We all know legislation is tightening around allergen labelling and calorie counts, but this isn’t the only reason hospitality businesses should seize the opportunity to get on top of this vital data. Increasingly, customers want to know what’s in the food they eat in restaurants and take away. Two million people in the UK have a diagnosed food allergy – which can make eating out challenging, stressful, and in some cases dangerous. As for healthier diets, three quarters of respondents to a recent survey were more likely to visit an outlet that published calorie information on the menu.
To meet the needs of these customers, product information must be not only readily available – on websites, apps and packaging, as well as onsite menus – but also easy to understand and always accurate. This is not easy to do. A recent poll conducted by the Food Standards Agency and Allergy UK revealed that 68% of diners said that front-of-house staff had a lack of knowledge of what was on the menu or in the food.
Of course, it’s complicated. You have to start with accurate ingredient data, which needs to be fully integrated into recipe and menu planning. The process must accommodate recipe variations, such as garnishes, toppings and substitutions and when changes happen, they must be reflected quickly across all customer contact points in all sites.
So, how can hospitality businesses grasp these complexities and give customers clear and accurate information with ease? Well, it may not come as a surprise that technology can help do the heavy lifting. Recipe and menu engineering solutions, like Fourth, enable you to build recipes in real time and allow ingredient data to flow through the system, so you can provide and publish detailed dish-specific information across your various customer touchpoints and review and refine your menus to keep them balanced. Coupled with sound processes, this gives everyone within the organisation access to up-to-date, accurate and auditable information every time, which they can in turn communicate with guests. So your customers always have a great experience when they dine with you as they know exactly what they’re getting – and as a result keep coming back.
To explore a simpler way to calculate nutritional information across your menus, moving beyond compliance and focusing on increasing customer satisfaction, trust and therefore sales check out our on-demand webinar.
Retailers in the UK have faced a perfect storm of challenges for the past 18 months. From Covid-induced closures, drops in sales volumes, talent shortages, to supply chain issues, they have gone through it all.
Natasha’s Law (or the Food Information (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2019), which effectively has come into force at the start of October 2021, makes it a legal requirement for all food retailers and operators to display full ingredient and allergen labelling information on every food item they sell ‘pre-packed for direct sale’.
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