Food Provenance (Part 5) - Restaurants

Throughout this blog series we have looked at the entire supply chain of the food we eat on a day to day basis. While it might be easier to understand and source better produce if you’re shopping for it yourself sometimes you have to rely on other people to provide you with the produce you expect. When eating in restaurants, which we all love to do, we put ourselves at mercy to the chef and restaurant managers who source, manage and prepare the food we eat.

The trouble today is the costs associated with setting up and running your own restaurant and this can act as an innappropriate driver for chefs and restaurant managers to save money where maybe they shouldn’t. This could be more common in less established restaurants but also the issue of provenance remains in large chains where margins are tight and they cater for volume. Either way if trying to save money, both waste management and sourcing may be areas which chefs and managers will look to scrutinise.

Our best advice to anyone who wants to eat out and who is strict about the origin and welfare of the food they eat is actively search out businesses which have a ‘mantra’ or company ethos. Predominantly you will find this in smaller businesses such as many of vendors on the City Pantry site including Le Coq, who actively promote the welfare of the chickens they serve. Saying this, some larger and bigger brand name restaurants such as Leon also featured a strong ethos on their site.

chickens2

Similarly, like we have mentioned in our previous posts don’t be hesitant to ask the questions you want to about the food. Always act as a food critic without the quite so pompous facade and expect the best from wherever you eat. There is no harm in asking them the origin of their food obviously this is within certain limitations of your sitting in a fast food chain! Really every chef or restaurant manager should be taking pride in where there food comes from if they are truly into their food and if they are able to provide you with answers, you immediately have a good sign about what quality of food to expect.

Read more of our Food Provenance blog series here.

Next week is our final week of the blog series look at ‘consumers’ where we explore our own responsibility throughout the entire supply chain to try and change the way we source and eat our food.