Offering Healthy Options to Your Customers Can Draw Them In and Increase Profits
Every restaurant owner knows that their customers want healthy options when they go out to eat. More and more, we’re seeing customers want to order dishes heavy with fruits and vegetables, and avoid things with fat, grease, and preservatives.
This certainly isn’t new. The healthy food craze is a long-standing one, and it’s not going anywhere soon. 30% of women and 24% of men say that it’s important to offer say that offering healthy items at a restaurant is important to them. Those may not seem like high percentages at first, but imagine you lost 25% of your business’s revenue. Alienating a quarter of your customers is never a good business plan.
So what’s the best way to stay ahead of the game and keep your health-conscious customers happy? We’ve got some suggestions that should help you out.
Healthy Alternatives for Side Dishes
Last week we wrote about how customers loved getting options when it comes to side dishes. If you’re already going to have a diverse menu of side dishes, why not ensure that some of them are labeled as healthy options? Give your customers the chance to substitute rice or veggies for fries. Even a subtle change like sweet potato fries is viewed as a healthier choice. These are simple changes to your menu that can appease even the most health-conscious consumer.
Not Just Veggies
Health food these days is about so much more than offering vegetable-laden dishes. Your customers are looking for a host of other healthy option buzzwords. Things like gluten-free, non-GMO, preservative-free, and all natural ingredients. Even if a dish isn’t classically “healthy” in the sense of being low-fat and low calorie, your health-conscious customers will be be happier eating food they know is made with natural ingredients. In fact, 83% of restaurant operators report that using natural ingredients has had a positive impact on sales. This means that you can still offer delicious and indulgent food in a health-conscious marketplace. 57% of consumers report that they feel better about eating indulgent food if it is made from natural ingredients.
The good news is that offering natural ingredients doesn’t have to mean sharply increasing your food costs. Simple changes like using honey as a natural sweetener instead of corn syrup are effective ways to implement a natural approach.
Customers Will Pay More for Healthy Food
The best part of offering healthier meals at your restaurants is that your customers are willing to pay a premium for it. Remember the healthy side dish options we were talking about? You can easily offer those as an up-charge. Customers will be willing to pay it. It’s an easy way to add to your bottom line.
It’s not just sides that you can charge more for. Customers actually expect food made free of preservatives to cost more. They recognize that natural ingredients cost more, which means they’re not going to turn their noses up at a few extra bucks for a healthy meal.
Clearly Label Healthy Options on Your Menu
It’s important to clearly label the healthy options on your menu. You’re making the effort to offer these healthy dishes to your customers, so there is no shame in making sure they know about them. Take it a step further than that and advertise the new health section of your menu. This will draw customers into your restaurant. Remember, people are looking for these options. If you are not offering them, you’re going to be a step behind the competition.