Earlier this week I had the opportunity to attend a brilliant presentation at the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo in San Diego about creative solutions for developing healthy menus. I have to be honest with you and admit that one of my close colleagues was one of the co-presenters, and I may have had a hand in some of the content, but all the same BRILLIANT. I thought that for this week’s blog I would share a few points from the presentation with you.

Let’s start with some facts:

• A recent Technomic survey conducted in New York City where menu labeling bills have already been enacted found that 82% of those surveyed said that calorie disclosure is affecting what they order.
• The same survey reported that 60% said that calorie information is affecting where they visit.
• The University of Missouri found that customers were willing to pay up to $2 more per menu item if they were deemed healthy items.
• The NRA’s 2009 industry forecast sated that 3 in 4 adults are watching what they eat.

What am I getting at here? Simply that there is a market and proven demand for healthier options on the menu. Here are some ideas that I came up with for healthier options to offer your diners:

1.) The “lite” menu – you don’t need to change your entire menu to be health themed; just maybe offer a few healthy items with stated nutrition information for those who care to look for and choose “lighter options”.
2.) The Split – Encourage dieting diners to share items like appetizers and desserts. You can list calories for split portions so long as you also include the number of servings per portion.
3.) Leftovers – Have your servers offer to package half of the served portion to go before serving it to the guest. That way calorie conscious customers cut their calories in half and have a second meal for later (maybe they bring it to work for lunch the next day and tell all their coworkers how great it is).
4.) Offer Suggestions – Have healthy suggestions for special orders available. i.e. half the amount of salad dressing, no cheese, half side items and extra greens, ..etc. You can train your wait staff to make these suggestions or offer them in additional literature or on the website.

Offering your guests options empowers them to dine within their comfort criteria without asking restaurants to reinvent the wheel. Accommodation of any special requests leaves diners with a sense of security from their hosts and an appreciation for their service offerings.

What are some other service offerings that empower your guests to make them feel taken care of?

Views: 1

Tags: healthy, menus, nutriton, options, restaurant

Comment

You need to be a member of FohBoh to add comments!

Join FohBoh


Non-Operator
Comment by Mark on October 8, 2009 at 12:02pm
Great post, Alyson. There's a good article on msnbc.com today discussing how menu calrie counts ar ealtering the choices people make. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33194730/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/

In my opinion, this is a step in the right direction - people can be more responsible for their own choices if they are empowered with information.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

The Sip

The Sip: Stay up-to-date on the beer, wine and spirits category with original content from SmartBrief -More

New food offerings helped Starbucks boost sales

Baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and the first price increases in nearly four years helped lead Starbucks to a 7% same-store -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $50 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Ward Whitworth Named President for On The Border Mexican Grill

On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, which was recently acquired by Border Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Argonne Capital Group, today announced the appointment of Ward Whitworth as President of On The Border.

The Melting Pot Targets Houston and El Paso, Texas for Franchise Expansion

Restaurants, Inc. announced today that it is actively seeking franchisees to expand its presence throughout the Lone Star State, naming El Paso and Houston as target markets for future franchise development.

Encore Restaurants Purchases 8 Existing Five Guys Restaurants, Plans to Develop 45 More

Encore Restaurants, LLC, a subsidiary of Dallas-based Encore Enterprises, Inc., has announced the purchase of eight existing Five Guys Burgers and Fries restaurants across central California including Elk Grove, Fresno, Lodi, Natomas, Roseville, Stockton, Tracy, and West Sacramento.

Takeout Orders to Hotels Jumped 125% in Popularity in Last Three Years

For many Americans, hotel room service is considered a travel luxury; however, data from PFK Hospitality Research1 suggests that room service revenues fell 9.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, with some hotels shuttering unprofitable operations altogether.

National Restaurant Association Praises House and Senate Commerce Committee Passage of Travel Promotion Act

Yesterday the National Restaurant Association (NRA) praised the House passage and Senate Commerce Committee markup of the Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014. The bipartisan legislation reauthorizes Brand USA, the nation’s first global marketing campaign, to promote the United States as a destination for international travelers.

CROWD FUNDING

If you are looking for capital to start or grow your restaurant, create the next 501c3, develop and launch the next app for the restaurant industry,or want to help your peers in some meaningful way, we want to know about it.

TED TALKS VIDEO

TED: Ze Frank: Are you human? - Ze Frank (2014)

Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

TED: Heather Barnett: What humans can learn from semi-intelligent slime - Heather Barnett (2014)

Inspired by biological design and self-organizing systems, artist Heather Barnett co-creates with physarum polycephalum, a eukaryotic microorganism that lives in cool, moist areas. What can people learn from the semi-intelligent slime mold? Watch this talk to find out.

TED: Shih Chieh Huang: Sculptures that’d be at home in the deep sea - Shih Chieh Huang (2014)

When he was young, artist Shih Chieh Huang loved taking toys apart and perusing the aisles of night markets in Taiwan for unexpected objects. Today, this TED Fellow creates madcap sculptures that seem to have a life of their own—with eyes that blink, tentacles that unfurl and parts that light up like bioluminescent sea creatures.

TED: Nikolai Begg: A tool to fix one of the most dangerous moments in surgery - Nikolai Begg (2013)

Surgeons are required every day to puncture human skin before procedures — with the risk of damaging what's on the other side. In a fascinating talk, find out how mechanical engineer Nikolai Begg is using physics to update an important medical device, called the trocar, and improve one of the most dangerous moments in many common surgeries.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service