Restaurant Consulting Services
Nancy Kalish: Your Healthy Menu Coach

Nancy Kalish is a restaurant consultant and healthy menu coach, helping clients revamp their menus and better serve health-conscious guests, including those on gluten-free, vegan, low-sodium, raw, and other special diets.

NEW! Read Nancy's blog post "How to Capture the Health-Conscious Customer".

One of my recent projects...

Now Open: Hu Kitchen & Market at 78 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10011
Want truly healthy, truly delicious food? Stop by my latest project Hu Kitchen & Market, a brand new eat-in and take-out restaurant located on Fifth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets in Manhattan. Hu is short for "Human"--which means the food is more than natural, more than healthy--it's food that we were meant to eat and thrive on.

Under the direction of famed restaurant consultant Arlene Spiegel, I began by researching and vetting every ingredient used in every dish to make sure it is healthy, nutritious and never made in a lab. Then I helped create and develop the extensive menu of healthy dishes and treats from innovative socca wraps (sandwiches made with gluten-free chickpea-based wraps) to almond-crusted chicken tenders to Hu's signature granola made with coconut sugar (which doesn't raise your blood sugar the way that white sugar does).

Hu's Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa Chocolate Bar--a new (healthier) take on Nestle's Crunch.
There are even desserts, including several addictive chocolate bars. My hands-down favorite: The Almond Butter and Puffed Quinoa Bar made with coconut sugar. It's lower in sugar than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich--and actually a healthier choice for lunch!

So please stop by if you're in the neighborhood. You'll leave full, happy, and with a new definition of healthy food.

How I Can Help You...

Are you unknowingly losing certain customers? Are you failing to capture the growing health-conscious market? Could you fill your empty seats and attract new markets by making a few simple changes on your menu?

If you are not already serving the needs of the new hordes of health-conscious customers out there, the answer to all those questions is a resounding “yes!”

I can help. As your Healthy Menu Coach working exclusively with Arlene Spiegel Associates, the renowned full-service restaurant and hospitality consulting firm, I will make it easy for you to win and retain these valuable guests. These guests are decision-makers. When they choose your restaurant, they often make that choice for everyone in their party as well.

I will help you:
• Understand these health-conscious guests and what they want to see on menus.
• Use the right menu language to broadcast that your selections will satisfy their needs.
Re-position items already on your menu to spotlight them as “vegan, low-sodium, sugar-free, gluten-free, raw, healthy choices,” etc.
• Tweak your current menu items to satisfy their needs.
Often it’s just a matter of providing a variation on something you’re already serving (such as adding a vegetarian chili to a menu that already includes beef chili, or offering whole wheat pasta—or even gluten-free pasta—in addition to regular).
• Develop new menu items to fill in holes.
• Train your chefs, wait staff and other personnel to anticipate needs and answer questions knowledgeably.

I will help you get ready for these new guests. I have perfected a way for you to highlight items on your menu that satisfy the requirements of various diets. This can easily be taught to your staff to help them guide your guests through the entire menu, using the lingo like pros. I can also train your chef to tweak current menu items to comply with the rules and develop new menu items that will draw these guests, who are often willing to pay a premium for dishes that suit their needs. With just a few minor changes, your restaurant could become the new healthy eating destination without losing any of your current guests.

About Nancy Kalish, Your Healthy Menu Coach

As a certified health coach, I have extensive knowledge of all the popular diets, as well as substantial experience analyzing menus and training both corporate and individual clients. Working with the top restaurant consulting team at Arlene Spiegel Associates, I’ve developed a unique program to analyze menus and make it easier for restaurants to capture health-conscious guests and fill empty seats.

In addition, as a former cookbook editor and an award-winning health journalist who has written hundreds of articles for O (the Oprah) Magazine, Prevention, Self, Parade, The New York Times, and many other national publications, I know what the public wants and how to translate complex nutrition into easy-to-understand language. I will put that knowledge to work for you.

