TripAdvisor For Restaurants

Learn how to bring in more hungry diners to your restaurant with resources, best practices, and tips for getting the most out of TripAdvisor.

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Getting Started with TripAdvisor Restaurants

Getting Started with TripAdvisor Restaurants New to TripAdvisor? This getting started guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get up and running in no time at all....

How to Update Your Hours on TripAdvisor

How to Update Your Hours on TripAdvisor

Restaurants that list their hours on TripAdvisor see 36% more engagement than those without them. Here’s how to edit and update your hours on TripAdvisor so more diners can find you.

Updating Your Hours Is Easy and Free

To update your restaurant hours on TripAdvisor:

  1. Head to tripadvisor.com/owners. If you haven’t claimed your listing yet, you can do so here — it’s free and easy. Once you’ve claimed, click on the name of your restaurant to log in to the Management Center.
  2. Under the “Manage Listing” tab, choose “Hours.”
  3. Add or edit open hours by clicking directly on the appropriate time slot. Edit your closing time first before adjusting your opening time. If you’re open 24 hours, check the “Open 24 Hours” box on the right-hand side.
  4. When you’re done editing, click the orange “Submit” button at the bottom of the page. Changes are usually live on the site within 24 hours, but some changes may take a little longer.

You can display additional hours of operation — say, if you have two different seatings for lunch or dinner — by clicking “Add more hours.” A second time slot will appear for you to edit your hours by following step three. If you see an “invalid time” error message, double check that you've edited your closing time first. Once you've chosen your second closing time, then you can edit your second opening time.

Alternatively, if you’re closed on certain days of the week, click the trash can icon to the right of a given time slot, which will mark you as closed during that time.

Diners can see your hours:

  • While searching for open restaurants near them
  • In the Overview section of your listing
  • In the Restaurant Details section of your listing

Looking to update the rest of your listing details? Here’s our complete guide.

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The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Photos on TripAdvisor

The Ultimate Guide to Restaurant Photos on TripAdvisor Great photos are the key to standing out in today’s crowded restaurant market. Here’s our ultimate guide to showing off your restaurant and your cuisine with photography — no professional needed.

Why Restaurant Photos Matter on TripAdvisor

On TripAdvisor, restaurants with more than ten photos often have significantly greater engagement — almost double, in fact — from hungry browsing diners. And restaurants with at least one Management Photo see 44% more engagement than those without. Adding photos to your listing is one of the easiest ways you can encourage more people to come to your restaurant.

Where Diners See Your Photos

Your photos will appear in the photo carousel at the top of your listing, and your Primary Photo will appear next to your listing in search results. TripAdvisor Premium subscribers can also create a dynamic visual slideshow — learn more about Storyboard here.

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How to Upload Your Menu to TripAdvisor

How to Upload Your Menu to TripAdvisor Diners love to see your menu before choosing your restaurant. Adding or updating your menu on TripAdvisor is easy — here’s how.

Uploading Your Menu Is Easy

You have two options to display your menu on TripAdvisor.

Option 1: Add a link to the menu displayed on your business website

The menu link appears at the very top of your listing next to your other details like location, phone number.

To add the link:

  1. Log in to the Management Center. If you haven’t already, claim your listing here.
  2. Choose “Menu” from the “Manage Listing” tab.
  3. Type in or copy and paste your menu link in the box underneath where it says “Menu URL.”
  4. Click the orange “Submit” button.

Diners will see your menu link immediately on your listing. If you’re a restaurant that changes menus frequently or with the seasons, then make sure to use the same URL each time on your website or update this link in the Management Center following the instructions above.

Option 2: Use One of Our Partners

If you’re using SinglePlatform, Yext, or Locu, you’ll be able to push your menu automatically to your TripAdvisor listing. Note that you won’t be able to both add a link to your website and use one of our partners — choose which option works best for you.

Your menu will show as a link at the top of your listing and as a full menu at the bottom. After signing up with a partner, allow 10-14 days for the link to appear on TripAdvisor. To edit your menu, you’ll need to contact SinglePlatform, Yext, or Locu directly.

Looking to update the rest of your listing details? Here’s our complete guide.

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How to List Your Restaurant on TripAdvisor

How to List Your Restaurant on TripAdvisor Listing your restaurant is the first step toward using TripAdvisor as a marketing channel for your business. It only takes minutes!

