The most prevalent food trend in the past five years has been America’s obsession with healthy diets. From fat-free to low-cal fads, we’ve been trying to get fit for generations. Over time, our definition of “healthy” has changed. Remember when fatty foods were seen as the cause of obesity? Today in certain diets, healthy fats are celebrated, and sugar is on the run. How can your restaurant keep up with these changing perceptions, while still serving delicious food?
Stake Your Claim
Try to understand where your guests are coming from – they’re sick of catchy labels that are misleading. In fact, studies show that just 44% of customers trust claims (like “organic” or “clean”) on food packaging. The remaining 66% of your guests are suffering from “claim fatigue.” They’re tired of traditional marketing strategies. They drank skim milk, they bought organic, and now they’re learning that those labels may have made no difference in their overall health. They’re looking for brands they can trust implicitly, ingredients they can pronounce, and meals that feel as good as they taste without having to sacrifice their healthy diets.
When it comes to guest loyalty, less is more. American culture is trending toward minimalism. From interior design to ridesharing apps, today’s consumers want to own less, eat less, use less, and experience more. They’re excited about limited-time offers and passionate about compostable packaging. It’s no wonder that they’re also more interested than ever in plant-based food. These menu items are more affordable, not to mention great for digestion, and they’re even good for the environment. These factors add up to the one claim your guests still crave: “healthy.”
Sustainable restaurant practices are getting extreme in certain circles. For example, the planetary health diet is about saving more than your cholesterol. This eating style focuses on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, and nuts. Scientists agree that eating this way can reduce our overall impact on the environment.
So what does this mean for restaurants? First of all, it’s important to stay on top of changing consumer definitions of health. Follow our blog for regular up-to-date tips about their latest cravings. You can also connect with customers directly via social media, or even by tracking their ordering habits in your POS system.
Additionally, this an excellent opportunity for restaurants to show guests they care. Make sure your menu has the selection to serve both plant-based and low-calorie dishes. However, make sure you also have the option to offer them some dessert. Whether it’s a deep-fried appetizer or a dense chocolate cake, at least one menu item should be indulgent. Remember, taking care of your customers isn’t just about helping them stick to their diets. It’s also about giving them an enjoyable, memorable experience.