Dishing up the truth on our high street restaurants

Our Out to Lunch campaign is dishing up the truth. We've worked with an army of parent secret diners to rank children’s food in 25 of the UK’s most popular restaurant chains, from Jamie's Italian to Burger King.

League table 2017

Thanks to our secret diner families, Out to Lunch is catalysing a transformation of children’s food on the high street – many restaurants are now prioritising child health and investing in healthier and more creative meal options. But there is still a national scandal unfolding in plain sight: 75% of UK parents say they are worried by the portion size of children’s puddings when they eat out. We found that renegade chains are ignoring parent concerns by dishing up super-sized calorific junk, undermining national efforts to tackle childhood obesity.

Noticeable improvement

Despite continuing poor practice, the Out to Lunch league table shows that children’s food on the high street has undergone notable improvement since the campaign launched in 2013. There are 13 chains that now serve a portion of veg or salad with every meal (up from 6 chains in 2013) and 12 chains that include organic ingredients on the menu (up from 6 chains in 2015). In response to 2017's league table, Pizza Hut and TGI Friday’s committed to discontinuing free refills of sugary drinks throughout their restaurants by March 2018.

Who came top?

Restaurants have a big role to play in influencing what children think good food looks like – going out used to be seen as a treat, but our new research shows it’s more common now with 40% of parents eating out with their kids at least once a fortnight. Meanwhile, 66% of parents say they don’t think kids’ food in restaurants is good enough. Jamie’s Italian topped the table with a score of 75 out of 90, and Strada was the biggest climber, moving an impressive 16 places to 3rd position.

Making An Impact

Working with secret diner families, Out to Lunch has improved over 70 million meals served to children!

Click here to read the full impact report

In response to the 2017 Out to Lunch campaign, TGI Fridays and Pizza Hut have committed to stop serving refillable sugary drinks throughout all their restaurants, to both children and adults.

"Why would a business suffer from being seen to be looking after the health of its customers over the long term? We’ve seen this in a great piece of work pioneered by the Soil Association called the Out to Lunch campaign. They take twenty five of the biggest known high-street restaurant brands, and they create a league table. "Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Cafe Rouge, Wetherspoons, Jamie’s Italian, Strada, TGI Fridays and Harvester stepped up to our challenge and committed to serving puddings in a healthier portion size.

"We want information on menus to help families make the right choice and we want companies to aim higher, let’s create a race to the top, let’s create ambitions to offer healthier things on the menu."Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

TGI Fridays, Pizza Hut, Beefeater, Brewers Fayre, Cafe Rouge, Strada and Wahaca committed to including calorie info on the children’s menu

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