Local produce - are you being transparent enough?


Local produce - are you being transparent enough?

Local produce - are you being transparent enough?

81% of diners agreed that using local ingredients makes them more likely to visit a restaurant, our recent survey revealed. But it isn't enough to utilise local produce; our respondents also said that operators need to be more transparent when defining terminology such as 'provenance', 'artisan' and 'local'.

Here's how operators can capitalise on the demand for local produce whilst maintaining integrity in the eyes of their guests:

1. Highlight how local 'local' is

Our research revealed that guests define "local" ingredients by distance rather than by heritage or region. Suggestions of an acceptable distance of the restaurant from the source ranged from 20 to 100 miles, indicating some disparity amongst diners. When marketing a dish as containing "local" ingredients, be open about the proximity of the supplier to the restaurant.

2. Shout about your local offering

Our respondents suggested that specific notices or eye-catching advertising in restaurants could help improve their understanding of what 'local' really means. Be creative with menus, chalkboards and online content to help educate diners, adding value to their overall experience and showcasing your menu.

3. Emphasise the quality

Only the 18-25 year-old demographic demonstrated a willingness to pay a premium price for locally sourced produce. If other age groups need more encouragement, be sure to provide sufficient reassurance, through menu design and personal interaction, that local ingredients offer a higher quality which justifies the increased spend. This should help dispel the misconception that food on your doorstep equates to lower distribution costs.

4. Start the story online

If 74% of consumers use social media to influence a purchase decision, you can bet that extends to where they choose to eat and drink too. Showcase your relationships with local suppliers by sharing the story of your products on social media platforms to demonstrate transparency and establish authenticity.

5. Ensure staff are in the know

There's nothing that conveys authenticity as much as confident and well-informed staff. Ensure your team are knowledgeable when explaining the origins of each ingredient to reassure your guests and enhance their overall experience.

Produce Provenance

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