Paleolithic dieting has become the modern trend to healthy eating and living. The demand for foods that are truly paleo such as grass fed meat, organic produce, whole-grain free foods etc is on the rise and so is the demand for a paleo restaurant. The perfect ingredients for setting up a successful paleo restaurant includes the following – principle / goal, appearance, cutlery, menu, take out options.
Principle / Goal
The challenge in setting up a Paleo restaurant is to incorporate the paleo ways of eating in modern eating styles. The principle of Paleo is to eat as close to nature as possible, which means the restaurant’s kitchen should be decked with fresh fruits and vegetables, the meat used for cooking, preparing sausages etc should be obtained from grass fed cattle or game meat.
A paleo restaurant should educate the customer by clearly defining its paleo rules and guidelines. This will eliminate assumptions and confusions that may accompany a consumer while placing an order from the menu.
It is imperative that the appearance of the restaurant is more earthy and designed in such a way that it is close to nature. The interior of the restaurant should be designed in such a way that it allows natural day light in the morning hours and well lit with candles and torches for evening hours. The restaurant could have a thatched roof with wooden pillars, in an open air atmosphere or could be situated in between a beautiful garden.
During colder weather, the restaurant should be designed to accommodate indoor dining, that holds a fire place to bring in the warmth instead of typical room heaters.
The table for dining can be set using solid stone or marble which enables easier cleaning. The seating could either be a stone bench that can be prepped during colder months with fur or feather seats. The walls can be decorated with cave-men inspired paintings, information on food time line etc. that may stir interest among the diners.
Serving dishes, plates, spoons can also be designed to adhere to paleo rules.
Few examples include, using banana tree leaf for a plate or wooden plates, empty hand painted coconut shells for cups, lotus leaves sewn together to make cups for solid and semi-solid food items, wooden ladles and spoons for serving.
Menu should include variety, diversity and should cater for both paleo-vegetarian, as well as meat eaters. The menu card needs to be descriptive and detailed on the ingredients used on each food item. It should also act as a proof to adherence to strict paleo rules.
Menu should be versatile that can add in or remove a few items based on the customer’s choice. The menu for paleolithic followers may range from being strict paleo to 80/20 paleo dieters and hence it is imperative a Paleo restaurant acknowledges the various needs of its diverse customers.
Menu options & Take out options
Some of the menu ideas include fresh salad bars, stuffed mushrooms, pumpkin pies, basted / roasted meat, nuts and seeds made as granola bars etc.
Lastly, the restaurant should also be able to cater customers with take out orders. The food has to be packed in paleo-friendly and eco-friendly packaging material such as banana leaf, bamboo, lotus leaves etc and can be given out in eco-friendly woven baskets.
Some of the options and ideas detailed above need not be introduced at once but can be done gradually. This enables the task of setting up a Paleo restaurant less over-whelming. Similarly use of eco-friendly products may sometime add up to the cost and the idea can be used years after establishing the restaurant.
Eating out has become the trend in today’s fast paced world, but health professionals insist on home made meals for health reasons. With increasing preference to dine out in restaurants and also the awareness to adhere to healthy eating habits there is no doubt paleo restaurant would be welcome not only by paleo proponents but also non-paleo health conscious consumers.
In conclusion the three prime features for a successful venture in setting a paleolithic restaurant would be adhering to the main idea of paleolithic nutrition, providing interesting as well as wide choice of menus, and a perfect atmosphere for dining.