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  • Menud: Restaurants before Kitchens?

When we decided to build Menud, we faced an immediate juncture. One which would dictate the next 12 months of our -scarce- resources.

We had to decide, "Should Menud focus on restaurants -- or at-home recipes?"

The decision was not easy. After all, when it comes to healthy eating, many more people stay home and cook rather than go out to dinner. We knew that focusing on restaurants would limit our audience. We knew that Menud might not be compelling to folks who are strictly following a diet.

In spite of all that, we opted to focus on restaurants. Why?

Because eating healthy when dining out is a more severe problem than cooking healthy at home.

Here's how we look at it:
Lets say you and I go to Whole Foods. As we walk in the door, you challenge me and say, "pick up 5 items to make a healthy dinner. Meet at the check-out line in 8 minutes." Well, it's not much of a challenge. Many folks who have the initiative to eat healthy can quickly forage for a 'clean' meal.

But, let's say you invite me to dinner and you challenge me to "find a healthy restaurant." Not so easy. After skimming through 15 restaurant menus, we ultimately decide to grab a pizza.

Diet Fail.

Here's the crazy part. Many restaurants within walking distance have something healthy to eat. You just have to know

  1. How to find them.
  2. How to stick to your plan.

Restaurant menus were designed to trick you - for the most part. That does not mean the restaurateur is trying to put your health at risk. It just means that menus are designed to sell stuff. And, unless the restaurant really wants to sell their low-margin, healthy alternatives (spoiler alert: they don't), the menu will guide you to a likely purchase - their high-margin option. (FYI: "high margin" and "healthy" are not often used in the same sentence.)

So, it's us versus the menu. And not just one menu, but all the menus from all the restaurants where you could possibly go dine on any given day.

Going out to dinner when trying to eat healthy is hard. It's frustrating. Most of us fail.

Needless to say, we felt the urge to solve the problem of eating healthy at restaurants first. But, don't worry, Menud In The Kitchen will debut very soon.

-NW