If you’re a Have A Plant® Advocate, you likely already embrace the 2023 NFVM theme, Every Time You Eat, Have A Plant®. You likely already put fruit on your cereal or in your yogurt. You probably add extra veggies to sandwiches, wraps, burritos and tacos. And you likely grab fruit for a snack or a sweet finish to a meal. But if you’re working to get restaurant customers to add more fruits and veggies to their meals, you need consider the emotional calls to action that motivate different ordering behaviors. Here are some tips for marketing and selling more fruits and veggies in foodservice.
#1: Use rich, descriptive menu language.
Writing menu language that sells more items with produce requires the use of terms that elicit an emotional response, one where the customer thinks, “Yeah, I want that!” Terms like crispy, crunchy, creamy, roasted, smoky, and wood-fired are just some of the descriptors that make us yearn for the salad, pizza, or vegetable side dish with appealing sensory properties.
#2: Train front of house team members to sell more fruits & veggies.
Counter staff or team members trained to ask questions like, “Do you want avocado with that?” or “Would you like to add a glass of 100% orange juice to your meal?” prompt diners to order and eat more produce. Having team members who excitedly tell you about their favorite fruit or veggie menu items are also powerful marketing tools, especially when customers ask, “How is this dish?” or “What’s your favorite?” Just be sure team members are honest yet positive. Coach them to respond with statements like, “I don’t love that salad, but I frequently order this one.”
#3: Feature menu items with seasonal produce.
Seasonal promotions are another way to drive fruit and vegetable sales in foodservice. Yes, many produce items have year-round availability, but some items will make more sense to your customers if you feature them “in season.” Starbucks has trained everyone to anxiously await the arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes each fall. What seasonal specials do your customers look forward to? What news ones can you add to your menus to drive anticipation and repeat visits?
#4: Flip the script with desserts.
Desserts are a great way to increase fruit sales and consumption in restaurants if they are the star players in a dish versus used as a garnish. Imagine a cheesecake bit accompanied by a generous portion of macerated strawberries? Or a mini pumpkin pie where the crust is made with ground walnuts. (Yes, walnuts count as produce!)
Here’s to you and all you do to encourage your diners to Have A Plant®. We can’t wait to see what you do next!
Visit the POINT OF INSPIRATION page to find graphics, sample social media posts and more! And remember to use #NFVM2023 and #haveaplant all your awesome posts!