our experiences we have helped improve the development of Dundee as a tourism destination.

We still believe that a missing part of the collaborative puzzle for City’s leisure tourism sector is a collective voice for the hard working professionals who provide great food and drink options for visitors to the city. These restaurants, bars and the cafes are an integral part of any visitor’s stay in Dundee and can have a huge influence on their overall experience.  A  Dundee based Food & Drink Network has the potential for the local food and drink service industry to have a voice, to collaborate and to be represented in the work that drives success for both their businesses and the wider area.

During 2019 we contacted many businesses to gauge interest in a network and how it could possibly work. As well as speaking to many businesses face to face we sought advise from and liaised with Scotland Food and Drink, Scottish Enterprise, VisitScotland and Dundee City Council.

Based on the warm reception and positive reactions to the concept from the many businesses we interviewed, we decided to host an event at which we hoped to launch a network on the 9th of September at V&A Dundee.

Although the event was well attended it unfortunately exposed several stumbling blocks that have moved DAVAA to make the decision to not pursue this project any further. The most noticeable fact from the event was the lack of attendance from bars, cafes and restaurants operating in the City that would form the very backbone of this network. Of the 61 registered; only 6 of these key stakeholders we hoped to attract turned up.

This made for an interesting afternoon, but ultimately one where the discussions had were not being heard by those businesses that we had met with and engaged with throughout the year.  These were the people that could contribute in the most meaningful way to moving the idea forward.

With the continued growth in the food tourism market in Scotland, DAVAA will continue to engage with others and work towards improving our guests experience and connecting them with the opportunities to enjoy the best food and drink that our area has to offer.