Restaurant initiative

Kids and families love eating out and are doing so more than ever, so it’s important to consider the role restaurants can play in addressing childhood obesity. Over the past few years we’ve seen encouraging changes in supply, like the introduction of lower-calorie items and the removal of soda from some kids’ menus, but we know there’s more work to be done. That’s why the Restaurant Initiative has been engaging with restaurant industry leaders since 2012, while simultaneously conducting original research to better understand the current landscape and how we can work together to create change. Through these activities, we have come to see that healthier kids’ meals can be a win-win for restaurants and for kids, and that increasing consumer demand for healthier items is important for influencing supply. Read more about our original research on the Healthy Meals page.

Restaurant initiative


  • Convene and engage restaurant industry leaders to encourage healthier menu options.
  • Partner with restaurants to conduct ground-breaking research.
  • Use research findings in real time to inform the initiative’s strategic direction, add to evidence base, and influence supply.
  • Gather consumer insights and conduct market research to develop a messaging campaign that boosts demand for healthier kids' meals among frequent quick-service restaurant customers.
  • Bring together public health and government leaders to ensure a coordinated effort and unified message.

Evidence-Based Approach

Gathered consumer insights from parents and kids across the country.

Executed robust research portfolio to understand restaurant landscape.

Leveraged research findings to develop business case for healthier kids’ meals.

Developed & tested messaging campaign to amplify consumer demand.

Learn about the initiative goals, and the evidence and recommendations we use to develop them.


Who's Involved