Einstein Bagels looks to tighten your waistline and fatten your wallet


It’s early January. While some of you probably made it through the holidays with your discipline and pride intact for the most part it’s safe to say those lumps on your abdomen probably aren’t your abs peeking through and the dry cleaner most likely didn’t shrink your old pair of pants. You most likely put on a little weight and it’s probably not because muscle weighs more than fat.
The first step in the process of getting back into fighting shape is admitting you’ve got a little work to do. The second step is doing something about it. Helping you help yourself is why the NASDAQ just concluded Fit Week during which companies were invited to ring the bell and show their commitment to healthy living.
Thursday’s bell-ringer was Einstein Noah Restaurant Group’s (BAGL) CEO Jeff O’Neill. In the attached clip O’Neill explains to Breakout that Einstein bagels and good health aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.
“We’ve started a whole Smart Choice Menu a couple years ago and it’s doing quite nicely,” O’Neill says “and then we launched our new Thintastic Bagels which are 35% of the calories but the taste and texture of a bagel.”
Those who have tried the occasional efforts at “healthy French fries” by burger chains probably has an immediate aversion to corporate efforts to strip the calories out of naturally unhealthy foods. O’Neill says the Thintastic bagels work because the flavor and texture associated with a bagel in on the outside. Strip out the bread stuffed underneath and tweak the ingredients just a little and you’ve created a decent alternative to high-calorie monstrosities sold at your local grocery store.
Another way Einstein Noah is helping keep customers fit is giving customers more than just bagels. O’Neill says his units are building out coffee equipment on par with Starbucks (SBUX) and providing an in-house experience second to none.
Ultimately it’s up to you to get back into fighting trim before swimsuit season.  As for as O’Neill is concerned his company has something for both types of Americans: those in shape and those in denial.

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