There’s no doubt that food plays a key role in our life. Beyond simple sustenance, the traditions, social rituals, and overall experience of enjoying and sharing a meal carry a great symbolic and cultural value.
In the Caribbean, gastronomy and “liming” as it is called, go hand in hand as synonymous with cultural experience. Jamaica is considered a culinary hotspot, where the aromatic flavors of local herbs and spices blend in various dishes and preparations sparked with Amerindian, African, European, and even Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian influences.
Precisely inspired by Jamaica´s rich and exciting gastronomical landscape and its vast culinary offer, The Observer hosts the Table Talk Food Awards each year to celebrate, taste, and applaud the island´s world-famous culinary heritage. For its 24th edition in June of 2023, Mastercard returns as a proud sponsor with the mission of connecting people to their passion for food and bringing Priceless memories to locals and visitors on the island all year round.
Creating Innovative Culinary Experiences: Mastercard´s Priceless Approach
The latest insight from Mastercard Economics Institute revealed a significant demand increase for culinary and entertainment experiences in the post-pandemic era, especially in popular tourist destinations like Jamaica; where Looking specifically at March 2023 vs. March 2019, citizens and travelers spend over 105 per cent more on experiences that appeal to their desire for unforgettable memories and meaningful connections.
This is why, to connect cardholders to their passions and allow them to do more of what they love, Mastercard continues to be at the forefront of how financial institutions connect with consumers through expanding its Gastronomy Program for Jamaica. The platform launched in 2019 and has since created partnerships with affluent restaurants around the island. These alliances give Mastercard cardholders more reasons to use their cards and obtain exclusive gastronomic benefits, including standard discounts, specialised food and drink menus, and memorable gastronomical experiences and activations in events such as The Observer Food Awards.
Growth and Resilience for Jamaica´s Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
One of Mastercard´s core efforts to drive growth and prosperity is financial inclusion and strengthening the small business ecosystem by helping entrepreneurs access the networks, tools, and resources they need to thrive. Worldwide, the company has made significant advancements in these matters, such as connecting 50 million micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to the digital economy through card acceptance and providing 27 million women entrepreneurs with solutions to help them grow their businesses.
Some ways in which Mastercard supports MSMEs in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean include a full suite of digital solutions for them to choose how they pay, access, borrow, and manage their finances. Tools like Tap on Phone, Click to Pay, and QR codes allow them to get paid faster and safer. At the same time, the Easy Savings automatic rebate program and Mastercard´s enhanced end-to-end fraud prevention platform for digital purchases enable management trust and flexibility.
The payment technology leader is also committed to empowering entrepreneurs through unique training, knowledge, and skill-acquiring spaces. Mastercard, alongside key partners, has created platforms like The Entrepreneur´s Odyssey, the Girls4Tech STEM educational program, the INCAE Virtual Accelerator, the Strive e-commerce toolkits, and a partnership with the Regional Alliance for the Digitalization of Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, amongst others, to tailor the needs of women entrepreneurs and local businesses in the region.
Mastercard enables its restaurant partners within the Gastronomy Program in Jamaica to elevate their gastronomic offer with Priceless Experiences, strengthening their business, increasing consumer traffic and transaction volume, and building brand positioning through differentiated tactics like distinctive Mastercard Point-Of-Purchase branding within restaurant locations, and customized campaign materials for their digital and social media communications, as well as a set of personalized benefits to offer their clientele, catering to their specific needs.
Connecting People with Passions
Overall, the Gastronomy Program aims to build a platform that connects consumers with delightful gastronomy experiences and benefits under the “Priceless to You” concept and acts as a natural extension of Mastercard’s long history of catering to consumers’ culinary passions in the Caribbean.
Mastercard´s Multisensory Strategy aims to bring new experiences that connect cardholders to their passions, help them pursue more profound levels of happiness, and change them for the better and, maybe, even the world around them. All featured on Mastercard’s experiential lifestyle hub Priceless.com, new and regularly updated experiences span passions around the globe.