5 Dish Attributes to Call Out on Your Menu

As the public takes a greater interest in what goes into their bodies, more and more restaurants have been catering to these evolving preferences.

Knowing diners are making decisions based on more than just what they are in the mood for, make it easy for them to quickly scan your menu (whether on paper or online) and see what fits their dietary preferences and tastes. Call out specific attributes in your dish description to quickly convey the nutritional information your diners are searching for.

Here are five dish attributes to consider calling out on your menu:


Vegans don’t allow for any animal products in their diet. So in addition to beef, chicken and pork, vegans also don’t eat dairy products, eggs or fish. Vegan diners are always on the lookout for dishes to satisfy their hunger without compromising with their diet – so call out the dishes that appeal to this subset of diners.


Certain vegetarian diets, however, do allow for some animal products, so be sure to spell out dishes that contain dairy, eggs and fish. This will allow vegetarian diners to quickly identify those items and whether that dish is a fit for them.


Gluten is an umbrella term for the proteins contained in wheat, rye and barley. People with celiac disease can’t eat gluten without experiencing stomach discomfort or other unwanted side effects, so they – along with people who simply don’t want gluten in their diet – will be actively looking for gluten-free dishes. That means most pastas, baked goods, and several soups and sauces will not be to their liking. Help them find what they’re looking for by calling out which of your dishes are gluten-free. 


One of the most popular trends among health-conscious diners is the paleo diet. And its M.O. is simple: Eat like the cave-dwellers did. Your paleo diners won’t be interested in dairy, grains, sugar or legumes. (Remember that peanuts aren’t nuts; they’re legumes.) Dishes that are made from meats, vegetables and nuts will be fair game for those observing the paleo diet. Label them as paleo-friendly on your menu, and they’ll get devoured.


The popularity of organic grocery stores continues to surge, and people are also showing a preference for organic options at their favorite restaurants. For produce to qualify as organic, it needs to be free of pesticides and it can’t be genetically modified. If animals produced the food (meat, eggs, milk, etc.), the animal can’t have been given antibiotics or hormones. If there are dishes on your menu that meet those standards, you’ve got to flaunt it if you want to take advantage of the latest organic food trends.  If your organic ingredients were sourced from local food suppliers, you can take advantages of a related diner interest in both local and organic foods.

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