How hospitality operators can highlight healthier menu options


How hospitality operators can highlight healthier menu options


According to recent research from Diabetes UK as well as our own surveys, it appears that it isn’t just the Government requesting nutritional information and calorie counts to be shown clearly on menus over the coming months - guests want this too.

Yet with 43% of guests stating they would like to be informed of calorie information except when they were choosing to treat themselves to a particularly nice meal, it’s important that operators walk the fine line between offering informative menus without putting guests off enjoying themselves. Here’s how restaurants can highlight healthier options on menus and empower guests to make an informed choice.

Keep it clear and simple

Public Health England’s ‘One You’ campaign encourages people to aim for 400 calories at breakfast, followed by 600 each at lunch and dinner. Operators such as McDonalds, Starbucks and Subway are already signposting guests to meals that fall under the ‘400-600-600’ rule of thumb, clearly labelling calories on their menus. However, low calorie doesn’t always equate to nutritious; yet overloading guests with a breakdown of salt, sugar and other nutritional data is not the best course of action. Not only is this a time-consuming task - particularly for operators who change their menus frequently - guests are unlikely to appreciate the information overload. Instead, as well as calorie counts, restaurants could use a colour code to signpost the lightest, lowest fat or lowest sodium options on the menu, so that guests can quickly and easily find what they are looking for.

Make small and sustainable changes

Instead of attempting to fully revamp your menu in light of Public Health England’s campaign, look for small yet effective changes you can make to your current options. The Morning Advertiser recently offered advice to pubs looking to embrace and combine the trends for traditional food and healthy options. Tactics such as removing the batter from deep-fried fish fillets and encasing the fish in an alternative ingredient such as spiralised potato or offering the option to have their fish grilled as well as ensuring there is always at least one vegan option on the menu were mentioned by the publication.

Prioritise staff training

Treat nutrition training in a similar way to allergen training, so that staff are consistently trained and regularly updated with information about the menu. Working with our learning and development partners, we can offer an easy-to-use platform with a diverse range of learning materials and content that reflect your unique training requirements. By managing your team’s valuable training in this manner, you can track what’s been learnt, refresh any expired training and trigger automatic notifications - ensuring the quality of your training does not falter, and neither does your guest experience.

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