More Restaurants are Becoming “Farm-to-Table” Thanks to Gas Shortages

May 16, 2021 at 4:03 am

Fuel costs and national supply chain interruptions are driving restaurants to source more menu items from local farms

Restaurant owners have had a rough year. First with CoVid-related supply chain interruptions and now with soaring fuel costs that are driving up the cost of food.

So instead of ordering from national restuarant suppliers like Cisco, they are developing better relationships with their local farmers.

“With our national suppliers, we always have to pay a fuel surcharge, to get the product to us from wherever it’s being dispatched,” Jerry Smith of Roanoke’s Regional Restaurant Group in Virginia told MSN.

“Now since we have a national gasoline and fuel crisis that’s only going to go higher.”

Chicken for example, costs almost three times as much as it did before coronavirus lockdowns.

“This time last year, a case of chicken was right around $65. Now we’re up to $165 and it fluctuates every week,” Smith said.

“Now, it’s going to cost even more – or triple – just to get the products to us because of the fuel shortage. So we are working with local partners to cut away that surcharge.”

Den Hill Permaculture is one of the local farms helping Roanoke restaurants to fill the gap.

The farm offers a wide variety of foods, unlike the mono-crop and factory-meat farms that national restaurant suppliers often source from, so they are closer to being the one-stop-shop restaurant owners prefer.

Plus they have several local pickup locations at farmers’ markets, a local grocery store and their farm, allowing owners to get fresh bulk food several times a week without driving too far to get it.

The service is helping restaurants like Black Hen Bar Blue cut costs and get food to customers’ plates within 24 hours of harvest, said Benjamin Harder, owner and manager of Den Hill Permaculture.