Local sourcing - the process of getting your food, supplies, and other materials from local farms, shops, and vendors - is becoming all the craze for restaurant owners this fall.
In the last few years, Americans have become much more concerned about what exactly they are eating and where their food is coming from, causing restaurant owners to pay more attention to these questions as well.
Since the agricultural industry has become more of a big business, a lot of customers are drawn more to restaurants that get their food and other items from local farmers and shops, which makes it easier to know where your food came from and allows you to support the local community.
The Nation’s Restaurant News recently published an article detailing several ways that restaurant owners can get in on the local sourcing action:
- Consider your needs - It’s unrealistic to think that any restaurant can get every single one of its ingredients from local farmers and shops, so you need to decide what items you will be able to easily get from a local provider and what items you will need to continue receiving from vendors or other big companies.
- Get to know your local farmers - Whether you visit a local farmers market or single out a few farmers to visit on the farm, take the time to research your options and choose who you want to work with. By developing a good relationship with a farmer, you should be able to agree on a fixed price and purchase your food in bulk.
- Get the team involved - Let your cooks, waiters, and hostesses know that you’re going to start using locally sourced food items and invite them to visit the farms where the food is coming from and learn more about the process.
- Get the community involved - Let your customers know that you’re getting your food from local farmers and ask for feedback on certain items and dishes. You can pump up your advertising efforts with special local menus and videos shot at the farms.
By following these simple steps, you will be able to create a menu that includes more locally sourced items, which will in turn help you build new relationships and attract new customers.