Healthy and Happy: The Customer Benefits of Nutritional Transparency in the Restaurant

How Digital Signage Can Help You Achieve Nutritional Transparency

We all know the saying, “you are what you eat.” Turns out, this adage is actually true1. If you are what you eat, wouldn’t you like to know what you’re eating? Such is the case for the majority of today’s restaurant customers.

With 67 percent of consumers reporting that they will prioritize healthy or socially conscious food purchases in 20182 and 4 percent with food allergies or intolerances3 , restaurants now, more than ever, must embrace the demand for nutritional transparency by providing clear, complete, and accurate nutritional and caloric information to their guests.

In many ways, the customer demand for nutritional transparency is a natural extension of the movement to put guests at the center of a more personalized and connected dining experience.

Now, in addition to ordering how and when they want through a variety of digital channels, today’s guests can also order precisely what they want by knowing exactly what’s inside of each and every food item.

Here are a few key reasons to consider making the shift to nutritional transparency:

Guests Are Increasingly Health Conscious

Restaurant guests are seeking healthy food options, and they are willing to pay for them. In fact, 88 percent of guests state they would pay more for healthier foods4. In addition to upping demand for healthy food options, the rise in customer health consciousness requires a new level of insight into nutritional content.

Health conscious guests often manage their caloric intake carefully and avoid certain ingredients like sodium and saturated fat. Furthermore, these guests are willing to choose one dining establishment over another based on ingredient quality and—you guessed it—nutritional transparency.

Millennials Desire Knowledge & Control

More than any other generation, millennials are concerned with what’s inside their food. In fact, roughly 70 percent of males and 65 percent of females report that calorie counts slightly or heavily influence the food they order5. With the forecasted spending power of Millennials at $1.6 trillion by 20206 , restaurants can no longer afford to make millennial engagement an afterthought.

Research tells us that if labels fail to provide millennials the information they seek, they will look to online sources. In fact, 56 percent of millennials admit to using their smartphones to look up product information while in a store7. In other words, nutritional transparency gives brands the opportunity to ensure the right information is communicated before guests seek that information elsewhere.

Food Allergies & Sensitivities Are on the Rise

Thought to be at least partially attributable to more advanced screening, dietary changes, and environmental factors, the rate of Celiac Disease is on the rise, now estimated at roughly 1 in every 100 customers8. Add another 4 percent of customers with food allergies9, and you have 1 in every 20 guests that must avoid a specific ingredient.

For customers with allergies or sensitivities, grabbing a bite to eat can be a stressful experience. With some food allergies often causing serious and life-threatening reactions, restaurant guests don’t just want accurate ingredient information; their life may depend on it.

Menu boards that identify the use of common allergens like nuts, milk, wheat, and eggs mitigate risk while allowing guests to make more informed decisions. This increases guest confidence and prevents guest from having to ask crew members ingredient-related questions.

Automating Nutritional Transparency at Scale

Nutritional transparency matters. But for today’s restaurants, ensuring accurate nutritional information across hundreds or thousands of locations can feel like a daunting feat.

Quick service, fast casual, and food service establishments have diverse and ever-evolving menus—with a myriad of variables including limited time offers, prices and discounts, creative, localized variations, and customizations. The addition of nutritional information to the mix not only increases menu complexity, it also puts greater onus on already overburdened owners and managers. But it doesn’t have to.

By leveraging a centrally managed digital menu board framework, restaurants can achieve complete nutritional transparency at scale without any operational burden. Centralized content management empowers managers to make location-wide nutritional and caloric changes in near real-time, ensuring that every guest is empowered with the most relevant information.

SICOM Display™ for Scalable Content Experiences

Enter SICOM Display™. As a data-driven signage solution, SICOM Display employs a scalable data framework, business rules, and advanced suggestive selling functionality to create dynamic digital experiences that grow engagement and sales inside and outside the restaurant.

With its ability to centrally manage price information, LTOs, and calorie counts across locations in real-time, SICOM Display handles menu changes and deployments seamlessly through the SICOM Portal to make nutritional transparency a simple and automated aspect of your content framework.

SICOM Display

Empowering Guests, Powering Satisfaction


restaurant front of house

Mussana Hashmi
July 27, 2018

As our resident digital signage expert and product manager, Mussana knows how to bring rich digital experiences to the restaurant through data-driven digital signage—both inside the restaurant and in the drive thru.

Connect with Mussana on LinkedIn

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