Thursday, August 26, 2010

Case Studies – How Real Businesses are Benefiting from Nutrition Facts

There have been a few studies that have looked at the affects of menu labeling/nutrition information disclosure in restaurants. Most of them, not surprisingly have had very modest results. But I have been reading about some restaurants that have seen some pretty impressive changes in sales and diner ordering habits. I thought I’d share some with you:












This was a company who was affected by a menu labeling law, and was required to post calorie counts on their menus. Before they started posting calories their Grilled Chicken and Smoked Mozzarella open-faced sandwich, coming in at 690 calories, and selling for $10.25 was their number one top-selling item. After they started posting calories, the Smoked Salmon Tartine with only 350 calories, and selling for $13.95 jumped from number seven to become top-selling item. That’s a difference of almost four dollars attributed to calorie disclosure … not bad eh?

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Uno decided to re-vamp their entire menu to make it more health-conscious, and provide healthier items for their diners. One thing that they couldn’t change was their famous calorie-laden deep-dish pizza. After they started providing nutrition information they saw a 6% drop in deep-dish pizza sales. BUT, they also saw and 11% increase in salad sales. The overall change to their bottom line: NOTHING.

 
 
This is actually one of my clients who was very pleased the results of providing nutrition facts. We built them an interactive web page called a Meal-Builder where their clients can build their own custom salads and see their nutritional values. Within a few days of the Meal-Builder going live on the Mixt Greens site their diners were posting about it all over Yelp!, Twitter, and Facebook.

Working downtown and eating healthy don’t always seem to go together. Mixt Greens has raised the bar on other restaurants by providing detailed nutrition information for all that they serve.”

-- David B. in Yelp!

Has anyone else out there had or heard of similar success stories?

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Let’s Have Fun!!!

If you have time please take a minute to watch this short video clip, it’s less than 2 minutes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lXh2n0aPyw. 

Isn’t that great?!? This company was able to get 66% more people to take the stairs just by adding an element of fun. This got me thinking about our industry and how we may be able to use The Fun Theory to get people (kids especially) to eat healthier and drive business. 

Fast food companies have been doing this for years to help drive their children’s sales by offering toys in kid meals and adding playgrounds to their restaurants. And now we’re beginning to see some restaurants use fun to drive choices towards choosing healthier options and forming better eating habits. 

A few examples: 

Burger King brought fun to fruit by offering apple “fries” as an alternative to French fries.


In 2004 McDonald’s launched their Go Active campaign to get people eating healthier and get them moving by offering free pedometers with adult happy meals.


What makes something fun? People love interactive activities right? One current interactive trend that empowers people to make healthier eating choices is the idea of the build-your-own. Letting people design their own meals by offering the pieces is fun, and why not make those choices healthy? Or maybe give an incentive for building a healthier meal. Isn’t produce cheaper than meats and dairy anyways?

What else have you seen restaurants doing to incentivize healthy choices?

What else could they do?