London’s Calorie-Neutral Pop-Up Restaurant
German domestic appliance company Miele hosted a one-day pop-up restaurant in London’s Covent Garden on March 13, which offered diners a ‘calorie-neutral’ menu – meaning guests could burn off the same number of calories they consumed during the meal.
To achieve calorie-neutral status, guests took part in a 40-minute body balance class before the meal, and were encouraged to participate in a number of activities between courses, such as stretching to aid digestion, boxing or playing ping pong. Guests also sat on chairs fitted with vibrating pads and drank ice-cold water to increase calorie burn.
British National Chef of the Year (2011) Frederick Forster designed the five-course tasting menu at Steam, which was prepared using Miele steam ovens. Dishes included beef fillet with beansprout salad, quail egg cocotte with mushroom and leek fondue and prawn-stuffed lemon sole with herb butter sauce.
"We looked at the trends, at what's going on in food and we came up with this idea," Miele marketing director Dominic Worsley told US magazine Advertising Age. "We had 1,500 applications for 48 seats, and it's been so successful that we are looking at developing the idea.”
The food industry is responding to the global problem of obesity by introducing menus that champion healthy eating, and smaller portion sizes and lighter menus are becoming increasingly prevalent. A recent survey by Washington-based think-tank Hudson Institute found that restaurants that offer lower calorie options benefit from better sales growth, increases in customer traffic, and greater total food and beverage servings, than those that do not.
For more on how temporary hospitality spaces can be used as a marketing tool, see Pop-Up Hotels. Learn more about Miele's products in Professional Performance: Five-Star Kitchen Appliances and Fresh Thinking: Preservation Innovation.