Healthy eating is increasingly becoming a priority for consumers. In a study by market research company Nielsen and retail trade journal The Grocer, the sales of meat-free products and vegetables rose in 2018, fueled by consumers transitioning to healthier eating habits. More people are looking for substitutes to traditional ingredients and recipes, engaging in different diets or seeking restaurants that offer healthier menu items.

As a result, several dining establishments are starting to offer a healthier menu, or at least add healthier dishes to their current items. Aside from the usual garden salad, restaurants are offering dishes with organic ingredients, while cafes and coffee shops are investing in commercial cold press machines to serve fruit and vegetable juices.

Adding healthier options is a great opportunity for your business to attract a lucrative demographic of healthy eaters and customers with alternative diets. Changing your dishes, though, requires thorough planning so that your business earns while helping consumers make healthy eating choices.

Can “Going Healthy” Really Help Your Business?

Before changing your dishes, it’s important to develop a deeper understanding of whether going healthy helps your business in the long run. If you’re pushing healthful options, they should help your bottom line or be significantly valuable to your brand. For example, if you’re running a burger store, it isn’t ideal to drastically change the menu.

Browse your menu first and check with your current transactions. Which low-selling items can you replace for healthier dishes? Can you substitute more organic ingredients for your best-sellers? How can you make sure that your healthy dishes leave the customer feeling satisfied in terms of taste and value?

Introducing the dish as a limited-edition item first helps you gauge how well the dish does before rolling it out on a larger scale. Talk to your regular customers and ask them about their perception of healthy eating. Their insights are valuable in determining the direction of your improved menu.

Creating a Healthy Menu

Blanching carrots for a healthy meal

You don’t need to overhaul the entire menu, or to add more offers to your existing dishes. Instead, make basic changes that won’t alter your spending costs as well as the flavour of the food. These modifications can be as simple as using coconut or olive oil for frying chips or onion rings, or drizzling vegetables in olive oil rather than soaking them in butter.

Make sure that you use enough portions. An organic chicken may be a great substitute, but preparing and presenting it in large servings could make the dish unhealthy. Consulting with a nutritionist or a dietician allows you to get a better analysis of your food and make tweaks to make them healthier.

To help customers order their favourite food without splurging for calories or cash, offer meals in smaller portions at cheaper prices. For example, you can turn a 700-calorie entree into a lower calorie meal by simply reducing the serving sizes by half.

Modifying the menu list also allows your customers to choose healthful dishes. Simply add a legend next to the item to indicate that it’s a healthier alternative. You can also use these signs to tell the customer that they can request the dish to be prepared in a different way.

With the increasing interest in healthy eating, it’s tempting to jump in the trend and modify your menu. Like every change you make in your operations, tweaking your dishes requires thorough planning to ensure the modifications benefit the business in the long run. Focusing on the value of the food instead of just cutting down the calories keeps customers coming back while they make sound eating purchases.