Call it the dawning of the independent era, or something equally optimistic and vague. But restaurant research firms are thrilled to bits with this newsworthy trend of lagging sales at big chain restaurants, with the independents and smaller chains outpacing them impressively. It’s a reversal of what went on literally for decades. So what’s the deal? Why do Americans suddenly seem to care about where they eat out? We have a few ideas. Here are three reasons eating local is becoming a thing.
You know the saying, you get what you pay for? That can be downright worrisome when you’re eyeballing a burger that cost you less than two bucks. Is that really… meat? More and more, people are paying attention to the quality of their food and they’re rewarding places that source local ingredients with their patronage. And we think that’s awesome.
Better ingredients mean better-tasting meals, and then there’s the feeling of virtue that comes with supporting local farmers and ranchers. It’s such a delightful little circle, you know?
The local spots are the ones offering discounts to the local sports team, hosting fundraisers to benefit the community, maybe showcasing local artists or highlighting local areas of interest. The thing is, there’s nothing contrived about this – these places are part of the community, and they’re proud to be part of that. They don’t just work here, they live here, and your patronage is their livelihood – not the means for some CEO living across the country to buy his second vacation home.
Word of Mouth
When you find a great local spot, you’re much more likely to tell your friends about it or jump online to write a great review. The bigger chain restaurants depend on advertising, which is why they’re blowing millions on Super Bowl ads every year. But the local spots and even the smaller chains need good word of mouth to survive.
We don’t know for sure why the big chains are suffering and the little guys are suddenly flourishing. But at Full Belly Deli in Reno and Truckee, we’re here for it.