Business opportunities in short food supply chains: the economic sustainability of three Hungarian para-gastro restaurants
Social enterprises have both economic and social motivations. This hybridity also determines their business model: these companies survive economically in a sometimes very competitive market by fulfilling their main objectives to achieve their social mission. In Hungary, the number of social enterprises within the catering industry is minimal; however, the para-gastro movement collects companies with catering or food processing activities that employs disabled and/or disadvantaged workers. This paper investigates the three most prominent members of the Hungarian para-gastro movement that consider sourcing inputs via short food supply chains as an opportunity. Based on a mixed methods approach, we can conclude that these enterprises must face all the industry’s difficulties, and their unique circumstances might make their operations even more difficult. Taking into account the support these enterprises have received in pursuit of their social goals, the opportunities provided by the short food supply chains can help them only if they are also able to find a niche market where solvent demand can accept the specialties of local sourcing.