What the Menu Labeling Rules Mean for Restaurants

The fast casual brand, Panera already publishes this information | Panera.com

The fast casual brand, Panera already publishes this information | Panera.com

The long official FDA menu labeling rules have been released and restaurants with 20 or more store locations will have to implement these new rules.

Some of the new elements revealed by the FDA-

  • Alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic that are listed on the menu or are available through self-serve machines must also be labeled.
  • These labeling rules are not just for the traditional restaurant concepts, but also ice cream shops, amusement parks, movie theaters, and any establishment with 20 or more locations selling food ready to eat. 
  • 11 nutrient facts are required- including total calories, fat calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, total carbs, total sugars, total protein, cholesterol, sodium, and protein. 
  • This statement must be printed somewhere on the menu– “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary. Additional nutrition information available upon request.”

These may be only affecting larger restaurant chains legally, but this will change consumer expectations. Calorie counts are going to be appearing on most menus and to prepare operators will need to start developing accurate recipes, training staff, and perhaps invest in expert dietitians. Read more about the FDA rules and how to prepare for them here.