Good news to those who are health buffs. More and more fast food chains are offering healthy foods instead of just artery clogging and calorie packed fatty and salty foodstuffs.
Diners on the run can now order smoothies that contain veggies as their main ingredients or plain and simple Brussel sprouts if they don’t want anything complicated and flashy. They are now able to get these healthy foodstuff with the same speed by which they usually get their fast foods from McDonalds, or In-N-Out.
These restaurants are called “Improved Fast-Food Chains” because they serve quick, but healthy food fare. And they seem to be popping everywhere. Thanks to the increasing awareness of consumers about the need for healthier food, even in fast casual settings.
However, health conscious diners at these improved restaurants should still watch out when ordering calorie-laden foodstuffs such as salad dressings and sauces. They should be cautious even if these food chains are now claiming that they serve ‘fresh’ foods and not deep fried foods which are obviously unhealthy.
It’s really tough nowadays financially. With the value of the dollar continuously shrinking fast, it is cheaper and more convenient to just go to a fast food joint when it’s time to eat. Aside from being prepared quickly, the foods offered here are really within easy reach. With people looking to save every penny, it’s hard to say no to a meal that’s costs only a few bucks.
Fortunately, at the beginning of this year, things began to change. Health Magazine came up with an issue in March that listed the top ten healthiest fast food chains in the United States. That means fast food chains offering healthy food stuffs are now a reality.
And surprisingly, one of the fast food chains that cracked the top 10 is McDonald’s. So, if a health buff wants to try the unique taste of this fast food restaurant, and still maintain his health, now is the safest time to do it.
These improved restaurants are rapidly expanding in numbers. In fact, they are revolutionizing the fast food industry by bringing in healthy food fare to consumers who often do not know or are not very particular about eating whole foods.
Unwittingly, these improved restaurants are also stealing customers from established fast food giants such as McDonald’s. As a result of this developing situation, other fast food giants, and not just McDonald’s, are joining the healthy bandwagon.
Currently, these improved chains make up just a tiny fraction of the $200-billion fast food industry in the country. Many of these chains are located in California. They are taking advantage of the big numbers of consumers in this area who are health-obsessed. These people are prone to patronize the latest food fads.
But considering the growing rate of health awareness among all types of consumers, business analysts are predicting that the ranks of improved fast food chains will dramatically increase.
“People want to eat more vegetables that are nutritious and unprocessed,” stated Greg Dollarhyde, Veggie Grill Chief Executive. “The big trend now is make it better for me, but I don’t want to give away any flavors up,” he added.
Because of this growing trend, many restaurateurs are rethinking the fast food experience not just on food alone. Some restaurant owners are even thinking of using genuine china instead of just paper dishes and foam cups for in-house dining.
There are fast food chains that are also thinking of replacing plastic, screwed-down chairs with cushy chairs and communal tables. They are even offering beers sourced from local suppliers and seasonal food items on their menu list.
One of the challenges that they are facing is how to lure meat eaters to enter their restaurants. As it is, many of these restaurants cater to meat lovers and salad skeptics who are cautious about the food being too green and overly healthy.
“I don’t like saying the H word because that’s going to turn people off,” stated Mike Donahue, co-founder of Lyte Kitchen. From their beginnings in 2011, this restaurant has grown to 13 locations.
“I tell our people they have got to start every message with, ‘Tastes great, tastes great, tastes great. And oh, by the way, it is good for you,” he explains.
Lyte Kitchen offers burgers with grass-fed beef and extra delicious chocolate desserts. But these are all less than 600 calories. This kitchen tries its best not to push the healthy aspects of its menus too much. They instead focus on the excellent taste of the smoothies they offer, and not the fact that they contain kale, a nutritious vegetable.
The same approach is being practiced by Veggie Grill. This restaurant offers vegetarian foods exclusively. But they also sell chicken wings and ‘meatless burgers’ to consumers who are just weaning themselves out of their usual meat fare.