The report discusses the aspects of food in detail regarding the ethics and moral duty that is the liability of the restaurants and caterers. Food is the basic necessity of life. Healthy food is essential for the proper growth of the body a d minds. Owing to it, serious concerns have been arising regarding the healthy food available in restaurants. Often people are motivated to take their meals from outside restaurants in cases e.g. while travelling, in hurry, on duty, for enjoyment, etc. So this report discusses all the issues at one place.
Human body is like a racing car. It needs the right fuel in the form of food and regular maintenance in the form of exercise and lifestyle. If some wrong fuel is used then it will not deliver its best performance. It will ultimately damage if healthy nutritious food is not provided.
A balanced diet is necessary for the body to maintain a happy life, healthy heart, vigilant brain and active muscles. We must take care that proper nutrients are being served to our body. These nutrients will help the body in regulating the blood pressure and metabolism. Eating healthy will give energy to the body, boost the immune system, delay the aging effects, beats fatigue and improves sport performance.
Dining out is often considered to be a ceremonial event. There are mainly two types of people who eat out: those who are entertaining themselves or those who are entertaining other guests. The first thing that comes under consideration while dining out is that whether it is a formal or an informal event. According to the occasion, it is decided whether to visit local burger or pizza joint or some lavish five star restaurants.
When people opt to eat out, it doesn’t only involve food quality but also its nutritional value and food presentation. Some other factors which might affect the customers’ perceptions are price of food, ambience, friendly staff and authentic taste. They may be dining out because they had run out of food, they’re having some celebration or they just don’t feel like cooking.
Whether it’s a birthday, graduation or anniversary, people find reasons to dine out. In this way, the whole experience becomes an important part of the special event and it always remains in the memories of all who are present there.
Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook
Women usually want a break from the daily chores of chopping, cooking and serving food. Sometimes they even have to do the dishes later. So in this way, eating out gives them a much awaited luxury.
Trying New Tastes
People living in larger towns or cities are more fortunate to have restaurants that offer cuisines from all over the world. This gives them an opportunity to taste food from everywhere.
When there is no other option to eat, then dining out is the best option. Such a situation may arise when somebody arrives late from work and finds nothing to eat in the house.
People who are traveling for some official purpose may be staying at a hotel where there are no possibilities to cook. If they want to eat something, they’ll have to go out to some nearby restaurant or food chain.
For working women, the thought of having guests at home is a total torture and seems like an impossible thing especially if they are not good at cooking. In such a situation, taking friends out to some restaurant is the only option. They can enjoy themselves at a relaxed atmosphere and have an indulgent conversation.
Food lovers are always ready to try new openings. Some restaurants use a clever marketing tactic to attract such foodies. They offer discounts during initial days to attract people who may review their food. Sometimes these people can be a good source of positive word-of-mouth advertising.
People who are living alone feel lonely and they prefer going out so they can have people around them. Even though they might not know anybody personally but still having them around and just seeing them is enough reason for them.
Factors That Affect the Consumers’ Decision While Eating Out
A consumer may be affected by a number of factors while he is choosing a restaurant or caterer while dining out. These factors are discussed below briefly:
External Environments of the Restaurant
A food lover may also consider some other factors other than just the taste, quantity and presentation of their meal. The service and friendliness of staff members, cleanliness of seating area and overall ambience including comfortable seats and lighting plays a major role while deciding where to eat out.
Some people may be diet conscious or maybe they are suffering from some disease. They will be more alert regarding the number of calories they consume, nutritional value of their meals and their recommended dietary plans.
The price and the quantity being served is a major determinant while choosing the dine-out venue. The meal’s quantity and taste should compete to its price and should be of proper value.
Why Is It Important To Serve Healthy Food?
Nowadays a large amount of people prefer dining out. They pay huge amounts of money to the restaurants and food chains. So it is their responsibility that they should cater to their needs and give them meals which will fulfill their nutritional requirements. Besides this, the quantity of meal should be according to the GDA (Guidelines’ daily amounts). It means that the amount of fats, carbohydrates, calories, sodium/salt and sugars should not exceed the prescribed amount.
Caterers And Restaurateurs Have A Responsibility To Provide Healthy Meals.
The caterers can play an important role to reduce the risks of heart diseases. Just a few simple alterations can help to make huge differences to the food which is being served at the school, offices or other events. Caterers have an ideal position to change the way their customers eat. They can benefit the customers’ health and nutritional needs by serving better healthy alternatives. People who attend functions, seminars and conferences depend on the caterer only. They want them to provide them with a variety of healthy meal options to choose from.
A research was conducted at the University of Tennessee and Penn State regarding the awareness of nutritional food labels. Customers prefer to visit those restaurants frequently that provide both healthful and nutritional information. Many restaurants have been going against providing right information to their customers as they are afraid that they might lose their loyal customers if they find out how unhealthy their food is. Through the research conducted, they realized that customers perceive that the restaurants have a social responsibility to provide them with the accurate nutritional facts and healthy food alternatives. To conduct this study, the researchers gave their participants with various situations. They instructed their participants to read the menus and to answer few queries about what they perceived about the restaurant’s corporate social responsibility, their health concern and their willingness to select that particular restaurant. Later on, the researchers found out that when the participants were presented with an option that the restaurant was serving healthy food options and it has presented the required nutritional information.
