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Restaurant vs Fast Food: The Health Debate

Restaurant vs Fast Food: The Health Debate

Many customers coming in to a fast-casual or sit-down restaurant tend to assume that they’re making the healthier choice by foregoing fast food options. We all know appearances can be deceiving, so researchers set out to find out whether or not restaurants truly are healthier than fast food. It turns out that whenever you go out to eat, wherever that may be, you end up taking in an average of 200 more calories than if you eat at home, and that’s not the end of the story. 

According to a paper published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, you may be taking in more nutrients at a restaurant than  you would at a fast food establishment, but in some respects, the intake is also including  many more unhealthy tidbits as well. In fact, while you may be taking in more nutrients like vitamins, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids at a restaurant, you're also likely to consume more sodium and cholesterol.

So how does this actually happen? The idea is that you’re likely to overeat more at a sit-down restaurant than you would at a fast food establishment, causing more intake of both the good and the bad at the same time. Longer dining times, more socializing, and greater menu varieties can all contribute to this overeating phenomenon at restaurants.

A previous study found that individual and small-chain restaurants meals, which account for about half of restaurant locations in the United States and are exempt from federal rules finalized at the end of 2015 requiring the posting of calorie counts restaurants, convenience stores and movie theaters with at least 20 locations, contained two to three times what an average adult needs.

While this doesn’t necessarily impact what you plan to serve at your restaurant, it may influence how folks view their ordering habits the next time they step foot into your sit-down restaurant. This could impact how much people order and what they order, so make sure your healthy selections are available in wide varieties to cater to those who are watching their waistlines.