Hotels are Poised to Lead the "Locavore" Food Movement
By David Garcelon Director of Culinary, Waldorf Astoria NYC | August 23, 2015
Hotels with restaurants and bars are continually challenged to compete with freestanding food and beverage operations. I believe that many hotels and resorts however may have a unique opportunity to exploit a consumer trend that shows no sign of waning in popularity. In many cases a hotel or resorts location, physical plant, diversity of talent and volume may help them to create compelling programs to supply local ingredients for hotel guests
The National Restaurants Association annual chefs survey has included locally sourced food as a trend each year for the past 5 years and in 2014 locally sourced ingredients accounted for 4 of the top 10 trends in the annual survey. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently reported that local food sales direct from American farms increased 28% between 2008 and 2012. USDA additionally noted that local food production and farmers markets selling direct to consumers and chefs are one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture in the United States rising by nearly 50% between 2002 and 2007. These reports indicate clearly that the consumer and presumably our hotel guest are becoming more interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown.
This sweeping consumer interest and demand for local and sustainable food provides an opportunity for those hotel professionals who are committed to this movement, an opportunity to participate, market and support the movement and its rationale. Storytelling can be a key part of this activism. Where does the food come from? How was it grown? What is its history and reason for its place in the world? These are all opportunities for storytelling and can provide a wonderful and rich experience for hotel guests when executed in a rich and impactful way.
Hotels and resorts regardless of their location have an opportunity to harness this trend and drive business and attention to their restaurants and PR for their chefs and food and beverage professionals.
There are countless ways that locally produced ingredients can and should be utilized in hotel offerings. Here are a few suggestions;
Grow your Own
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