Welcome to One of the World’s Largest Restaurant Sites*

With 4.9 million restaurants and counting*, TripAdvisor sees millions of travelers every month to research and plan their perfect trip. But did you know that TripAdvisor is used by locals, too? Over 200 million people on average search for restaurants on TripAdvisor each month.** And in a recent survey, an average of 86% of respondents told us they have opted to dine at a restaurant as a result of a TripAdvisor ranking, review, rating or award.

Listing your restaurant is the first step toward using TripAdvisor to spread the word about your business. Once your restaurant is listed and you register as the owner or manager, you’ll be able to upload photos, update your details like restaurant hours, and respond to reviews — all for free.

Check If You’re Already Listed

Chances are, you’re already listed on TripAdvisor. You can check for your restaurant here by searching the name in the search box. Select your restaurant from the dropdown and click the “Claim Your Business” button to start managing your listing.

How to List Your Restaurant on TripAdvisor

To get started, head to tripadvisor.com/GetListedRestaurant. Note that to list your restaurant on TripAdvisor, it must be open for business. You’ll need to have basic information like your restaurant’s address and contact information handy to complete your registration. You’ll also have the opportunity to indicate the main types of cuisines you offer with a photo and a short description of your restaurant. If you have any questions, you can see our full restaurant listing guidelines here.

Here are some quick tips when it comes to creating your listing:

  • When you add your email address, be sure to use the email address associated with the restaurant, not your personal email address.
  • For your restaurant address, use the exact zip code for where your restaurant is physically located. It seems obvious, but it can get tricky with state and city lines, so it’s worth double checking.
  • Feel free to add directions or tips to help diners find you, such as “near the statue of St. Paul” in the “Additional address information” section to help diners find your restaurant.
  • Use the map location to drop a pin where your restaurant is located so diners can find your restaurant.
  • For the “Description of your restaurant” section, add a short description of what your restaurant is all about. This is a good place to use your mission statement, “about us” statement, or anything else already on your website.

Once you’ve filled out all of the fields, click the green “Submit” button. Once you click “Submit”, our team will verify your details and your restaurant should be on the website in about 3-5 business days.

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A Guide to Travelers' Choice Restaurants

A Guide to Travelers' Choice Restaurants Travelers’ Choice is the highest honor that the TripAdvisor community can bestow upon a restaurant. Here’s everything you need to know.

About Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Awards

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor from travelers around the world. There are three categories for eligible restaurants to be considered:

  • Fine Dining: High-end, special occasion establishments
  • Everyday Dining: Great meals for any occasion that don’t break the bank
  • Fast Casual: Quick, quality meals at a great value but without waitstaff or table service

TripAdvisor determines Travelers' Choice award winners by looking at reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.These award winners consistently provide travelers with a remarkable dining experience and outstanding service and quality, regardless of category or price.

You can see a full list of this year’s winners here.

Travelers’ Choice vs. Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor has two main recognition programs: Travelers’ Choice and Certificate of Excellence. Both designate restaurants that provide high quality experiences for their diners.

While Travelers’ Choice awards identify and rank the very best restaurants in specific categories, like Fine Dining and Everyday Dining, the Certificate of Excellence program recognizes all businesses that have achieved a certain standard of excellence, as reviewed by diners on TripAdvisor.

You can learn more about the Certificate of Excellence award here.

Promoting your Awards

Travelers’ Choice winners are recognized with an “award winner” badge on their restaurant listing and can request a plaque to display in their restaurant. For tips on how to promote a TripAdvisor award, click here.

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Getting Started with TripAdvisor Restaurants

Getting Started with TripAdvisor Restaurants New to TripAdvisor? This getting started guide will walk you through everything you need to know to get up and running in no time at all....

Turn Excellent Reviews Into Restaurant Marketing Magic

Turn Excellent Reviews Into Restaurant Marketing Magic Turn your reviews into marketing for your business with these creative restaurant marketing ideas from real restaurants around the globe.

Make Your Reviews Work Harder

Your hard work and great food have earned you well-deserved positive reviews. Now it’s time to make those words of praise work for you by using them in your restaurant’s marketing materials.

Featuring TripAdvisor reviews lends your marketing a sense of credibility. It’s a concept psychologists call “social proof,” which essentially means that humans look to see what others do before making a decision.

The fact that positive reviews from TripAdvisor drive business to your restaurant is a testament to the power of social proof. But the impact of these reviews need not be limited to browsers on TripAdvisor. We’ve put together some creative ways you can incorporate your reviews into your online and offline restaurant marketing to better persuade potential diners that your restaurant is the one they should choose.

