Creativity and innovation in haute cuisine restaurants: factors affecting the creative process of Michelin-rated chefs

  • Tindara Abbate
  • Angelo Presenza
  • Fabrizio Cesaroni
  • Marta Maleddu
  • Lorn Sheehan
Keywords: chef; creativity; haute cuisine; innovation; Michelin guide; restaurants


Purpose of the paper: Creativity and innovation in haute cuisine restaurants are being explored. The paper seeks to understand what factors influence the creative process in culinary activities.

Methodology: The exploratory analysis has been conducted by using a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) based on primary data obtained from a survey of 132 Italian Michelin stared Chefs.

Findings: Three key factors were found to stimulate creativity. The within-individual factor reflects the chef’s personal inclination for creativity. The second factor consists of external sources beyond the individual chef that can significantly enhance or constrain creativity. Lastly, an important practical factor encompasses contextual components, such as the need to consider financial sustainability and cost control.

Research limits: The paper is focused on the Italian context and caution has to be used when generalizing the results of the study to different contexts. The research has an exploratory nature. Findings have to be confirmed by further analyses.

Practical implications: The paper concludes with a suggested set of management capabilities to support the success of efforts that transform novel ideas into new and desirable culinary experiences for competitive positioning of haute cuisine restaurants.

Originality of the paper: The first results of a work-in progress research help understanding how the approach to creativity influences the development of culinary innovations, which ultimately lead to the financial performance of restaurants.



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