August 17 2013 – Robert Fiumara
The NRA (National Restaurant Association) holds an annual convention wherein they take a close look at restaurant trends for the upcoming year. While some of these trends are pretty familiar already; things like locally sourcing materials and trending toward healthier meals, one of the major trends for 2013 is specifically creating healthy and tasty meals for kids.
In the past, when you think of a kid friendly restaurant, you might think of a diner-esque set up with brightly colored vinyl booths, waitresses with plastic name tags and a kid’s menu that includes grilled cheese sandwiches, hot dogs and chocolate milk and comes equipped with four crayons (red, blue, yellow, and green).
As parents are getting healthier and getting their families used to a broader range of tastes, restaurants are picking up on this. Another incentive for restaurants to offer more healthy friendly options is participation in the “Kids Live Well” program. Participating restaurants need to meet a set of guidelines and then submit a menu that promotes healthy alternatives for kids and parents and they can be included in a national healthy search engine.
Some suggestions from the NRA include the addition of salmon, baked chicken, vegetable and fruits as side dishes. The NRA encourages creativity to make these healthier options appeal to the picky taste buds of a much younger crowd. Even things that were once considered too sophisticated for young palates, like sushi, are being encouraged on these new menus.
The qualifications for being included having healthy alternatives that are specifically promoted, having a menu that is large enough and engaging enough that children want to look at the different options and the items should be imaged in such a way that kids can circle what they choose. Items should be affordable for parents as well.
If you are thinking of taking steps toward making your restaurant more kid friendly and jumping on the bandwagon for healthy eating, what else, if anything would you consider doing to update your restaurant? Would you change your interior décor or your staff uniforms?
Whichever direction you decide to take your restaurant, Fiumara Apparel has you covered for all of your culinary apparel needs for your kitchen staff and your front of house staff. We have what it takes to make sure that your restaurant is looking just as good as the dishes you serve.