Healthy restaurant finder app, Tasteful, announced that it is partnering with the foodservice certification program REAL Certified to promote the REAL 25, a list of the top 25 healthy restaurants for major cities across America. The program will be launched in Austin, Texas, next month at the annual South by Southwest festival and conference. Tasteful is working with REAL Certified's parent, the nonprofit United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC), to recognize restaurants that use whole ingredients that have been minimally processed or refined. Both organizations are committed to ensuring that the restaurant industry recognizes and capitalizes on the movement toward holistic nutrition and the use of "real food."
"Teaming up with REAL Certified allows us to further our mission of helping people live healthy lifestyles," says Eswar Priyadarshan, CEO of Tasteful. "We're finding many restaurants are transparent with their customers about the types of food and ingredients they are using in their dishes, and that many support a Real Food Approach. By working with REAL Certified, we are highlighting those restaurants so consumers know where to go for quality, real food."
Tasteful is a free iOS and Android app that helps those simply trying to eat healthy, or those following vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or low-carb diets, find the restaurants near them that suit their dietary needs. The app rates the restaurants based on the quality of their food, promoting the restaurants that are using real food and not products from factory farming, GMO food and/or processed ingredients.
REAL 25 restaurants are chosen based on a variety of criteria related to health, environment, and animal welfare, including a farm-to-table philosophy, use of quality ingredients sourced local and organic where practical, and scratch-cooking from whole food ingredients. Those restaurants chosen will be identified within the Tasteful app with a special logo so consumers searching for healthy restaurants will know they qualified for the REAL 25.
"After four years of building enough trust with chefs and foodservice operators that they would allow us unprecedented access into their kitchens to audit them, it's now time to start making sure there is a payoff for their leadership," says Lawrence Williams, CEO of the USHFC. "We have actually been waiting for a mission-aligned technology company with the resources and track record of successfully driving consumers, and is Tasteful is the perfect match."
As part of this partnership, Tasteful has agreed to cover the associated costs for any REAL 25 restaurant that is interested in undergoing the process to become REAL Certified by the USHFC.
The first list, the Austin REAL 25, will be announced in the coming weeks, just in time for the city's major conference, SXSW, helping conference goers find healthy food in the heart of BBQ country. Tasteful will be attending SXSW and can be found in the Future of Food Pavilion at booth No. 643. Visit the Tasteful booth to learn all about the benefits of Real Food and participate in the #iamtasteful Eat Real challenge, where consumers use the app in Austin during SXSW and post a Shout Out or like a restaurant or dish to enter to win a personal chef for a week.