How to Win Over Health-Conscious Consumers
Over the last few years, we've been witness to a seismic shift in the way people approach their diets. In pursuit of healthfulness, consumers want to know what they're eating before they put it into their bodies. Some go so far as to say that if you can't pronounce the ingredients, it's not worth eating. A balanced diet doesn't require perfect habits, but it does require a working knowledge of ingredients, sources, and cooking processes.
Given the growing emphasis on healthy eating, the food and restaurant industry have responded by choosing simple, natural ingredients instead of overly-processed ones. Giants like Panera and Kraft have made PR splashes by announcing the move to "clean" ingredients. And the strategy certainly has legs: "All demographics—from Generation Z to Baby Boomers--say they would pay more for healthy foods, including those that are GMO-free, have no artificial coloring/flavors and are deemed all natural" (Forbes).
Beyond press releases and a menu revamp, how do you take the promise of healthy food a step further? Here are a few ideas on how to let your pledge to healthiness permeate every aspect of the guest experience.
A Promise Reinforced by Design
Transparency is a key tenet of a health-focused strategy. According to a Technomic Survey, 40% of Millennials and Generation Z check nutritional information on menus prior to ordering. When you decide to make nutritional information highly visible, health and nutrition become less a talking point and more a shared concern. When a consumer feels aligned with your brand in this way, they’re far more likely to return.
So how do you work nutritional information into the guest experience? Simply adding caloric information to your menu is an easy solution, but we recommend taking it a step further. At a Self-Order Kiosk, you can weave the promise of health throughout the ordering experience.
First, a clean design and intuitive menu flow lets your food get the attention it deserves. Photos of every element - from the completed meal down to a single sauce or topping - makes your menu and all its constituent parts feel more immediate and accessible to the guest. By seeing each ingredient up close as they build a bowl, burrito or burger, guests are made to feel like they have direct insight into your kitchen and your processes. Simplicity is a virtue - minimalism in your design mirrors the minimalism of natural, whole, or simple ingredients.
Second, touchscreens give you the power to offer an abundance of information without making your menu feel cramped. By adding elements like "i" buttons, you can offer more details about each and every item - whether you want to provide information about allergens, sourcing, ingredients, or anything else.
Third, our self-order software offers a calorie counting function that adds calories up as guests order. A calorie counter lets guests see what their choices <em>mean</em> as they make them.
Give the Gift of Flexibility
A family walks in your door - one of them is gluten-free, another is a vegetarian, and the third eats anything and everything. How do you accommodate them all without slowing down operations?
Provide a one-size-fits-all menu, and each of these guests will have to hunt for options, eliminating choices in their head as they read down the list. On the other hand, if you engineer a series of menus customized for particular lifestyles, your gluten-free and vegetarian guests will be less aware of what they cannot have and instead keenly aware of the choices they do have. Choose the dietary profiles that make the most sense for your customer base and build experiences especially for them.
Alternatively, the "build-your-own" meal can be a neat solution. Vegetarian? Skip the meat. Gluten-free? Choose a lettuce wrap. Dairy-free? Nix the cheese. Completely customizable meals can relieve the pressure of living with allergies or adhering to dietary protocols. And when the power to customize happens at a touchscreen rather than in an assembly line with a line building up behind you - the relief is even greater.