Real-Life Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Use your restaurant concept to your advantage. This is where you can get quirky, creative, and truly you because you own the space. Think about using your built-in signage, sidewalk real estate, or your door and window spaces as places you can draw in passerby. Plus, it’s easy and free to request TripAdvisor-branded materials for your restaurant here.

Post Your Reviews Around Your Restaurant

Grab attention with a selection of your reviews as a flyer on your window next to your menu — simply let the reviews tell the story. Or, pull some of your favorite quotes from recent reviews and turn it into a piece of wall art on your patio or in your waiting area like this London pub.

Joke About Your Reviews

Have a bad review? Use your sense of humor to your advantage and aim for a few laughs — this approach could even go viral like this Irish cafe advertising the “worst salad one woman on TripAdvisor ever had in her life.”

Encourage Online Engagement with Creative Signage

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How This Travelers' Choice Winner Increased Sales By 20%

How This Travelers' Choice Winner Increased Sales By 20%

Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, named the UK’s #1 everyday dining restaurant in the 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards, increased their sales by 20% by climbing the TripAdvisor rankings. Here’s how they focused on customer experience and feedback to get the most out of TripAdvisor.

Welcome to Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, Scotland

Over the last four years, John Stamp has built a thriving business at Makars Gourmet Mash Bar in Edinburgh, serving traditional Scottish fare like granny used to make. “After running a software company for 26 years, I began looking for a new challenge,” says Stamp. “I had never been in the hospitality industry before, but saw a beautiful restaurant for sale near Edinburgh’s famous Mound and decided to go for it — from there the first Makars Gourmet Mash Bar was born.”

It’s fair to say that he’s earned his stripes as a successful restaurateur. Stamp opened a second restaurant in the city’s west end in 2018 and in December 2018, Makars Gourmet Mash Bar was named the UK’s #1 everyday dining restaurant in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for Restaurants.

The Challenge: Rising From The Bottom

It wasn’t so easy at the beginning. “I really was a novice,” says Stamp. “The first two years were, looking back, poor. [But] bit by bit I built a strong team and product.” The restaurant started, literally, at the bottom: They were ranked #495 in the city.

Edinburgh is a vibrant city packed with new restaurants, making it a highly competitive market for any restaurateur. It’s tough to stand out from the crowd, especially near tourist attractions like Edinburgh’s famous Mound neighborhood.

That’s where TripAdvisor comes in. “TripAdvisor started to play a pivotal role in attracting guests,” says Stamp. “Our TripAdvisor page has been such an essential asset to help us stand out from the crowd, ensuring we are able to generate bookings all year round.”

How They Use TripAdvisor

To climb up the rankings, Stamp and his team started using TripAdvisor to their advantage. “We started making a conscious effort to engage with TripAdvisor, such as putting signs up around the restaurant and reminding customers to leave a review when paying their bill,” says Stamp.

Rising in the rankings meant really listening to all of their feedback from reviews. Says Stamp, “TripAdvisor is one of these tools that does not sugarcoat mistakes, average food, or poor service. Yes, negative reviews are incredibly hurtful, [but] it takes a long time to learn to take bad reviews in context and accept not all [of your restaurant ideas] work.”

Stamp committed to sitting down once a week and responding to the reviews he received, as well as incorporating the feedback into his daily operations. “The tools are there to respond fairly,” says Stamp, “we are an independent restaurant and our unique selling proposition is that we can look at feedback and change quickly.”

Investing the time in TripAdvisor paid off. “We signed up to Premium for Restaurants in late 2016 and have found the tools it offers extremely valuable,” says Stamp. In particular, they love using the Favorite Review feature, which allows restaurant owners to pin their favorite recent review at the top of their Reviews section. “[We use it] to highlight to potential customers a great experience had by an existing customer, [but also] as a way to make the reviewer feel special [with] a prime position on our page.”

Results

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A Guide to Travelers' Choice Restaurants

A Guide to Travelers' Choice Restaurants Travelers’ Choice is the highest honor that the TripAdvisor community can bestow upon a restaurant. Here’s everything you need to know.

About Travelers’ Choice Restaurant Awards

TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice winners are based on the millions of valuable reviews and opinions on TripAdvisor from travelers around the world. There are three categories for eligible restaurants to be considered:

  • Fine Dining: High-end, special occasion establishments
  • Everyday Dining: Great meals for any occasion that don’t break the bank
  • Fast Casual: Quick, quality meals at a great value but without waitstaff or table service

TripAdvisor determines Travelers' Choice award winners by looking at reviews for restaurants around the world, gathered over a 12-month period.These award winners consistently provide travelers with a remarkable dining experience and outstanding service and quality, regardless of category or price.

