Are there any barriers to using locally grown ingredients?

Generally cost and quantity are the two main barriers. Locally grown ingredients can sometimes be more expensive, but compared to products from major food distributors, you just can't beat the taste of truly farm fresh and artisanal products. It's important to run your numbers and look at how locally grown ingredients can fit into your business plan. With the issue of quantity, many choose to feature a "local" dish, which is available until it runs out. Some also choose to focus on just a few local items they can find in quantity, such as meat, cheese, and commonly grown produce items.

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1. Why should I include local items on my menu?
2. How do I find locally grown ingredients?
3. Are there any barriers to using locally grown ingredients?
4. Should I advertise that I use local products?
5. What resources are available to me?