What is the Eat Well! Healthy Restaurant Initiative?
Eat Well is a voluntary program that local food establishments can participate in by offering healthier menu options to your customers. We partner with local restaurants to encourage customers to make healthier choices and provide incentives for restaurants to participate. Healthier strategies may include:
- Identifying healthier items with the Eat Well! Symbol
- Providing nutrition information on menus
- Encouraging wait staff to promote healthier options
- Making healthier options slightly lower-priced than higher fat options
- Providing senior and kids meals to any customers requesting them
- Allow entrée sharing at no extra charge
Providing healthier dining options can increase your bottom line as more people are looking for these healthier options in our communities.
Partnering Restaurants can get valuable resources, free of charge, to help implement selected healthy restaurant strategies. Depending on the strategies selected, this may include:
- Free consultation with a dietitian to analyze current menu offerings or develop new menu options.
- Funding to reprint menus, menu boards or menu inserts
- Funding to purchase small kitchen equipment needed to prepare fruits and vegetables
- Connections to local growers or information about starting edible landscaping
Additionally, participating restaurants will:
- Receive an Eat Well window decal to identifying their establishment
- Receive local promotion highlighting your restaurant
- Be included on our Eat Well restaurant and caterers’ list
- Be included on future walking/biking maps as a healthy place to stop and eat
Does my restaurant qualify?
To qualify your restaurant must be a locally owned, non-chain with less than three locations and have been in operation for at least 12 months. You must be willing to implement at least one strategy from the menu of options below:
- Develop at least two new healthy meals and side dishes meeting the nutrition criteria (our dietician will help you develop these)
- Make healthier side items and beverages (1%milk and water) the default option with all children’s meals
- Offer smaller portions on selected entrees
- Provide senior or children’s meals to anyone who requests.
- Offer fruit, salad or vegetable option as an alternative for French fries and higher fat side items.
- Eliminate free refills on sugared beverages and sodas.
- Offer a whole grain bread option
- Eliminate trans fat from food preparation
- Add 1% or skim milk as the default dairy product
- Promote a ’we’ll pack half’ policy to cut a dish in half before serving
- Reprint menus to list side dishes with healthiest items first
- Reprint menus with better descriptions and photos of healthy foods
- Train servers to offer water first when seating customers at their table
- Offer locally grown foods and highlight on menu
Our funded restaurant partners:
Bean Town Grill, Fairmont, MN
- Cup N Saucer, Sherburn, MN
- Kee Kafe, Kiester, MN
- Bud's Café, Bricelyn, MN
- Jake's Pizza, Fairmont MN
- Juba's Hamburger Stand, Blue Earth MN
- Stevemer Catering, Bricelyn, MN
What is the Eat Well! Health Corner Store Initiative?
Eat Well! is a voluntary program that local corner and convenience stores can participate in by offering healthier options to your customers. We partner with stores to offer free consultation which can assist with product placement, pricing strategies and product development. This helps stores increase sales, increase marketability, remain competitive with current health trends, and increase compliance with federal menu and labeling laws. Providing healthier snack and meal items can increase your bottom line as more people are looking for these healthier options in our communities.
Healthier strategies may include:
- Identifying and offering healthier ready-to-eat items with the Eat Well! Symbol.
- Providing nutrition information on deli and snack items.
- Encouraging sales of healthier items through product placement to increase visibility and attractiveness of healthy food items.
- Offering a variety of healthy food options, such as whole grains, fresh or packaged fruit and vegetables options and low-fat dairy.
Partnering corner and convenience stores can get valuable resources, free of charge, to help implement selected healthy corner and convenience store strategies. Depending on the strategies selected, this may include
- Free consultation with a dietitian to analyze current meal/snack options or develop new items.
- Assistance with product display and store layout design.
- Free display cases, including small refrigerated displays.
- Signs and display baskets to draw customer’s attention to healthy food options.
- Training on proper food storage and handling.
- Stipend towards first order from a produce or healthy food vendor.
- Promotion and kick-off events to introduce resident’s to the store’s improvements.
- Sales tracking templates and support.
Does my store qualify?
All corner and convenience stores are eligible to participate in the program. Stores located in communities with more than 10 miles to a full service grocery store will receive priority. Selected sites receive free consultation from our dietitian consultant to:
- Complete a store assessment to identify individual store needs.
- Create and implement store specific enhancement plans.
- Identify display and labeling options for healthy foods.
- Encourage sales of healthier items through product placement to increase visibility and attractiveness of healthy food items.
- Offer a variety of healthy food options, such as whole grains, fresh or packaged fruit and vegetables options and low-fat dairy.
- Receive free training for produce purchasing, handling and marketing.
Our funded convenience store partners:
- Granada C Store, Granada
- Bud's Corner Store, Bricelyn
- Poppe's Corner Store, Fairmont
- Juba's Convenience Store, Blue Earth
- Shell Station, Fairmont
- Kiester Market, Kiester