REAL Certification – A Win-Win for Restaurants and ConsumersSynergy Restaurant Consultants | Blog
Have you seen this logo at any of your favorite restaurants?
If so, you were in a good place. The green logo above is the mark of a REAL Certified restaurant and was created to serve as “a beacon to customers seeking healthier food.”
REAL Certification was developed by the United States Healthful Food Council, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to fighting obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases by increasing the consumption of healthful and sustainable food and beverages.
REAL stands for Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership and the mission of the program is to help consumers easily find healthful and sustainable restaurant and foodservice menu items. It’s similar to the widely known LEED certification used in buildings and uses a point-based model to recognize restaurants for their nutrition and sustainability practices. Chefs and restaurant owners open their kitchens to the REAL Management team to conduct an audit of nutrition and sustainability practices and are also given recommendations for improvements. The following are some of the Key Performance Indicators considered:
– Use of whole grains, lean meats, cage-free eggs, plant-based cooking oils and healthy fats
– Use of seasonal, organic and/or local ingredients
– Food that is prepared from scratch or is minimally processed
– Offering unsweetened beverages, healthy children’s options/portions and notification of healthful substitutions
– Limited availability of fried foods
REAL Certification just signed a major deal with the state of Tennessee and also has campaigns in Washington D.C., Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Boston. REAL Certification is currently the only nutrition and sustainability best practices program in the United States.
If this sounds interesting to you, consider opening your restaurant kitchen to a REAL Certification audit! Learn more at www.eatreal.org.