September 17 2014 – Robert Fiumara
As the waistlines of people across the world are expanding, and people are growing more and more concerned about the nutritional content of the food they eat, we have to ask ourselves what it is that drives customers. What it is that entices them to pick certain restaurants over another, and further, what motivates their menu choices? And what do we do for the customers who are less concerned with health?
Customer Perception of Your Menu Matters
Recent research from Mintel, a major market research group that specializes in product and media intelligence, demonstrates that 27% of consumers say they are likely to order meals that are made with ingredients that they recognize and are familiar with. It seems that familiarity can help ease a consumer that’s on the fence into healthier eating choices, which in turn means more business for you.
What does this mean, exactly? It means that simple is often better than not when trying to convince customers of how healthy your food is. Rather than alienate them with “superfoods” they’ve never heard of, rely on simple ingredients like flour, yeast, and salt to convey what your menu items are. For example, instead of serving traditional falafel, you could opt into a black bean and beet patty option. Add simple protein options on top of that, and you provide your guest with a multitude of choice that seems healthy and natural.
This same bit of research found that 24% of consumers were not interested in eating healthily when they ate out because they identified their eating out experience as a treat. Often times, another 24% of consumers say that they often consider seemingly healthier options, but ultimately opt for the treat mal instead. Offering simple menu items comprised of simple ingredients helps you to target both demographics.
Simple Ingredients Make For More Satisfied Customers
It may seem that with roughly half of your guests opting into the treat type meals that you may not necessarily need to pander toward health-minded visitors, but there are still a considerable number of guests who not only desire, but need such options. If you don’t have a selection that is lower calorie or more nutritionally sound, you will miss out on a sizable and consistent customer base that you could otherwise enjoy. Stress the simplicity of your ingredients and the focus on healthy preparation when making your menu, and you’ll see that your business will grow.