Sponsored by Dinova
The New Year brings new health resolutions for business diners, and new opportunities for restaurants to support their efforts. Growing numbers of corporations also share this commitment to health, making healthy menu options a marketing advantage for restaurants and caterers.
A recent survey from Dinova, a $6B marketplace that exclusively connects business expense account diners to quality restaurants, shows that 79% of Dinova corporations have formal employee wellness programs. Dinova’s business dining market includes more than 40% of Fortune 100 enterprises. This suggests that healthy menu items could mean strong sales for restaurants during the winter “resolution season,” when business diners have a heightened interest in healthy eating in the office and on the road.
Healthy options a priority at Accenture, especially for frequent business travelers
Not surprisingly, losing weight and healthier eating is the #1 resolution according to the top 10 New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. Growing numbers of corporations are supporting their employees in these efforts, especially frequent business travelers who are trying to find healthier options while traveling.
Accenture, a leading global professional services company providing a range of strategy, consulting, digital, technology & operations services and solutions, is one of the corporations that participates in Dinova’s business dining marketplace. In 2016, Accenture added a new online support program, Accenture Active, to its wellness benefits. The platform includes tools to help employees track their food choices, activity level, and to participate in online support discussions with other employees. The program quickly reached 69% employee enrollment, with 48% of employees actively engaged and using the program regularly.
“At Accenture, we recognize that productivity starts with good health. So wellness and healthy eating are not necessarily distinct programs. They’re part of our culture,” states Julie Wilkes, North American Wellness Program Lead. “For the past two years, we’ve been promoting Dinova’s network restaurants, which provide our company with rebates when employees dine in-network,” adds Kimberly Wolfe, Accenture Travel and Meeting Manager. “We want to help our people internalize and embrace healthy food choices on the road, at home, in the office – wherever they go.”
“Accenture’s wellness strategy is holistic and supports healthy dining at all levels,” Wilkes adds. “Our North American administrative team is trained and encouraged to include nutritious options when ordering catering. Our ‘Healthy Catering 101’ webinar educates on how to balance protein, carbs and fats. Vending machines are stocked with at least 30% healthier choices.
Wellness delivers important returns for both employees and corporations
Corporations have numerous reasons for supporting employee health initiatives: controlling rising insurance costs, productivity goals, and a genuine concern for employee well-being. The Dinova survey also revealed that:
- Almost half (44.74%) of survey respondents have a corporate nutritionist available to employees.
- Corporations are actively educating employees on wellness; roughly 67% publish an internal wellness newsletter.
- More than a quarter (26.32%) of corporations surveyed think employees traveling on business would appreciate hearing about healthy meal options while they’re on the road.
- More than half (52%) of corporations surveyed think it might be a good idea to educate travelers about healthy meal options.
- Roughly 60% of corporations (59.21%) were interested in hearing about Dinova restaurants with healthy meal options.
Vegetarian, gluten-free, organic and less processed dishes most valued by health-minded diners
A study from Morgan Stanley Research shows that diners have wide-ranging expectations for healthy dining. Noting low calorie, low fat, vegetarian, sugar-free, and gluten-free dishes is a good start. These labels make it easier for guests with a serious health or spiritual mandate to stay within their nutrition goals.
For other diners, especially millennials, “healthy” also includes other valuable factors: fresh, less processed, locally grown or produced, having fewer artificial ingredients, or smaller portions. Identifying dishes by these criteria will be appreciated by many guests.
Research from Nation’s Restaurant News report, What America Eats, shows diners define “health-conscious food” as: locally grown (67%), containing only recognizable ingredients (65%), minimally processed (65%), antibiotic-free (58%) and hormone-free (58%).
Restaurants that recognize and respond to corporations’ growing focus on wellness could win big with business diners. Healthy menu options are a priority for health-minded employees when they travel and when catering meals on company premises. For frequent travelers, especially, well-balanced restaurant meals are important to good health.
To learn about how your restaurant can reach more corporate diners with Dinova, please visit Dinova.com or call 888-DINOVA8 (888-346-6828).