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How Lauren built a food tour business in a ‘secondary’ market

Building a food tour business is tough. Building a food tour business in a ‘secondary’ destination with the foodie heaven of San Francisco right on your doorstep? Even tougher!

On today’s Tourpreneur, the podcast for tour operators, you will hear the story of Lauren McCabe Herpich, the tourpreneur behind Local Food Adventures in Oakland, California.

In this candid conversation with Tourpreneur host Shane Whaley, Lauren McCabe Herpich shares with us the highs and lows about starting her own food tour business from scratch.


“I love giving tours because: There may not be a better way to travel than to discover what the locals are eating and experiencing during their normal daily lives. You get to meet different people from all over the world and bond over a common love of food.”

Lauren McCabe Herpich


What you will learn…

  • How a career in TV and marketing has helped her with some aspects of her food tour business.
  • How a night out with friends who had enjoyed a San Francisco Food Tour, inspired her to start her own food and walking tour in Oakland.
  • How she competes with the food tour market of San Francisco.
  • Her first steps marketing and promoting her food tour business on a shoestring budget.
  • She made no money with Groupon but did amass a lot of learning.
  • That she built her own tour website using WordPress and WPZoom themes.
  • The lightbulb moment. How a quick conversation with Douglas Quinby at Arival inspired her to add a new product offering that could be lucrative for her tour business.
  • How she coped with the low moments when she was struggling with negative thoughts.
  • Why she decided to add more tour products.
  • How she approached food vendors to be a part of her food tours.
  • Why being honest is important when addressing negative tour reviews.
  • Why she loves working with FareHarbor and what she looks for in a tour booking platform.
  • How she went about recruiting tour guides for her tour business.
  • Why content can be a headache for tour operators.
  • Advice for Moms and Dads who want to build their own tour business.
  • Tips on how to keep learning and not to ignore the big names because you are a small tour operator.
  • Words of wisdom for other tour operators.

Resources

Local Food Adventures

Food Tours Offered by Local Food Adventures

Meet The Local Food Adventures Tour Guides

Local Food Adventures – Food Tours in the News.

Visit Oakland

FareHarbor Booking Platform for Tour Operators

Magpie Travel

Arival Event for Tour Operators

Side Hustle School