“Going local” seems to have become the banner motto of many people in recent years thanks to a growing awareness of the fact that working with local businesses is more beneficial for more people than patronizing nothing but the large, multinational conglomerates.
It even has spurned its own micro-movements on the community level, especially boosted by hashtag marketing, with campaigns like farm-to-table becoming an instant trend as well as the increasing popularity of the farmer’s market in the last decade or so. You might even be considering getting your restaurant business on board with this movement.
But popularity aside, is there a real and tangible benefit for your business to go local? And how exactly can you support your local community through your business?
Getting popular, especially with the growing number of more conscious consumers, may be one of the most obvious reasons to be more proactive in your local community and support other local businesses, but there’s more for you than just that:
It benefits your business. Working with local businesses means not only creating a simple business network. You are creating relationships much in the same way you build a relationship with a neighbor. Being part of a closely-knit community of local business owners means you are in the company of people who cater to the needs of the same locale as you and experience things the same things you do in the local economy. You can not only exchange valuable lessons and tips to thrive in your locale, but you are also building your client circle.
It benefits the local economy. Working with local businesses – paying for goods and services sold by your peers in the local business circuit – greatly boosts the economic activity of your area. More than that, being part of something like the local chamber of commerce allows you to become a proactive shareholder and participant in shaping the local economy in ways that will benefit everybody.
You are becoming part of a community. Nothing beats the support of a local community. We know that for sure – we have been operating as a local company since we opened shop in 1926. Part of the reason why we are still here is the immense support of the other local companies who believed in us and entrusted their needs with us. At the highest and lowest point of your small business, it is your closest neighbors who will be there for you – not the fancy, large conglomerates. And in return, doing business with other local businesses means that you are also helping a neighbor, someone you know by face and name, get by. You are also helping keep someone’s business afloat and it is this symbiotic relationship that makes working with local businesses beautiful and worthwhile.
The restaurant business is rife with opportunities for you to support your local business community. Here are some of them:
We cannot stress it enough but the simple act of sourcing your ingredients from local producers is not only beneficial but important. Locally-sourced produce, for one, leaves a relatively smaller carbon footprint as it took less time and distance to get to you. Secondly, locally-sourced food means they are fresher and better for the consumer.
It could be in the form of discounted catering or offering them a conference room at your restaurant. You can also swap coupons with other local businesses or pair up in offering special deals to customers – a real two birds with one stone kind of hitter.
It could be as simple as opening up your shared space for a street market event or something as grand as collaborating with all the businesses on your street to transform your area into a themed place of sorts for the holidays. Collaboration is the heart of being part of the community and taking part in creative collaborations is a great way to make connections and build relationships with other business owners who, just like you, are working as hard to make it big.
Rally behind your community of business owners! Be part of your locale and support small businesses.