By Chip McIntyre. Published on 2/23/2018 in Hotel Management.
Farm-to-table, farm-to-bottle, forage-to-table. These phrases have become nearly ubiquitous on restaurant menus as “local” and “sustainable” have grown from buzzwords into business models.
This surge in popularity parallels the country’s growing focus on environmentalism, but it’s not just a save-the-world impulse that’s driving this trend. People everywhere are looking for a more locally authentic experience, starting with what they eat, leading to an increased scrutiny on the origin and procurement of their food. Restaurants can benefit from this with an opportunity to adjust their menus to provide fresher foods that draw guests. If you’re a chef, general manager or purchasing manager, here are five advantages to hopping on the local purchasing bandwagon:
1. Save Shipping Costs by Leveraging What’s Around You
While chefs and purchasing managers are becoming much more aware of the products they can best source locally, everyone has an opinion on what exactly “local” means. One of the generally accepted definitions is from the Food, Conservation and Energy Act, which defines a “local” product as one coming from less than 400 miles away, or from within the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture maintains a list of what’s local in various regions, such as beans in the Mountain Plains, cherries in the Midwest and corn in the Northeast. There are hundreds of locally based suppliers. Not only will you save on shipping costs and have a positive impact on the environment, you may also come across unique offerings for your customers, as well. Perhaps it’s a variety of fish found only in your state’s waters, or a local farm raising a type of meat that’s new to your chefs. Buying local could also open new doors creatively.
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