As most of us know menu labeling laws only affect larger chain restaurants, but I am getting a lot more clients who are smaller chains and even independents. In an industry that vigorously fought menu labeling, why now are so many operators starting to provide nutrition information voluntarily. I thought up and researched a few reasons, and now I’d like to share them with you:


Compliance. The recently passed of the health care reform bill, only affects restaurant chains with 20 or more locations (roughly 250,000 total locations).


Awareness. As more multi-unit and independent restaurants start complying with menu-labeling laws and general concerns about healthy dining increase, consumer demand for nutrition information has also increased. I find that a lot more restaurants are speaking openly about nutrition information. They can see it coming and instead of shying away from it, they are curious about its benefits and impact on their operation. More tradeshows are having whole sessions surrounding nutrition information, healthy eating, and marketing to the health conscious diner. These sessions did not really exist one or two years ago, and now you will most likely find at least one, if not two, speakers on the topic at any given show.


We’ve all read the study completed by the National Restaurant Association’s 2009 Industry Forecast, which says researchers found that three in four adults say they are trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did two years ago.


Marketability. Providing nutrition information opens a level of marketability that will allow you to reach out to new customers. I’ve seen a lot of restaurants select several healthy menu items from their menus to provide nutrition information for instead of the entire menu. This provides their customers with options for healthy dining and conveys a sense of nutritional responsibility. This is a new era for our industry, a time to broaden our diner audience. I read in the New American Diner survey from Restaurants & Institutions that 82% of diners said calorie disclosure is influencing what they order, and 60% said it determines where they eat. Using social media platforms such as Yelp and Facebook can really help restaurants make the most of their analysis results.


Increase in Sales. A study performed by the University of Missouri found that customers were willing to pay up to $2 more per menu item for healthier menu items when nutrition facts were present. As a Registered Dietitian it’s great to see companies providing this information to diners, but to know that people see true value by paying more is even better!


Why would or why wouldn’t you post nutrition information for your diners?


Views: 5

Tags: diet, foodcalc, healthy, labeling, marketing, menu, nutrition, options, profit, sales

Comment

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

Join FohBoh


Non-Operator
Comment by Alyson Mar, RD on July 26, 2010 at 8:15am
Great points Brian. You're right in that even if restaurants do post nutrition information, it doesn't exactly mean that the people who need it will look at it, or for that matter know what it means. The F&B industry isn't a big fan of government regulations and restrictions, so I think it will be a long while (if ever) that we see limits imposed on the nutritional value of meals, but providing information in the first place is a big step. Now it's up to the educators (i.e. Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" campaign) to get people looking at these numbers and caring about them.
Comment by Brian Walsh on July 21, 2010 at 9:13am
I think restaurants absolutely should. You could look at it as consumer awareness or transparency, but it started with HEALTH CARE REFORM. HEALTH. (If someone can sue Mcdonalds over a cup of coffee they didn't know was supposed to be hot or sue the tobacco industry cause they "didn't know" cigarettes were bad for you, I think it's only a matter of time before someone tries to sue their favorite restaurant for making them fat.) But lets look at the "Health" perspective overall. Without turning this into an 8 page rant or a college thesis or a statistic lecture on the general health and obesity of America, people are getting fatter, lazier, and people don't want to take responsibility for their own actions. They want to blame 800 calorie frappuccinos, the accessibility of fast food and vending machines at the office, and the lack of time to get to the gym. Yet these are the same people that get 3 baskets of bread when they go out to eat, FRIED appetizers, bleu cheese dressing for their salad, then order dessert. I mean, I could go off in 9 different directions on a lot of different arguments. Where are the restaurants responsibility in this? Do we have to pass legislation saying no entree anywhere can not be over x many calories? Do we we empower F&B establishments to be able to say no to the 300 pound guest when he wants a fried chicken dinner with extra gravy? Do we offer gym memberships at cheaper rates to obese people as a way to entice them into the gym? Do we put calorie counters on the drive thru screen so anytime you order a big mac meal large size with a coke you know it's x many calories? Having calorie content available is one thing, but that doesn't mean people still look at it. It's usually hidden in the very back of the menu. Do we need to actually print on the menus right next to the menu name the calorie content? In addition to everything else your server gets to act as, do we also get to act as your doctor now?
What about the cost of health insurance? What about giving healthy people a discount on their rates? You are a non-smoker with a gym membership with cholesterol and blood pressure in check, you pay less. You're a hundred pounds overweight and need an armless chair at a restaurant or an extended seat buckle on the airplane, you pay more. Lets take the concept of car insurance companies and how they make their rates, and apply it to health care.
Comment by Michael Biesemeyer on July 16, 2010 at 11:58am
Providing nutrition information demonstrates a spirit of transparency. If restaurants really want to take it a step further, they also provide information about how ingredients are sourced. For many consumers, this is becoming an absolute must.

Advertisments

 

DEPARTMENTS

Social Wine Club for Craft Wineries

Smartbrief

Casual chains aim to take menus up a few notches

Casual-dining chains including Tony Roma's, Olive Garden, Carrabba's Italian Grill and Smokey Bones are getting creative with -More

Sikkimese Turmeric and Ginger Idaho® Potatoes
Enjoy a taste of the Himalayas with these flavorful cubed Idaho® Potatoes seasoned with garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander and chile flakes. For this and more great recipes, visit foodservice.idahopotato.com/recipes.

Crumbs debuts the Crumbnut

Cupcake chain Crumbs Bake Shop is offering the Crumbnut, a croissant-doughnut combo product, in BJ's Wholesale Clubs in addit -More

Restaurant sales rebounded in March, report says

Restaurants saw same-store sales growth of 0.7% in March, the first increase since last November, as warmer weather melted wi -More

JOBS & CAREERS

Posting a job or finding a job starts here at FohBoh. Call us about special $25 posting packages to syndicate across all major jobs boards.

National News

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. Announces CFO Departure in May

The company has commenced a search for Mr. Hope’s successor, reviewing both internal and external candidates. Mr. Hope will assist in the transition of duties to an interim CFO and will remain a consultant to the company through the summer.

Fuddruckers Reenters New York State With Restaurant In Middletown

introduces its first company-operated New York State site today at 340 Route 211 East in Middletown, which is located in the Hudson Valley approximately 60 miles from Manhattan.

Giardino Gourmet Salads Announces Nine Consecutive Quarters Of Positive Comparable Sales

Giardino Gourmet Salads announced that it has experienced nine consecutive quarters of positive comparable sales after posting an eight percent increase throughout the first quarter of 2014.

Organic Claims Declining on US Restaurant Menus

According to Mintel Menu Insights, while 'organic' is still the leading ethical claim on restaurant menus, its usage declined 28% between Q4 2010-13.

The Habit Burger Grill Opens Fourth Utah Location In May

The Habit Burger Grill is opening its fourth Utah location on May 1st in Sandy, Utah. The California-based restaurant known for its popular Charburgers opened its first Utah location in Sugarhouse in 2013, and has since expanded to include three more locations.

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: Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar - Jennifer Senior (2014)

The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

TED: David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy? - David Brooks (2014)

Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

TED: David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs - David Sengeh (2014)

What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

TED: Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world - Louie Schwartzberg (2014)

We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World," which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

© 2014   Created by FohBoh.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service