A restaurant would have to fork over more than $3,500 to have a lab calculate the nutritional information of five menu items. That total drops to a much easier to swallow $500 or $300 fee – depending on which package is chosen – when using Konverge Digital Solutions’ software-as-a-service solution (SaaS) MenuSano.
“MenuSano is a revolutionary tool and the first of its kind built specifically for restaurants,” says Sonia Couto, founder of Konverge. “It helps clients appeal to a greater audience – including those who want to eat healthier and watch nutritional facts, or those who have special diet needs.”
This nutritional data is often found online or printed on brochures, but a study from the University of Toronto (posted in the Canadian Journal of Public Health) showed, depending on the restaurant type, 17 to 30 per cent of survey participants changed their order after seeing menu labels. Additionally, 80 per cent of those surveyed wanted to see nutrition numbers on menus, even if they didn’t use that information frequently.
Ontario’s Healthy Menu Choices Act also requires food service premises with 20 or more locations in Ontario to display calories on menus for standard food items, making it increasingly important for not only large chains, but smaller restaurants, to become more transparent with their menus. Couto says MenuSano is a cost-effective solution that is available 24/7. This simple-to-use platform, combined with its low barrier to entry, has helped Konverge’s MenuSano solution earn this year’s Top Solution Supporting Business Agility award at CDN’s Channel Innovation Awards.
“At $500 per year it allows the smaller restaurants to also take initiative and participate in the program without the worry of expensive lab bills,” she says.
According to Konverge, the company has 20 active customers and 105 restaurants using its software.
Jean Blacklock, president of Toronto’s Prairie Girl Bakery, says when people’s diet “cheat day” comes around, shortening and cupcake mixes are often out of the question, which is why her products are made with old-fashioned ingredients such as creamery butter and fresh eggs. Blacklock uses MenuSano’s online nutrition analysis tool to perfect unique ingredient compositions to put people’s minds at ease while making their mouths water.
“People are very conscious when it comes to what they eat,” she says.