"Local" Demystified: Transparency in Menu Offerings Gets Close To Home

We hear the term local tossed around pretty loosely now a days.  While it’s popping up on just about everything with a price tag (local business, locally owned, locally operated, locally whatever), there is
no place more popular to tout the term local than in food.

And with good reason.  The demand for local food has exploded in the past 10 years. Thanks to the perfect combination of buyer’s interest in where
their food comes from, awareness of near extinction of small farms and
changes in economic climate; buying locally has surpassed passing trend
to become a fierce demand.

As a restaurant owner or manager, you are certainly familiar with customer demands for local fare.  In fact studies have shown that up to 50% of consumers report availability of local fare as a factor in
selection of a restaurant.  (Source)

There’s certainly no denying that offering local options and working with local growers and producers is extremely important.  But how do you get started?  And what really constitutes “local” anyway?

Defining parameters for “local” food is no easy task.  While use of terms like “organic” and “fair trade” are regulated by the government or 3rd party organizations, use of the term local is solely at the
producers discretion.  However, most consumers understand and demand
that several qualifications be met before “local” makes it to their

Local means:

Food is produced within a 100 mile radius of your location.
There really isn’t much wiggle room on this one.  Sure, you may be able to eek out another
10 to 20 miles, but if your restaurant is in Maryland and those “local
blueberries” are from Michigan, you better prepare yourself for some

You can identify the producer and are familiar with the farm and/or production facility.
Those loyal to the eat local movement know their farmers.  Which, if you are offering fare from a specific farm, means you better as well.  Take
the time to have a relationship with the producer, not only is it
authentic, it will get you in good graces which can mean first access to
specialty items and the prettiest produce coming off the farm.

Ingredients are seasonal.
Fundamental to eating locally is eating with the seasons.  Locavores do their best to follow the seasons and will look to you to do so as well.
 This means even frozen local fare won’t usually find it’s way on to the
plate, instead stick to dishes that feature what’s in season right now.

If a dish is labeled local, the majority of the dish is just that, local.
In other words, don’t just toss some local parsley on a squash dish in June and call it local.  Locavores will be crying uncle and running for
the door (or even worse, their local food blog) before the dish leaves
the kitchen.  Be authentic, be transparent, do the best you can with
what you’ve got.  It’s just that simple.

Still need more help?  


Both these resources will help you get started:

Find a farm or producers to supply your restaurant.
Be sure to list your restaurant as offering local fare.

Find a farm.
List your restaurant as offering local fare.


Finally, don’t forget to tap resources at home.  Groups supporting local eating are exploding,  organizations such as Slow Food (www.slowfoodusa.org) want to help producers to make local choices.
Contact them and ask for assistance in finding local fare.  They want to
help you!


Offering local fare is just another way for you to answer consumers demands for transparency in menu offerings.  Consumers are demanding more information as to what they are eating than ever before.  Having a
full menu nutritional analysis and information is no longer optional,
it’s a necessity!  If you are ready to embrace this customer demand, we
can get started today.  Call us at 1.888.767.MENU (6368).

Views: 1

Tags: Information, Menu, Nutiritonal, Restaurants, for, labels, local, menu, menutrinfo, sourcing


You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh




Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries


Kids LiveWell atwitter over Twitter party

In its continuing effort to promote more nutritious and flavorful children's menu options, the NRA will hold a Twitter party  -More

Starbucks could become top on-premise wine seller in U.S.

Starbucks is planning to slowly expand its evening sales of wine, beer and small plates to thousands of selected stores throu -More

The evolving nature of snacks

Snacks have shifted from an after-school treat to a meal alternative as meal times become more fragmented.  -More


Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Wahlburgers Announces Expansion Plans Including Franchise Agreement in Philadelphia

Wahlburgers has signed a franchise agreement with Hingham Associates, LLC that will bring five Wahlburgers to the metropolitan Philadelphia area over the next several years. The franchise group is actively looking at sites and is targeting a late 2014-early 2015 opening for its first restaurant.

Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. First Quarter 2014 Revenue Up 24.4%

Comparable restaurant sales increased 13.4% - Restaurant level operating margin was 25.9%, a decrease of 40 basis points

Jamba Juice Announces Grand Opening of New St. Louis, MO Location

Jamba Juice Company announced the brand’s continued expansion in the St. Louis market with the opening of a Jamba Juice® store at 11477 Olive Blvd. on April 16, 2014.

Expert in Real Estate Analytics Joins Luna Grill

Luna Grill, the San Diego-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, is welcoming retail real estate industry veteran Greg Thorburn to its leadership team. Thorburn has been brought on board to fill the newly created position of Vice-President of Real Estate.

Rita's Italian Ice Awards Area Development Agreement for Kansas

Rita's Italian Ice has awarded franchise and area development agreements for Kansas and the Kansas City area, which extends to the Missouri side of the city, to franchisees and local residents Jay Miller, Jeff Miller and Pat Reilly.


If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.


TED: Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces - Matthew Carter (2014)

Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

TED: Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets - Jeremy Kasdin (2014)

Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" that allows a telescope to photograph planets from 50,000 kilometers away. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

TED: Norman Spack: How I help transgender teens become who they want to be - Norman Spack (2013)

Puberty is an awkward time for just about everybody, but for transgender teens it can be a nightmare, as they grow overnight into bodies they aren't comfortable with. In a heartfelt talk, endocrinologist Norman Spack tells a personal story of how he became one of the few doctors in the US to treat minors with hormone replacement therapy. By staving off the effects of puberty, Spack gives trans teens the time they need. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

TED: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service