Why Health = Wealth: What Every Restaurant Owner Should Know

Health is second only to taste when customers rank their priorities at restaurants, according to a brand new survey from This is no surprise. According to the National Restaurant Association, 73 percent of adults are now trying to eat healthier at restaurants than they did just two years ago. Other recent stats show the number of consumers on low-sodium, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan, raw, weight loss, and other special health-oriented diets have been skyrocketing. As more celebrities are associated with these diets, they become more and more in demand. For example, sales of gluten-free products alone shot up 74 percent from 2004 to 2009, according to the Nielson Company, and are estimated to escalate at a rate of up to 25 percent each year.

These trends—based in sound nutritional science—are not just fads. Whether your guests are hip twenty-somethings, baby boomers, seniors, or somewhere in between, they share many of the same health concerns and dietary needs. And there are many more guests who want to sample something gluten-free or vegan to be part of the trend. These new health-conscious eaters are aggressive bloggers and Facebookers with great connections. Make them feel understood and welcome, and your restaurant will benefit from valuable social media word-of-mouth.

But do they feel understood and welcome when they come to your restaurant? Or are they frustrated because they can’t identify menu items that address their needs? Do they end up having an exasperating Q&A with an uninformed wait staff who has no idea how guide them to the correct dishes? Or do they read your menu in the window and turn away before they even get in the door? You could be losing entire parties because one guest in that party has dietary needs you’re not meeting.

These health-conscious eating trends—with all their rules and restrictions—can seem complex and confusing. This perception prevents your staff from confidently highlighting menu items that would make these guests happy. In addition, it can seem daunting to translate these diets into successful menu items that fit in with the rest of your selections. But it doesn’t have to be.

As Your Healthy Menu Coach, I’ll make it simple for you to reach and satisfy this huge market without revamping your entire menu. These health-conscious consumers are all about community and helping one another. Once you show them that you understand their needs and concerns, you will create new and loyal customers. Let me show you how.

By Nancy Kalish:

Four tiny tweaks to improve your daily buzz.
An airtight house might benefit your heating bill, but it can wreak havoc on your health. THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
Do you really know how to prevent food poisoning and other kitchen-caused illnesses? An expert shows you how to stop breaking health-code rules at home so you can keep your family safe. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
New science shows these herbal power-healers can ease pain, prevent Alzheimer's, and ward off cancer and heart disease. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
Do you know what your CRP number is? It could just save your life. THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
Hearing loss is reaching epidemic proportions--and not just among people who play their music too loud. THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
The key to glowing skin lies in your stomach. DETAILS
Clear up the confusion about what will stave off sickness this cold and flu season. MEN'S JOURNAL
Your comprehensive guide to the vitamin that might save your life. THE OPRAH MAGAZINE
Would children do better if school started later? Also: to listen to Nancy discuss the issue on NPR's Brian Lehrer Show, visit my "Education Writing" page and click on the link.
In a perfect world, you’d eat healthily all the time, but let’s get real. The good news: Consuming certain nutritious foods with harmful foods can help minimize the damage. PARADE
Coffee + chocolate is to health what water + sunshine is to flowers. Here, 9 delightful duos that nourish your mind, body + soul. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
It's a twofer: Foods that help you stay slim also help fend off breast cancer. Keep this list in mind when you're grocery shopping. MORE MAGAZINE
New research into everyday foods reveals what you should specifically eat to reach any health goal. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
How to survive the worst cold and flu season in half a century. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
Anxiety is a powerful biological trigger for weight gain. Here's how to stop it--fast. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
New research shows that you have a finite store of this valuable cognitive currency, so spend it the smart way. PREVENTION MAGAZINE
Take the headache out of dealing with doctors and insurance companies. These time-saving strategies will get you on the fast track. REAL SIMPLE
Research shows that list makers are healthier and happier. Here's why--plus 7 surprising ways this organizational basic improves every ares of your life. PREVENTION, JULY 2009
Misplaced your keys--again? Can't remember the name of someone you met just 5 minutes ago? Science is on the case! These 8 breakthrough tips will fight forgetfulness and boost your brainpower. PREVENTION, MAY 2007
The brilliant new strategy for losing weight, sleeping better, and fighting disease: Just get the right dose of light at the right time. PREVENTION, FEBRUARY 2008
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