Start in Your Own Backyard

Written by Jessica Rodrigues

Why Restaurants Should Build Relationships with Local Producers, Suppliers and Each Other. 

The restaurant industry is notoriously challenging with high levels of competition and ever-changing dining trends. It’s important to stand out in a saturated market, and by collaborating with local suppliers, producers and other restaurateurs, you can truly distinguish yourself from the crowd. Food suppliers play a crucial role in the success of any restaurant. While large suppliers may seem like an easy option, local food producers can offer advantages that customers can actually see, feel and taste.  

Working with local producers also offers quality goods large-scale distributors can’t match. Chefs traditionally prefer working with seasonal ingredients which can allow for more dynamic menus and unique specials that customers crave. You can also taste the difference. Local farms and producers traditionally minimize the processing and handling of their produce, preserving their natural flavours and nutritional value. Ingredients typically spend less time in transit or on shelves which also enhances flavour allowing vegetables, for example, to ripen on the vine or develop full flavours from rich soil, under the sun. Local food distributors such as 100km Foods connect chefs with products from local farmers and producers to allow farmers to gain access to large, urban markets and chefs to gain access to delicious, farm-fresh food. This symbiotic relationship helps create a viable local food economy and consumers are the ultimate winners. Your take-out will ultimately taste better and your guests will notice. 

Be sure to take advantage of marketing and branding opportunities provided by local suppliers as well. 100km Foods allows logo placement on partner websites, features chefs and restaurants across their social media platforms and newsletters and organizes public-facing events for consumers to meet chefs and sample offerings. These are all unique ways to reach new audiences and connect with like-minded restaurants. Along with partnering with producers and suppliers for cross-promotion, restaurant collaborations can elevate take-out and create one-of-a-kind experiences for your customers that are unforgettable.

COPS, the popular take-out donut shop located in Toronto, recently launched their ‘Yes, Chef!’ series where they partnered with the city’s top chef talent to create new flavour combinations for limited time drops. For example, they worked with Michelin-starred chef Patrick Kriss to replicate the flavours from the renowned coconut cream pie from Alder to offer a delicious coconut cream glazed donut adorned with a coconut meringue crumble and toasted coconut. The partnership series showcases how local restaurants with a shared ethos can work together to promote their businesses and enhance take-out offerings – boosting the bottom line. Collaborative takeout partnerships with local suppliers and restaurants enhance the quality of takeout offerings ensuring your customers keep coming back while reaching new customers.