You can see a full list of this year’s winners here.

Travelers’ Choice vs. Certificate of Excellence

TripAdvisor has two main recognition programs: Travelers’ Choice and Certificate of Excellence. Both designate restaurants that provide high quality experiences for their diners.

While Travelers’ Choice awards identify and rank the very best restaurants in specific categories, like Fine Dining and Everyday Dining, the Certificate of Excellence program recognizes all businesses that have achieved a certain standard of excellence, as reviewed by diners on TripAdvisor.

You can learn more about the Certificate of Excellence award here.

Promoting your Awards

Travelers’ Choice winners are recognized with an “award winner” badge on their restaurant listing and can request a plaque to display in their restaurant. For tips on how to promote a TripAdvisor award, click here.

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3 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of TripAdvisor Premium

3 Easy Ways to Get the Most Out of TripAdvisor Premium So you’ve signed up for TripAdvisor Premium — now what? Here’s the first three steps you should take to make the most out of your new subscription.

Welcome to TripAdvisor Premium

TripAdvisor Premium is your chance to stand out from the crowd. You now have access to exclusive features to enhance your listing and show off your brand. Here’s what a listing with Premium-enhanced features looks like:

Note: To make some of these updates, you’ll need to be logged into the Management Center on your desktop computer.

Step 1: Choose Your Favorite Review

Choose a Favorite Review from any reviews you’ve received in the last year. Of course you’ll want to choose a positive review that captures everything diners love about your restaurant. You’ll also be able to choose Favorite Reviews in multiple languages if you have travelers from around the world leaving reviews. Stumped on which one to choose? Here’s our handy guide.

To choose your Favorite Review, head to the “Reviews” tab in the Management Center and click “Select Favorite Review.”

Step 2: Showcase the Top 3 Reasons to Eat at Your Restaurant

Tell diners what sets your restaurant apart from the competition by choosing three aspects of your restaurant to highlight using photos and review snippets from your guests. Your Top 3 Reasons appear in between the Overview section and your Reviews section, showcasing your cuisine, ambiance, and any other special things you’re known for, like events or live music. If you’re not sure what to feature, read our full guide here.

To choose your Top 3 Reasons, head to the “Manage Listing” tab in the Management Center and click “Select Top 3 Reasons.”

Step 3: Customize Your Storyboard

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How to Harness Digital Word of Mouth [Podcast]

How to Harness Digital Word of Mouth [Podcast] Word of mouth has gone digital with social influence and local restaurant reviews. The Power of Reviews as Digital Word of MouthWord of mouth remains one of the most powerful marketing channels in any restaurant...

Turn Excellent Reviews Into Restaurant Marketing Magic

Turn Excellent Reviews Into Restaurant Marketing Magic Turn your reviews into marketing for your business with these creative restaurant marketing ideas from real restaurants around the globe.

Make Your Reviews Work Harder

Your hard work and great food have earned you well-deserved positive reviews. Now it’s time to make those words of praise work for you by using them in your restaurant’s marketing materials.

Featuring TripAdvisor reviews lends your marketing a sense of credibility. It’s a concept psychologists call “social proof,” which essentially means that humans look to see what others do before making a decision.

The fact that positive reviews from TripAdvisor drive business to your restaurant is a testament to the power of social proof. But the impact of these reviews need not be limited to browsers on TripAdvisor. We’ve put together some creative ways you can incorporate your reviews into your online and offline restaurant marketing to better persuade potential diners that your restaurant is the one they should choose.

Real-Life Restaurant Marketing Ideas

Use your restaurant concept to your advantage. This is where you can get quirky, creative, and truly you because you own the space. Think about using your built-in signage, sidewalk real estate, or your door and window spaces as places you can draw in passerby. Plus, it’s easy and free to request TripAdvisor-branded materials for your restaurant here.

Post Your Reviews Around Your Restaurant

Grab attention with a selection of your reviews as a flyer on your window next to your menu — simply let the reviews tell the story. Or, pull some of your favorite quotes from recent reviews and turn it into a piece of wall art on your patio or in your waiting area like this London pub.

Joke About Your Reviews

Have a bad review? Use your sense of humor to your advantage and aim for a few laughs — this approach could even go viral like this Irish cafe advertising the “worst salad one woman on TripAdvisor ever had in her life.”

