Locally-Grown: A Marketing Opportunity with Shared Benefits
As consumer demand increases for more locally-sourced menu items, both restaurants and their supply chain partners can capitalize on a significant marketing opportunity that delivers shared benefits. By actively addressing the consumer demand for local products, restaurants and suppliers are building goodwill with customers and providing direct support to their local economies in the creation of new jobs and more dependable markets for independent farmers and providers.
The River and Rail Restaurant in Roanoke, VA, is a southern bistro featuring local products and seasonal cuisine, with a menu that changes weekly based on available local ingredients. The restaurant proudly promotes a number of its unique local sources including Our Lady of the Angels Monastery, a local manufacturer of cheese from grass-fed cows, Rappahannock Oyster Company, a local Chesapeake Bay seafood provider, and Foggy Ridge Cider, a local apple orchard and cider company.
In an effort to help restaurant customers meet greater demand for local products, foodservice distributors are committing more of their time and resources to sourcing via local farmers and providers. Performance Food Group, the third largest foodservice distributor, has outlined its corporate commitment to locally-grown sourcing, supported by its own food safety certification process for local farms.
Good corporate stewardship reflects favorably on restaurants and their suppliers when consumers recognize a collaborative effort between supply chain partners to promote greater access to local fare, supporting the economic interests of local farmers and providers within the regional community.