Healthy eating is something the Government are taking very seriously – and so they should – the aim is to reduce obesity and cut consumption of sugary and fatty foods. Alongside this, they are campaigning for people to spend more time exercising and encouraging a bike to work culture so people can improve their fitness levels, in the long term taking the pressure off of the NHS.
‘The WHO Action framework for developing and implementing public food procurement and service policies for a healthy diet aims to increase the availability of healthy food through setting nutrition criteria for food served and sold in public settings. The action framework also aims to reduce preventable diseases and deaths from high consumption of sodium and salt, sugars and fats, particularly trans fats, and inadequate consumption of whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit.’
We have seen over the past few years that restaurants and commercial catering kitchens can be extremely versatile, changing from in-house dining to take-away only, reducing menu options and adapting to new menus. Since life has gone back to normal, people still love to eat out – it’s still considered indulgent for many and a great way to celebrate special occasions and while healthy eating is ideal, there is always going to be the demand for calorific treats – even with calories listed.
New healthier menus mean that restaurants and commercial catering kitchens will need to re-assess their offerings which could impact catering design and the commercial kitchen equipment required, for example, there could be fewer menu options for fried food and more for fresh foods.
Healthier options such as steamed fish and vegetables could mean that there is an increased demand for more specialist catering equipment – the size of steamers can vary dramatically from free standing to smaller worktop sizes – you may need to look at the size of your kitchen to decide if steaming on a large scale is something you actually have space for and if you have the capability to deal with increasing demand.
As per the example above, there may be less fried food on offer and more fresh seasonal vegetables and salad options meaning less use of fryers and more need for storage and the preservation of fresh foods. Your commercial kitchen will need to be capable of storing fresh produce effectively so they are enjoyed at their freshest, it is important to remember that not all foods can be stored at room temperature and that fresh produce should be stored where there is some airflow (not in airtight containers or bags) as this prevents them from suffocating and spoiling faster – for this reason, it is important you have enough space in your storage room and fridges. Again, if the size of your kitchen is going to limit your menu offering you will need to consider the design and layout of your space and offer a menu that works for you.
Seasonal eating, higher protein dishes, dairy, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian dishes all work to create a lower-calorie, healthier menu, which may mean that establishments that have embraced these changes are well set up to offer a healthier menu.
At Ceba we can help you to achieve the perfect space for you to create the perfect menu – if you have a project in mind we’d love to hear from you.