Growing sales from your garden


Growing sales from your garden

Growing sales from your garden

As the public become increasingly engaged with the benefits of choosing locally-sourced, seasonal food, hospitality operators have been taking innovative steps to meet this demand. Although local suppliers have proved popular with a significant number of independent restaurants and small brands keen to keep up with the trend, some businesses have decided to go one step further and source their ingredients from even closer to home.

Over the past few years, kitchen gardens have been undergoing a resurgence, and an increasing number of pubs, restaurants and hotels are growing their own produce to run a more sustainable organisation and give themselves an appealing selling point amongst their guests.

On a large scale, for example, Daylesford Farm's sustainable and organic farming efforts have seen them transformed into a business encompassing shops, restaurants, and even a cookery school.

Bel and the Dragon's country inns pride themselves on their 'root to table' philosophy, growing as much as they can in their own gardens, from beetroots to broccoli to Brussel sprouts. Each of their sites has a kitchen garden, and a list of the produce grown in the gardens is avaliable for potential guests online. Their gardens have also been used as a way to demonstrate their integration with the local community, with school children coming in to help plant and harvest the crops.

Likewise, The Pig Hotel group all feature extensive kitchen gardens. Their home grown vegetables and fruit aren't just ingredients in their dishes; the kitchens aim to ensure every dish they serve has been influenced or inspired in some way by their home-grown produce.

As well as being a handy conversation starter for connecting with guests, incorporating home-grown ingredients into your menus can also be used to push certain dishes at specific times of the year. In order for this to work effectively, staff must be well-trained and well-versed in the origins of different dishes and ingredients whilst menus, displays and special boards should not shy away from making homegrown achievements clear to guests. After all, when it comes to business success in this area, the first task is growing the food, the second is shouting about it.

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