The United States Healthful Food Council (USHFC) has launched their Responsible Epicurean and Agricultural Leadership (REAL) certification program for restaurants, caterers, and food service operators. Much like Zagat Rating driving up a restaurant’s popularity, REAL will rate based on the use of local and organic products, free-range meats, and portion sizes. LEED certified buildings bring the property value up and so will the REAL certification. Famous reviewers like those at Zagat, Yelp, and OpenTable have agreed to promote this initiative, according to green-buildings.com:
The REAL program is modeled after the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program. Like LEED, REAL will be a voluntary program with multiple levels of certification: silver, gold, and platinum.
REAL is working with food and nutrition experts to develop a consensus-based, points-based rating system, much like LEED. The program will award points to restaurants who use nutrition best practices, such as organic and local foods, restricted dietary offerings, fresh fruits and vegetables, free-range meats, and moderate or multiple portion sizes.
Just as LEED certified buildings increase property values, the REAL program is designed to attract new business to restaurants with healthy, nutritious menus. Like LEED, REAL certified restaurants will be given certification seals to display in their windows. Plus, the REAL program will partner with restaurant websites, such as Yelp, Zagat, and OpenTable to promote REAL certified food service operations.