Encourage Online Engagement with Creative Signage

...

Why This London Restaurant is Top-Rated on TripAdvisor

Why This London Restaurant is Top-Rated on TripAdvisor Amrutha Lounge, a vegan restaurant with a pay-as-you-go model, beat out longstanding Michelin-starred favorites to take London's top spot on TripAdvisor.

Amrutha Lounge Claims Top Spot on TripAdvisor

Amrutha Lounge, a vegan restaurant with a pay-as-you-go model in Earlsfield, opened just last February. But it has quickly risen to the top of London's restaurants with flavorful food, unique dishes, and a friendly staff.

"We've had a lot more bookings since then," Arvin Suntaramoophy, one of the co-owners, told the London Evening Standard. "This week we're nearly booked up."

Last Updated: January 10, 2018

How This Travelers' Choice Winner Increased Sales By 20%

How This Travelers' Choice Winner Increased Sales By 20%

Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, named the UK’s #1 everyday dining restaurant in the 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards, increased their sales by 20% by climbing the TripAdvisor rankings. Here’s how they focused on customer experience and feedback to get the most out of TripAdvisor.

Welcome to Makars Gourmet Mash Bar, Scotland

Over the last four years, John Stamp has built a thriving business at Makars Gourmet Mash Bar in Edinburgh, serving traditional Scottish fare like granny used to make. “After running a software company for 26 years, I began looking for a new challenge,” says Stamp. “I had never been in the hospitality industry before, but saw a beautiful restaurant for sale near Edinburgh’s famous Mound and decided to go for it — from there the first Makars Gourmet Mash Bar was born.”

It’s fair to say that he’s earned his stripes as a successful restaurateur. Stamp opened a second restaurant in the city’s west end in 2018 and in December 2018, Makars Gourmet Mash Bar was named the UK’s #1 everyday dining restaurant in the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for Restaurants.

The Challenge: Rising From The Bottom

It wasn’t so easy at the beginning. “I really was a novice,” says Stamp. “The first two years were, looking back, poor. [But] bit by bit I built a strong team and product.” The restaurant started, literally, at the bottom: They were ranked #495 in the city.

Edinburgh is a vibrant city packed with new restaurants, making it a highly competitive market for any restaurateur. It’s tough to stand out from the crowd, especially near tourist attractions like Edinburgh’s famous Mound neighborhood.

That’s where TripAdvisor comes in. “TripAdvisor started to play a pivotal role in attracting guests,” says Stamp. “Our TripAdvisor page has been such an essential asset to help us stand out from the crowd, ensuring we are able to generate bookings all year round.”

How They Use TripAdvisor

To climb up the rankings, Stamp and his team started using TripAdvisor to their advantage. “We started making a conscious effort to engage with TripAdvisor, such as putting signs up around the restaurant and reminding customers to leave a review when paying their bill,” says Stamp.

Rising in the rankings meant really listening to all of their feedback from reviews. Says Stamp, “TripAdvisor is one of these tools that does not sugarcoat mistakes, average food, or poor service. Yes, negative reviews are incredibly hurtful, [but] it takes a long time to learn to take bad reviews in context and accept not all [of your restaurant ideas] work.”

Stamp committed to sitting down once a week and responding to the reviews he received, as well as incorporating the feedback into his daily operations. “The tools are there to respond fairly,” says Stamp, “we are an independent restaurant and our unique selling proposition is that we can look at feedback and change quickly.”

Investing the time in TripAdvisor paid off. “We signed up to Premium for Restaurants in late 2016 and have found the tools it offers extremely valuable,” says Stamp. In particular, they love using the Favorite Review feature, which allows restaurant owners to pin their favorite recent review at the top of their Reviews section. “[We use it] to highlight to potential customers a great experience had by an existing customer, [but also] as a way to make the reviewer feel special [with] a prime position on our page.”

Results

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Take This Step to Start Building Your Restaurant Brand

Take This Step to Start Building Your Restaurant Brand What is brand? It's the feeling your business evokes. Take this step to find out what you're already doing and articulate it in a way in which you can market it consistently.

Start with Why

Marketing your restaurant requires getting to the why. With more restaurants than ever to choose from, why should someone come to your place? This is the start to defining your brand.

Your brand encapsulates everything about your restaurant experience. That includes your cuisine, but it also includes your hospitality, service, special events, dining room decor, and everything in between. Your brand will articulate what you're already doing that makes your restaurant special.

