The Good Food Media Network released its 2020 Good Food 100 Restaurants List and Industry Impact Report, offering insight into the business and purchasing practices of chefs and restaurants and their commitment to good food and sustainable sourcing. Making the list for Michigan this year are Reserve Wine & Food, a fine dining establishment located in Grand Rapids, and Folk Detroit, established in 2018 as a full service restaurant but currently operating as a neighborhood green grocer and takeout cafe as it works against the effects brought on by the Covid pandemic.

A total of 131 restaurants from around the United States participated in the fourth annual Good Food 100 Restaurants. The survey found that overall, the economic contribution of food purchases by the participating restaurants totaled $264.5 million in 2019, of which $208.2 million in economic benefits was derived from good food purchases. 

Folk Detroit

“Restaurants are the heart and soul of our communities, and the backbone of our local and regional economy.” ~ Sara Brito, president, Good Food Media Network

Corresponding with the economic analysis is the Good Food 100 Restaurants list, carefully curated based on the quantitative measurement of participating restaurants’ self-reported annual food purchasing data.  

Additional key findings of the Good Food 100 Restaurants economic impact analysis: 

  • The 131 respondents represented a total of 260 individual restaurant locations.
  • The majority of responses came from restaurants in three states—Colorado (29%), Minnesota (8%), and California (8%).
  • Total food purchases for the 131 participating restaurants was $87.1 million in 2019. Approximately 41% of total purchases were made in state, while 55% were made in the region (includes state and regional purchases). Domestic good food purchases totaled $64.5 million, with 47.6% made in state and 63.3% made in the region. 
  • Over 49% of participating businesses reported being owned or co-owned by a female or minority, and over 41% reported having a female Executive Chef, Culinary Director, CEO, or owner. 
  • Restaurants noted other sustainable practices within their businesses. Nearly every responding restaurant reported recycling (92.4%) and using eco-friendly paper products and carryout containers (92.4%) was part of their sustainable practices.
  • When asked about the most common challenges facing their employees, the most commonly cited challenge was finding affordable housing, with 82% of responding restaurants. Healthcare costs were the second most commonly cited challenge (71%), followed by transportation costs (47%), childcare costs (28%), and commuting time (21%).  

“While 2020 brought with it an unprecedented pandemic and set of challenges, it also made many more people realize that we’re all connected: no one link in the economy and food chain can truly be healthy until every link in the economy and food chain is healthy,” said Sara Brito, co-founder and president of Good Food Media Network. “We’re proud to have many returning restaurants on this list and welcome new ones into our good food community, as we all continue to support the mission that for food to be truly good, it must be good for all.” 

The conversation around good food and the 2020 Good Food 100 Restaurants list and economic assessment, will continue throughout the remainder of the year with a series of virtual Eat. Drink. Think. discussions featuring culinary industry leaders, esteemed chefs, producers and purveyors.  

 Learn more about the 2020 Good Food 100 Restaurants list, economic assessment and Eat. Drink. Think. virtual event series on the Good Food 100 Restaurants website


The Good Food 100 Restaurants analysis was conducted by the Business Research Division (BRD) of the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder and verified by NSF.