Over the last 5 years, health and nutrition has skyrocketed as an ever-growing, ever-welcome trend in the U.S. More than ever, sugar fee, sodium free, fat free, and gluten free are all widely sought after items in grocery markets. As consumers are being more conscious about their groceries purchases for home use, so too arises the thought of “what am I eating?” when dining out at a restaurants and fast food chains.
Per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Americans eat and drink about one-third of their calories away from home. By taking this into account alongside growing interest in health, restaurants can benefit from nutrition labeling both in revenue and reputation. Here are 3 of the biggest benefits your restaurant can gain from nutritional labeling:
Contribution to a healthier society:
Even though obesity in the U.S has plateaued in the last few years, more than one-third of U.S. adults are still obese. Additionally, 1 in 6 children and adolescents are obese, and 1.4 million Americans (both adults and children) are diagnosed with diabetes each year. For those who have not quite yet jumped on the U.S health and nutrition trend, this is your chance to contribute to a healthier society and reduce these astonishing statistics.
By including nutritional facts for the items in your menus, consumers will be more aware of what they are putting in their bodies. Therefore, instead of ordering a burger and fries, a consumer with diabetes may rethink their choice for lunch when the nutrition facts are listed right in front of them. Perhaps they’ll choose a salad or fish dish. You’re still receiving this consumer’s money - maybe even more so if they choose a dish that is more expensive - but you are also contributing to their health.
Building Trust with Your Guests:
If a consumer knows what they are ordering and their nutritional expectations are met when the dish hits the table, you will gain their trust. With this trust comes loyalty. As I discussed in a previous blog, “Secret Ingredients to Cook up Restaurant ,” with customer loyalty comes more revenue.
Not only will gaining your consumer’s trust put more money in your bank, they will also know that they can always receive a healthier meal at your restaurant, to fit their needs whether it is to be part of the health trend, to lose weight, or to fulfill their dietary restrictions. This ultimately allows for them to rely on your restaurant to not only render their appetite, but to also have meals that taste and feel good. After all, many of us know the unsettling feeling of leaving a restaurant after consuming a large, unhealthy meal.
Passing FDA Requirements:
Depending on the size of your business, you may not have a choice in nutrition labeling if you want to be operating in compliance with the FDA laws. As part of the Health Care Act that President Obama signed into law in 2010, menu labeling regulations will be in effect as of May 5, 2017. If you own a retail food establishment with 20 or more locations with the same name and menu offerings, the FDA explains that you are required to provide calorie and other nutrition information on menus and food displays. In other words, to avoid breaking the law and being subject to large fines and a possible shutdown (if applicable to your restaurant) make sure to be in compliance by May 5, 2017.
Whether your restaurant(s) are required to or not, a little extra work may pay off far more than you know. Nutrition labeling can not only build a healthier society, it can grow your restaurants’ revenue and reputation. Seems like a win- win, don’t you think?