Local food sourcing: Who, what, where? - SmartBrief

All Articles Food Restaurant and Foodservice Local food sourcing: Who, what, where?

Local food sourcing: Who, what, where?

2 min read

Restaurant and Foodservice

SmartPulse — our weekly reader poll in SmartBrief on Restaurants — tracks feedback from restaurant owners and managers about current trends and issues.

Last week’s poll question: Do you source foods locally at your restaurant?

  • We source anything we can from the surrounding area — 40.91%
  • It’s too expensive to source much locally — 6.36%
  • My geographical area isn’t conducive to sourcing locally — 7.27%
  • I’m not particularly interested in it — 11.82%
  • We source some items locally, but not all — 33.64%

The good news is that most of the Restaurant SmartBrief readers polled are sourcing at least some of their ingredients locally. In fact, many readers — 40.91% — are sourcing any foods possible from areas around their restaurant. The fact of the matter is that sourcing local foods can be cheaper (it cuts down on transportation and delivery costs), results in fresher ingredients and is great PR for a restaurant. The popularity of concepts such as slow food, sustainability and locavorism is on the rise, and many consumers are on the lookout for those buzz words when selecting a restaurant.

Here are some examples of restaurants that have embraced local sourcing:

  • Open Table conducted a video interview with Founding Farmers’ chef Al Nappo.  The Washington, D.C., restaurant was developed by farmers.
  • Some San Francisco restaurants are upping the ante when it come local sourcing. All of the food served at Radius is reportedly grown within 100 miles of the restaurant.
  • Local sourcing isn’t just for individual restaurants. Chains, such as Washington, D.C.-based Clyde’s Restaurant Group, are jumping on the bandwagon as well.
  • Chipotle is perhaps one of the most well-known examples of a fast-casual chain using local ingredients.

Still not convinced? Check out The Back Burner blog’s three easy steps for starting to source food locally.

Here’s another question for those of you who source locally: What is the hardest ingredient to source locally?

SmartBrief’s Amanda Yeager contributed to this report.

MorePixels via iStock.