“I’d love to buy local – but it’s too expensive!” We’ve all heard this before, but as it turns out, it’s not always true – especially for restaurants.
On June 16th, Anthony Flaccavento from Rural Scale was the featured guest of a webinar hosted by the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, The Value Chain Cluster Initiative, and the Greenbrier Valley Local Foods Initiative. The takeaway was that there are best practices for restaurants who want to local source, and that tools exist to figure out exactly how much more local food could cost a restaurant per serving.
Rural scale studied a number of restaurants and institutions that were sourcing local, and shared the practices that made economic sense:
In combination with the best practices, the Local Food Cost Calculator really shines.
The calculator lets you take the conventional price of a product and compares it to the local price, allowing you to see the price difference per serving.
This has some surprising results, which are best demonstrated by Anthony on the webinar recording, but you’ll start to see opportunities – a salad using local greens might only cost $0.25 more to purchase, but you could sell it for one or two dollars more, creating a higher margin item. Depending on the prices of different products in your area, there is potential to buy local, satisfy customers, and make more of a profit.