Healthy Food Is Marketable
By Dwayne Reno
Winterlicious 2016 has come to a close. The BBA team hopes it was a huge success for all operators who participated. This week I would like to talk more about sourcing your menu ingredients from sustainable sources. If you all can remember this was one of the top trends the BBA team voted we would see more interest in 2016, here.
In a time when information on the food you eat is so readily available, customers are becoming increasingly aware of where the food on their plate comes from and even how the animals were treated.
This has caused many foodservice operators, independent and large chains alike, looking to find sustainable sources to buy their supplies. Let’s discuss this in more details.
Why is this important to my foodservice business?
It is important to note that the change in customer mindset is based on the vast libraries of free information that is available to consumers at any time. Also the foodservice industry is seeing a change in customers as Boomers are being replaced by Millennials. Millennials are more likely to eat at your restaurant, bar or café if your business shows empathy for some of the topics they are interested in. Let’s take a look at some of those topics.
Sustainable agriculture relates to farming techniques that protect the environment, public heath, human and animal welfare. Your customers now have access to a wealth of free information regarding the foods they eat. This free information is helping a new generation of customers (millennials) make better food choices than their parents did in the past. Make sure your supplier can tell you if the meat your buying was grass fed and free-run.
The World Animal Protection recently stated "It's the right thing for Tim Hortons to do for hens, for their customers and for themselves. We know that Canadians want responsibly sourced food. More than ten thousand Canadians have taken our Choose Cage-Free pledge and companies like Tim Hortons and McDonalds have taken notice," and have already made the necessary change to help their brands reach this new heath conscious consumer, here.
The best part is this change did not require them to change their current menu items. It just goes to show how important it is to give the customers what they want.
This relates to the handling or preparation of food in ways that will prevent food borne illnesses. Because the last thing any foodservice operator wants is a heath crisis at their location. Chipotle has still not recovered from their E.coli case in 2015. And it will be a very long and expensive road ahead since customers have become aware of unsafe practices by the popular Mexican fast food chain.
Your customers know they take a chance when they eat outside of their homes; it’s in a foodservice operator’s best interest to source as much information as possible from suppliers regarding pesticides and antibiotics used in the processing of their ingredients to put customers fears at ease.
Locally sourced means food grown within 100 miles (160 km) of its point of purchase or consumption. This is kind of a catch 22 because most customers want locally sourced ingredients, but have no clue about the supply chain or how it works. That is why having a supplier who can tell you where the food is coming from or is willing to source locally grown foods for your needs will make your life easier. Also this information can be used to create awareness for your restaurant, bar or cafe via your online and in-house marketing strategies.
In conclusion, all these health and safety practices could just be a band aid since customers are still eating the same unhealthy foods, at home and outside their homes. Also keep in mind the foodservice industry had no need for this discussion 10 years ago. Now with meat being linked to cancer and our food system being prone to cross contamination it’s in your best interest to be partnered with a supplier who is on trend with this and other relevant foodservice trends and topics.
Working with BBA as your supplier will give you access to all this information and more. Also we will use this info and much more to create awareness for your restaurant, bar or café via your online/in-house marketing strategies, here.
Furthermore our foodservice management tool will also help foodservice operators focus more on customer facing transactions. More details to come in the coming weeks.
Until next time your customers want to know why they should spend money at your restaurant, bar or cafe. So give them the goods!
Need inspiration? Checkout some of our services.
Dwayne Reno CEO & Founder
Social Chat Blog
Once a month, Building Block Associates serves up some food for thought with our foodservice Social Chat Blog.