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EMAC 2023 Annual

A socio-semiotic analysis of restaurateurs' understanding of brand meaning in promoting local food

Published: May 24, 2023


Paola Gioia, Kedge Business School


Our study adopts a socio-semiotics approach to investigate the meaning that restaurateurs give to brands adopted to promote local food. By analyzing the case of Valposchiavo, a tourist-oriented valley in the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, we show how restaurateurs may consciously accept/deny and unconsciously accept/deny the brand according to the meaning they associate with it. Based on semi-structured interviews conducted with restaurateurs, the analysis of their menus, their websites, and social networks this study can provide practical insights for improving branding strategies of tourist destinations that want to promote the place through culinary experiences related to local food.