Healthy Menu Options for Restaurants

Jul 02, 2010

America has been called a “fast food nation” and for good reason. Everyday, one out of every four Americans eats fast food. A fast food restaurant is often the cheapest option, but unfortunately, not usually the healthiest one. Eating just one fast food meal can pack enough calories, sodium and fat for an entire day, but the quick-and-cheap temptation can be hard to resist.

As an informed restaurant owner, you can help customers make healthier choices and still allow them to enjoy the convenience of a restaurant. Over the next series of blogs, we will discuss what restaurant owners can offer both on and off the menu to create healthy choices for guests.

Making healthier choices at restaurants is easier if you prepare ahead by creating guides that show the nutritional content of menu choices at your restaurant. Create a free downloadable guide and promote it to help your customers evaluate options. Emphasize how much you care about people with special dietary concerns such as diabetes, heart health or weight loss. Focus on aspects of your restaurant menu that offer natural, high quality food.

Offer guests common sense menu guidelines to help make their meal healthier. For example, a seemingly healthy salad can be a diet minefield when smothered in high-fat dressing and fried toppings, so suggest salad options with fresh veggies, grilled toppings and lighter dressings. Portion control is also important, as many fast food restaurants serve enough food for several meals in the guise of a single serving or ‘value’ meal. Help guests understand the value of portion control and not wasting food.