1. Think seasonal – take advantage of the changing larder to drive margin and variety
- Spring greens
- Summer fruits
- Autumn harvest
- Winter roots
Sign in to Tourism Intelligence Scotland for factsheets on seasonal Scottish recipes.
2. Think regional – what specialities are in the surrounding area?
- Galloway dairy
- Ayrshire bacon
- Tayside berries
The Scotland Food and Drink website includes a Buyers Guide, which provides a comprehensive listing of over 1,300 Scottish suppliers.
Consider joining one of the new regional ‘Food Forums’, which have been set up to facilitate networking between businesses in the food & drink community.
3. Think local – what’s on your doorstep? Local specialities and suppliers add value to your menu.
Many local authorities in Scotland produce directories highlighting food and drink suppliers in their area. Check out your local Council website for details.
Farmers markets are a great place to meet local suppliers and buy locally-produced food and drink. Find out about Scottish farmers' markets in your area
4. Special isn’t special if you have it every day
Link your specials to seasonality, local produce and market best buys – and apply a price premium to them.
5. Get to know your supplier – they can be a fantastic resource for:
- Promotional material
- Training resources – learning journeys for staff to better understand the product
- Sponsorship and marketing
6. What’s the story? Many Scottish dishes link to a traditional tale
Forfar bridies, haggis and Burns…tell your guests the story - it adds value to their visit.
The ‘Provenance on a Plate’ toolkit from the Scottish Government offers some great ideas and guidelines for telling people about the origin of your food and drink.
7. Interpret your site or location
- Is there a garden? Use the produce and tell the customers
- Theme menus to permanent and changing exhibitions
- Was there a famous (or infamous) dining experience here – could you recreate it?
8. Use assurance – if your ingredient has a badge, use it on the menu
- Scotch Beef and Lamb
- Marine Stewardship Council
- Red Tractor
To help your business stand out from the crowd, join the EatScotland or Best Bars quality assurance schemes.
9. Your staff are an effective sales tool – so make sure they know what they’re talking about.
Think about organising:
- Pre-service briefings
- Customer service training
- Visits to competitors to benchmark service
10. Spread the message
Make sure your website and other marketing material features your approach to food and service, local purchasing and links to your menu
The ‘Food Experience in Scotland’ and ‘At Your Service’ guides from Tourism Intelligence Scotland are packed with practical insights, top tips and case studies to help businesses develop more innovative food and drink products and services. Register at Tourism Intelligence Scotland to access the guides.
Other useful sites include:
HealthyLiving Award - rewards catering establishments for dishing up healthier food and finding ways of helping their customers make better food choices.
What's on your plate - aim to promote the fantastic natural larder that Scotland has to offer, and encourage everyone to buy Scottish food and drink where possible.