Over the past few years, the Farm to Table restaurant trend has gained a lot of momentum, and it’s a trend we expect to see continue. When restaurants focus on utilizing locally sourced food, they can create nutritious menus that showcase the best of their community’s local harvest. Many restaurants choose to use seasonal offerings as a way to keep their menu fresh and exciting, and keep customers coming back. As consumers become more aware of the health, social, and environmental implications of the food they consume, Farm to Table will become an increasingly important part of the restaurant industry.
One of the best aspects of Farm to Table is flavor. Traditionally sourced produce loses peak freshness during its journey of hundreds (or even thousands) of miles through the supply chain, while locally sourced produce can arrive on the table much fresher. In addition to freshness, traditional produce has been selected in a manner that improves durability as it traverses the bumps and bruises of the supply chain. As a result, traditional produce is tougher and less flavorful than its locally sourced counterparts. Together, these make locally sourced produce a tasty alternative for restaurateurs wishing to make the flavor of their dishes stand out.
Not only are Farm to Table menus great on the taste buds, they’re better for the environment, too. The energy expended in shipping produce hundreds of miles creates a much larger carbon footprint than food sourced locally. When restaurants focus on making one area of the operation more ethical and sustainable, management may feel more encouraged to continue the good-doing and find other ways to be sustainable, like reducing food waste or eliminating single use products.
Another important benefit of Farm to Table restaurants is their focus on supporting local economies. Nearly half of the 1,000,000 restaurants across the US are single-unit owner operated small businesses. Choosing local produce is a great way for small business owners to support other small business owners (farmers) in their area. This support creates good will and grassroots marketing within the local community and creates an opportunity to foster valuable relationships within the local scene.
As consumer preferences continue to shift, Farm to Table restaurants will continue to thrive. Locally sourced produce presents chefs with opportunities to provide more flavorful dishes, restaurants with opportunities to reduce their environmental impact, and owners with opportunities to foster strong relationships within their local scene. For these reasons, Farm to Table will continue to help the food industry reinvent its supply chain to meet demands for sustainable, responsibly sourced, and healthy products.