To get to the “why” in words, let’s start by thinking about the typical diner journey and how your current diners are coming to your restaurant.

The Typical Diner Journey

How Diners Choose

How diners choose a particular restaurant depends on the reason they’re going out in the first place, including whether they’re alone or in a group of friends or family. The same person may go out for beers with their friends at a local pub on Friday and pick an upscale Italian restaurant with a date on Sunday. Diners look for different things in a restaurant based on their specific circumstance. Eating alone as a business traveler looks very different from taking extended family out for a birthday celebration. So it’s no surprise that these different scenarios imply different ways diners choose where they’re going to go.

Increasingly, dining out is a spontaneous event. Often, a diner decides to eat out the same day or while on-the-go. Particularly when it comes to travel, a diner may plan their flights, hotels, and activities, but choose their dining more spontaneously.

Dining Alone vs. Dining in a Group

Let’s dive deeper into solo diners vs. group diners to learn what makes them tick.

The Top 3 Decision Factors While Traveling

Solo Travelers | Group Travelers

My Opinion | Review Sites Like TripAdvisor | Friends

When going it alone, diners choosing where they want to eat aren’t as influenced by friends or other people around them. In fact, 56% of people dining alone in the United States say they’re influenced by a site like TripAdvisor.

When a group gets together, it’s no surprise that group dynamics influence where they go out to eat. 77% of our group dining respondents in the United States reported that their friends had the greatest influence on their dining decision, adding a layer of consensus on top of the usual research online.

Who Is Coming to Your Restaurant?

Now that you know a little more about how different types of diners choose where to eat, it’s time to think about your specific restaurant customers. Start to build profiles of the typical customer that comes to your restaurant. You might have more than one, but try to distill it to no more than four or five types of people.

You’ll want to get a general sense of their demographics — age range, gender, whether or not they’re a parent, common occupations, and so on — and from there, go back to the why. Why are they coming to your restaurant, and what in particular appeals to them?

Ask yourself:

  • What kind of person comes to your restaurant?
  • Is your place a local college hangout or packed with families?
  • Are people mostly making reservations to dine alone or is it a place with lots of tables for larger parties of five, six, or seven people?
  • Is your place a planned, special occasion location or the kind of place with lots of casual walk-ins?

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Join the Farm-to-Table Movement with These Tips

Join the Farm-to-Table Movement with These Tips Diners are searching out establishments that support local farmers. Here's how your restaurant can join the farm-to-table movement.

What Does Farm-to-Table Mean?

Farm-to-table describes a food movement based on local, sustainable, and seasonal ingredients. The turn of phrase is meant to evoke idyllic scenes of suntanned farmers plucking plump blueberries straight off the branch and using them that evening for their pies. And while that image makes a lot of diners feel good, it’s not exactly what farm-to-table actually means in practice. So what does it mean for your restaurant

To label yourself farm-to-table requires sourcing your ingredients from local suppliers and changing your menu to take advantage of fresh, in-season ingredients. If your restaurant doesn’t fit this model, you might still consider sourcing locally given the benefits to the environment and your cuisine.

Why Farm-to-Table Benefits Your Restaurant

Sourcing locally and sustainably reduces environmental impact and helps boost local farmers by giving them a market to sell to. But there are also distinct benefits to your bottom line.

As the concept becomes more mainstream, many consumers believe farm-to-table is fresher, more nutritious, and better quality. While farm-to-table has always been the way of most fine dining establishments — beginning in the mainstream with Chez Panisse in 1971, at least in the United States — even fast-casual concepts like Chipotle and Sweetgreen have built their wildly successful business models on farm-to-table, charging a premium for fresh ingredients and displaying the names of their suppliers on cheery blackboards above the menu.

Investing in farm-to-table and marketing yourself as such — will help you tap into a broader customer base, especially younger diners more passionate about environmental issues and the farm-to-table movement.

The best part? The less time it takes for food to travel to your restaurant, the better it will taste. Using higher-quality ingredients in your menus will only make your food taste better — word-of-mouth will follow.

How to Get Started with Farm-to-Table Dining

Define “Local” and Showcase It

Before you even think about your menu, do some research about your area. You probably already know what the top local dishes or ingredients are — think artichokes in Rome, piri piri chiles in Cape Town, or limes in Oaxaca. Then, use those local ingredients as the star of your menu.

Experiment with local ingredients for your classic dishes. If you’re based in New York City, you might be surprised how swapping from imported ingredients to local ones can lift your cuisine to new heights — not to mention cutting down on costs.

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