Make Your Profits Grow: In Your Restaurant Garden

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homegrownRestaurant gardens are a great way to have maximum control over your inventory, and depending on the size and nature of your garden, they can also play a huge role in your food costs. There are so many advantages to planting your own garden that you might want to consider going above and beyond the typical herb patches that many chefs plant along the side of the building.

It may take some time to get your garden going, but once you do, you will experience a noticeable decrease in the produce you have to order and a huge increase in the quality of the food you produce. It will always be fresh and not suffering the bruises of transit. Some of the most expensive foods, like blueberries and raspberries, can be easily grown in massive quantities and harvested as you need them, so you won’t have food spoiling in your coolers.

Having a restaurant garden will also distinguish you from your competitors. You should make no secret of your home grown ingredients and make a conscious effort to inform the public that you are an eco-friendly restaurant with the freshest ingredients in town. The word fresh will make everything on your menu look better.

The aesthetic value of your business will increase tenfold if customers are able to pass by or through your garden as they enter and exit the restaurant. If it’s possible to incorporate outdoor seating to your garden area, then customers can have an even more unique dining experience. Some restaurants with massive gardens take customers on tours through them, which is something children especially love.

When determining what kind of garden you can possibly produce near your restaurant, remember that many New York City restaurants have taken their gardens to the roof when exterior space is lacking. There are many companies available that can consult with you and create your garden for you, leaving you with only the maintenance to worry about, and even that can be outsourced if necessary. But most servers and cooks probably wouldn’t mind watering the garden or pulling weeds for busy work. It beats folding silverware and making soup.

Last modified: April 16, 2013
Sasha Smith


This story is part of our Small Business Corner, a peek into the life and trials of small business owners.

Category: Insider's perspective, MPR Authored, Restaurants, Small Business, Small Business Corner, small business owners, tips

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