Delon Wang
Delon is Trends Manager, Asia Pacific at Mintel. He oversees Trends content and Trends client servicing for the region.

A hotel in Malaysia is serving consumers QR codes alongside their meals to show how they can be recreated at home. The Lemon Garden restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur has designed a range of websites containing step-by-step recipes for its most popular dishes. These can be accessed by diners through QR codes served with meals. The restaurant is attempting to make the dining experience more interesting, interactive and cost-effective for customers.

Credit: Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Copycat chefs

The Malaysian restaurant scene has enjoyed steady growth in recent years, reflecting the generally upward trajectory of the country’s economy. However, the market remains dominated by cheaper fast food outlets, with more expensive full-service restaurants still out of reach for many consumers.

The Lemon Garden restaurant has attempted to broaden its appeal by offering visitors greater insight into how dishes are prepared. This adds value to the dining experience and can make expensive meals more cost-effective in the long term. It also taps into the growing desire seen globally for consumers to make things themselves, with an uncertain political and economic climate putting greater focus on self-sufficiency.

Credit: Courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur

This has had an impact on businesses across industries, and has even encouraged foodservice operators to incorporate ‘do-it-yourself’ elements into offerings. For example, IKEA recently opened a pop-up store in London where customers prepare the food themselves, while McDonald’s launched cooking classes in South Korea to help consumers make their own Big Macs.

While such schemes seem counter-intuitive for foodservice operators, restaurants are much more than the sum of their food, and those that can help diners learn new skills could generate long-term loyalty in a world where ‘doing it yourself’ is becoming a priority.