Health food restaurant

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A Health food restaurant is a restaurant that serves primarily, or exclusively, health foods. The history of health food restaurants includes their influence on other restaurants, including fast food establishments. The types of foods found at health food restaurants has changed, alongside the changing definition of what constitutes a health food. Other types of restaurants and menus included in this general category include vegetarian, vegan, raw, macrobiotic, organic, and low-fat.


This is a summary timeline of important events in the development of the health food restaurant.

  • 1906 – The health food obsession began by introducing "Alcohol Free Restaurants" and by promoting unprocessed foods.[citation needed]
  • 1912 – Ganda Chagan Kapitan opened GC Kapitan, one of the first vegetarian restaurants[where?].
  • 1927 – Due to William Childs' concerns about health, the Childs Restaurants began serving only vegetarian food, known as the Child's Unique Dairy Lunch. However, this meatless menu led to a severe loss of business, and the policy was soon revised.[citation needed]
  • 1930 – Fresh yeast was found to be beneficial for certain ailments: skin blemishes, headaches, and colds.
  • 1943 – By the middle of World War II in Toronto, the public was complaining that conditions in restaurants had deteriorated significantly. In September 1943, The board of health, the Food Control Director, and six restaurant inspectors, decided to meet and to implement improvements in sanitation, and to mandate a semi-annual health inspection and certificate for food handlers.[1]
  • 1965 – Subway was founded by Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck. Subway offered submarine sandwiches and salads as healthy alternatives to fast food restaurants, with franchises throughout the United States and in other countries.[2]
  • 1970s – Good Earth, a health food restaurant franchise based in California, was founded, then eventually purchased by General Mills in 1980.[3][4][5][6]
  • 1999 – Restaurant Nora became America's first certified organic restaurant, which meant that 95% or more of everything that you ate there had been produced by certified organic growers and farmers who share Nora's commitment to sustainable agriculture.
  • 2011 – KFC's parent company, Yum Brands Inc., committed to placing calorie counts on menu boards at corporate-owned restaurants nationwide[where?] by January 1, 2011. A new US federal law eventually will require all chain restaurants to do this.[citation needed]

Types of health food restaurants[edit]


Vegetarian restaurants do not serve meat, but do serve dairy products and eggs. They are generally seen as a healthier type of restaurant, though nutritionists have not identified them as such. There are thousands of restaurants catering to vegetarians around the world. Many restaurants have vegetarian menu items, based significantly on the pressure from the vegetarian movement.


Organic food is food grown without synthetic fertilizers or pesticides, using only natural fertilizers. While there are relatively few organic restaurants, organic ingredients are showing up increasingly on menus at many mid priced and higher priced restaurants.They are GMO free.

Influence on other restaurants[edit]

Fast food[edit]

Fast food restaurants have included some menu items touted as healthier, including Taco Bell's new Cantina Menu in 2012.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Heather Anne MacDougall (1990). Activists and advocates: Toronto's health department, 1883–1983. Dundurn Press Ltd. pp. 107–. ISBN 978-1-55002-072-4. Retrieved 5 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Knowing The Best Franchise Businesses. Uber Articles (2010-05-21). Retrieved on 2011-04-05.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ [3]
  6. ^ [4]

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