3 Restaurant Businesses Paving Seattle’s Locavore Movement

3 Restaurant Businesses Paving Seattle’s Locavore Movement

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Living la vida locavore in Seattle is proving lucrative. Far from a fringe trend, more and more mainstream consumers, producers and restaurants desire local edibles produced within a 100-200 mile radius.

According to a 2015 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Economic Research Service (ERS) report, 7.8 percent of U.S. farms market locally.

Studies from both the USDA and the Food Marketing Institute’s (FMI) U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends 2015 analysis show a number of factors driving consumer locavore interest, including a desire for healthier foods grown with less pesticides and more nutrients, products made with fewer additives and no GMOs, as well as a growing concern for animal welfare.

ERS studies also show that locally farmed foods cost less over time. Shoppers purchase fewer processed, preservatives-bloated provisions, opting instead for regional, seasonal fare as needed, when available. Meal planning contributes to cutting down on costs, too.

Here, three top industry leaders in the Seattle area reveal the benefits of a locavore business:

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Delivery Start Up Companies Booming in Seattle

In Seattle, a number of food-delivery startups have begun appearing throughout the city, resulting in a boom in these services. Whether locally developed or imported from elsewhere in the nation, these delivery companies are drawn to the city due to the growing population of workers in the tech-industry who seem to have more money on hand than time. These delivery services act to save these workers valuable time by delivering them hot, fresh meals from many of the city's top restaurants.

In addition, many local companies have begun utilizing these services as well for staff meal deliveries as well as grocery service delivery options to restock the office's kitchens from local supermarkets. Learn more about the booming food delivery service industry here

Ivar's Salmon House Implements Minimum Wage Increase 2 Years Ahead of Schedule

With Seattle's forthcoming minimum wage increase stressing out business owners and restaurant operators alike, one local Seattle restaurant, Ivar's Salmon House, implemented the $15 an hour wage hike a full two years ahead of schedule, as well as raising the menu prices by 21% as well as eliminating the need to tip serves. Yet unlike the fears of many restaurateurs that this price hike will negatively affect the consumer experience and thereby sales, Ivar's is reporting that the restaurant's revenue has risen up to 20 percent since the adoption of the new minimum wage rate.

In addition to the revenue boom, many customers continue to leave additional tips, which results in an hourly, full time employee on track to make thousands extra this year. Read More

A Moveable Feast - Seattle's Top Street Eats

A Moveable Feast - Seattle's Top Street Eats

By L.M. Archer, Foodable Contributor

Any day of the week, Seattle’s food truck scene kicks the dusty old ‘chuck wagon’ image to the urban curb. An unintended consequence of the recession, many Seattle food industry professionals have turned to mobile eateries as an option for doing more with less - less capital outlay and overhead, more visibility and exposure.

Concurrently, hip Seattle consumers have discovered curbside coaches can offer more menu options, higher quality, and greater convenience at a fraction of the cost, usually about $10-$15 per meal.

Here, FoodableTV samples Seattle’s trendy food truck scene.

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Seattle's Minimum Wage Hikes Threaten Small Restaurants

When Seattle's City Council voted last year to gradually raise the minimum wage from $9.32 to $15 an hour, many championed the move as a triumph for the worker. Yet for those employed in the restaurant industry, believed to be a quarter of the city's minimum wage earners, the minimum wage hike may have unexpected consequences.    

As restaurants have historically low profit margins, this wage hike affects both their own labor costs, as well as through a trickle down effect, their food and supply costs. As these expenses are sure to cut into the already small profit revenue, Seattle's restaurants are now forced to decide between raising menu prices or reducing staff. Many fear that regardless of which, they still will lose customers who will be turned off by the higher pricing or lower service standards. 

Can Seattle's 'mom-and-pop' style restaurants survive this wage hike? Read More