What is a Ketogenic Diet and What Does it Mean for the Foodservice Industry?



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  • Author: The MenuSano Team
  • Published: 2/20/2019 4:54:34 PM

Keto Diet

The Guide to Keto

We hear terms like “vegetarian”, “paleo”, and “keto” thrown around constantly in the food industry. It seems that every day new research comes out detailing a new diet that will help people lose weight and lead healthier lifestyles. Usually, this means cutting something out of their diet such as refined carbohydrates, dairy, meat, etc. One of these diets that have gained popularity in that last few years is the ketogenic diet, otherwise known as “keto”.

Quite simply, “keto” is a low-carb, high-fat diet. As a result of the drastic reduction in carbohydrates, the body goes into what is called “ketosis”, hence its name. Once the body enters this state, it becomes easier for the body to burn fat and create energy. Additionally, it supports liver and brain function and shifts the body’s metabolism for more efficient calorie-burning processes.

As with most diets, there are many variations. The most common form of the keto diet is the “Standard Ketogenic Diet” or SKD. This diet calls for an intake of 75% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates.

Keto Diet

If this sounds challenging, that’s because it is. As a restaurant owner, it is important to be aware that this diet exists and that, more and more, people who want to lose weight are turning to it because of the quick results it delivers. Imagine going out to eat at a restaurant and finding nothing keto-friendly on the menu. We want to be sure this doesn’t happen at your place of business and that your menu can appeal to all customers. Read on for tips and ingredients that are simple to incorporate on your menu as well as more information on this new dietary trend.

The Allure of New Food Trends

Keto Diet

For the health-conscious population, whenever a new diet plan or food trend is introduced, there is automatic interest. It is no secret that dieting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a challenge. Therefore, when there is potential to participate in a realistic, manageable dieting plan, it generates excitement.

Specifically referring to the keto diet, the fact that it is low-carbohydrate is appealing for many reasons, such as:

  • Weight loss with fast, visible results.
  • Appetite control--reducing carbs and filling up on fats and proteins naturally makes you less hungry and fills you up faster throughout the day.
  • Increase in energy--since your intake is primarily fats and proteins, these macros can get stored longer, providing more long-term energy throughout the day.

As restaurant industry leaders, by including keto-friendly items on your menu, you are showing not only that you are aware of these new trends hitting the market, but that you care about the benefits they provide to your customers.

Plant-Based Diet On the Rise

More and more we are seeing low-carb, plant-based diets on the rise. Though it seems that carbohydrates are everywhere and in everything, here are some creative substitutions you can include on your menu that will still give your customers fulfillment and flavor.

Original Ingredient Low-Carb Substitution
Mashed potatoes Quinoa
Pasta Zucchini noodles
Bread Rice cakes
Dough-based wraps Lettuce wraps
French fries Butternut squash fries

These are just some ideas to get you thinking about creatively substituting ingredients on your menu. There are, however, many more options that can be inspired by these ingredients. The only real downside to incorporating these substitutions heavily into the standard menu is cost. Carbohydrates like mashed potatoes, pasta and bread are low in cost and items like butternut squash, quinoa and zucchini are much more expensive, especially in large amounts needed to support several dishes. As the restaurant owner, it is your decision to make whether or not to invest the extra cost into keto-friendly dishes.

The Customer is The King

The phrase, “the customer is the king” is certainly one that should be a foundational component of your restaurant’s philosophy. This is especially relevant when considering whether or not to include keto-friendly dishes on your menu. Customers drive your business and therefore should be at the forefront of your mind when making these decisions.

Customers dictate industry trends and choices, which is why it is important now, more than ever, to pay attention to what they want. If you want your restaurant to attract a variety of customers, regardless of their dietary restrictions, having dishes that reflect industry trends is key. If someone on the keto diet goes online to check out several dinner menus, odds are they are going to pick the one with the most variety and viable options.

How can MenuSano help in assisting you to attract these customers?

MenuSano is a nutritional analysis software that allows you to easily print out comprehensive nutrition facts labels, detailing the ingredients of each customized dish. This will be appealing to customers because they will automatically be able to see if certain dishes are keto-friendly. Using the software, you can even indicate right then and there whether or not the dish aligns with this diet’s requirements, making the search and decision process efficient for the customer.

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Restaurants Catering to the Keto Way

As time goes on, more research will go into food trends and diets. Conclusions will be made on what is “healthy” to eat and what is “unhealthy”, which will determine what these trends are. Programs like the ketogenic diet, which has proven to yield results, are not going anywhere. Even now, there are restaurants popping up all over the country that solely appeal to this group of dieters. If you are ready to enter that niche market, there is plenty of research out there to get you started on doing so and creating dishes that align with their needs. However, if you’re not quite ready to take that leap but are interested in incorporating keto-friendly items into your menu, start educating yourself on this trend and the most cost-effective ways to do so. More importantly, check out the benefits of utilizing MenuSano to not only make you and your staff more aware of the nutritional content going into your dishes but showing your customers you are putting their needs first at your restaurant.

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