Grow some of your own vegetables and you’ll get free publicity, have a unique restaurant and bring customers in like never before.
Recently a third of the 2,000 chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association named having a garden as the top restaurant trend. As an added bonus, this marketing technique actually saves you money instead of costing you money. And here are the seven vegetables you should be growing. According to the North Carolina State University, a 2,000 sq. ft. garden could quite literally produce a ton of fresh tomatoes. You can expect your yield to be more or less per acre depending on your climate. Even a 1,000 square-foot (20 ft. by 50 ft.) garden will produce a lot of vegetables. It’s a tremendous marketing benefit when you can say that the food you’re serving is being grown 50 feet from the kitchen and without pesticides or artificial fertilizers. (Of course, if you can’t have your garden this close to your restaurant, your story can still be very newsworthy and you will still have a tremendous marketing advantage and get a lot of free customer-grabbing publicity.) If your garden (or part of your garden) is next to your restaurant, you can offer “Garden Tours.” The restaurants that offer this say it draws a lot of customers.
What if you had this statement printed on your menus?
“The tomatoes, cucumbers and herbs in our salads are still on the vine each day when the chef arrives.” It doesn’t get any fresher than this!
Which vegetables should you have in your restaurant garden?
The seven vegetables that are the easiest to grow and produce most abundantly with very little space and effort are:
- Tomatoes — both heirloom and hybrid varieties
- Cucumbers — plant the kind for salads instead of the pickling type
- Peppers — green and red bell peppers and banana peppers
- Squash — both yellow and zucchini
- Green beans — pole beans will bare all season
- Herbs — it doesn’t take much space to grow a lot of herbs
- Cabbage — for coleslaw
Delivering a great experience is the basis of having a successful restaurant. Serving vegetables from your own garden is one of the best things you can do to expand this great experience. It has a very positive effect on your guests’ experience. A growing number of people are looking for restaurants that serve locally grown produce and you can take it one step further — offer vegetables from your own garden. It doesn’t get any better than this. Your vegetables can’t get any better, fresher (or cheaper) than the ones you grow in your own garden. Having your own garden is one marketing technique that brings in a lot of new and repeat customers. And instead of costing you money, this technique actually saves you money. Your garden will generate a lot of free publicity and customer loyalty. Bottom Line: Make it a goal this week to select the plot for your garden. Until you have a place nailed down, you haven’t really committed to having a garden.
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