Creating Healthy Food for Your Restaurant

Staying in shape is top priority, perhaps even more so during a pandemic. Of course, exercise and healthy eating always come to mind, but with gyms closed and restrictions all over the place, it’s also more challenging to get rid of excess calories. On top of that, most people settle for whatever food they can get their hands on. Heck, some can’t even fix a healthy meal for themselves!

As a restaurant owner, you can do your share to keep customers in shape by offering healthy takeout food. We’ll give you some ideas from substituting ingredients to adding healthier alternatives on top of your regular menu items.

Quality vs. Quantity

It may sound a little counterintuitive, but the idea that less is more applies to food as well. Over the years, restaurants are getting into bigger and bigger servings to appeal to customers’ insatiable appetite for more food with words like “go large” and “supersized.” Sure, we need to up-sell to customers, but that doesn’t always mean bigger. What if, instead we offer them free-range, organic protein and all-natural ingredients for an up-sell?

Fortunately, more and more people are becoming interested with healthy eating and dieting particularly among millennials. Mintel’s survey showed more than 60% of millennials think their generation is more focused on health than any other generation. They also tend to favor foods with natural ingredients vs. artificial and processed food. You definitely want to go for quality if you want a bigger portion of this health-conscious clientele.

This won’t be easy though for, say, a typical fast-food restaurant where majority of ingredients are processed and pre-packaged. Industry giants like McDonald’s have already stepped up to the challenge and actually went for the health-conscious demographic with things like Fruit and Maple Oatmeal, Bacon Ranch Grilled Chicken Salad, Pico Guacamole Artisan Grilled Chicken Sandwhich (healthier cousin of BigMac) to name a few.

Use Healthy Substitutes and Cooking Methods

Scrapping your ‘unhealthy’ menu for something entirely new might be too drastic for a change. However, you can substitute some of your ingredients or prepare them in a slightly different way. Even little things like using stevia for table sugar, olive oil for butter, almond milk for dairy milk, gluten-free flour for wheat flour, and so on can go a long way. Check out Mind Over Munch’s blog for a full list of healthy recipe substitutes.

How you cook your food can make a world of difference. Steaming your veggies locks in all the flavor and vitamins vs. boiling while also keeping them crisp longer. Broiled, grilled, and baked means less cholesterol vs. deep fried. If you can’t get away with using cooking oil, try cooking sprays or pastry brush for your stir-fried recipes. You can find more of these healthy cooking methods in Mayo Clinic’s article on healthy cooking.

Offer More Choices to Your Customers

Despite the pandemic, some people choose to remain active indoors, doing cardio, calisthenics, or even weight training to stay shredded. On the other hand, we also find people on both ends of the spectrum – one who can’t seem to put on any weight and another with weight gain issues. As a restaurant, we need to give customers a way to fine tune their meals to meet their individual needs and health goals.

Let’s take a look at this example from one of our clients. Instead of just offering one type of Enchilada, customers can actually choose chicken (low-fat, low-calorie), pork (high-protein) or vegetables (vegan), and the type of dressing whether it’s sour cream or guacamole. They can add special instructions as well.

Watch our video to learn how you can create one in our DeliveryBizConnect CRM and mobile app.

Create Your Modifiers in DeliveryBizConnect

Create Your Modifiers if Required - Final with caption

Introduce Healthier Versions in Your Menu

In some cases, like the fast-food type we mentioned earlier, it would be hard to substitute your flagship or signature dish without losing your brand altogether. So instead, you may want to offer a ‘healthier’ side of your restaurant like what McDonald’s did.

Aside from the usual French fries, try offering crispy baked sweet potato fries as a healthier alternative. Put vegan fried chicken on the list in addition to the real thing. If you’re a burger joint, try offering different patty options like slow roasted pork belly or vegan bacon cheeseburger, kind of like what The Works Craft Burgers is doing. You can do the same for your pizzas with less processed food and using garden-fresh ingredients as a healthier option.

Consider this as a way of diversifying your product lineup while at the same time promoting healthy food to the community. It’s a win-win especially now that more people are into healthy food and healthy lifestyle.

Get Some Ideas from Meal Service Companies

We’ve said this a couple of times in our previous articles, however we find it necessary to mention it here as well. Meal service companies dedicate their entire time designing and crafting meals that offer complete nutrition for different segments of the market from bodybuilders to vegetarians and everything in between.

If you’re interested, we have an article on how you can start doing one for your restaurant. Basically, you want customers to subscribe to your service on a weekly or monthly basis focusing on specific health goals like losing weight, building muscle mass, and so on.

Tell People about Your Healthy Takeout Food Options

Now you might be thinking how would customers know about it if people can’t come to you in the first place? That’s where DeliveryBizConnect comes in. We offer a fairer platform that allows restaurants to skip the 30% commission fees while taking online orders for takeout, curbside pickups, and delivery.

Watch our video to learn more how you can start taking orders for takeouts using DeliveryBizConnect.

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