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Restaurant Supply Guidance for Targeting Wellness-Oriented Consumers


When you target a market radius such as those consumers interested in current wellness and fitness trends, certain methodologies may be observed to overcome existing barriers. Of key importance to note is that the solutions that work for other restaurants seeking a similar customer base may or may not be the solutions that work for your specific restaurant. How do you choose your focus? Rigorous testing and record-keeping are helpful techniques, rather than trying the throw-everything-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks methods favored by less successful restaurants, soon likely to fall by the wayside.


Wellness is a trend worth studying. While some of its patterns are based on scientific evidence (see The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell), others are based in pseudo-science (such as the keto diet) and re-hashed variations of fad diets known to cause illness (anything dredging the tenets of the Atkins diet through the muck). As a restaurant owner, you must make educated choices based on this knowledge; a thorough attempt to absorb all current aspects of the wellness field may be undertaken to great success. When you have experience selling food to the public, you know that the trends that are most scientific, i.e. The China Study, will decrease your food and beverage sales over time, while trends that are based on vagaries and do little more than provide a head-in-the-sand approach to health and environment to consumers who are not interested in making science-based dietary changes, such as free-range chicken and grass-fed beef, may actually produce increased sales. It is the inverse of what a rational thinker would hope for. As a restaurateur once said, “The reasons food tastes better in restaurants are salt and butter.”


Beyond the menu, what other trends can pay off in the food and beverage sector? You might be surprised to discover that everything from the soap in the bathrooms to the way the water feels when customers wash their hands can play a role in a subliminal experience. An internet search for powdered hand soap will lead the restaurateur to products such as Boraxo. Consumer reviews claim this soap leaves one’s hands “soft as the fuzz on a baby’s arm.” The experience this soap powder provides your wellness-seeking customer is not so much that their hands feel softer, but that the soap is completely different than the soap they are used to in other bathrooms. The customer thinks, “This must be a wellness soap,” and they tell their friends about the experience.


The soft quality of the soap, however, would indeed play a role in enhancing the subconscious experience of the customer, when provided in conjunction with soft water. The customer might not know why washing their hands (as all employees are required to do before returning to work) is a more pleasurable experience than they are used to, but somehow it is so. If you are not already filtering your water, you might perform an internet search for water softener plus your city (e.g., water softener in Sacramento). A professional company (as opposed to your typical food and beverage service handyperson) will be able to provide you with a realistic outlook as to how the installation will affect handwashing quality. 


Some restaurants, in the pursuit of wellness-seeking consumers, who are typically more progressive, have adopted a bathroom scheme apart from the traditional “his” and “hers.” For example, three toilet rooms could be produced. One room bears the title “Stand” on the door. This room contains a urinal and a sink. The next room bears the title “Sit” on the door. This room contains a sit-down toilet and a sink. The third and final room bears the title “Sit + Stand” on the door. Note the plus sign instead of the word “and.” This room contains a urinal, a sit-down toilet, and a sink. This combination does away with long waits for customers in addition to outdated gender designations.


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