Catering for health-conscious customers - minimal pain for maximum gain

Written by: Andrew Levey

Catering for health-conscious customers - minimal pain for maximum gain
With the new year comes resolutions, and a recent survey by Bidvine revealed that while nearly a fifth (19%) of respondents want to lose weight, almost a quarter (24%) opted for eating healthier. In a competitive landscape, it’s therefore essential that menus not only cater for those looking for healthier or lower-calorie options, but also that guests can find this information quickly and easily to help them decide where to spend their money.

Many people’s New Year resolutions pass as quickly as the festive period, but actually the desire to eat healthier isn’t just restricted to the start of the year. In June last year, our research found that two-thirds of consumers want to know the nutritional information of every dish on the menu when they eat out.

So how can you turn this to your advantage, and attract the ever-growing number of more health-conscious customers?

Menu Options

The first step is including healthy options on your menu, which means equipping your Chefs with the tools they need to get creative while keeping an eye on nutritional values. With a recipe and menu engineering solution that includes nutritional information for every ingredient, your Chefs can experiment with different options to create menu options that are full of flavour, but lower in calories, sugar, fats, etc.

But it’s not just the nutritional figures that you need to be mindful of. You also need to make sure that the healthy options are going to be affordable to your guests, and profitable for your business. With the right system, your Chefs will also be able to see how the different options will affect the cost to create the dishes, and the margins that can be achieved – allowing them to find creative options that make commercial sense.

Menu Publishing

Once you have your healthy options available on your menu, you then need to make sure that the information is available to your guests. Visiting websites and apps have become an essential part of deciding where to eat out, but if nutritional information is missing then health-conscious diners can be put off.

Again, technology can help here. With the nutritional breakdown already existing in the recipe and menu engineering solution, it’s possible to automate the publishing of menus to websites and apps (and also digital displays, tills, etc.) and include the nutritional information (and allergens) so customers have all the information they need to make a decision.

What’s more, these web pages and apps can be interactive, allowing customers to filter items or create a personalised dining experience. You can also include different options for your dishes, which will automatically update the nutritional information based on the choices selected by the customer.

Aside from making your business attractive to health-conscious diners, you’ll also be providing a great customer experience. So if the customer does give up on their New Year resolution, then they’re more likely to come back anyway!

To find out more about how Fourth can help in this area, take a look at our Intelligent Menu Development and Availability webinar.

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