Capitalising on Healthy Eating Consumer Trends

Catering to health-conscious customers is increasingly important to maintain a competitive advantage. How can you tap into the growing number of health-conscious guests, while minimising the impact to your restaurant?

With the start of the New Year comes the usual conversations around resolutions. But according to recent YouGov research, only 1 in 5 adults are making New Year’s resolutions in 2019. With ‘eating healthily’ and ‘losing weight’ among the most common of resolutions most years, this could be because more and more people are seeing these as year-long goals rather than something just for the start of the year.

In June 2017, our own research showed that half of respondents start at least one healthy eating plan each year, and two-thirds of consumers want to know the nutritional information on every dish on the menu when they eat out.

And this provides an opportunity for operators to stand out from the crowd, drive sales and boost loyalty. By including healthy options on your menu and giving consumers the information they want on websites and apps, you can attract those looking for a healthy selection when they eat out. And once these customers know that they can get the information and type of meal they want, they’re more likely to come back and more likely to share this information with their friends and colleagues.

So how do you go about capitalising on this consumer segment?

Get accurate, up-to-date nutritional information. This can be directly from your suppliers, or by downloading information directly from databases like McCance & Widdowson or US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

  1. Add healthier options to your menus. With the right tools, your Chefs can get creative while at the same time keeping an eye on the nutritional content which is automatically updated as they create the recipe. This means they can instantly see the impact of different ingredients and where substitutions can be made.
  2. Make sure dishes are affordable and profitable. As well as tracking nutritional data, Chefs will also be able to see the impact of different ingredients on costs and profits, to make sure they hit the right price point and margins.
  3. Publish menu information. Once you have your new menu built, you then need to make it accessible to your customers and potential customers. Technology can help you instantly publish changes to your website, apps, digital menu boards, or even update a pre-defined template for printing at individual sites. You can also quickly publish to your social media channels to start promoting your new dishes and draw customers in.
  4. Get interactive. When publishing this data to website and apps, look at providing filters so customers can instantly see the dishes they’ll be interested in. And this isn’t limited to nutritional information, but you can also include allergen information so a customer can, for example, look for dishes that are under 600 calories and gluten free.

Not only will these steps help you attract and build loyalty with health-conscious customers, but will also help you comply with allergen legislation, and potential new legislation requiring calorie content to be published on your menus.

For more information on this topic, download our Nutritional and Allergen Information white paper.

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