Restaurants: Hyperlocal Trends

Oct 24, 2022

Picture a quiet, peaceful meadow, lush with grass, and a vegetable garden big enough to plan a menu around. If you think that maybe you’re in Lancaster, PA, or Sussex, NJ, you wouldn’t be thinking wrong. This garden, though, belongs to a restaurant in Kennebunkport, Maine, and it is one of two organic gardens grown on premises and picked daily to produce the tastiest of dishes on their menu. They aren’t the only ones; restaurants with garden sidekicks are popping up everywhere. As prices rise, menus shrink, and staff continues to grow thin, there is something quite beautiful trending around the country — hyperlocal foods. Because of food distribution chain disruptions since the start of COVID, restaurants have been procuring their ingredients via farms, bakeries, butchers, and even cheesemakers, super close to their location or doing it themselves, says Food & Wine.

Hyperlocal trends in restaurants were on the rise in 2007 with the start of the “locavore,” a term coined by people in the San Francisco Bay area, says WebsterauntStore. This term describes a person who eats only foods grown within a 100-mile radius. According to the article, restaurants took notice of the trend and began sourcing their foods hyper-locally or growing them themselves.

Obtaining food from local spots makes it more sustainable for the restaurant, says Caroline Glover from Food & Wine. Chefs from Colorado to New York have hopped on the hyperlocal trend and have focused on “smaller, tighter menus,” highlighting the foods closest to them. Menus have reflected hyperlocal foods by offering dishes unique to their locations, and customers love it, says Foodwellsaid. The article further shares that shifting from global cuisine to local has been a surprising twist, but it is making both customers and restaurants happy.


Benefits for Restaurant Workers and Patrons: Health and Convenience


Shopping local farms and bakeries is fantastic, but having your own garden in the back of your restaurant is ideal, which is what many restaurants are doing now to ensure sustainability, says Eco & Beyond. The article says that certain leafy greens can lose over half of their vitamin C by the time it makes it to the supermarket shelf and even local food that has traveled miles to the restaurant. On-site farms, rooftop gardens, and vertical gardens allow restaurants to literally pick food, cook it and serve it. You can’t get more local than that.

Predicted by Whole Foods on their Top 10 Food Trends of 2022 is “ultraurban” farming. Whole Foods pioneered a rooftop greenhouse back in 2013 in their Whole Foods Market Brooklyn location and watched the trend grow, no pun intended, into a huge movement. This indoor farming trend has expanded into other areas, including hydroponics, aquaponics, and robot-grown produce.


urban farm

Sustainable and Delicious

Hyperlocal sourcing isn’t just a trendy term. Yes, it’s sustainable and a tremendous step towards significant changes in the food industry. It’s also a source of pride for both restaurant operators and customers. Everyone can enjoy the feeling of warmth and satisfaction because the food is delicious and because their neighbor grew it. It’s the community that’s being served.