Local cuisine dominates various menus within the hotel industry. Sourcing local ingredients now makes it easier than ever for any enterprise hotel to go green. Even hotel franchises who have structured menus across the board can easily make the switch.
In the remainder of this blog, we'll cover everything you need to know about how local cuisine can support a green hotel. See below:
Local Cuisine: Definition
Local cuisine refers to foods and ingredients that businesses source from nearby facilities. In fact, the USDA claims that ingredients that you source within four hundred miles of your business are "local."
By sourcing local ingredients, restaurants and hotels can create dishes that abide by local cultures and seasons. For example, tropical resorts will be able to include the best fruits and mixed drink recipes on their menu. Meanwhile, mountain lodging centers can serve premium meat products.
Local cuisine and ingredients can be vital to a brand's identity and image. Food and drinks make up a large portion of the customer experience, so you want to ensure that the business' menu types reflect it.
Letting your guests try local flavors and recipes is always a great idea. Read on to learn how brands in the hospitality industry can regularly purchase such ingredients.
How to Purchase and Serve Local Ingredients
Getting local ingredients for a hotel restaurant requires research, time, and effort. To help ease the process, here are five steps you can take to serve local cuisine a bit quicker:
1. Use a Restaurant Inventory App
If you're an expert at how to manage a hotel or work as a hotel chef, an inventory tool can come in handy. This is a form of hospitality software that can streamline orders and maintain fresh inventory.
For example, hotel restaurant management teams can use this tool to locate local suppliers. A wholesale directory will display numerous options, making it easier than ever to shop locally. Plus, ordering exactly what you need will reduce overspending and food spoilage.
2. Understand Which Ingredients Are Seasonal In the Area
Research local farms and other types of suppliers that offer ingredients you need. Then, find out which ingredients are seasonal, and which items you can get all year long. Then, you'll know exactly how to create seasonal menus with the freshest ingredients.
3. Create Seasonal Menus
Speaking of seasonal menus, we strongly encourage you to offer them. Creating a seasonal menu every few months is an effective way to attract customers. The menus will never become stagnant, continuing to nurture guest retention.
Seasonal menus are some of the most effective ways to control food costs, too. If a restaurant is trying to serve ingredients that are not in-season, it can be very expensive. Not only can such ingredients be expensive to produce, but shipping costs will skyrocket if they have to travel far.
4. Attend Local Food Festivals and Other Events
A great way to learn about local cuisine is to experience it firsthand. As food festivals and similar events take place in your area, attend them with your team. Not only will they serve as learning experiences, but attending events with your staff can enhance the culture.
At these events, local suppliers, vendors, and other distributors will have their products available to sample. Hotel and restaurant leaders will be able to move forward with culinary decisions in less time.
It’s one thing to learn about which local suppliers are available. However, it’s more time-consuming to sample different options. But when you attend food events with such participants, you can make various decisions at once.
5. Work With Local Distributors
Understand which ingredients are available by contacting local distributors. Local suppliers can also educate you about various ingredients.
Learning about which ingredients are abundant during each season is vital for freshness and following food trends. Plus, suppliers can advise you on pairing different combinations and unique dishes. After all, they specialize in local foods.
How Local Ingredients Support Green Hotels
Offering hotel guests local cuisine can drastically support a green hotel. With the help of hotel technology and local suppliers, every hotel restaurant can serve fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. So, let's learn about four ways these practices can support a green hotel.
1. Emphasizes the Importance of Sustainability
Local cuisine can support a hotel's emphasis on sustainable efforts. Sourcing local food items is the most efficient move for eco-friendly restaurants and hotels. It'll establish sustainable practices within the business. Then over time, it'll inspire other businesses to do the same.
Whether you want to open a restaurant, offer hotel room service, or feature in room dining, local ingredients are a must. They'll allow the business to stand out within the market. In doing so, they'll become a go-to choice for consumers, too.
2. Reduces the Carbon Footprint
By serving local cuisine, hotels can reduce their carbon footprint from transportation and distribution. Locally sourced products do not require long-distance transportation. Thanks to this factor, these shipments won't contribute to harmful gas emissions.
Gas emissions are some of the most harmful factors on the environment. Plus, such fuels are the biggest contributors of climate change and other negative effects on the planet. That's why so many sustainable restaurants and hotels center their mission around where they source ingredients.
3. It Creates a More Authentic Experience
Hotels frequently serve consumers who hope to immerse themselves in the culture around them. By offering local cuisine, decision makers can support the brand and image of a green hotel.
4. Reduce Food Waste With Seasonal Ingredients
Seasonal ingredients can eliminate food waste over time. This concept stems from the idea that seasonal ingredients are in high demand and are only available for a limited time. So, it can be difficult to stock up on too much.
With this in mind, fresh seasonal ingredients will likely sell quickly, decreasing the time they can spoil. Fresh ingredients don't have too long of a shelf life either, so the quick turnaround is ideal.
Frequently Asked Questions About Local Cuisine
Serving local cuisine is ideal for both hotel guests and the environment. Want to learn more about the general topic of cuisines? We've got you covered! Check out the FAQ section below:
What Does Local Cuisine Mean?
Local cuisine consists of food with locally-sourced ingredients. Though it may sound very restrictive, restaurants can source local ingredients up to four hundred miles away, according to the USDA.
What Is An Example of Local Cuisine?
A prime example of local cuisine would be a restaurant that gets their meat and dairy from a nearby farm. Not only would this ensure freshness, but also sustainable sourcing methods.
What Are the Five Main Types of Cuisine?
The five main types of cuisine are:
What Type of Food Is Local Food?
Local food can be any kind of dish or ingredient that comes from a limited geographic area. More specifically, local food is usually produced within four hundred miles of where it will be sold.
How Far Away Can Food Come From and Still Be Local?
Four hundred miles or less is the distance where one can source local food. The USDA defines "local" as the distance between production and consumption.
Go Local, Go Green
Sourcing local ingredients is a great way for hotels to support eco-friendly practices. Once you prioritize local cuisine, you'll be that much closer to operating a green hotel.