The AA and East Midlands Tourism (EMT) are to launch a regular series of restaurant quality workshops in April following the success of a pilot scheme.
Called , the workshops are geared at helping hotels, restaurants, café bars and teashops understand how visitors look at more than the quality or type of food when choosing where to eat.
Peter Birnie, chief hotel and restaurant inspector for the AA, developed the workshops, which he said help provide restaurateurs with the "bigger picture".
"About half of the day looks at the variables other than food that affect the way people chose where to eat," he said.
"We look at the importance of a welcoming aspect, customer service, local food sourcing, ambience and the small but important finishing touches.'
Fran Wilson, quality development manager for East Midlands, added: "Eating out is the most popular activity for people and a key part of their overall experience when staying away from home.
"We want to drive standards up by helping everyone from restaurants to teashops to improve their overall visitor welcome."
Nottingham restaurateur and winner of the AA Restaurant of the Year 2007 Sat Bains welcomed the launch of the workshops.
"East Midlands Tourism takes a wide view of tourism and is keen to help restaurants understand their role in improving the overall visitor experience," he said.
"There are other benefits of the workshops too; they allow small businesses to network. I know only too well how difficult it is to get a chance to meet and share ideas."
The AA and EMT are looking at other joint workshops for the future, including housekeeping quality and revenue management.
For more information on workshops, the first of which runs in Lincoln on 24 April, call Fran Wilson on 0115 988 8425 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
By Daniel Thomas