Healthy eating is on the rise! Whether your guests are gluten-free, diabetic, or excited about self-care, one thing is clear: they’re seeking out more nutritious, sustainable foods than ever before. As your customers focus on self-care, you have a golden opportunity to invest in their health – and in your restaurant’s continued success.

 

Growing Industry

In 2016, 64% of people agreed that healthfulness has an impact on their decision to buy foods and beverages. The question becomes: what constitutes a healthy meal? Answers vary – some say organic foods, while other are more interested in the nutritional values of each menu item.

We’re also seeing a growing interest in functional foods – defined by the Food Information Council as “foods or food components that may provide benefits beyond basic nutrition.” The global market of functional food boasted a compound annual growth rate of 6% from 2011-2015. This $258.8 billion industry rivals the $273 billion dollars of consumer spending in the fast food industry in 2015. Clearly, this growing industry deserves the attention of restaurant owners around the world.

 

Diner Priorities

What does all this mean for your restaurant? Great service means keeping the customer happy. When asked about the most important health factors in choosing a restaurant, 59% of those surveyed cited the business’s level of social responsibility, 58% wanted meat and poultry raised without hormones, and 41% sought meals with natural and organic menu items.

In another survey, where eaters were asked which descriptors were most important in selecting “healthy” meals. 45% of them desired local and fresh ingredients, 41% wanted low-calorie options, and 35% preferred nutritional information on menus. Just 20% cited organic products, and 4% looked for items backed by recognized diet programs, like Weight Watchers.

 

Preferences Matter

According to the National Restaurant Association, more than 7 in 10 adults are trying to eat more healthily. However, it’s clear that this description means something different to every diner. Track guest preferences to make sure you’re catering to their changing diets.

 

How Tech Keeps Diners On-Track

A reliable POS is your best tool in building a menu that caters to health-conscious diners. Point of sale systems track each ingredient in every dish, giving diners a ready profile of both the healthy ingredients they love, and the unhealthy ones they’re trying to avoid. Inventory management from your POS can also tell you how popular healthy ingredients and dishes are among your guests.

Healthy eating is exploding as a restaurant trend. Unlike other trends, this one looks to be an important value for diners for years to come. With the right technology, you can offer more healthy options, and tweak your menu to bring more attention to healthier selections. Give diners the food they want, and they’ll remember your restaurant the next time they want to dine out and not pig out.