What foodservice marketers can learn from worm poop

Most hardcore gardeners have heard about vermiculture.  It’s the polite term for harvesting worm poop.

In short, worm poop is the caviar of fertilizer.

Worm poop is organic, earth friendly and rich with nutrients.  Worm poop is the byproduct of feeding red wigglers scraps of food waste and fiber.

In short, worm poop is all about taking waste and turning it into something valuable.  Google “vemiculture” or “worm castings” and you’ll find pages of worm poop experts, products and stories about the subject.

Guess what?  Cooks, restaurants owners and cafeteria managers need help with ideas on all their waste, too.  Every day, they’re faced with leftovers, unused ingredients or short pieces that won’t work in the intended main entrée or side dish.

Build loyalty by also offering ideas on what to do with the extras that pile up on the prep table at the end of the day. Helping operators turn crumbs into another menu item is like giving them free money.

  • What’s your version of worm poop?  Give them ideas on how to use the burnt ends of your ribs or how to make tomorrow’s sauce with today’s extra soup base.  They most likely have their menu offerings locked down… but have little idea on what to do with the (valuable) scraps.
  • Give ‘em options. Granola isn’t just a cereal.  It’s a yogurt topping.  Or crushed for coatings. Used as a base for a parfait.  How else can a restaurant owner use your product beyond the obvious?
  • Make it stretch. Hidden in many R&D labs are secrets for improving product yield – a cooking method, the ideal protein-fat ratio or storage secrets for longer shelf life.  These hints will be highly prized by operators who are always looking for ways to reduce product costs.

Heck, if worm ranchers out there can offer up endless ideas on worm poop, you can undoubtedly come up with a dozen ways to extend the value of your product beyond the expected recipes.  Giddy up.