Size doesn’t matter: Big feet can tread lightly

Slow Food UK

Slow Food UK

Standard Supplier 27th February 2017

Size doesn’t matter: Big feet can tread lightly

It’s a truism that larger businesses be they part of a chain or simply a larger Independent often tell us that they find it hard to be truly ethical: that it “is too difficult” or “too expensive” - both of which are myths.
The first thing to consider is that not everything needs to be changed at once, that the process can be started by category (say firstly in meat or fish) or by two or three menu items – be they permanent fixtures, or specials.
The word seasonal is bandied about, but many of us don’t change our menus very much at all: maybe two or three times a year. Increase that to five or six times, and you can start including the very best ingredients, at their peak and at the very cheapest price – the “expensive” sourcing now becomes the very opposite, giving the very best margins.
Also in our pursuit for GP we can consider average menu GP, rather than single dish – if our starters and puddings are pumping higher margin through clever use of ingredients, then there may be place for some GP sacrifice on the main dishes, providing mean GP is maintained.
This is important, because consumers consistently state they want ethical, local food – they want a connection to the place they live; they are more loyal to places which match their values, and will dine there more often.
But being ethical can mean more than only menu changes: take for example the innovative development Chef Barry Nichols, of Caterer Graysons. Barry is not only just looking at how this large business can be more sustainable, but through Graysons support of Slow Food they are sponsoring a number of new Ark of Taste products – the Ark being “the at risk register” of food. Such support means that our nation’s culinary and agricultural heritage is preserved – those corporate values are something we should all admire, whether our businesses are large or small.

www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/what-we-do/the-ark-of-taste/

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