When guests stay at a lodging facility, they are now looking to experience more of the local community – not just “cookie-cutter” hotel offerings. Thus, hoteliers are providing more immersive offerings, such as regional dishes or locally brewed beer, to differentiate their properties. In acute care, the same desire to experience local food and culture is present. One New York-based hospital recently adopted a farm-to-patient program, forging relationships with local vendors, like a creamery and farm, to bring fresher fare to patients. Another Vermont-based hospital has partnered with local cheesemakers, adding cheeses from the local community to dishes like cheddar-bleu cheese macaroni and cheese.
Here are some ideas to customize your menu to your locality:
- Even one locally sourced ingredient can alter a consumer’s perception about your menu and location for the better. For instance, you might enhance canned chicken soup with locally grown herbs, such as fresh parsley or bay leaves. Be sure to call out the local farm where your herbs or produce on your menu.
- Purchase late-season crops, like tomatoes or peaches, make them into salsas you can freeze or can, then serve at various times of year. This is a great way to give consumers a taste of the local community even when fresh ingredients aren’t in season.
- Hold a weekly or monthly tasting event in your lobby, where guests can sample beer from local breweries or wine from regional wineries, paired with small plates inspired by your neighboring area. For example, a taste of Massachusetts might include chowder and brews born in Boston.
Want more ideas? Download entegra’s 2018 Top Ten Trends for Hospitality.
Entegra Procurement Services regularly publishes blog posts on food trends and innovations in food services. Entegra is more than a group purchasing organization (GPO): Our team of procurement specialists implement strategic sourcing to bring the most value to your business. We help our clients, in many segments ranging from the healthcare supply chain to restaurant supply, to cut costs and consolidate their portfolios.