The Food Channel® is in Las Vegas this week (through November 7), visiting local restaurants that will be highlighted as part of its new Raves & Faves program, a collection of interactive, searchable restaurant profiles found at iRaves.com. Crews will be visiting prearranged locations as well as stopping in for visits at other local spots along the way.
‘We’ve spent the year watching consumers trend toward eating more at home,’ said Kay Logsdon, editor of The Food Channel. ‘This was a movement we identified more than a year ago, and the logical next question is: â€˜What is this doing to the restaurant business?’ So, we decided it was time to help the industry.’
As a result, The Food Channel has partnered with U.S. Foodservice, starting in Las Vegas, to produce multimedia feature profiles on a selection of locally-owned restaurants and Strip icons, including: Timbers Bar & Grill, Lindo Michoacan, China Grill at Mandalay Bay, Nora’s Wine Bar & Osteria, Martinis, Shuck’s Gaming & Oyster Bar, Sierra Gold Tavern, Fireside Lounge at the Peppermill, Spiedini Ristorante, Big Dog’s Brewing Company, Capo’s Italian Steakhouse, Ellis Island Casino & Brewery, and Paradise Cantina.
‘Our crew will come in to capture video, photography, and interviews with the restaurant operator, chef and loyal patrons,’ said Logsdon. ‘Site users will be able to get more in-depth information in a highly visual and interactive format, so they can make an informed restaurant choice, complete with incentives direct from the restaurants. It’s a great place to learn about local dining whether you live in Vegas or plan to visit.’
While Las Vegas kicks off the ‘virtual tour,’ The Food Channel crew is slated to visit other locations, with Los Angeles next on the list. In addition, consumers will be able to ‘rave’ about their own favorite restaurants by submitting information and interacting on iRaves.com. The database will go live on Nov. 15, with a national Raves & Faves program launch planned for early 2010.
‘We are extremely excited to support The Food Channel in bringing this new program to life, and couldn’t be more proud that Raves & Faves will kick off in the Las Vegas market. There’s not a better place to highlight the fun, forward things restaurants are doing to keep consumers dining out—in an interactive format that allows consumers to experience first-hand the uniqueness of Vegas food,’ said Chef Kitti Sanderson, U.S. Foodservice Las Vegas. ‘This program is one of many ways we are delivering on the U.S. Foodservice pledge to our customers to be Your Partner Beyond the Plate®.’
As part of its week in Vegas, The Food Channel will also document a day in the life of Vegas food, using Food Channel cultural correspondent Andy Ford, chief insights officer for Noble. ‘If you’ve ever wondered how people eat when up all night in Vegas, this is where you’ll find out,’ said Logsdon. ‘We expect this feature, called â€˜Clockless in Vegas,’ to give a perspective on Vegas and its food like you’ve never seen before!’