It’s the day after New Year’s Day that gets you — look around at all the leftovers, the empty wine bottles, the general mess that comes with revelry. Restaurants sometimes feel the same as the rest of us. How do we turn the page to a focus on wellness and success in the new year?

We’re in this together. Aside from the gym, food is probably the biggest factor in feeling healthier. So, restaurants have an opportunity to be the first line with lifestyle support. Join us in exploring a few ways you can market your business as a source of happiness, healthiness, and yes, wellness! There’s a chance you can add a touch of health to your bottom line as well.

Healthy Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Start with your own house: A happy and productive staff will result in better service and better overall energy, and that connects with the public. Be flexible with your staffing, offering perks to consistent, available team members. Let them take responsibility for aspects of service, like running huddles or ramping up FOH hospitality — areas that make them feel like they are sharing in ownership of the business.

Highlight your team in-house and on social channels. That could look like short, testimonial reels showcasing your vibe, or staff picks/creations on beverage and app menus. If an item performs well, open up the possibility of adding it to the regular rotation. Simple things like letting employees select music, adjust the décor, or make their own fashion statements can go a long way. Partnerships make a difference too. Performance has relationships with cutting-edge businesses in our One Source program, like Square, a cloud-based solution that helps you manage everything in one place — from point-of-sale to staffing support — making life easier on your people.

Choice Grub

It’s important to understand the market and offer consumers items they crave. But nobody is suggesting you change your brand or blow your budget chasing trends. When choice and transparency come together, it gives your team flexibility, and kicks open the doors to a broader range of potential customers.

Stick to what you do well, filtering in a bit of vegetable-based plates, a few nods to different dietary restrictions, or wellness centered beverage alternatives like mocktails. Concepts such as customization and substitute offerings help your guests feel value at the table, while you optimize your inventory. Win win!

Transparency can be super beneficial. Research suggests that nearly 70% of consumers are interested in knowing what goes into their meals. Tell the story about your food on menus, sidewalk boards, websites, and socials. Give the public a peak behind your best sourcing stories; be open about ingredients, nutrition, and the environmental impacts of a few of your in-house choices, like your Bay Winds® seafood, Coda Coffee®, or Peak® Fresh Produce.

Serving Up Mindfulness

Healthy doesn’t have to refer only to nutrition. Mental health, financial health, and environmental health are all part of the larger wellness package. Consider hosting educational events like in-house classes or presentations that explore how you’re utilizing healthy, sustainable ingredients in certain dishes. Hold a brainpower pairing with fatty fish, fruits, veggies, and nuts accompanied by coffee-infused bevs and housemade teas. February is American Heart Month; sponsor a walk/run with your team, or gear a specialty LTO menu around heart-healthy treats.

Younger generations, particularly Gen Z, are big on environmentally friendly causes. Make small changes to reduce your food and packaging waste, like asking regulars to pitch a new menu item that cross-utilizes high-volume inventory. You can name the dish after them! Donate excess food to shelters or food banks, and where possible, make the switch to reusable or biodegradable takeout packaging, like First Mark® Recyclable Containers. Establish a fun, compost station; composting can be confusing to some patrons — what goes where?! — so have staff come up with creative signage that makes your process clear and accessible.

No matter how big or small, you are trying to make a difference for your staff and your customers. Make sure they know about your efforts! Tout clean labels, food quality, and sustainability goals on your site and social feeds. Let your team take the lead on monthly topics they are passionate about. Tell your story — about the ideas behind your food, even about how serving up comfort items can improve stress management — and folks will come to see your spot as a place that values their health and happiness.

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