Small restaurants and diners are always looking for something new and interesting for their menus to put them ahead of the competition. Small business trends spoke with Derin Alemli, Founder and CEO of Square Roots Kitchen about the advantages of adding local organic produce.
Reasons Why Local Organic Produce Is Good for Restaurants
Local Organic Produce is Better Quality
“The number one thing about sourcing as locally as you can is you’ll get better quality from smaller producers than you would from larger places that have bigger spoilage buckets built in to their budgets,” Alemli says.
Local Organic Produce Can Save You Money
The smaller producers don’t need to be policed as much as their bigger counterparts. Having that kind of trust translates into a cost savings for the restaurant when they don’t need to use staff to watch shipments as closely for things like quality.
Local Organic Produce Helps the Local Economy
A rising tide floats all boats and buying from your community helps everyone in the vicinity. Not only does this keep the money circulating in your vicinity, it helps to build relationships and networking possibilities.
In short, using local organic produce at your restaurant is a win-win situation.
Local Organic Produce is Fresher
Sourcing produce over large distances means the produce needs to be prepared for shipping.
“If you need to package things that means there’s a little longer term thought that goes into the process,” Alemli says. “That means more frozen stuff and freezer packs. Through the lifecycle of the kind of product you’re going to see some degradation.”
Local Organic Produce Makes for Great Marketing
Local produce provides excellent taglines and even keywords like farm fresh and locally grown. These phrases and others like them are excellent selling points that you can use in a variety of marketing campaigns.
Local Organic Produce Is Available All Year Long
Local organic produce is about a lot more than just fruits and vegetables. When you add different kinds of baked goods and pastries as well as poultry and even dairy products to the mix, you can feature something local all year long.
Local Organic Produce is Healthier
Local produce is picked when it’s fresh at peak ripeness. There’s more nutritional value because there’s a shorter time to table in your restaurant. No artificial chemicals have been added.
Local Organic Produce Boosts Your Brand
“There’s a big value add when people can trust you as a healthy brand with high quality ingredients,” Alemli says. “That boost to brand reputation is a big selling point.”
Local Organic Produce Reduces Your Carbon Footprint
Local organic produce travels fewer miles to wind up on your restaurant menu and that means your lowering your carbon footprint.
Local Organic Produce Creates Jobs
Recent studies have pointed to the fact that local organic produce creates jobs at a rate almost 3 times higher than one’s from wholesale channels. It’s another feather in your hat that boosts the local economy and your brand at the same time.
Local Organic Produce Has a Lower Risk of Contamination
Salmonella bacteria is one of the most common forms of food contamination. Other hazards include parasites and viruses. The larger any food supply operation, the more chance one of these contaminants has a way of slipping through.
Farmers keep a better eye on their local organic produce so the chance of contamination drops.