California Operators Prepare for Menu Labeling Mandate

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, “Chain restaurant operators throughout California said they are prepared to comply this week with the first phase of a state menu-labeling mandate, but many noted that preparation did not immediately include posting calories on menus and menu boards.”

“Beginning Wednesday, July 1, chains with 20 units or more in California must either offer a brochure at point of sale detailing nutrition data on all standard menu items, or they must post calorie counts for those items on menus and menu boards. By Jan. 1, 2011, all chains with 20 or more units must post the calorie counts. The legislation’s sponsor, state Sen. Alex Padilla, D-San Fernando Valley, said in the past that he hopes most restaurants will post calories sooner, rather than later. However, several chains contacted last week said that they would offer the nutrition information in brochures by July 1, but would deal with revising their menus and menu boards to list calories at some point next year. Officials at Panda Express, Starbucks, Taco Bell, El Pollo Loco, Del Taco and Carl’s Jr. said their stores throughout the state would have brochures available, starting Wednesday if not sooner,” the story said.