Written by Chris Zdorovtsov (former SDSU Extension Community Vitality Field Specialist).
The restaurant and commercial foodservice industry offers a potential market for local food producers. Businesses range from limited or quick-service dining to full-service restaurants. When exploring this market also consider connecting with foodservice operations within other venues, such as hotels, country clubs, airports, and entertainment and sporting event venues.
Limited or quick-service restaurants typically have limited interest in local foods, unless they are identifying themselves as a niche or unique dining outlet. Full service restaurants, such as casual and fine dining restaurants, may consider purchasing produce, baked goods, meats and other products if the producer can provide a high quality, consistent product at a reasonable price. They are likely to be interested in products that will enhance specific menu offerings that appeal to customers.
Selling to Restaurants Presentation
Resources for Producers
- Local Food Connections: From Farms to Restaurants, Iowa State University Extension
- Marketing Fresh Produce to Restaurants, University of Kentucky Extension Service
- Marketing Local Food: Intermediate Marketing, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
- Selling Local Food To Restaurants and Food Services: Why and How, Food Circles Networking Project
- Selling Directly to Restaurants and Retailers, University of California Sustainable Research and Education Program
- Direct Farm Marketing and Tourism Handbook: Selling to Restaurants, The University of Arizona
- Iowa Producer’ Perceived Benefits and Obstacles in Marketing to Local Restaurants and Institutional Foodservice Operations, Journal of Extension [On-line], 43(1), Article 1RIB1. Gregoire, M.B., Arendt, S.W., & Strohbehn, C.H. (2005).
Resources for Foodservice Purchasers
- A Guide to Serving Local Food on Your Menu, The Glynwood Institute
- Checklist for Retail Purchasing of Local Food Produce, Iowa State University
- What Retail Foodservice Should Know When Purchasing Produce Directly from Farmers, Iowa State University
- Standard Operating Procedure: Direct Purchase of Food Products from Growers or Producer by Retail Foodservice Establishments, Iowa State University
- Local Foods Cost Calculator for Chefs and Food Service, SDSU Extension
- SDSU Extension Restaurant-Beef Survey Results
- South Dakota Restaurants Survey Part 1: A Snapshot of Beef Consumption
- South Dakota Part 2: Wait staff Training on Beef
- What are Restaurant Customers Saying about Beef? Part 1 & Part 2
- Promoting Local Foods in Foodservice Operations, SDSU Extension