It seems like everybody’s trying to eat healthier these days. While a lot of people don’t mind splurging on calories a bit when they dine out, there’s just as many people that are more mindful than ever about healthy choices in restaurants. According to the National Restaurant Association, more than seven in 10 adults are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago. Pretty substantial!
Even restaurant owners are noticing the trend picking up. From the same report, more than eight in 10 restaurant operators said that customers are paying more attention to the nutrition content of food now than they did two years ago.
Health consciousness just can’t be ignored. Let’s take a look at what you can do to start attracting more health-minded individuals to your restaurant.
It’s all about options
One of my favorite things that restaurants do is provide healthy substitutions for dishes that are already on the menu. A huge portion of calories in a lot of dishes come from sauces, condiments, toppings, etc. Stuff that’s easily substitutable.
For example, I absolutely love a good burger. But that doesn’t mean I need to have double-stacked beef patties, topped with cheddar cheese, bacon strips, and slathered barbecue sauce every single time I want to enjoy a burger (even if I’d like to). Turkey, chicken, or even veggie patties are excellent replacements. Throw in a wheat bun, replace the cheese with a fried egg, slap on a pile of veggies, and you’ve suddenly got a much healthier, but still delicious, burger.
Coming up with new, healthier menu items isn’t your only option. Take a look at your existing entrees, and consider what you could potentially offer to make them healthier.
Quality ingredients matter too
Organic foods. Locally grown goods. These words are music to the ears of the health conscious. While having healthier options will help big time, using higher quality ingredients will really kick your sales into gear.
Worried about better ingredients costing more? Don’t sweat it. According to a report from Nielsen, which you can read about over at CNBC, 88% of consumers admit they’ll spend more on food with “healthy attributes.” Customers want better food, and they’ll pay for it.
And a reminder! If you do decide to actually buy these ingredients, don’t forget to actually mention these buzzwords (visibly) on your menu.
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What healthy choices have you tried out in your restaurants? Let us know in the comments!