In bygone years, the restaurant scene in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole flourished with an array of diverse, independent eateries. These local gems contribute to the vibrant culinary landscape of the region, providing unique flavours and dining experiences. However, in the face of challenging times, these independent restaurants are disappearing and they need your support more than ever. As the owner of the Fired Up Collective and the campaign group The Wonky Table, I’m passionate about raising awareness about the importance of supporting local businesses – they are the lifeblood of the local economy.
Independent restaurants offer something a chain can’t – soul, they showcase creativity and passion and welcome you with open arms – not just begrudgingly serve you. From authentic Thai cuisine to Pan-african, our establishments create flavours that cannot be replicated elsewhere – and especially not in a chain restaurant! They contribute significantly to the local economy by providing employment opportunities and supporting other local suppliers. By supporting them, you are helping maintain a community – and these businesses need you more than ever.
So next time you eat out, think, make it a point of visiting your favourite independent restaurant. Share your dining experiences on social media, leave positive reviews, and recommend these establishments to friends and family. Word-of-mouth is a powerful tool that can attract new customers and ensure the longevity of local restaurants. Many independent restaurants organise special events, such as wine tastings, themed dinners, or live music nights. By participating in these events, you not only have a great time but also support the restaurant’s efforts to engage the community. Collaborate and build partnerships with these local restaurants as they are the ones that offer up charity prizes for School raffles, help support local charities and employ you’re 16 year old in their first job.
The local independent restaurants in Bournemouth, Christchurch, and Poole are the heart and soul of our communities. By supporting them, we not only savour exceptional flavours and experiences but also contribute to the economic and cultural fabric of our towns. Each visit, recommendation, or social media post can make a real difference in ensuring their survival.
Let’s join hands and rally behind these cherished establishments, showing them that we value and appreciate their presence. Together, we can make a lasting impact on the local dining scene and preserve what at the end of the day is something you will really miss when they are gone.
So next time you eat, eat local and eat independent! It’s not as easy as you would think… look into the place you’re eating at before you go, I bet you’ll find one of your favourite ‘local venues’ is actually in fact a well-hidden chain.
Words by Andy Lennox
Founder of the Fired Up Collective. Nusara Thai, Zim Braai & The Old Thatch Local. Independent. Boutique. Hospitality the Old Way
Founder of The Wonky Table a hospitality triage network