Growing For Restaurants Webinar
In our previous webinar, Dr. Nate Storey discussed how to establish and sell your produce with a Community Supported Agriculture program.
The final webinar in our "Finding Your Markets" series is all about growing for chefs and selling your produce to restaurants.
Why Grow for and Sell to Restaurants?
Growing fresh greens, herbs or veggies for a local restaurant can truly be a magical partnership.
Not only are local chefs able to craft their signature dishes with the freshest ingredients, but local farmers are able to create profitable relationships by selling their prized produce closer to home.
Of course, a lot of farmers and local chefs are already well aware of this fact.
All across the country, chef-producer relationships are stronger than ever with the demand for flavor and quality at an all time high.
To me, this signals a strong correction in our individual food interests. Instead of choosing between a few marginal at best restaurants serving mass produced, low-quality food options that lack not only flavor, but nutrients too, there seems to be a strong trend towards higher quality, healthier food options.
Not only are we actively seeking out establishments that place a strong emphasis on quality and freshness, we're also looking for restaurants that celebrate the creative energy of local culinary artisans.
Some of the benefits for farmers growing for local restaurants include:
- Establishing powerful and profitable relationships with community icons
- Generating more exposure for the quality of your produce (most restaurants are proud to display what farm they get ingredients from these days)
- Getting productive feedback from chefs and then satisfying their ingredient needs
- Diversifying your existing revenue sources if you're already running a CSA or selling at Farmer's Markets
As you can see, the benefits of growing for and selling to restaurants in your community can be very enticing.
Perhaps one of the best benefits is getting to know the best chefs in your city or town.
Your New Best Friend: The Local Chef
If you know any local chefs, you know that they're always on the hunt for fresher ingredients to create their culinary masterpieces.
Chefs in small scale niche bistros, gastropubs, pizzerias and tapas lounges take great pride in the dishes they create, just like you as a grower take tremendous pride in the quality of food you produce.
Most chefs have been cooking and creating for decades so they can easily spot the difference in freshness from the limp basil they buy off the back of a Sysco Foods truck and a bag of the fresh stuff their local grower brings in twice a week.
It's no surprise then that these culinary composers make amazing partners for a local grower like yourself, no matter how big your operation.
Getting to know chefs in your community, their ingredient needs and their ingredient sourcing pains, can create incredible opportunities for you as a grower to create a solution.
FPP: Freshest Pizza Possible
An excellent example of restaurants with an impressive commitment to freshness is Live Basil Pizza.
Live Basil Pizza's Emphasis on Freshness radiates throughout their entire company culture and is very evident in their menu options.
This is just one example of the trend towards fresher, healthier and more flavorful dishes.
Watch the Webinar
In this webinar, Dr. Nate Storey will help you decide whether growing for restaurants makes sense as a complementary source of your existing farm revenue, what it even takes to sell to restaurants, how to grow for chefs and much more!
“Finding Your Markets” Webinar Series:
- How the live sales model works with various stores
- What kind of compliance issues do you need to worry about
- How do you establish a relationship with a store
- What to expect once you’re in the store
- How to get connected with your local market
- How to grow for and transport ZipGrow towers to farmer’s markets
- How to maximize benefits from selling at a farmer’s market
- How do CSA’s work?
- How are CSA’s structured?
- How to market your CSA
- What to plan for and how to handle your CSA logistics
- Growing your CSA and your customer base
- The pros and cons of selling to restaurants
- How do you know if restaurants are a good market for you
- How do you approach restaurants and turn them into accounts
- Growing for chefs
- Managing crops for restaurants
- Income/cost structure for restaurants sales look like
- Restaurants as a component of your overall revenue or restaurants as a primary source of your overall revenue