Summer is Here
Less is More
Health & Wellness are Top-of-Mind
Health and wellness have garnered top-of-mind awareness with most people. Diet and nutrition are of paramount importance to baby boomers hoping to enjoy an active retirement; to millennials wanting to capture that edge; to the Gen X age group wanting to remain on par with their peers; and to parents concerned with their children’s development and future well-being. Issues related to health and wellness are being examined all across the country. At the same time, temperatures are rising as Americans shed layers of clothing while attempting to shed that extra layer of padding that may have popped up around their waists over the winter.
Summer means family fun, participation in sports, outings with friends and extra leisure time. After a day of fun in the sun, families and friends will be searching for a place to dine out to extend the camaraderie and merriment. At this point, who wants to face the daunting task of cooking, and turning on that hot stove? The idea of continuing the fun and games at a favorite dining spot is much more appealing.
In light of these facts, restaurant operators should take another look at their menu engineering tactics. Does your menu offer healthful options to satisfy health-conscious diners? Does your menu adequately label these items?
Real Cause For Alarm
Everyone should be aware by now that there is a growing obesity epidemic in the United States. A trip to the beach, amusement park or mall will confirm this fact with alarming clarity. For some, dining away from home is extra challenging because of existing health conditions. People with dairy or tree nut allergies must be vigilant about every ingredient in their food choices. Those with heart issues must limit fat and cholesterol intake or face the consequences. Diabetics and others must take extra care as well.
Help Stamp Out Mystery Menus
Today’s consumers want to make informed choices, and aren’t always satisfied with menus full of mystery. Health-conscious diners will notice, appreciate and frequent those operations that take the guesswork out of dining out. While most people will still indulge, especially on special occasions, many are now paying careful consideration to the number of calories, carbohydrates, fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium and other possible health offenders in the foods they consume.
menu engineering expert or certified nutritionist can perform the appropriate analysis on each of your menu items so that you can share this data. You might want to call special attention to those items especially conducive to health and wellness by placing them in a separate menu category with an attention grabbing heading such as “Heart Healthy,” “Guilt Free,” “Waistline Whittlers” or whatever catchy phrase you invent to appeal to this demographic.
Website Drawing Card
Since many diners today visit restaurant websites prior to making dining destination decisions, be sure to stress the fact that you have taken the user-friendly step of chronicling nutritional and dietary content. Check out menus across the nation to see examples of how savvy foodservice marketers pay attention to health and wellness practices and showcase this fact on their menus and websites.
– BONEFISH GRILL –
Award-winning menu lists caloric content of all items.
– PIZZA LUCE –
Progressive Minneapolis pizza chain uses coded letters to identify diner preferences as follows: V=vegan; VR= vegan upon request; GF= gluten-free; GFR= gluten-free upon request; CG=contains gluten; *= contains nuts.
– PANERA BREAD –
Website allows consumers to download nutritional profile of entire menu, including calories, fats, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates, fiber, sugar and protein.
– CHOP’T CREATIVE SALAD COMPANY –
Leader in premium, fast, casual salad restaurant segment provides comprehensive nutritional information in chart form, including calories, calories from fat, fats, cholesterol, sodium, fiber, sugars, protein, vitamins, calcium and iron. A separate tab leads to food allergy and special dietary needs information.