The local food movement, better known as “farm-to-table,” has been gaining popularity in the restaurant industry. To respond to the increased demand for fresher and more sustainable foods, “hyperlocal” restaurants have begun using soil-free, on-site, and urban gardens to enhance their kitchens. “Hyperlocal sourcing,” or restaurant gardens, came in seventh place on the National Restaurant Association’s list of “What’s Hot in 2015.” Learn more about the different ways to cash in on this craze.
Restaurants can build in-house or rooftop gardens where they grow local produce such as fruits, vegetables, and herbs to add increased freshness to their meals. No need to worry if you don’t have a large space to build a garden or if you live in an area susceptible to inclement weather, portable self-watering EarthBoxes can grow up to 1,000 pounds of produce for you to transform into fresh dishes in your kitchen.
In-house gardens are a great way to differentiate your restaurant from other restaurants in the area. Not only is it a great way to enhance a dining area by adding a unique dimension to a dining space and create a soothing ambiance, but it can also increase property value. Additionally, sustainability efforts help you stand out and attract positive PR for the business.
Decrease Costs and Increase Profits
In many cases, it costs less for restaurants to grow their own produce than to buy it elsewhere and have it shipped to them. The upfront costs of gardening supplies, labor, and building materials may seem like overwhelming, but it reduces spending on food sourcing in the long run. Restaurants will also find that customers are willing to pay a premium for meals that are made with homegrown organic food. Moreover, going green and serving local organic produce is becoming a key driver in attracting and retaining loyal customers. Not to mention the flexibility that it provides for chefs who now have an easy and affordable way to grow rare, expensive, or otherwise hard to find crops to incorporate in seasonal dishes.
Benefiting the Environment
By growing local produce close to where you live, you are decreasing the amount of carbon expanded from long-distance transportation. They also have the ability to reduce many negative effects of urbanization and help filter pollutants from rainfall.