Living a balanced lifestyle is a tricky business these days, and the inner-city office worker knows this better than most.
An intense and gruelling work schedule needs to somehow be juggled with exercise, family and relaxation. It seems that today, time is one of our most precious commodities.
An apparent lack of time has meant that for most professionals, meals are often grabbed “on the go”, if grabbed at all. Fast food has become the mainstay of the busy person’s diet because it’s convenient, easy to access and as its name suggests, delivered with speed.
The problem is, fast and pre-packaged foods contain an incredibly high percentage of fat. Today, more and more food is pre-made and wrapped, and while quick and easy, most of it is more energy dense than freshly prepared meals.
In Australia, a standard pre-packaged chicken and salad sandwich with mayonnaise has 501 calories and on average, contains 25% of our daily fat requirements (based on a 2000 calories diet). In comparison, a McDonald’s Big Mac contains 540 calories and 45% of our daily fat requirements (based on a 2000 calories diet).
While not the freshest option, supermarket-bought sandwiches will display fat content and calories on the packaging, meaning shoppers can look for the healthiest option available if they choose. The lunch bars that line the midday stomping grounds of hungry workers in a hurry, however, more often than not sell pre-packaged sambos void of any nutritional information at all.
While workers’ hunger may be being satisfied, the desire of most to eat healthily is not. Likewise their preference for freshly prepared food isn’t being met either by run-of-the-mill sandwich bars and supermarkets.
This is where MYO, the original Make Your Own sandwich and salad bar, is helping health conscious professionals take control of their lunch.
Originating in Perth, Western Australia, in 1994, MYO is a simple and unique concept that literally puts customers in charge of the food they choose to eat. The idea is to give people who work in central business districts and business parks an up-market fast food alternative – a place that is void of queues, is quick and easy to use, economical and above all else, fresh and healthy.
Customers enter the store, grab a tray and their freshly baked bread of choice (and there’s plenty to choose from), then start filling their sandwich, wrap or roll from the countless fresh ingredients as they work their way around the servery. Once at the end, a shop assistant deftly wraps and slices the sandwich, sending office workers on their way quicker than they can say “chicken salad roll”.
MYO’s salad bar works in much the same fashion only instead of a tray the customer chooses a bowl size before assembling the perfect salad from the vast array of available fillings. Small salads are all priced the same, as are the large, and customers are free to stuff as much goodness into their bowl as they like.
So that’s the MYO concept, but what makes this system any faster, fresher and healthier than other lunch bars’? By allowing customers to choose what they want in their sandwich, MYO addresses concerns many consumers have in regards to hidden calories and fats in pre-packaged foods. Don’t want mayonnaise? No problem. Prefer wholemeal bread to white? Too easy. Like less cheese, salt, pickles, fatty meats or grated vegetables? At MYO the customer has complete control over what they eat for lunch.
Also, each and every fresh, high-quality filling is accompanied by detailed nutritional information giving customers the low down on fat content, calories, carbohydrates and so on. This is making MYO particularly popular with dieters, calorie counters, and those with specific dietary needs.
Not only have MYO customers bid adieu to mystery ingredients, they’re also saving time. Since most inner city workers count seconds as diligently as they do calories, it was crucial from the outset that MYO offer an incredibly quick and simple system.
Loyal MYO devotees know that they can whip into store, grab a drink and a roll and be back at their desk before their email refreshes. The servery system helps customers move at their own pace so there are no queues, not even at the cashier where assistants wrap, slice and weigh with such speed you’d think they were born behind the MYO counter.
Being able to get a healthier, fresher and tastier sandwich while avoiding the lunchtime crush is drawing more and more inner city office workers into MYO. Overall this is improving the diet of many professionals who are finally taking time out to enjoy a good, wholesome midday meal.
Today, MYO has spread across the globe with 19 stores in Australia, 6 in the UK and Ireland, proving that our desire to live a fresh and healthy lifestyle is not just big in Oz, it’s an international trend that looks to only grow stronger.