Through this study, it was found that customers perceive those restaurants to be socially responsible who were providing their customers with nutritional facts and healthier options. In other words, this can be described as that the customers had developed a favorable attitude towards the restaurant and they wanted to visit it more often.
In another research, it was concluded that if sufficient nutritional information was provided it will affect the food consumption. Sometimes the consumer is only focusing upon the great taste, so the nutritional value is of lesser concern. But later when that item was claimed to be of above 500 calories then the consumer showed guilt and regret. This high caloric diet may lead to weight gain and heart diseases.
Right to Know What We Are Eating
Consider the following supposition for the explanation of the concept of right to know. The consumers have a right to know that they should be told about what they are eating, and what nutritional value they are getting.
Imagine you’re eating an ice-cream in a lavish restaurant. Suddenly you start coughing and choking. You start panicking that you’re allergic to nuts. There was no nut listed in the ingredients when the menu was given. You call the waiter for help and ask him if there were any traces of nuts in it but he answers that he’s not allowed to give out the secret behind this yummy ice-cream. How would you feel? It is your right to know about what you’re eating. So restaurateurs should be clear in their menus about all ingredients being used in the recipe. This way the customer will be aware on healthy and unhealthy options.
Another situation may be that imagine you as a waiter or waitress at a restaurant. You are serving your customer with their order. As you put the plate of cheese tortellini serving in front of your customer, he/she asks if it is made from vegetables or meat. The reason is that customer is vegetarian and avoids meat. He is conscious about rennet or stomach of calf. You reply that you’re sorry as you’re not aware of it. But the customer looks amazed because he/she has the right to know about it.
Nowadays due to technological advancements, the consumers are well aware of what is good for them and what is bad for them. They are concerned about their nutrition and their daily food intake. They prefer to take notice of their calorie intake and other daily dietary requirements according to the GDA which is the guidelines’ daily amounts. Keeping this in view, the customers should be clearly and implicitly told about what is being used in their food and how much nutritional value does it have.
Healthier Options on Kids Menus
Various restaurants have pledged that they shall offer a larger serving of low fat dairy, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. They are also required to put at least one meal combination in their menu which has less than 600 calories and only 35% of the whole sugar and fat content.
Words to Avoid For Healthful Eating
Usually the restaurant menus are made so cleverly that they entice the sense of taste without letting customers know that their advertising is healthy or not. Below I have discussed some words which might dodge customers while placing orders.
Anything which has been fried can be described by using some attractive and appealing words such as crunchy, battered, golden, crispy, sizzling or breaded. These options will have a double amount of calories in it.
High Calorie Foods
These are usually the comfort foods which may use lucrative words such as stuffed, cheesy, rich, velvety, gooey, loaded, creamy and smothered. These words tend to trigger a feeling when the customer goes through the menu items but is unaware that there are a number of calories packed into one bite.
High Sugar Foods
Some salads may have teriyaki or BBQ sauce. It may increase the sugar content present in it. Similarly, when words such as glazed, honey, sticky or dipped are being used then it means that the meal is high in carbohydrates. These carbohydrates may turn into sugar when they are broken down by human body’s digestive system. They may be potatoes, pasta and rice.
Restaurants that offer healthy food alternatives will describe their meals by writing roasted, grilled, boiled, spiced, seasoned, steamed, sautéed, baked and rubbed.
How Caterers And Restaurants Can Offer Healthier Meals?
Nearly everybody loves to eat out and eat in restaurants more than twice a week. All of them are well aware of its consequences on their health but still find it hard to resist. So in this case, the caterers and restaurateurs should make some minute changes to their menus. These changed could be in the form of:
Larger portions force customers to eat more which results in having excessive amount of calories. To control weight and dietary requirements, one must eat smaller portions. While eating out, the customers should have a portion control option. They could serve half of the serving at a 70% price of their normal serving.
Healthy Kids Meal
The menu should not attract kids to eat junk food which is labeled as kids’ meal. Usually in restaurants, the kids’ meal deal comprises of few fried chicken nuggets, cheesy potato wedges or mini burger with a scoop of ice-cream as the dessert. All of these are categorized under unhealthy junk food. Kids should be encouraged to eat food which their grownups are eating.
Cooking With Less Salt
People who are trying to control their blood pressure will need to have less salty foods. In this situation, the caterers and restaurateurs can assist them by using less salt while cooking. Customers who feel that their food is lacking salty taste can always add some salt in their own food. Salt shakers can be placed on the tables.
It can be concluded that human body requires a set pattern of food ingredients for proper functioning. For this purpose term of balanced diet is common in it. As the trend of restaurants and caterers are becoming common in the present time. The serious concerns about the health are also arising . so it is considered as the moral duty for the restaurants and caterers to take all the measures to provide their customers with healthy food.
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