5 Ways Healthy Menus Add Up

Offering more local, organic, and healthy fare is better for a hotel’s bottom line than one might think. Here are a few reasons why:

1. You can charge a premium for good-for-you grub. One recent study published in the journal PLOS ONE tracked 94 food and beverage items sold from 2002 to 2012 and found that healthy foods were three times more expensive than less healthy ones.

2. Sourcing local ingredients can be cheaper in the long run. Ashley Koff, RD, a dietitian in Washington, D.C., and Westin’s Eat Well Ambassador, suggests working with a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) organization or investing in the creation of an on-site garden to help reduce the costs associated with sourcing local, high-quality ingredients.

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3. Changing the way food is prepared doesn’t change costs. When revamping menu items to make them more nutritious, you can use the same fresh ingredients, says David Morris, executive chef at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Hotel. “All that needs to change is the way you prepare those foods, like steaming or poaching instead of frying. Your overall cost doesn’t have to change at all.”

4. Smaller portions keep overhead in check. People are starting to realize that a heaping pile of food isn’t healthy. Morris suggests keeping portions smaller. “[It’s] good for guests and cost effective for you,” he says.

5. Healthier options means fewer special orders. Adding SPE (Sourcing, Preparing, and Enhancing) Certified items to restaurant and hotel menus has the potential to reduce the kitchen staff’s need to cater to special dietary requests, thereby saving a lot of time and resources, says Ryan Kingston, general manager of The Wit hotel in Chicago.