Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Is Menu Nutritiona​l Informatio​n Really Necessary?

Over the course of the last several years, there has been much talk in our industry about the importance of healthy meals and including calorie and other nutritional information on menus for guests to view. But does what the government's been mandating us to include on our menus really matter to consumers?

With as much talk about eating healthy, I can say we have discussed how we may provide this information on our menus in the near future. With the recent advancements we have just made with our digital menus, this WILL become an option. This is what people want, right?  But how many of you really go out to a restaurant for dinner in order to watch your calorie intake and eat healthier than your home-cooked meal? I bet most of you would say no, and studies now back this up.

With as much attention that has been paid to requiring restaurants to include calories and other nutritional information on their menus, you would think that most Americans are very concerned about eating healthy when they go out. However, according to some reports, less than 43% of Americans pay attention to this information on restaurant menus. Why? Because going out to eat is a way of treating ourselves. It gives us the chance to indulge in food and drink that we can have prepared for us.

It seems we become flexible in our daily restrictions when we go out to eat because we feel we "owe" it to ourselves to break the rules and let loose. When it comes to the food we buy at the supermarket, this is where we keep a close eye on that information because 68% of us look at these nutritional values. Calorie counts do not make people decide on healthier choices, because in studies, health conscious customers were not necessarily ordering the healthiest items on the menu. They were just choosing smaller portions, not finishing the entire meal or skipping out on courses such as appetizers or desserts.
Customization to one's diets or wants is important because it gives the message that eating healthy at a restaurant does not always mean giving up your favorite foods. We have incorporated a bit of this on our menu recently. Take our salad selections, for example. You can now basically create your own salad from the lettuce base you begin with, to a wide variety of flavorful toppings to make it complete. Or why not choose from one of our amazing healthy side dishes? On their own, they are a perfect size for one. However, served along any entrée dish, they are perfect for sharing and yes, healthy.

We want you to know that while indulging on some amazing dishes that we create, we go through great lengths to bring the freshest, most flavorful and healthy products to our customer. All of our ingredients are made fresh, from scratch, in house each day. There are no processed foods here!

So regardless of whether you're watching your calories or portion size, go ahead and "indulge" on some Uptown favorites.  After all, you owe it to yourself!

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