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What is Farm to Table?

Is a farm-to-table restaurant right for you? Here is what you need to know about the farm-to-table movement, and how to open your own.

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The farm-to-table restaurant movement has been growing in popularity and isn’t slowing down anytime soon. But what is a farm-to-table restaurant? And where does this philosophy come from? Here’s all the information you need to know about farm-to-table restaurants, and how to go about opening one yourself. 

What is a farm-to-table restaurant?

A farm-to-table restaurant is a restaurant that sources its food locally, usually through direct partnerships with local farms, ranches, breweries, or other food producers. The farm-to-table movement promotes fresh produce, healthy and nutritious meals, and supporting the local economy: literally bringing the meals from farm to table. 

These restaurants rely on strong relationships and close proximity to local producers, and a short, easily traced supply chain. The goal of farm-to-table restaurants is to reduce their environmental footprint – with suppliers all close by, there is no need for long-distance shipping or flash freezing, food can be picked up and used when it is perfectly ripe and ready for consumption. 

Most Famous Farm to Table Restaurants

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, New York 

Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a Michelin Star farm-to-table restaurant located in the Hudson Valley. Throughout the year, Blue Hill brings in a rotating chef, who prepares their own unique tasting menu of in-season, fresh, and local ingredients. 

Malibu Farm, California 

Malibu Farm, located in Malibu California, is a farm-to-table cafe and restaurant created by chef Helene Henderson. Helene sources produce, meat and seafood from local farms, markets, and fisheries, and places an emphasis on sustainability and transparency. 

Odd Duck, Texas 

Odd Duck, located in Austin Texas, is a seasonal farm-to-table restaurant, with its menu fully sourced locally. Odd Duck prides itself on strong relationships with local farmers, sustainable business practices, and delicious, unique dishes. 

How to Start a Farm to Table Restaurant

Starting a farm-to-table restaurant might take more prep work than a traditional restaurant, but with some planning, it is completely doable and could be a boon to your local community. To get you started, here’s your beginner’s checklist to opening a restaurant.

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Once you have the basics down, you need to consider the particularities about starting a farm-to-table restaurant specifically, like proximity to and relationship with various farms, markets, and other food producers. The key to a successful farm-to-table business is a short, traceable supply chain, and developing the necessary relationships there takes time. You need to research the perfect location and begin to build connections with vendors. 

The good news is that farm-to-table is a popular, sustainable way to start a restaurant business, and although it may take more time to start, you’re likely to be faced with lots of support from your community who are looking for a local farm-to-table dinner restaurant. 

Bring Your Community Closer to their Food

Though starting a farm-to-table restaurant takes time, energy, and prep work, the payoff can be amazing. This movement supports local businesses, focuses on fresh produce, and delivers delicious food: all of which are doing social good for your local community. For more information on building and running a sustainable restaurant, click here. 

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