Ryan Williams
Jeremy Julian

Finding Opportunity in the Local Foods Movement

February 3, 2016

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed our series about the Three Tech Trends to Increase Efficiency and Reduce Cost. If you missed it, click on the link.

Today we will be talking about the power of fresh, local ingredients and the associated marketing opportunities that come along with those trendy but effective terms.

For the past few years, there has been a powerful movement shaking up the restaurant, grocery and food industry: the push for fresher, healthier, craft ingredients and food. Consumers are increasingly aware of what is in their food, where it comes from and how it gets to their plates.

Because of this growing consumer sophistication, people are realizing the amount and kinds of chemicals, preservatives and the packaging methodologies involved in making their favorites foods available. They’re also thinking about the possible detrimental effects it has on their health or the environment. This realization is making many consumers push away their overly processed plates and thinking again before they buy.

What does this mean to you as a restaurant owner?

Opportunity.

Give the people what they want – no, what they demand! Be the responsive restaurant that is using fresher ingredients and actively educating its customers. Share more about what they are eating, where it came from, and who prepared it. This consumer engagement will help you no longer be seen as just a place to grab a quick bite, but as a partner who understands your customers’ culinary ideologies and flavor preferences.

People are craving craft when it comes to their food. A frozen, flip-and-wrap burger shot up with hormones and made mostly by machines does not have the same appeal as a one-of-a-kind, handmade, never-frozen, grass-fed beef patty cooked moments before your first bite and served with fresh house made condiments and crisp vegetables harvested just yesterday by the farmer down the road. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Consumers are looking to get more out of their food: they are looking for a memorable dining experience that only fresh ingredients can deliver.

As a restaurant owner/manager, search in your community for local suppliers and farmers. People are way more inspired to support a local farmer than they are to buy from a large corporation. Supporting restaurants that source ingredients locally helps the community and economy, and consumers know it.

Now that you have a local provider, how can you get the word out to your customers? How can you engage and communicate to them where their food is coming from? Believe it or not, one of the key ways can be through your POS technology.

Enter, the NorthStar Order Entry system. This innovative ordering solution is built for your restaurant from the ground up. This powerful, cloud-based software is the key you need to help empower you and your guests.

Guests have full access to your menu and this is where you can fully communicate the freshness and locality of your ingredients and food. Add terms like “farm-fresh,” “locally grown,” or “locally sourced” to a menu description and watch the items fly out of the kitchen.

Customers can order their food through five different ways with the NorthStar Order Entry:

  • POS
  • Customer order
  • Kiosk order
  • Web order
  • Mobile order

This system gives power to the customer: they can order their food themselves while sitting at a table, at a kiosk while waiting in the lobby or from their computer, table or mobile device at home or anywhere they so choose.

Buying from a local supplier also has an added benefit: local foods let you and your chefs be more creative with your menu. Because local foods are based on the seasons, you can rotate menu items on a regular basis and be inspired to create new meals. There are hundreds of heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, adding more flavors and colors to your restaurant menu. With NorthStar Order Entry POS, you can make a menu update from one central location and that change takes place on every device, in every location, instantly. So feel free to keep it local and change it up whenever the season and supply calls for it.

Thank you for joining us. Be sure to check back next week as we continue our talk about craft and local products as we look more into craft beer

Need to pass the time before next week’s article? Check out the NorthStar Order Entry system! If you want to know more about the product, click on the link and request a live demo.

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