Restaurants across the country are joining the movement to go smoke and tobacco-free. Adopting a Smoke-Free Policy ensures that patrons dining in your restaurant will be protected from secondhand smoke exposure. Studies have also shown that going smoke-free does not hurt restaurant and bar patronage, employment, sales of profits. Restaurant WellSpots are required to implement a Smoke-Free Policy for Level 2 designation and a Tobacco-Free Policy for Level 3 designation. For sample policies and tips for implementing in your restaurant, visit the provided resources.
The Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition's Breastfeeding Welcome Here Campaign allows organizations to promote breastfeeding without taking the steps to become Breastfeeding Friendly designated. This program asks organizations to sign a pledge and display a window cling to show support of a mother's right to breastfeed anytime, anywhere (supported by Louisiana law). Signed pledge forms can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurants who submit a signed pledge form will receive a window cling to display and be listed on the Louisiana Breastfeeding Coalition website.
The majority of salt that is consumed by Americans (more than 75%) is from processed and restaurant foods.1 While our bodies need a small amount of sodium to work properly, too much can negatively impact our health. Too much sodium can lead to increased blood pressure and risk for heart disease and stroke. Together, heart disease and stroke kill more Americans each year than any other cause.2 For this reason, we strongly encourage restaurants to focus on reducing sodium in recipes and offer at least three entrée options with 800mg of sodium or less.
1.Mattes RD, Donnelly D. Relative contributions of dietary sodium sources. J Am Coll Nutr. 1991;10:383–93.
2.Kochanek KD, Xu JQ, Murphy SL, Miniño AM, Kung HC. Deaths: final data for 2009. Nat Vital Stat Rep. 2011;60(3).
In order to meet this benchmark, restaurants should offer accommodations to dietary restrictions. Food allergies and diet restrictions may include, but are not limited to:
- Milk or lactose
- Gluten or wheat
To comply with this benchmark, restaurants may offer:
- Gluten-free menu items
- Vegetarian and/or vegan menu items
- No added salt
- Pescatarian friendly menu items and meal preparation
The ServSafe Allergens ™ online, interactive course offers critical information restaurant managers and employees need in order to accommodate guests with food allergies. The course covers such topics as identifying allergens, communicating with guests, preventing cross-contact, food labeling and more.
In addition to having staff members certified in ServSafe Allergens training, restaurants should also include a notation on their menu asking patrons to let servers know about their food allergies.
ServSafe Allergens Online Course
Restaurants have an opportunity to implement additional practices to encourage healthy choices. These practices include:
- Serving meals on 10" plates or smaller
- Designing children's placemats/coloring pages with healthy messages
- Serving all fruits and vegetables from locally grown sources
- Having all side dishes default to healthy options
- Offering a beverage size option of 16 ounces or less
- Providing nutritional information of dishes or specialty drinks to patrons
- Promoting healthy menu options as the daily special