As well as working with individuals to help them improve their gardens or live a more sustainable way of life, I also help small businesses navigate a way forward. Obviously, these have been, and continue to be, difficult times for restauranteurs and other food business owners. Thinking outside the box and finding new ways to do things can help small businesses to survive.
Of course, one way that eat-in businesses have been rising to meet the challenges of our times is by switching from dine-in services to take-out or delivery. Diversifying revenue streams is one key strategy for small hospitality businesses. And even when customers are beginning to return to dine indoors, it can still make sense to have several strategies at once.
But in these strange times, there is a huge lack of certainty. It can be difficult to determine which revenue streams can bring in money, and which will not. One way to hedge against that uncertainty is to take as much into your own hands as possible.
For restaurants, this can mean taking steps to bypass supply chain issues and do as much as possible in-house. Growing at least a little of the food served is one great way to boost resilience and protect your business from future shocks. And many businesses have more space for this than they think.
Even where there is not space on the premises for food production, it may still be possible to collaborate or co-operate with very local gardeners and food producers. Even in cities, a surprising amount of high quality food can often be found. Forging new connections with very local growers can help root a business in a community, as well as providing what is required. A sustainable restaurant can be a food hub – providing far more for a community than just a convivial place to eat.
Reducing food waste is also key. And many sustainable restaurants are finding new and interesting ways to reduce the amount of waste they generate.
If you own a restaurant, cafe or other food business and would like some help to create a plan, please get in touch to see how I can help.