Hipster Culture is Killing the Hospitality Industry!

According to the dictionary, a hipster is a usually ‘a person who is trendy, stylish, or progressive in an unconventional way; someone who is hip’.

The hipster subculture is stereo-typically composed of young adults who reside in gentrified neighbourhoods and are broadly associated with indie lifestyles, non-mainstream fashion, hold pacifist and green views, are often vegans, but otherwise consume organic and artisan foods, craft beverages and live alternative lifestyles.

So, what does this have to do with hospitality?

Well, often these days, ‘hipster’ can be used interchangeably with ‘pretentious’.

Hipster culture, as it translates to hospitality, was once confined to a few restaurants and coffee shops in rejuvenated parts of the inner city in large metropolitan areas.

Easy to make fun of, easy to avoid…

However, the worse aspects of these hipster joints seem to be permeating into hotels, bars and restaurants of all types, styles and standards throughout the world. This trend manifests itself in a few significant ways – the food, the menu descriptions and the tableware!

Why are Kale smoothies on the menu of any restaurant? – I defy anyone who has tried one, to genuinely say they loved it!

How about Vegan Cheese? The whole idea of is just wrong…

Activated Charcoal Ice Cream anyone? No, No, No!

I am really, really over “foams”, “smears” and anything “deconstructed”.

I recently saw a well-regarded chef proudly post an Instagram picture of his ‘deconstructed’ chocolate desert that looked like the waiter had tripped up and dropped the plate just inches from the table!

I am over menus with meaningless words such as “artisanal” “curated” “awakened”. Your “market fresh” or “hand selected” “house made” anything, surely should go without saying? Please don’t tell me the chef went out overnight to “harvest” or “forage” for the mushrooms on your dish, as I don’t believe you!

Equally bad are those menus that are just a list of ingredients: – Beef – Passion-fruit – Allspice – Arsenic… What? How is it cooked, or do I just guess?

Let’s stick to menu descriptions that give you some idea of what you are actually going to see on your plate, without the meaningless associated twaddle…

Most infuriating of all is the use of all manner of bizarre implements masquerading as a plate, bowl or glass!

The internet, and Instagram in particular, is now awash with photos of food served in flowerpots, on tiles, in garden implements or in jam jars – the clue is in the name sometimes, JAM JAR not glass!

Please just stop it!!

To follow is a curated listed of websites which include some of the worst examples – these are provided, not as inspiration, but to avoid!

31 Hipster Restaurant Presentations that went too far…

Hipster Restaurant Starter Pack – Reddit

We Want Plates

Things you find in every Hipster Restaurant

Hipster Food that we’re not sure how to eat

34 Hipster Restaurants that have Officially Crossed the Line

How Hipster Restaurants Overcomplicate Everything

Normal Food v’s Hipster Food

About the Author

rsz_tim_johns_cc1Tim Johns is a former Hotelier and Managing Partner with Elite Search – a leading hospitality recruitment firm. For more information about Tim and Elite Search visit http://www.elitesearch.com.au and The Elite Hotelier http://www.elitehotelier.net

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