The Cutting Board is a restaurant located in Guelph, Ontario. The business focuses on creating fresh food and sourcing a majority of produce locally. Everything is the restaurant is created in-house except for condiments (ketchup) and bread. They are also environmentally conscientious as they have biodegradable products. The Cutting Board prides itself in serving great food to all customers quickly. With these types of business values, it is clear the company reaches three UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development. They include good health and well-being (Goal 3), sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), and responsible consumption & production (Goal 12).
University of Guelph
The main innovation of the business is to provide fresh food that tastes great. According to Graham Pelley, the general manager and head chef of the business, “I just want people to feel good when they leave the restaurant.”
The innovation emerged because Graham saw the need in Guelph for something quick that did not compromise on taste. The health and well-being of the customers were the key focus when the business design was created. With the initial idea about The Cutting Board, Graham and his business partner Brian were confident this was a need of consumers and that it would be a successful venture. They were the two main leads on the concept of fresh food from scratch.
The business innovation is the entire idea behind the business. The owner mentioned that every day the goal is to “Produce good food for a good purpose.” This goal is in all areas of their business from the production of each menu item, to the biodegradable takeout containers. As they continue to grow, making a positive impact on multiple stakeholders is a crucial consideration.
The original idea came about based on past knowledge. Graham was involved with the restaurant that was at this location prior to The Cutting Board. He was aware of the demographics and the needs of the customers in the community. The idea for the restaurant came as a source of necessity for the people of Guelph and its visitors. It is a new concept on the market making them a unique restaurant in an area that has lots of competition. As they continue to expand and gain more loyal customers the goal is to continue to offer better quality products than the competition.
Graham stated, “The purpose of having The Cutting Board serving fresh food from scratch is to give the people in the neighbourhood a restaurant that offers products with good taste.” Graham takes into consideration the demographics of the city. With the location being close to the university it is important to ensure that the price range is reasonable for students
The innovative business approach has had a huge impact on The Cutting Board, both in terms of their strategy and their interaction with stakeholders.
The impact on business is the higher cost of premium products. This has created more challenge than benefit for the business. “With the purchase of local products we do not get any volume discounts, ” said Graham. When purchasing local foods and not from a large food processor you are able to create great relationships but often there are no bulk purchasing discounts. This is due to the quality of the food being purchased and the environment of a small market.
The business impacts the local society by being a good and healthy alternative for food. With the repeat clientele, the company is reassured that what they are doing is good and that their customers enjoy the food. They also commit to the society in a very direct manner, by donating on CB day (Cutting Board Day) to “KidsAbility Guelph” which is a centre for children and youth with special needs. The Cutting Board has also been involved in ‘Taste Guelph’ that benefits St. Joseph’s Hospital in Guelph, which is a food event that features local restaurants that are unique and gives the chance to share their story to the community.
The impact on the environment is their use of biodegradable takeout containers. Eating on the go is becoming very popular and it is great to see the company has considered that area of the business as well and the effects on the environment.
The Cutting Board's innovative approach has given them several competitive advantages. The company has been successful in combining their environmental and societal approach. For instance, local organic products taste better than mass-produced products, and this gives The Cutting Board business benefits. First of all, using organic products shows that they think about the environment. Secondly, using local organic products tastes better. That means that the customers get a better tasting product which also is good for the environment. The Cutting Board also uses multiple techniques in the kitchen which are not generally used in quick service locations. For example, they sous-vide their meats, which means cook them under pressure at constant heat for an extended period of time. Using this technique provides the business with a competitive edge and teaches the employees a lot about the food industry and other ways of doing things. There is no extra cost as the owner Graham is a trained chef.
The Cutting Board is providing several social and environmental benefits. Their use of biodegradable containers is an example of an environmental benefit. There are also lots of social benefits provided with the innovation because, after a year of business, they are seeing profits. With their repeat customers, it is clear they are benefiting the local society with the food they produce. They are also giving back to the community by donating money to charitable causes and taking food to different community events. They are also benefiting the local society by sourcing their food from local farmers and supporting smaller businesses.
Graham Pelley, Chef/General Manager
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Guelph, ON, CA
Business Website: https://cuttingboardsandwiches.com
Year Founded: 2017
Number of Employees: 11 to 50