Industry Forecast Predicts Trends in Healthier Options and “Greener” Restaurants in 2009

WASHINGTON, DC – (January 19, 2009) – Americans love to dine out. In fact, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) reports that the average person buys a meal or snack from a restaurant nearly six times per week, and that combined sales this year are expected to reach $566 billion. They also report that the 2009 trends in dining out will be people seeking healthier foods and greener restaurants.

“People love to dine out and they should, it’s a great experience, but they also want to stick to their goals of healthy eating,” explains Enzo Febbraro, the co-owner and executive chef of D’Acqua Ristorante, located in Washington, D.C. “Restaurants are meeting those demands by providing healthier options so diners can make decisions that make them feel comfortable.”

In addition, the NRA also reports that roughly 75 percent of adults are trying to eat more healthily than they were two years ago when dining out. Parents are also making it a priority to find restaurants that offer healthy children’s menu options, so much so that NRA has said that healthy kids’ meals are among the hottest restaurant trends in 2009.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), people can eat out and still be healthy. However, it’s important that they give some thought to what they are ordering, to try to avoid foods loaded with cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat. When dining out, consumers who are seeking healthy meals should consider the following tips:

  • Eat smaller portions by asking for a to-go container right away and putting a portion of the food in it, or by sharing a meal with others at the table.
  • Skip the cheese or ask for it to be on the side, to have more control over how much goes on.
  • Choose a lot of vegetables and dishes that have lighter sauces, rather than cream-based ones.
  • When eating fish, opt for boiled, baked or grilled, rather than fried.
  • With salads, order dressing on the side, to control how much goes on. Many salad dressings are loaded with fat.
  • Opt for broth-based soups over creamed ones, which usually have more fat and calories.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the waiter questions and to put in requests for things to be prepared in a healthier way.

“We offer a lot of seafood, which is already much healthier than many other dining options. We are also very accommodating to special requests regarding prepared,” adds Febbraro. “We want people to enjoy their experience, and we help them make healthy dining a high priority.”

About D’Acqua Ristorante:

D’Acqua Ristorante, owned by Chefs Enzo Febbraro and Francesco Ricchi, is located at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington D.C. The restaurant, which features a coastal Italian menu with a seafood emphasis, was opened by the two highly acclaimed chefs in 2006, and has quickly earned great reviews. Enzo, a native of Naples, Italy, has traveled throughout Europe, preparing dishes at high-end restaurants and hotels. Francesco, a Florentine native, has owned a number of award-winning establishments, and has also hosted President George W. Bush. The restaurant is a popular political dining establishment that is frequented by the Washington elite, including senators, members of congress, and White House staff. To learn more about D’Acqua Ristorante, visit the Web site at

SOURCE: American Heart Association. Tips for Eating Out.