For the past several years, my wife and I have been active participants in an annual month long “tasting” event that takes place each fall in and around our region. The 50 Bites event is the brainchild of the team from Atlantic City Weekly, a publication that is part of the same BH Media group as our weekly Catamaran publications.

The concept is basic in theory, however the value and benefits to both participants tasting and those businesses offering the tastes have the potential to be both long lasting and mutually beneficial. After purchasing a lanyard and 50 Bites badge from Atlantic City Weekly (, those with lanyards are able to visit over 50 eateries, bars and restaurants to sample one bite offered per participating business from Oct. 10 to Nov. 27. All the participating establishments offering a bite are listed on the back of the badge along with the bite, or item to taste listed. When I say “bite,” the offering can range from a single scallop to an entire slice of pizza. Even before my official connection to AC Weekly existed, I was a fan and follower of 50 Bites. With a mind for business, I liked this idea since the Atlantic City Weekly team put the promotion in motion.

My wife and I have honed our 50 Bites skills to get the most out of our tasting experience each year we have participated. This includes reviewing the list of offerings and creating some loose strategies to sample multiple bites that are grouped geographically and many times conveniently. We have also encouraged and enlisted friends to join us to make a nice and enjoyable night out. Some years we have purchased additional lanyards to allow friends and family members to join us and introduce them to the concept. Another key is to keep the lanyards close so when you come across an establishment offering a bite, you are ready to partake.

Personal experience aside, this concept is a win-win for all involved. For the business owner participating, they get the opportunity to showcase their food offering or test a new menu idea with an engaged and interested audience. Creativity both in taste and visual look of the food comes into play to entice 50 Bites participants to try the bite. There is also the chance to allow people to visit the establishment and experience the vibe of the business and, even more importantly, your customer service. Throughout our years of participating, most venues have been very welcoming and have made an effort to talk about the food offering, the business and more. This is a huge opportunity for businesses to attract new customers to their location.

From the perspective of the participant tasting the bites, the value comes in both the chance to experience so many new places and do it at an extremely low cost. At $25.00 per lanyard and more than 50 Bites available, the cost per bite is less than 50 cents. Of course, there is the challenge of attempting to conquer tasting all 50 Bites during the seven week event. Keep in mind, there are dozens of different tastes and types of cuisine mixed into the offerings. So planning and strategies around items you want to try is something to consider.

Over the years I have seen groups of people, couples and individuals approach the 50 Bites event in different ways. While there is no right or wrong way to go about the strategy to conquer all 50 Bites, there are rules. The rules and details for 50 Bites can be found at

As far as a concept to connect businesses offering food and customers wanting to try the offerings, 50 Bites continues to be a cost effective, enjoyable way to bring the two groups together in a relaxed and mutually beneficial way. Big thanks to Atlantic City Weekly for again coordinating and offering the event.

I hope to see you out and about tasting some delicious bites at some great places.

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