Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to examine the nature of nostalgia, especially nostalgia associated with place, and its potential in the development of branding and advertising images for the hospitality industry. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper achieves its aims by reviewing the relevant literature and illustrating the extant theory with the results of a small pilot study. Findings ‐ Nostalgia is an effective tool for developing brand and advertising images for the hospitality industry. It is relevant especially to place and place-related aspects such as terroir and it communicates with consumers of all ages. As well as evoking a direct response, nostalgic images also bring to mind many related sounds, odours and objects, which may also be linked with expectation. However, nostalgic images must be chosen with care, since some individuals may be negatively affected by them. Practical implications ‐ Hospitality organizations can make greater use of their links with place, culture and food by incorporating nostalgic imagery in their branding and advertising. The effects of nostalgia are felt by more age groups than is generally recognized. Original/value ‐ There has been little, if any, attention to nostalgia as a marketing tool in the hospitality industry. This article, which addresses this shortfall, will appeal to hospitality managers and entrepreneurs who seek to improve the effectiveness of their branding and advertising.