Consumers increasingly looking for sourcing information on menus
A survey conducted among leading Irish restaurant owners and chefs from around the country has shown that 70% of those surveyed have increased the amount of local ingredients for use in their restaurants in the past 2 years. The survey was conducted among previous recipients of Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Award, a campaign that aims to encourage consumers to look for information on where their food comes from when eating out and encourages chef’s to provide the information on their menus.
Restaurant owners have also noticed that consumers are increasingly concerned about where their food is coming from and are actively looking for this information when dining out. Commenting on the results, Kay Harte from Farmgate Cafe, English Market in Cork, the 2012 Georgina Campbell Just Ask! Winner said “More and more customers are asking us where their food is coming from. People are no longer content with knowing what it is they are eating, they want to know the origin of the produce too. We include a list at the back of our menu and have a dedicated ‘supply chain’ section on our website which names all of our suppliers, many of which come straight from the market downstairs”.
Other key survey findings include:
85% of those surveyed feel that their business has improved because of their transparency regarding sourcing of ingredients
75% rate freshness as the most important reason for buying local
65% buy local to support the local economy
61% source the meat used in their restaurant from within their own county
The survey also shows that as a result of the increase in demand for sourcing ingredients locally, food producers are increasingly offering more unusual products, with those surveyed now claiming to be able to source ingredients such as Sweetcorn, Edible Seaweed, Sea Beat, Trout Caviar, Venison and Irish Buffalo Mozzarella in their locality.
Maureen Gahan, Food Service Specialist, Bord Bia added, “Recently commissioned Bord Bia research shows that eating out is still on the menu with Saturday remaining the most popular night for dining out. Since we launched the Just Ask! Campaign in 2009 we have seen an increased commitment from restaurateurs and their chef’s to inform their customers where the food they are eating was produced. It’s fantastic to see such a commitment by some of Ireland’s top restaurants to scouring products from local suppliers.”
About Just Ask restaurant of the month
As part of an ongoing initiative to highlight restaurants around the country that are demonstrating ‘best practice’ in providing their customers with information, Bord Bia invites restaurants listed on Georgina Campbell’s ireland-guide.com website to submit copies of their menus and sourcing statements. On a monthly basis, a Just Ask winner is chosen by Georgina Campbell in agreement with Bord Bia. These are restaurants that are committed to sourcing locally and passing this information on to their customers, so that they don’t even have to Just Ask. In addition, an overall Just Ask annual award winner is selected as part of the Georgina Campbell Awards which take place during October.
About the survey
The survey was carried out during June 2012 among previous Just Ask! winners. Bord Bia’s Just Ask! Restaurant of the Month has been running since 2009 and to date 35 awards have been announced.