Should restaurants offer healthy menu options

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Restaurants are playing an increasingly important role in improving the health of the nation. According to the National Policy, a Legal Analysis Network for Child Obesity Prevention (NPLAN), the percentage of daily calories consumed outside the home has nearly doubled over the past 20 years. With the rise in restaurants, the United States has seen sharp increases in weight gain, obesity, and chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

Today 23 million children in the United States are overweight or obese, a number that has quadrupled since 1970 for children 6-11 years old.

While restaurants are not solely responsible for the current health crisis, they are playing an increasingly important part of the solution. By including a greater number of healthy menu items, restaurants have the ability to influence customer choices and guide them to healthier options. A healthy restaurant menu is not without its challenges. Restaurants have low profit margins, and it's no secret that healthier options like fresh fruits and vegetables have a significantly shorter shelf life than frozen fries or burger patties. There are many strategies restaurant owners can implement to make their menus healthier while maintaining decent costs and profits.

Modern restaurant dining

Eating patterns in the United States have changed dramatically in the past 50 years, and the reasons people eat outside their homes differ from 20, 30 or 40 years ago.

Families may choose to have dinner in an apple or olive orchard because it's convenient and affordable, whereas 30 years ago they would only eat or have dinner on special occasions. Americans are busier and stressed out than ever, and convenience often trumps health when it comes to what groceries to buy.

This has undoubtedly fueled the rise of fast food chains like McDonalds, which, according to its website, now does about 70 percent of its business through the drive-through window.

Given the new role restaurants are playing in most Americans' daily lives, it is not unjustified for the public to call for healthier menu choices for their diners. But is that a reasonable request for restaurants that are already working with narrow margins? And would people really buy healthier options? After all, if a choice were given between a cheeseburger or a green salad, how many people would actually choose the salad? While there is no concrete answer to this dilemma, there are a number of promising studies that support the idea that, when given the option, when given some encouragement, many people will choose a healthier menu item when they go out to eat.

Healthy menus have an impact on public health

In 1955, about 25 percent of a family's household budget went to groceries. Today that number has risen to 55 percent. Eating out in restaurants is usually associated with less healthy eating and weight gain and possible obesity. The increased consumption of fried, sodium- and sugar-containing drinks is widespread in the country's restaurant chains.

Also mention the restaurant concepts that have a healthy perception such as Chipotle, with the motto Food With Integrity, or Panera and the Food-It-It-More motto, the average menu items contain three or four times the recommended calories for a meal but no elevated sodium, fat and sugar levels. Public health advocates have pushed the restaurant industry to offer healthier alternatives to their customers to help customers make healthier choices. Some popular public health strategies for healthy menus include offering nutritional information on menus, smaller servings at reduced prices, and including more fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Healthy menus don't have to be boring. There are many ways that restaurants can offer healthy and affordable alternatives.

There has been a noticeable setback in regulating the menus of restaurants such as the National Restaurant Association, and they raised the burden of the cost regulations that apply to many small businesses. And a lot of criticism of the current menu labeling was felt to be ineffective. But none of that changes the fact that the US is in a health crisis when it comes to food and restaurants having the opportunity to help.

How to design a healthy menu

With or without state guidelines or guidelines for any restaurant, regardless of size, location, or concept, and choose to include healthier options in the existing menu. In a 2017 peer-reviewed intervention study conducted in Spain, 16 food businesses in two different family resorts implemented several healthy menu initiatives, including nutrition and allergen information, the number of healthy foods available, and staff training on healthy eating and allergens. At the end of the study, the establishments that participated increased their menu options, including whole grain, vegetable and fruit sides, and decreased fried dishes. For the fried dishes that were still on offer, oil types were switched from vegetable oil or high oleic sunflower oil for a healthier option. These same strategies can be implemented in the United States.

Not only can the layout of a menu offer healthier options, but it can also determine whether users choose healthier options. According to menu engineer Gregg Rapp, restaurants can use visual cues on menus to highlight the products they want to sell. Photographs of appetizers allow you to place menu items within the First Properties menu sections (in columns at the top or in a highlighted box) to increase sales of certain menu items. Traditionally, these strategies have been used to target the most popular (and often most Food costs) to promote items on a menu, not necessarily the healthiest menu options. Restaurants that want to offer a healthy menu should consider emphasizing low-fat, smaller portions, more fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and fewer high-fat and higher-calorie meals.

Menu size and pricing are other ways restaurants can use to encourage customers to choose healthy menu items. According to the Rapp, larger menus hamper the ability to influence customer actions. So if you want to promote healthy meals, you should limit the amount of unhealthy items on the menu. It is also important to pay attention to the prices. With prices wrapped in a column, customers can easily find the cheapest item on the menu, increasing the likelihood of buying it. Fluctuating prices within the menu description make it difficult for customers to choose the cheapest option.

Train your restaurant staff to promote healthy menu details

There are many little things restaurants can do to make their menus healthier while keeping food costs down and making a profit. Obviously, a case of fresh strawberries has a significantly shorter shelf life than a box of frozen french fries. This is one of the main obstacles restaurants face when trying to offer healthy options. When you make sure your employees are trained to promote healthier products, such as: For example, when customers ask for suggestions, make sure the most perishable products are used first. A well-trained kitchen staff is also essential to make a healthy menu affordable. Not only does the chef need to know how to prepare and present healthy menu items in a pleasant way, he also needs to know how to use ingredients to reduce food waste.

Creating a healthy restaurant menu is not difficult and does not cost restaurants a lot of money. It also doesn't require a full brand rejuvenation. Any restaurant, from an independent restaurant to a national multi-unit chain, can offer healthy options and implement strategies that will help consumers make healthier choices.


// news. MC Donalds. com / Company / Feature-Stories-Article / 2016 / How-Drive-By-Windows-Changed-the-Way-America-Ord

// www. New York Times. com / 2015/12/01 / upshot / more-menus-have-calorie-labeling-but-obesity-rate-remains-high. HTML

// www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov / pmc / article / PMC5420099 /