Wilsonville, Ore.- October 2009 – The Oregon Restaurant Association (ORA) today announced an endorsed service provider partnership with FoodCalc®, makers of an online tool, MenuCalc, which instantly calculates the nutritional profile of recipes. MenuCalc will provide ORA members with an exclusive discount of 10 percent off already low prices for nutrition analysis and regulatory compliance services.
Oregon is the second state in the U.S. to pass menu-labeling legislation setting standards for the disclosure of caloric information. House Bill 2726 requires that chain restaurants with 15 or more locations provide nutritional information to diners. Effective January 1, 2010, brochures detailing calorie content, saturated fat, trans fat, carbohydrates and sodium must be made available upon customer request. Effective January 1, 2011, this nutrition information must be prominently displayed on menus, menu boards and food display tags.
Even smaller independent restaurants unaffected by the new law are facing strong pressure to offer nutrition data, as a result of growing consumer health-consciousness. Three in four adults say they try to eat better now at restaurants than they did two years ago, according to the National Restaurant Association’s Industry Forecast for 2009. Therefore, many savvy independent restaurants are proactively adopting menu labeling and introducing lighter, healthier dishes to help achieve a competitive advantage in a tough economic climate, build consumer loyalty, and profit from the $35 billion-dollar diet industry.
Although menu labeling has historically been unworkable for many restaurants due to the high costs of laboratories and consultants and the complexity of nutrition CD-ROMs, MenuCalc provides a time-efficient, economical solution. The sophisticated tool successfully cuts costs in half by leveraging web-based technology and a growing database of 25,000-plus ingredients.
“The ORA has worked hard to identify the best possible menu labeling solution for our members,” said Steve McCoid, ORA president and CEO. “FoodCalc’s MenuCalc product is affordable, easy to use and offers access to trained registered dietitians. In addition, our members will benefit from exclusive value-oriented discounts that are particularly helpful in this challenging economy.”
“Menu labeling is the most powerful trend in the restaurant industry, with health-minded diners frequently taking the initiative to contact restaurants to inquire about wholesome ingredients, high-quality dishes and nutrition data,” said Lucy Needham, president and CEO, FoodCalc. “MenuCalc, our cost-effective and cutting-edge nutritional analysis solution, makes it practicable for restaurants of all sizes to offer these essential facts to their customers. We are proud to partner with the ORA to help deliver outstanding value to its members.”
The MenuCalc product offers two unique solutions for restaurants. The Web do-it-yourself plan starts as low as $35 per recipe, and allows users to license MenuCalc’s online application for unlimited use and independently perform their nutrition analysis, assisted by training and customer support provided by MenuCalc’s expert staff. With the Registered Dietitian Plan, MenuCalc’s registered dietitians perform the analysis, contact ingredient suppliers and assure compliance of all locations under menu labeling bills. Both plans generate instant results that can be customized and exported into programs like Microsoft Word and Excel. Completed nutrition data can easily be printed, emailed and shared via brochures, menus and Web sites.
In addition, MenuCalc offers Consultancy Services for all restaurants that wish to benefit from their expertise in labeling and menu display compliance (staff is certified to support FDA labeling inquires), nutrition analysis and ingredient projects beyond the paid plan. The consultancy rate is $90 an hour and does not include the ORA member discount.
Multi-unit restaurants that have signed up for MenuCalc’s nutrition analysis include Eugene, OR-based Abby’s Legendary Pizza; Bend-OR-based Croutons Inc.; Louisville, KY-based Texas Roadhouse; Indianapolis, IN-based Steak ‘n Shake; St Louis Park, MN- based Granite City Food & Brewery; and San Francisco, CA-based Specialty’s Café and Bakery.
About the Oregon Restaurant Association
The Oregon Restaurant Association (ORA) is the leading business association for the restaurant industry in Oregon. Comprised of more than 8,100 restaurant and foodservice outlets, the industry employs a work force of more than 120,000, and creates a total economic impact of $9.7 billion. The not-for-profit trade organization is at the forefront of restaurant associations across the nation. The Association, with its Education Foundation, works to represent, educate, and promote the restaurant industry, which is the cornerstone of Oregon’s economy, careers, and communities.
MenuCalc is one of two nutrition analysis applications developed by San Francisco, CA-based FoodCalc® LLC www.foodcalc.com. Founded in 2003, FoodCalc is the food industry’s gold standard for web-based nutrition analysis solutions. FoodCalc also built LabelCalc®, the only online tool that instantly generates accurate, up-to-date FDA-compliant nutrition facts panels for small-to-medium sized food manufacturers. For more information, visit www.MenuCalc.com and www.LabelCalc.com; email info@MenuCalc.com or info@LabelCalc.com or call (415) 398-4628.