Using local or regional produce can be an effective addition to your hotel menu. Firstly, it shows your commitment to supporting local and regional businesses, as well as letting the customer know where their food has come from and assuring them that it is of a high quality.
As Britain's leading purchasing organisation, we have found that our Scottish customer base within the hospitality sector sees regional produce as an important part of their food offering, however a consumer survey conducted by us earlier this year showed that 54% of consumers said they “may or may not be more likely to order somewhere that uses local produce”. This clearly demonstrates that hyper locality isn’t necessarily the most cost effective and efficient option when it comes to pleasing your customers’ need for local produce. Communicating the provenance of the produce you are serving and ensuring that it’s high quality is often enough to ensure a positive review or repeat visit.
For hoteliers considering working with a purchasing company such as Beacon, it is important to dispel the myth that this would mean they are unable to work with regional suppliers. At Beacon, for example, we work with a variety of food suppliers, such as Scottish based meat supplier Halls Direct, who is able to supply regional produce across the country and are able to provide it on a large scale in the hospitality industry. This, in turn, gives customers security that they are receiving a reliable and cost effective service, which they will be able to pass on to their guests.
Ultimately, any information about the produce on a hotel menu needs to be communicated to the customer in order to make an impact. This could be as simple as changing the wording on the menu to highlight the provenance of the key ingredients in a dish, for example, or using your specials board to draw attention to a particular ingredient from the region. Introducing a new dish as a special is also a good way to gauge its popularity with guests before investing in adding it to the menu, and offers a specific opportunity to promote and utilise seasonal regional produce.
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