Many customers are concerned with eating healthy meals that are right for them. However, some are more proactive about it than others. These customers are concerned in ensuring that the meals they eat contain certain nutrients in the right proportion. Catering to the needs of health-conscious consumers is an opportunity for your business, especially if you are a restaurateur. Offering healthy options to these type of customers will help your business stand out in your industry. Catering to Short-Term Fads Vs Long-Term Lifestyles When designing a menu for health-conscious customers, it’s important to identify short-term diet fads from long-term lifestyles. Occasionally, short-term fads do become a long-term lifestyle, but for the most part they are unsustainable. Diet fads contain common characteristics such as: Food-specific diets. These diets encourage eating large amounts of a single food type. An example would be “the cabbage soup diet.”Low-carb diets. A popular example is the “Atkins diet.”High-fiber, low-calorie diets. These diets often prescribe double the normal amount of dietary fiberLiquid diets. One well known liquid diet is the SlimFast diet, which replaces meals with meal replacement drinks.Fasting. Fasting generally involves abstaining from eating for long periods of time. Sometimes, only limited quantities of specific foods are allowed. Juice fasting is a popular example of this, often endorsed by celebrities. Your menu will be able to feature any dish based on short-term dietary fads. This is a great marketing opportunity for you to highlight your dish. Using phrases such as “Available for a limited time only!” can entice customers to try it out. Long-term lifestyle dishes are geared toward your main customer base. These customers may have health issues, such as diabetes or cardiovascular disease. In this case, the purpose of their visit to your restaurant is so that they can enjoy a meal out, while maintaining their dietary needs. For fitness enthusiasts, dishes that are low carb and high protein will be appealing to them. Other examples of widely adopted lifestyle diets are vegetarianism and veganism. Source the Best Ingredients Providing healthy meals on the menu requires a lot of deliberate effort and planning. This includes planning meals with the right balance of nutrition and sourcing for the best ingredients. It may mean being conscious of the cooking process and how this affects nutrition. Providing optimal ingredients is important in improving the nutrition of a dish, not to mention its flavour! It is also a marketing technique that will attract your health-conscious customers. Sourcing ingredients locally is ideal, as it ensures the freshest ingredients. Provide Nutritional Information for those who want it Being transparent about the nutritional composition of menu items is a great benefit to your business, especially when it comes to serving health-conscious customers. This practice is known as menu labelling. Menu labelling is the process of providing information on calories, fat, sodium, and other selected nutrients in menu items at the point of purchase. It is often initiated by government as a strategy to reduce obesity and diet-related chronic disease. More and more restaurants are offering this information to customers, regardless if it’s mandatory. The nutritional information that is provided does not have to include every macro nutrient in the dish. However, it should be detailed enough to include components that will enable consumers to make healthy choices for themselves. In some cases, it may just be calories that customers are interested in. However, if fats or carbs are important to your customer base, it’s good to offer up this information as well. The nutritional information can be published on flyers that you can display on the counter of your restaurant or at each table. It can also be available on the website of your restaurant, for your customers to easily peruse. Give Healthy Options On The Menu If your restaurant menu isn’t particularly healthy, you can still cater to health-conscious customers. Simply adding a few healthy options next to less healthy ones will do! When groups of friends or families get together to enjoy a meal out, they are each looking for something different to consume. While some customers are willing to treat themselves to a high calorie meal, their friends or family may not feel the same. Providing healthy options simply means that your health-conscious customers can opt for a low calorie one. Giving customers healthy options makes it easier for them to maintain their health and eat right in a stress-free environment. It is also a great way of promoting brand loyalty and ensuring that they return as happy customers. Conclusion Catering to health-conscious customers takes planning and research. From a business perspective, it is certainly worth it, for it allows you to broaden your client base. It has been proven that eating the right foods have the ability to prevent the occurrence of some diseases. Furthermore, it helps people with certain diseases to manage their health better. Restaurants who offer healthy meals can influence the eating habits of their consumers, as it encourages them to make better dietary choices. MenuSano makes it easier for restaurants to provide healthy meals as well as nutritional information to their customers. Traditionally, obtaining nutrition information of a recipe or dish meant sending food items to a lab for analysis. This is quite costly and the turnaround time can take about a month. MenuSano nutrition analysis software allows your to analyse your recipes and dishes online with software! The results are immediate and cost-effective. Try a 5-day free trial today.