Be a Leader by Offering Healthy Meals

In Louisiana, good food is a part of our culture, and we don’t have to give that up to improve our health! Restaurants can promote healthy choices and serve our iconic favorites at the same time. It’s all about balance.

Mary-Brennan Faucheux at MJ’s Café in Baton Rouge is one of the many restaurant owners in Louisiana who has taken the lead in moving the health of her community forward. Learn more about how Mary-Brennan implemented healthy changes at her restaurant to become a WellSpot.

By connecting with  Well-Ahead, restaurants can learn how to support employee health, include healthy options on menus, commit to healthy operating practices and geaux tobacco-free. All of these changes can make a positive impact in your community.

Change begins with you—take the lead in your community today!

You Need to Know Our Numbers

Health Data for Louisiana Restaurants

We’re pretty proud of our way of life in Louisiana and our lifestyle has a big impact on our overall health. These numbers affect every aspect of life in our communities, including obesity and economic status.

1 in 4

restaurant and bar workers smoke compared to 1 in 6 workers that smoke in other industries¹

Tobacco use is the nation’s


leading cause of preventable disease2

40% of all Louisianans have obesity, which can fill Tiger Stadium3


In 2016, the indirect cost of chronic diseases from missed work days and loss of productivity cost Louisiana was

$38 billion4

It’s Time for a Change

Managing Chronic Health Conditions Through Food

If we want to connect our communities to a healthier future, we must move Louisiana’s health forward. Obesity contributes to chronic health conditions, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which are risk factors for stroke and heart disease, even cancer. Obesity is also linked to anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. You can help our residents prevent and manage these serious health conditions by offering healthy choices at your restaurant.

You Can Take the Lead

Promote Healthy Eating and Dietary Changes

Restaurants can, and should, promote healthy behaviors. Because so many of us enjoy visiting and celebrating with family and friends at restaurants, your restaurant is in a unique position to make an impact. Change the conversation around health at your restaurant and implement changes that can help your community members (and employees!) thrive. Each small change can influence health, one step at a time. We are here to help! When you commit to becoming a WellSpot, we will walk alongside you to implement these healthy changes. Stretch your impact even further by joining a local coalition or collaborative to support healthy changes in your community. Learn how you can be a leader at your restaurant.

Support Employee Health at Your Restaurant

Promoting employee health is key in creating a healthy restaurant environment. Healthy employees are happier, more productive and miss less shifts. Invest in the health of your employees by making these key changes at your restaurant

Offer Healthy Meals

With over 9,500 restaurants to choose from in Louisiana, it’s easy to understand why we eat and drink about one-third of our calories away home! Dining at restaurants is convenient and fun. But, it should be healthy and accommodating, too! Restaurants can encourage balance by implementing healthy changes that promote healthy eating.

Commit to Healthy Restaurant Operating Practices

When you commit to implementing healthy practices at your restaurant, you can help your community live a healthier lifestyle. Train your staff to promote healthy options and become ServSafe certified. Small changes, like serving meals on 10-inch plates and providing nutritional information on menus, can make a big impact!

Geaux Tobacco-Free in Louisiana Restaurants

You can play a role in reducing tobacco use among your employees, and in your community. Tobacco use can lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, type 2 diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Geaux tobacco-free by putting in place these key changes.


1 National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2015. Current Cigarette Smoking Among Workers in Accommodation and Food Services—United States, 2011-2013.

2 CDC National Health Report Highlights, 2013.

3 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), 2022. 

4 Milken Institute, 2015. Cost of Chronic Disease in the U.S.

Become a Well Spot

We are here to help! We’ve developed a set of wellness benchmarks just for restaurants that want to implement healthy changes like these. From implementing a tobacco-free policy, to supporting breastfeeding mothers, to increasing access to healthy food choices, these benchmarks provide evidence based strategies to move the health of our communities forward.

We will walk alongside you as you work to meet these benchmarks. Once enough benchmarks are met, we will officially designate you as a Level 3, Level 2 or Level 1 WellSpot—our highest designation.

Being designated as a WellSpot is a big accomplishment—so your community needs to know all about it! Upon designation, you will receive a recognition certificate from the Louisiana Department of Health. You will also receive an official WellSpot decal to display on the entrance of your school. In addition, your organization will be added to our interactive WellSpot map. You will also receive a promotional toolkit to help you promote your designation on social media, to the press and more!