Richmond Night Market is one of the biggest food and beverage festival, celebrated every year in the summer only. This event attracts a huge number of visitors to come and enjoy the food as well as entertain on the weekend!
Atmosphere, Décor and Cleanliness
The featured theme of 2018 Richmond Night Market was “The Amazing Summer”, so the feeling and visual theme when arriving at the market were very tropical with a variety of colours. There were two main areas, one for selling items and a large food court. There was also a stage for a lot of interesting performances and a games area with a themed Under the Sea Bouncy Castle and Sunshine Baby Playground which would keep the kids entertained. The market also had a dinosaur exhibit with many giant dinosaurs and they looked incredibly real!
There were many types of food from all different countries and cultures in the food court. The food court was always the most attractive area of the market with more than 100 food stalls. Usually, people come to night market because of the food and want to try many traditional food items from different countries including some unique food and beverages such as nitrogen ice-cream balls or light bulb soda. Having so many diverse offerings makes the food court incredibly busy. They also had tables for people to buy food and sit down to eat adding comfortability. Since the Night Market is so incredibly busy cleanliness is very important and the organizers did really well in keeping all the areas very clean which is really important for keeping all the guests happy.
The staff play a crucial role in making the Richmond Night Market successful every year. However, because it is an outside activity and always crowded the event does not concentrate too much on personal service. Therefore, the quality of service is basic and the way the servers serve food for customers is not complicated. First, most of the servers look very young, around 18 – 30 years old. The market opens only 4-5 hours on the weekends creating a condensed busy period which requires the servers to have an ability to work fast and have a good memory, so customers don’t wait too long for food and get correct orders. The food truck servers were also very good at controlling the crowd and speaking out loud to advertise their trucks and attract them to buy their food. Moreover, they must feel confident in their performance skill when cooking in front of customers. Second, the style of food service at the Richmond Night Market is familiar to quick service restaurants. The customers take responsibility for reading the menu from the banners hung at the counters. After that, they come to the counters and take the order from the servers and give them payment. It takes around 5 minutes to prepare the food. Once the food is ready, the customers then come up and receive their food. Tables are available for customers that want to sit and hang out; however, they must clean the table themselves after using it for the next customer. In general, there are many kinds of food coming from many countries, so the style of service varies. Nevertheless, the service here is appreciated because it adds so much to the guest’s comfort and satisfaction.
Integration of Modern Food and Beverage Trends
Food and Beverage Trends have been modernized in the current Hospitality Industry helping with more profit generation and increasing overall customer satisfaction. In relation to the Richmond Night Market, I have noticed various trends like Food Trucks which have become a growing food and beverage trend in today’s time. The food truck trend has many advantages and disadvantages!
- Set up Speed – Setting up a motorized van is amazing, you can drive up, park, open the hatch and start serving. It is the quickest and easiest unit to operate from.
- More Profit – A Food Truck is a total fashion statement currently. A Food Truck helps in getting the easier as many event organizers want cool trucks that will draw the crowds.
- Good Investment – Converting a food truck into a mobile catering business is a great investment policy as a vendor can resell the vehicle for more than it has cost them to purchase after conversion.
- Cost – A Food Truck can be the costliest type of unit that you can buy. It is difficult for a person who has just started in the industry. On top, you can have a large number of repair bills.
- Limited Space – A lot of Food Trucks have limited space which makes it difficult to operate from. The amount of stock you can carry could be less and you have less staff to operate with.
The other trend I noticed was serving ethnic food to customers. As you all know the Richmond Night Market is all about serving East Asian and Oriental Festival style food. It’s the closest thing to an authentic Asian night market outside Asia and is highly recommended. Ethnic food helps in describing the culture and heritage of a particular group. Ethnic foods are nutrient enriched and have a long history of supporting health and wellness. These foods have been consumed for thousands of years and ethnic foods have a very deep history embedded in them which will never die.
