Our Journey to Refreshed Dining

Journey to Refreshed DiningRefreshed Dining truly is a grassroots effort to increase access to and awareness of healthier options when dining out in Mower County.

Community members of all ages throughout Mower County were surveyed regarding their needs and preferences when dining out. Information provided helped us better understand their experiences and desires when spending money on a meal.

Their responses closely match additional research conducted (see below) and offer a confirmation that we are spending more of our food budget dining out than ever before. This provided the stimulus to innovate with local health professionals and restaurant owners.

“This initiative doesn’t mean taking choices away but focusing on the good that is already present and growing more of it.”

It’s about focusing on making healthy choices both easier to order and more appealing, at a fair price.

The team of community members, together with restaurant owners’ feedback, created criteria to be met in order to be named a Refreshed Dining Location. Sustainability and sensibility were essential and the group determined that meeting five of the eight criteria would get a restaurant started.

The intent is that as the restaurant receives positive feedback (and additional business) from consumers, they will seek to meet all eight criteria if they don’t yet. (Which some of them already do!)

Restaurants that apply and are given Refreshed Dining status will receive a window cling to inform the consumer they are entering a Refreshed Dining Location and bookmark size brochures which provide dining tips and the criteria for Refreshed Dining Locations.

Refreshed Dining will equip and empower the participating county-wide restaurants with on-going support, training, free marketing, and possibly nutritional consults to build business strategies that grow healthy options.

You may be thinking that chain restaurants would have a difficult time with this. Yes, there may be some extra challenges for them but we need to let you know it’s possible. It takes working together to create opportunities and innovative approaches…what Mower Refreshed is all about!

Feedback Resources:
*Community Survey
*Restaurant Owners Feedback
*The National Restaurant Association
*The Community Health Needs Assessment: completed by Mayo Clinic Health System through Mower Refreshed in 2013, which reveal obesity as one of the top three concerns community members had in Mower County

Visit http://ow.ly/XKl62 for more info!

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