Hotel inventory management is no easy task. Hotels are their own ecosystems with many moving parts to consider. To run a hotel smoothly and successfully, a business owner has to carefully select vendors and types of products to use, especially when it comes to locally-sourced ingredients.
One of the many things that must be done is creating a proper beverage program. Planning wine lists, sourcing quality whiskey, finding the right mixologist, and getting quality ingredients for the best cocktails.
All of these things are crucial when creating the hotel beverages menu. Specialty coffee is also something that’s worth looking into when trying to create an unforgettable customer experience, too.
To make great cocktail drinks and other beverages, it’s good to try locally-sources ingredients. They have many benefits for the hotel business, but also for the local economy. Let’s look more into that!
6 Benefits of Using Locally-Sourced Ingredients
When you are running a big business such as a hotel, you may be tempted to go with the well-known, to save yourself the research. However, getting the drinks for the hotel minibars that everyone else is stocking won’t take you far.
What the modern traveler is looking for is unique, memorable experiences. They don’t want to eat and drink what they would at home. Instead, they want to explore and experience your area not only through sightseeing but also through taste. This is what business owners should focus on.
Take advantage of what hotel technology has to offer. Streamline the processes to save time. But don’t save time on the research to find great local ingredients for the food and beverages you serve.
Key Takeaway: Using locally-sourced ingredients for hotel beverages has many advantages. From saving money and providing a great customer experience to reducing the carbon footprint, it’s all for the better!
1. Local Is What People Want
As already mentioned, new travelers are looking for new, exciting things. They want to try what the area has to offer. Serving local food and beverages is only going to benefit your hotel business.
According to a study from 2021, 39% of consumers prefer to support local farmers. Back in 2018, it was 27%. This trend, along with farm to table restaurants, are not going anywhere in the near future, as more and more people want to know where their food comes from. So imagine how great of a business marketing using locally-sourced ingredients can be!
2. It Supports the Local Economy
When choosing local ingredients for your hotel beverages and food, you are supporting the local economy. This is also a way to support the country’s economy, as all are connected.
By supporting local, small businesses will be able to sustain themselves and boost employment. This in turn will strengthen the community.
At first, it may not seem like a lot, but helping the local economy will make the location more desirable. Everyone in the hospitality industry can benefit from that!
3. Local Ingredients Reduce the Carbon Footprint
One of the greatest benefits of local ingredients is how much they can reduce the carbon footprint of a business. When you switch to a local supplier, the food and cocktail ingredients you need will not travel as much.
Not only is this the right move from a moral point of view, but also shows your customers that you care and want to use more sustainable practices.
4. Local Helps Cut the Cost
Buying locally can help you cut costs without lowering quality. Saving money on logistics and sourcing fresher ingredients, such as fresh produce, is what will help your business flourish as well.
Most locally-sourced foods and other ingredients also don’t require as much packaging. This is another great way to cut costs and reduce the carbon footprint of your business.
5. Embrace Using What’s in Season
Embracing the use of ingredients that are currently in season would probably mean having different types of menu through the year. This includes a seasonal menu.
Although this may seem like a lot of work at first, the time spent will be worth it. Focusing on restaurant seasonality can help you identify the slowest and busiest months for restaurants. As a result, you can allocate the proper resources during those times.
If your kitchen staff and bartenders use more of what’s in season, you can again cut costs, reduce the carbon footprint, and support better the local community of farmers. In addition to all these benefits, using what’s local and in season will provide interest to your customers.
If they stay at your hotel during different times of the year, they will have the opportunity to try different dishes and drinks. That’s great for customer retention!
6. Local Ingredients Encourage Better Connection with Food
Last but not least, sourcing quality, local ingredients creates an understanding of where the food comes from. Both hotel staff and customers will feel the connection.
While this may not be an immediate benefit for the hotel business, it will foster a connection that will create a better future. Sourcing local ingredients helps build a more sustainable food system for the future generations.
Frequently Asked Questions about Locally-Sourced Ingredients
Whether it’s a mini bar you want to stock up well or an entire bar and restaurant inventory, questions are bound to pop up. What types of red wine or types of white wine to choose, what types of meat, and even cocktail ingredients? All questions are worth spending time researching.
Below, we provide the answers to some of the most common questions that may arise when talking about ingredients from local providers.
What Are the Disadvantages of Choosing Locally-Sourced Ingredients?
Not being able to choose from a wide variety of ingredients. This should not come as a surprise to you, as any area has its own “specialty.” Whether it’s types of alcohol or different vegetables, it’s specific to the area.
Local food is usually not treated with preservatives and it may not look as appealing as imported foods. The looks of the ingredients is what makes some business owners choose to import ingredients for their restaurants and bars.
In addition, because chemicals are not being used, the food should be used in a shorter period of time. To do this, hotels may want to consider using the FIFO method of hotel restaurant inventory management.
Why Are Local Ingredients More Expensive?
Producing smaller quantities of food and drinks, using fewer chemicals, and providing fair wages to workers amounts to higher prices of local ingredients. Looking only at the price of the ingredients may make one think it’s more affordable to get ingredients from another area.
However, using locally ingredients will reap more benefits long term. By supporting local farmers, you will improve the local economy, help people get a taste of what the area has to offer, will reduce the carbon footprint, and more!
Should You Serve Local Alcohol at a Restaurant or Hotel?
Yes, it’s a great idea to serve local alcohol to clients in your hotel or restaurant. As a matter of fact, this is a great way to show guests what the area has to offer. By serving local alcohol or include it in great cocktails, you will provide guests with a one-of-a-kind experience.
When visiting a new place, people love tasting foods and drinks the area has to offer. So it’s not only a good idea, but it’s actually recommended including unique to the area options.