Do guests want calorie counts on menus?


Do guests want calorie counts on menus?


With a recent Diabetes UK poll revealing three-quarters of Brits believe all cafes, restaurants and takeaways should showcase calorie information on menus, hospitality operators might want to reconsider the way they convey nutritional details to guests.

What do guests want?

We conducted our own research among guests to find out exactly how they feel about calories on menus with a significant 23% stating they would ‘always’ like calorie count and nutritional information to be shown.

However, a further 43% said they would also like to see this information except when they were sitting down to ‘a really nice meal’. This indicates that if a guest has chosen to treat themselves, calories and nutritional details don’t take the same priority and could in fact put people off enjoying their meal or even discourage a dessert order.

Nearly half of our respondents (48%) told us they thought restaurants are generally doing enough to provide healthy options, compared to just 25% who thought pub operators were doing enough. Interestingly, 58% of our guests felt that grab-and-go operators were offering healthy choices, placing this type of business ahead of both restaurants and pubs.

Health in the spotlight

The Diabetes UK poll of 2,000 adults also found that 83% of consumers want the Government to legally enforce traffic light labelling on all food and drink packaging to help manage their fat, sugar and salt consumption. In light of Public Health England’s call to the food industry to help tackle the rising obesity issue in the UK, it’s clear that nutritional awareness is high on the public agenda.

Of course, a lower calorie count does not always signify higher nutritional value. Hospitality operators that not only add calorie counts to their menus but take pains to signpost the healthier options as well as the ‘treat yourself’ choices, will help guests make more well-informed decisions when ordering.

By providing the details that guests want to see, operators will also position themselves as businesses that care about the wellbeing of their guests, thus enhancing relationships and boosting the guest experience as a whole.

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