3 Healthy Restaurant Trends

Increased use of digital technologies is impacting consumer preferences— and food interests are no exception. Healthier options, unique ingredients, and cultural styles have seen an increase on social media in 2021, and that influence will continue into 2022. Similarly, consumers will continue to gravitate toward online menus and ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. Restaurants with healthier offerings and digital options will continue to see increased traffic and sales.
January 4, 2022 | Retail
By: Sarah B.
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

Author of Retail Focus

Increased use of digital technologies is impacting consumer preferences— and food interests are no exception. Healthier options, unique ingredients, and cultural styles have seen an increase on social media in 2021, and that influence will continue into 2022. Similarly, consumers will continue to gravitate toward online menus and ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery. Restaurants with healthier offerings and digital options will continue to see increased traffic and sales.

 

Here are three big things you can do to help your restaurant.

 

1. Use digital to your advantage.

While staff shortages and supply chain complications continue to challenge restaurants, leaning on new digital options and technology can help.

  • If you are not already, consider working with a delivery app like Door Dash or Eat Street. If you are, consider making your business stand out with real pictures of your business. Immediately update the menu or hours when changes happen, so customers don't request items that are no longer on the menu or think you are open when you are not.
  • A digital menu that customers can view on their phone by scanning a QR code or by going to your website can help them feel more comfortable and reduce work for your staff.
  • Touchless payment options such as Apple Pay or Google Pay, tap card readers, or a chip reader facing the customer can make payments easier, faster, and safer.  

 

2. Comfort food in a new way.

Healthy comfort food options will continue to see a rise in popularity as customers continue to stress eat and strive for healthful options that make them feel less guilty. Some of these options could include:  

  • Plant-based options or incorporating more vegetables
  • Low-carb and carb alternatives such as cauliflower rice, almond flour, and pasta alternatives
  • Small dessert options that focus on fruit, nuts, and sugar alternatives

These healthful options may be worthwhile additions or could already be a part of your menu, but highlighting and advertising them will draw in more customers.

 

3. Voluntary sodium reduction goals for restaurants.

The FDA recently released guidance for commercially processed, packaged, and prepared foods to reduce sodium levels by approximately 12% over the next 2.5 years.

  • Commercially prepared foods have the highest sodium levels. Reducing sodium content may prevent premature illnesses in the coming years, including high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.
  • Deli meat sandwiches, pizza, pasta dishes, burgers, burritos, and tacos are all foods with high sodium levels.  
  • According to the FDA, Americans spend half of their food budget and one third of their calorie limit at restaurants. To achieve sodium reduction goals, it is imperative to include restaurants.

 

For more information about how to implement sodium reduction, visit the FDA’s website.

 

Consumer demand for healthier food options, online ordering, curbside pickup, and delivery will continue to grow in 2022. Enforcing new changes, like sodium reduction and healthy comfort foods, will help meet consumer expectations. Restaurants that are conscious of these preferences and implement new practices will likely see increases in traffic and sales.

By: Sarah B.
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

Author of Retail Focus