Milestones is Sodium Conscious, while Earls is Asleep


On February 4, I blogged about the sodium content in typical menu items of two popular restaurants, Earls and Milestones, for which I received great feedback from readers. One reader encouraged me to contact these establishments in hopes of starting a dialogue about what steps each might take to reduce the colossal amount of salt in their dishes. Just to let you know, both companies thanked me for my concerns, but I heard nothing more from their PR or customer service departments – I guess, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: Earls grosses a whopping $260 Million annually, while Milestones serves over 5.5 million guests every year. Why should they bother?

As I have alluded to before, we as customers are in the driver’s seat and need to voice our demands in order for the food industry to shift their focus from pure profit to profiting from offering healthier choices. Over time, with more and more individuals dealing with chronic disease, restaurants will need to feel a sense of responsibility as community stewards, but need to also come to the realization that healthy food can mean big revenue.

Incidentally, we ended up eating at Milestones recently and I specifically asked for menu choices that were lower in sodium. Although the server did not know specifically which items these were, she did manage to find a manager who could be of assistance: low and behold, I was presented with the “Sodium Conscious” menu you see below with a list of items to choose from (perhaps they found the menu hidden behind an old table or shelf). In summary, Milestones suggested getting the dressing on the side to help reduce sodium content, so I opted for the California Spring Salad without dressing (it was delicious, by the way). But, if you have a hankering for pasta, the menu offers quite a few options. They also support the concept of asking for a piece of protein (fish, chicken, meat) without seasoning, paired with vegetables and plain rice on the side. Milestones, you are on the right track, but don’t hide this valuable information from your customers. Instead, promote it! Earls, I suggest you start thinking about moving with the times: healthy pub food is truly a winning and profitable concept.

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About danirenouf

I have been a registered dietitian since 2003, and very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work in industry, clinical nutrition, public health, and private practice. Currently, I am extremely excited about pursuing entrepreneurial ventures which start with my private consulting practice and branch out into the food and culinary industry. I am busy every day developing my own food products and recipes, adapting traditional cooking techniques and incorporating new and innovative ways to prepare nutritious, delicious food. I am passionate about everything food-related, and aspire to engage others in "getting to know their food" - not all of us are cooks, or need to be, but all of us need to eat.
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2 Responses to Milestones is Sodium Conscious, while Earls is Asleep

  1. Steph says:

    It is interesting when you eat out and request variations on dishes. I usually order my food at restaurants “with no salt.” I rarely cook with salt at home and actually don’t like the taste of it. So when I do go out, the high amount of salt amazes me. Since I started doing this about 5 years ago , I really enjoy my meals a lot more. I can actually taste the fish now! So this is one option for reducing salt in restaurants. ( I have learned ‘ no salt ‘ in other languages too.)

  2. danirenouf says:

    This is a great, option, Steph. It is amazing how much sodium you can reduce just by making small modifications such as the one you suggested – in some cases, sodium content can be reduced by more than 50%!

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