I created this blog for two key reasons: to showcase that I’m engaged in the industry and, secondly, to provide a forum for me to articulate and get feedback on my (often whacky) business ideas.
A few weeks back, I watched a programme on the Discovery channel about entomophagy – insect eating. It was obviously directed to gross out its Western audience, but in-fact we’re the cultural oddballs – apparently 80% of the world’s population consume insects as part of their daily diet. By the time the programme was finished, I was quite keen to give it a try. But, of course, there is nowhere in Dublin or London (as far I’m aware) that serves such culinary delights.
And so my idea is straightforward: open a insect-menu themed restaurant in a cosmopolitan (and tourist ridden) city such as London. I believe the key would be not to simply serve up plates of grubs, but to instead incorporate insects into more standard and palatable fare – Chocolate Cricket Torte, Three Bee Salad, and Curried Termite Stew (all from the ‘Eat-A-Bug Cookbook‘).
Some reasons why it might just work:
- It’d be pretty easy (and cheap) to create some buzz about the restaurant. Most of the national breakfast news shows would probably bite onto the story. If not, it’d at least get mentioned in the local press.
- The novelty value would warrant a slight premium on the price point. On the other hand, farming insects is far, far cheaper than buying meat.
- The buzz and novelty factor would provide a steady steam of intrigued tourists.
- Entomophagy feeds on the growing trend of conscious consumers. Insect farming is more efficient, less environmentally damaging, and seen as more humane.
- The food might be quite tasty and bring back repeat visitors.
- There are examples of surviving restaurants that focus on unusual cuisine.
On the flip-side, there are some significant hurdles:
- The number of people willing to give it a try is probably quite low.
- The food might be pretty disgusting, providing negative publicity and zero repeat custom.
- It might be difficult to get around health and safety regulations.
- Restaurants aren’t cheap to start-up.
- I can’t cook. Nor have I ever eaten an insect.
Please go ahead and leave a comment with your thoughts.