TREND: Today’s Consumers are increasingly concerned about health and nutrition, including what they eat in restaurants – 80% agreed that all restaurants should be required to provide detailed nutritional information if requested by the customer; about half (48%) said they usually eat foods that are good for them even if they have to sacrifice a little taste.
OPPORTUNITY: Even those restaurants exempt from new federal nutritional labeling requirements have an opportunity to stand out by responding to the needs and concerns of their customers. And most restaurants that voluntarily comply will be shielded from other state or local requirements not identical to the federal legislation. At a minimum, coach servers to describe basic ingredients and nutritional information about a dish, just as they would the size of a burger or the price of a daily special; if your customers seem to want more detailed information, post it on your Web site. Make it easy for customers to manage their caloric/nutritional intake. For example, offer more than one portion size – half (52%) said that restaurant portions are too large and cause them to eat more than they normally would. Respond seamlessly to requests, such as dressing on the side or an alternative preparation. Give customers a reason to frequent your restaurant by creating innovative, interesting options that offer high taste, and low nutritional damage.
CAUTION: Being upfront with customers about the caloric and nutritional content of menu items creates credibility and is consistent with their overall desire for transparency and accountability. But if you make nutritional claims of any kind, be sure they are accurate and can be substantiated or your efforts will backfire.
Data Source: Yankelovich/The Futures Company