These trends are very successful in the Richmond Night Market as it describes the ethnicity of East Asia and the mobile catering trucks industry which has boomed sales to the next level and highly increased the profit margins of the Night Market and makes the event very popular among the people of different countries living in Canada.
The food I tried during our visit at the Night Market was a spicy chicken wrap with peanut sauce which I bought from a food truck specializing in chicken dishes. It was very delicious as it gave the taste of various spices used in Asian cuisine. As it was my first visit to the Night Market having a spicy chicken wrap was a great experience for me.
The main purpose of having a sustainable event is to be able to continue to carry on the event over time. Using responsible and fair business techniques to make your event successful, profitable, and good for the overall community and the environment has become a staple of modern event planning.
After attending the Richmond Night Market, I instantly became aware of a multitude of sustainability concerns after observing how the event works for only a short period of time. The night market has quickly become the largest summertime festival of food and merchandise in Vancouver and boasts 105 food stalls, 195 mercantile booths and countless others offering various games and prizes. Being this large the market usually draws in around 5000 to 8000 customers a night which is quite a large sample of the population to gather in one area for the entirety of the summer.
In terms of food and beverage, one of the largest sustainability concerns of our time is the disposal of solid waste. The average event attendee commits almost 0.64 kg of solid waste so when multiplied by the average number of attendees in one night that comes to a whopping 4.16 tonnes of solid waste per night. Considering the night market didn’t have enough disposal options for plastic, paper, and food waste that’s an alarming amount of waste being sent to our landfills. Using Douglas College into the example, we set the standard for how waste is properly sorted for reuse and recycling so it is crazy that such a large event has no proper system in place considering this day and age of sustainability.
The Richmond Night Market also must be extra careful about pollution considering its right on the coast of the close neighbouring Pacific Ocean. It didn’t have any information on how human waste is dealt with but for an event of its size, it must be incredibly responsible for disposal considering its proximity to such a large body of water.
It doesn’t have to do with food and beverage, but some people forget that one of the largest sustainability concerns for an event is its impact on not only the local economy but other parts of the world. The Night Market relies on merchandise sales based on largely cheaply made and knock off counterfeit good made oversees. Facilities like this are wildly known to use child labour and severely underpay staff who work in dismal working conditions for long hours, so it really begs the question of how worldly conscious this event us.
The Richmond Night Market is an incredibly fun and great fun for the local economy and surrounding area but in terms of sustainability, there are definitely several things they could change in terms of their policies regarding sustainable goods and recycling.
Richmond Night Market Theme
As touched on in atmosphere and décor, the theme of the Richmond Night Market this year was “The Amazing Summer” which incorporated a whimsical island theme into this year’s event. The colour scheme brought vibrant blues of the sky along with deeps greens of palm trees surrounded by the vibrant colours of tropical flowers and fruits shown throughout tons of fun decorations at the event. Other design aspects were tons of crustaceans and dinosaurs usually made up of large blow-up or wooden installations creating larger than life decorations transporting you to a magical oasis.
Considering most of the food choices at the night market are seafood related I thought the theme complimented what the festival had to offer incredibly well. It also worked great to form a fun overall aesthetic that covers the entire event from the food and beverage corner all the way across to the games and merchandise.
Fresh Watermelon Juice
For my beverage selection, I chose a vendor selling fresh concentrated fruit juice from a fun little colourful pavilion. They had various containers of juice that were being produced fresh from the actual fruit presented in a very aesthetic way above their containing vessels.
I chose a beverage over food because I had eaten before arriving, so I was in the mood for something lighter and this fit the description. I made my selection because watermelon is one of my favourite flavours, and natural fresh watermelon juice is harder to come by in large quantities than other variants. The level of freshness was incredible, and it showed off the natural sweetness of watermelon which was a refreshing change in the world of overly sugary fruit juices that we live in today.
The value was also great in comparison to other beverage options because it rang in at 5$ for 1L of juice which was decently over the actual value of the product but was very competitive in relation to various other options that were available. I very much enjoyed my selection and would recommend it to anyone else who attends the Night Market looking for a great product with amazing freshness and value!