On a recent radio show, Restaurant Brokers, Robin and Eric Gagnon interview two industry experts on menu development. Dr. Joy Dubost of the National Restaurant Association and Chef Scott Randolph of Food and Drink Resources tackle food allegies, calorie counts and nutritional standards in the design of today's restaurant menu.
Kids menus surfaced as one of the top trends for 2014 in a recent survey and that is no surprise. Sometimes one of the things that gets lost when designing a menu are the kids options. Today more kids are experiencing food allergies and intolerances. This makes more parents aware of what their children are consuming. I still remember when I was a kid, and my dad would take me to the local quick service restaurant and we would get burgers, hot dogs, fries, and soda. We were careless as kids in what we consumed, well that was many years ago and those days are over and parents have a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to what their children eat. As a restaurant owner, you must be able to provide nutritious options for children.
Why is it so important to have these options available for sensitive diets? Well, let’s look at an example: Say a group of people are looking for a restaurant to stop and eat; one of the couples has a small child that has a sensitive diet. Not having the available options on the menu to accommodate this issue could result in the lost business of multiple people, not just the individual with the sensitive diet. Is the industry saying that if you don’t have these options you will not be successful? No. The industry is only recommending that a restaurant owner and their staff are knowledgeable about different food allergies and intolerances to make the restaurant dining experience for sensitive diet consumers a more enjoyable one.
Dr. Dubost discusses the growing trends in restaurants offering more options that appeal to individuals that suffer from food allergies and intolerances. As a restaurant owner, you want to have control over what items are being produced in your kitchen and how to educate your staff when they are presented questions on accommodating individuals who suffer from food intolerance.
Chef Scott Randolph offers up expertise on what kitchen staff and owners can do to get the information necessary to make their restaurants more accommodating. You do not have to go out and hire a chef or a full-time nutritionist, but it may be good to consult these types of experts a few times a year to analyze your menu options to make sure you are knowledgeable about the most current trends.
It is also important to note that there could be legal ramifications for restaurant owners if they chose not to train their staff on food allergies and intolerances. The Food Allergy Research and Education group (FARE) illustrate that there are more than 15 million Americans that are allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish—the eight most common food allergens. In a recent article on the National Restaurant Association website, FARE discusses how restaurant owners can take a more active approach to educating their staff on the importance of knowing food allergies and intolerance. More information can be found here: Protect your business, customers by training staff about food allergies
The We Sell Restaurants radio show broadcasts in the nation’s seventh largest media market. Listeners can tune in at 12 Noon EST to Atlanta’s AM Talk 920 and Sunday at 1PM on Biz 1190. The show is also available for immediate download on iTunes.
We Sell Restaurants is the nation’s largest restaurant brokerage firm specializing in restaurants wanted (restaurants for sale), leasing a restaurant and franchise restaurant resales. The We Sell Restaurants brand is known nationwide for professionalism, industry knowledge and unmatched service. They can be found online at www.wesellrestaurants.com. The firm is franchising their brand nationwide and has offices in Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Tennessee and South Carolina.