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If you’ve begun to notice that when you eat out more menus appear to be bragging about their selection of fresh, natural, and wholesome dishes, this it isn’t just a new marketing ploy You’re actually noticing a trend among major restaurant chains to remove GMO foods and those loaded with unhealthy stuff like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Partially Hydrogenated oil, or Aspartame.
These changes aren’t due to a wave of enlightened thinking sweeping through the major boardrooms associated with the restaurant business. They are the results of a consumer-driven shift in thinking due to a greater level of information available about the toxic effects of certain food colors, ingredients, and preservatives.
Bad news spreads quickly on the Internet, and the food manufacturing industry is finding it harder to hide the fact that many of the things they add to enhance taste or improve shelf life aren’t just bad for humans but downright toxic. Add this growing awareness spread by health-conscious blogs and YouTube channels to the fact that healthcare legislation appears to be in a political tailspin and to the fact that successful grocers like Thrive Market, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and restaurants like Chipotle and Panera are spreading the gospel of wholesome dining by providing fresher, less processed foods and suddenly you have a perfect storm that is forcing people to become more mindful about what they eat.
If you happen to be one of these forward-thinking entrepreneurs who have been cogitating for some time now about applying for a food handlers card and opening up a healthy eatery, now is the time to take full advantage of this growing public awareness about healthy eating.
Here are 4 ideas to help you get started:
- Three things you need to understand about how to market your business.
- Understand the segment of the population that will love your business model.
Although more people are aware of the benefits of healthier eating, it’s still a small percentage of the restaurant-eating public. Most of the general public don’t bother questioning the purity of the foods they consume and have not made the connection between ill-health and poor nutritional food choices.
Your future health-conscious diners are likely to be:
- · Millennial
- · Be parents of young children
- · Urban
- · Affluent
- · Ethnically diverse
- · Health-oriented
- · Figuring out how to make smarter eating choices
- Understand what your diners want from you.
As a restaurant owner diners expect the following things from you:
- You are transparent in how you operate your business.
- You are able to help people figure out what healthy foods to select from the menu.
- You are able to provide higher-quality foods than regular restaurants. Since your costs will be higher, you need to justify your prices.
- You are conversant with what is happening in the food industry
You personally believe in the value of healthy lifestyle.
- Understand how to speak the language.
The descriptive words you use in all your marketing promotions—ranging from your print ads to your window displays to your menus—can make or break your business.
Here, for example are some quality distinction markers you should be using to advertise your menu:
- · Fresh
- · Seasonal
- · Locally grown
- Niche down your business.
What is it that health-conscious people love to eat that isn’t being served by other health-oriented restaurants in your local community? You’ll have to do extensive research, including surveys, to identify an unmet need that your business can fill.
- Don’t sacrifice taste for the sake of purity.
Many people don’t like to eat healthy foods because they don’t taste good. People don’t just want healthy food; they also want healthy food that taste good. It may seem a bit of a paradox to talk about healthy food that doesn’t taste bland, but you will have to find recipes that even people who prefer the standard American diet would love.
- Continue to follow restaurant best practices.
Even if you aren’t impressed with the quality of foods that you get at most chain food restaurants, you do have to admit that they have set a high standard when it comes to restaurant best practices. For instance, they focus on ambiance, helpful wait staff, efficient checkouts, and so on. Don’t assume that because you are serving healthy, delicious food that isn’t available anywhere else for miles that you can relax the high standards diners have come to expect from good restaurants.
The demand for healthy dining options has never been greater. Naturally, this is good news for the consumer. And it’s also excellent news for you as a culinary-minded entrepreneur to open up a nutrition-driven restaurant or eatery with no shortage of flavor.