New Menu Labeling Laws Take Effect

The menu labeling debate has been going on for nearly a decade. In 2010, the industry's largest chains added calorie counts to their menus.

Today, after several delays and significant push back from restaurants, menu labeling regulation has passed that requires any chain with more than 20 locations to display its calorie information, according to a story in the Washington Post.

Cicely Simpson, executive vice president at the National Restaurant Association, released the following statement regarding the new law. “This is a welcome development for both the restaurant industry and consumers, and we are pleased that our efforts to preserve the May 7th compliance date were successful. By setting a clear standard, this rule provides the necessary guidance and expectations for America’s restaurants to follow in order to continue delivering a high quality experience and customer service to everyone who walks through our doors, as well as the transparency our customers demand. We applaud Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and the Trump Administration for working with the National Restaurant Association to push this policy across the finish line.” 

As with previous menu labeling laws, however, not everyone was as happy with the news. A bill has passed the House and is currently in the Senate that requests common sense with labeling. This would undoubtedly help pizzeria chains that are struggling to create calorie counts for pizzas.

The bill, H.R.772 – Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act of 2017​, states, among other things, that "establishments with standard menu items that come in different flavors, varieties, or combinations, that are listed as a single menu item may determine and disclose nutritional information using specified methods or methods allowed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)."

Do you have more than 20 locations? How are you approaching the new menu labeling changes?