How locally sourced ingredients help Franchise Owners AND their communities
Whether you’re a Franchise Owner or looking for breakfast franchise opportunities, locally sourced ingredients can help you in several ways. More than a mere fad, turning to your neighborhood for ingredients has significant economical and social advantages.
Most Franchise Owners or those interested in opening a franchise believe that regional distributors are the only option to get ingredients. But the practice of sourcing from local vendors is picking up speed.
What is locally sourced food?
For food to be defined as local, it should be grown and harvested within 100 miles of your restaurant or home. For locally sourced food, the trip from the farm to the table is extremely short, which is good news for the environment.
From vegetables and fruits to meats, dairy, spices, and even wine, pretty much anything can be locally sourced. What’s more, it doesn’t require much effort. Either by directly contacting growers in the neighborhood, going through local publications, visiting local stores, or attending farmer’s markets, one can find locally grown ingredients.
The following 10 reasons will convince you that locally sourced ingredients are good for the business, community, and environment.
10 ways in which locally sourced ingredients help Franchise Owners and their communities
Guess what’s the average distance that fruits and vegetables have to travel to reach you in the US? A whopping 1,500 miles! When you source locally, you’re drastically cutting that distance because the food would have been grown, harvested, and preserved in the neighborhood.
So, the food you get will be fresher. This will make it more appealing to your customers and give you an advantage over other fast-food chains.
What happens when food has to travel 1,500 miles? There’s considerable carbon emission during travel and storage. Not to mention the environmental cost of using preservatives. No wonder then consumers are asking for environment-friendly options.
Local food doesn’t leave such a severe carbon footprint since there’s no need for long-distance travel, added preservatives, or storage. And anything that’s good for the environment will give you brand equity in a competitive market.
There’s growing awareness of the chemicals and artificial substances that are added to food. Large farms and distributors have to do it because speed is of the essence for them. But not so much for local farmers who’re more interested in the quality of the produce.
Since small-scale farms don’t add artificial ingredients or chemicals, their food tends to be organic and demonstrably natural, and healthier.
They help the local economy
If you’re searching for breakfast franchise opportunities, chances are that you already have a community in mind for your business. In all likelihood, you would have known that neighborhood for a while. When sourcing ingredients, why not support those in the community?
When you buy from local farmers, you’re injecting money into the community. This raises their income and improves the financial health of the neighborhood and your potential customers.
They connect you to the community
The key to building a strong business is building a strong connection to your community. Far too often, restaurants, fast-food chains, and businesses at large fail because they’re not tied to the neighborhoods they operate in.
By buying locally sourced ingredients, you’re building relationships with local farmers. When you know them one-on-one, you’re creating opportunities to build or even expand your business in the area.
They localize your menu
Why have a bland, uninspiring, and distant menu when you have the opportunity to make it relatable to your customers? Adding local ingredients will help you create flavors that your customers can easily identify and relate to.
Localizing your menu is an effective way to bring families into your restaurant as parents would want their children to try out the food of the area. It also helps you attract tourists who would want to experience the local cuisine.
They help create seasonal dishes
Most restaurants have a standard menu that they offer throughout the year. Corporate headquarters don’t give them the freedom to change the menu and so, it can get boring for customers.
Since local farmers are usually small businesses, they tend to grow seasonal food. This would give you the flexibility to refresh your menu according to the seasons. Keep in mind that local customers would expect these changes because they would be used to them.
They attract local customers
Food is a crucial component of an individual’s identity. Even the aroma of food can trigger memories in people. That’s why local food, especially what one has grown up with, holds such a special place in people’s hearts.
No wonder then, almost 57 percent of adults search for locally sourced food when they eat out. Customers may even choose your place for special occasions if you use the ingredients they can easily identify with.
They save you money
There’s a common misconception that sourcing local food is expensive and that there won’t be a market for it. The truth is that since you’re directly buying from farmers, you don’t have to pay middlemen. You also don’t have to spend on travel, preservatives, or storage. These translate to savings.
Another important aspect is that customers expect healthy, organic, and locally sourced food to be expensive and are willing to pay for it.
They preserve biodiversity
Small farmers are more interested in sustainability because it affects their lives. Since they don’t have any corporate targets or monthly quotas, they can implement more environment-friendly farming methods. They also don’t have to grow the same crop every year.
Local farmers rotate and use various crops. This helps avoid soil erosion and helps the biodiversity of the region.
If you’re interested in breakfast franchise opportunities, it’s safe to say that you’re looking for a stable business with long-term potential. Using locally sourced ingredients is an effective way to achieve that since it’s beneficial to your business, the local economy, and the environment.