Clean meals. Farm-to-table. They are a lot of phrases regarding restaurants that use locally produced fresh ingredients on their meals. The move towards fresh ingredients is becoming trendier among restaurant that aspire uniqueness. Local ingredients, simply defined, refer to ingredients sourced from producers within miles of your shop. Meaning, they are not imported.
Locally produced ingredients have been associated with a number of health and economic benefits both to the customer and the business owners. Some of them include;
- Cooking fresher foods
- Preparing eco-friendly products
- Eating healthier meals
- Supports the local economy
- Building business connections with the local farmers
- Making the menu more interesting
- Appealing to local customers
- Appealing to tourists
- Safer foods
As highlighted, sourcing locally comes with a host of benefits, but what is required of a restaurant to have a ‘clean’ menu?
First of all, as introduced, purchasing fresh ingredients, specifically locally produced is the first step. Sourcing locally should not be fixed on a particular type of food. You can diversify by purchasing local meats, wines, fish (if you are near a river/lake/pond), among other ingredients.
Secondly, you should look into how you store your food. If you store food in the freezer for weeks or even months, this disqualifies it as a fresh ingredient. The cause could be because of overstocking or false customer analysis. Always consider the most purchased item in your menu before purchasing the ingredients, to meet the dining demands.
Next, you should look into the food additives. Some of the common examples include agrave, maple syrup, and honey. But, depending on your market connection and location you can use brown rice flour, agar, mushroom extracts, fruit extracts, or berry extracts. Instead of adding lots of seasoning and spices in your food, you can mix complimentary fresh herbs and ingredients whose natural flavors nourish the meal.
Also, you can stock your kitchen with fresh items and ingredients. Taking stock will help you analyze the composition of your ingredients and balance them out. For example, if you realize that most of your French fries consist of frozen supplies, you can choose to cut your own, or you can switch your bread from factory suppliers to start making your own.
Always do a lot of research on the market trends to understand which type of items are in season in your local area. By so doing you will not only be able to acquire the freshest items for your shop but also acquire them at cheaper prices due to abundant supply.
Following these simple steps will be a key start to having a making your menu ‘clean’.
Thank you and I hope this all helps on your journey into Hospitality
Reign In Design Pty Ltd