Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to identify and explore different business models that are active in the gastronomic industry and assess where there may be opportunities and limitations for innovation. Design/methodology/approach: The authors develop a conceptualization of the business model concept and some of its main components – considering an internal and external orientation – and how they can be applied to the gastronomic sector. On this basis, the authors propose, develop and test an empirical framework for the economic sustainability of gastronomic enterprises. Based on data from a publicly available database of the Danish hospitality sector, the authors conduct hierarchical cluster analysis to identify different business models for the Danish gastronomic sector. Findings: Given the diversity of the gastronomic sector, there can be a multitude of alternative business models and characteristics, which may enable the sector to create value through, for example, product differentiation, market segmentation, and so on. The analysis revealed nine different clusters, which represent different business models in terms of value creation, segmentation, and resource utilization – highlighting either more closed or open business models. These business models offer a basis for considering the opportunities and barriers for business model innovation – for both startups and incumbent firms – within gastronomy and agri-food more generally. Originality/value: The gastronomic sector is diverse and heterogeneous with a multitude of possible alternative business models. This paper provides a basis for considering the key enablers of business model development in this sector. The integrative framework and empirical assessment provides a basis for further exploring business model innovation in the gastronomic sector in particular and the agri-food sector more generally.