SFCED | San Francisco Center for Economic Development

San Francisco Food, Beverage Industry Seeks Growth Recipe

San Francisco enjoys a vibrant food and beverage economy that could be soured by the city’s super hot economy.

Like other sectors of San Francisco’s economy with thin profit margins, food and beverage manufacturers and distributors often can’t find affordable rents. They have long been dogged by access to capital. Transportation sometimes does not meet their needs. And city regulations can trip up entrepreneurs.

This growing thicket of troubles has prompted several food and beverage companies to start working with city officials to find ways to stoke the sector’s growth.

“We are frustrated to see (food and beverage) businesses move out of the city or start their business outside of the city… We thought ‘what can we do to encourage businesses to stay and grow?’” in San Francisco, said Michael Janis, general manager at the San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market.

Still in its infancy, the collaborative effort was discussed at a SPUR gathering this week where panelists unveiled preliminary findings of an economic study of the city’s food and beverage economy. The study shows that while food manufacturing and distribution jobs in the city declined from about 9,800 in 1990 to 4,400 in 2006, the numbers have stabilized at around 4,800 since then. This gives supporters hope that, with some policies favoring the industry, it could see expansion.

Read more: San Francisco Business Times San Francisco food, beverage industry seeks growth recipe