Starting A Healthy Fast Food Restaurant

There was a time when cheeseburger and fries were the staples of the fast food industry. In fact, it’s fair to say that even Millennials remember with glee the excitement of their burger nights with the family. Fast food restaurants offered then a mixture of speed – even before the days when you could order your burger online to get it delivered to your very door – orders were treated within a few minutes, sugar rush and entertainment – do you remember the little toy that came with your meal? However, with time, fast food restaurants have been exposed for their quality and hygiene issues, leaving many customers so disgusted that they’ve chosen to look for new options for their meal on the go. The thing about fast food is that it’s often referred to junk food. Fries are high in fat; your burger often contains more sauces than proteins; every meal has been XXL’d to gargantuan proportions. While there are still occasional junk food eaters and very few aficionados, the fast food industry has lost its appeal for a lot of health-conscious Generation X and Millennial customers. That’s precisely why running a fast food restaurant is not an ethically and economically viable business in this day and age. However, launching a healthy fast food business may just be the thing you need to rule the market.

Why healthy fast food?
Indeed, while brands such as McDonald’s and KFC have dominated the fast food industry for the past decades, more and more consumers are developing an interest in healthier food options. In fact, a study of the recent evolutions of the grocery shopping basket reveals a shift towards ingredients such as chia seeds, avocados, berries, dairy-free alternatives, and leafy vegetables. Clean food is not just a trend; it’s a lifestyle that is here to stay. And consequently, it’s influencing the way American customers want their fast food. Yes, it should still be quick and tasty, but it has to be healthy too. As a result, some of the big fast food brands have worked on a strategy to improve their offering, from adding more salads and vegetables to the menu to cutting artificial ingredients. Additionally, it’s not enough to compete against some of the healthiest fast food chains that have taken the market by storm, such as Leon – a London-based restaurant that offers fresh salads and wraps – and Eatsa – a vegetarian chain with a futuristic touch.

Choose your suppliers wisely
The key asset for a health-conscious fast food restaurant is to ensure that you can always offer the best produce to your customers. More and more consumers value fresh vegetables and fruits, without mentioning the essential organic and free-range offering. As a result, healthy fast food restaurants can benefit from a more patient customership who shows understanding when non-seasonal products are not available anymore. In short, you’re less likely to experience a similar KFC chicken scandal when you run out of ingredients. You need to work closely with organic suppliers, such as and local farmers, to develop a menu that can showcase the best of healthy food. As a rule of the thumb, you’ll often find that the best produce is local, so it’s essential to design menus that maximize the use of seasonal and regional ingredients.

Create a decor that works for your customers
There’s no denying that your interior decor can play a significant role in boosting your profits. After all, if customers feel comfortable in your restaurant, not only are they more likely to spend more, but they are also likely to come back. According to, it’s precisely the choice of your furnishing and interior style that can make the difference between a new customer and a convinced consumer. As the design is a natural extension of the dining experience, it’s easy to see that your decor needs to enrich the experience. The color theme you choose can convey a variety of feeling. Most healthy restaurants prefer a combination of green, yellow and orange as these are energetic and positive colors. Additionally, you need to stay away from modern and minimalist styles that can be less appealing to customers.  

How do you promote yourself?
The platform of choice for restaurants is Instagram. Healthy restaurants can appeal to a large volume of users by adding health-related hashtags to their visuals. Indeed, as healthy eating is an ongoing trend on Instagram, it’s easy for restaurants to attract the attention of other users! But there are also many effective Instagram strategies to gather a follower base. You can start a contest, connected to your brand, to drive awareness. If you want to shout about your menu, you can encourage your patrons to take pictures of the dish they order and upload them with a #menu related hashtag, for instance.

The essential experts you need
Admittedly, a healthy fast food restaurant is a business that needs business experts. It’s fair to say that you can rapidly design a team of cooks and waiters. But what about analysts? While you may not think of the market side of your catering business, working closely with business growth specialists such as statisticians and a professional marketer can help you to identify trends and act upon them to gain a competitive edge. Even if all you sell is salads, you need to someone in the office that can tell you how the market is evolving and what the customers of tomorrow will want.

Should you offer digital services?
The rise of takeaway solutions such as JustEat shows a shift in ordering preferences. Indeed, more and more people prefer their food to be delivered to their front door. With fast food chains joining the movement, it is impossible for newcomers to ignore the importance of food delivery. Additionally, on-site orders can always be passed through a digital platform to avoid confusion at the till and speed up the process. After all, the healthier generation communicates, buys and exchanges essentially via a smartphone. Why ignore their behavior?

The bottom line is that there is a place for healthy fast food restaurants on the market. For ambitious entrepreneurs, it’s the perfect opportunity to build an empire before the niche gets crowded!

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