This morning at the former Archbishop’s Mansion, the United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) announced California’s first restaurants to achieve REAL Certification. Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) Certification is a growing national program that helps combat diet-related disease by recognizing restaurants and foodservice operators committed to holistic nutrition and environmental stewardship.
Given the option to serve products that are considered fresh, high quality, and superior in taste—products that consumers crave and feel a connection to—operators generally don’t have to think twice. That’s why many limited-service brands are jumping on board with the local-foods trend, opting to purchase many of their ingredients straight from the source, whether it’s a cheese maker 100 miles away or a strawberry producer right down the street.
There was a time when the only place you could find Black Angus beef on a menu was at some of the nation’s finest steakhouses. But these days, Angus burgers are served at McDonald’s, Back Yard Burgers, Carl’s Jr., Hardee’s, and Smashburger and are just one of many fine-dining menu items, ingredients, and techniques that were adopted by quick-service and fast-casual restaurants over the last decade.