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An online nutritional calculator, developed by NetWaiter, is just one of the successful web-based features used by Greenz Salads, a Texas-based restaurant chain with three locations in the Dallas metropolitan area.

“It is a great tool,” said Casie Caldwell, owner of Greenz Salads.  “The functionality is right on.  It gives us a competitive edge.  We’ve since seen this concept copied by several large chains.”

Its success should not be a shock.  A recent report of a forecast by the National Restaurant Association cites that in 2011, seven out of ten consumers stated they would try to eat healthier when dining out.  Self, a women’s magazine, also reports getting more than 1 million unique visitors each month to its online nutritional calculator.

Caldwell came to NetWaiter, a firm that provides branded online ordering and marketing solutions to restaurants, with this challenge for their “Build Your Own Salad” offering.  The popular menu item allows customers to create their own salad with numerous ingredients, including the choice of lettuce, toppings, and a variety of dressings.

“The ‘Build Your Own’ is a favorite of our customers,” said Caldwell.  “While we were able to list the nutritional content of our other dishes, we didn’t have a way to do it with that offering.  Every order is different.”

NetWaiter worked with Greenz to integrate a nutritional calculator into their online menu for their “Build Your Own Salad” item.  As a customer builds their salad with their selections, item by item, the nutritional calculator instantly calculates and updates the nutritional information as each option is selected.

“One of the goals was to create a tool that consumers were already familiar with,” said Jared Shimoff of NetWaiter.  “The calculator reads like a nutrition label found on items in a supermarket – listing not only calories, but also cholesterol, potassium, sodium, carbohydrates and protein.  Each one of these measurements is recalculated as options are added to a salad.”

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