Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) for Restaurants

I like the CSA idea in Pennsylvania. A family pays $500 a season for weekly delivery of fresh produce. Then, the family is guaranteed to have fresh vegetables and sometimes fruits. Eating fresh and supporting local farmers are the biggest advantages. The challenge, however, is that the family cook has to be very creative because the kind of vegetable and the amount of produce being delivered may vary every week according to the weather conditions.

I see the potential of applying this CSA idea to independent restaurants. Well, if an urban restaurant can count on its rooftop garden for greens, why can’t an independent restaurant reply on local farmers? In fact, growing vegetables on one’s own has become the hottest restaurant trend of the year. By using local ingredients, talented chefs can show off their creative culinary arts skills; an independent restaurant may also find a niche to “distinguish” itself from other restaurant chains.

What do you think of this CSA idea in restaurant business? If local ingredients are used, what measures will you use to control the quality of food? As a consumer, will you prefer to eat in a local restaurant where you find unfamiliar menu items? Or would you rather eat in a restaurant chain that serves you a standardized menu? Why?

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