As consumers are becoming more conscious and curious about the sources of their food, there has been a substantial increase in the demand for locally produced food. In fact, according to a recent study, local British produce was one of the major factors considered by a consumer while choosing a restaurant. Moreover, a quarter of the diners preferred spending 25% extra on food if the food had British produce while some were willing to spend up to 50% more.
Therefore, it can be beneficial for your restaurant if you use locally sourced produce and may lead to an increase in your revenue.
What Does Locally Sourced Produce Mean?
According to many industry veterans, local ingredients that come from within a 150-mile radius of the place of consumption are known to be locally produced food. Usually, restaurants rely on nearby farms or suppliers in the neighboring towns or region.
For instance, Lokal, a cozy modern German cuisine spot is one of the first contemporary restaurants to focus on regional produce. The weekly changing menu mostly revolves around sustainable, local and seasonal dishes.
Katz Orange, another modern German Bistro, combines the core values of sustainability with seasonal, locally sourced produce to create a delicious dining experience. In fact, Isla Coffee is a unique cafe that has taken sustainability to the next level. Everything in the cafe is recycled, reclaimed or homegrown.
But the incredible success story is of Kin Dee. Opened in 2017, Kin Dee, an authentic Thai restaurant that serves Thai cuisine with a regional twist, was awarded a prestigious Michelin star in 2019, making Kin Dee one of the best restaurants in Berlin.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using local produce for your restaurant.
1. Fresher Ingredients
Compared to the imported produce, local ingredients take a lesser time to go from the farm to the restaurant. Thus, local ingredients are likely to be fresher. It also implies that since these ingredients have been recently grown or picked, they haven’t gone through much preservation before reaching the restaurant. This enhances the flavor of the ingredients as well as make the food look more vibrant and fresher.
Locally sourced food is also environment friendly. Not only does it require less energy for harvesting, and less fuel for transportation but it also uses fewer pesticides and chemicals on the crops.
3. Sustain Local Businesses
Since you are buying local, you are helping the local suppliers and businessmen. This has a positive impact on the local economy, employment rates and professional relations within your community.
In addition, building strong relationships with local farmers and traders means creating valuable connections and creating more business opportunities in the future. Not only can you enjoy the benefit of cross-recommending customers and increasing sales, but you also get help in dealing with food waste. A local farmer can take care of your food waste by reusing what you don’t need as manure.
4. Positive Brand Image
When your customers get to know that you use locally produced ingredients, it promotes a positive image of your restaurant. It shows that you care about the source of food and are conscious about its impact on the environment and economy.
It can also make you stand out from your competitors as you are offering more authentic and fresh meals to your customers.
5. More New Items on Your Menu
A great way to give your diners variety is by updating your menu depending on what’s in the season. Moreover, seasonal produce is more reasonably priced, and the customers get to enjoy a wide range of flavorsome dishes. In fact, people would be willing to try your specialty dishes if they are aware that they can enjoy it only at certain times of the year.
As you can see, using local produce in your restaurant can add to your advantage. First, find out about your local farms and traders and then start sourcing 15-20% of your ingredients locally. You can increase the sourcing slowly once you’ve established trust and bond with the suppliers and figure out what works best for your restaurant.