Menu Calorie Labeling


Menu Boards: Calorie Counts/Menu Labeling


BROOKFIELD, Wis. (April 9, 2010)


The Health Care Reform Act of 2010 will require the inclusion of calorie information on all menu boards for restaurants with 20 or more locations, regardless of ownership.


Exact details of the regulations will not be defined until the FDA determines standards in the next year as per their notification:


Compliance with the new law will not be required until the Food and Drug Administration completes the implementing regulations. Under the terms of the new law, the FDA is required to publish proposed regulations within one year of the measure's March 23, 2010, enactment date. (National Restaurant Association)



Revamping one’s menu board design to include calorie count information can be either difficult or relatively painless depending upon the amount of detail desired on the board. The changes required by the new law present an opportunity to review pricing, menu items offered and size portions.


Mainstreet Menu Systems will offer many solutions to the new law,” says Howard Company V-P of sales, Doug Watson. “Whether your restaurant chain is using static menu boards, has a drive-thru menu board or is thinking of a digital menu board, Mainstreet Menus will be prepared to design and produce solutions for every restaurant chain. 


“The Howard Company/Mainstreet Menu Systems offer an extensive array of products and services including 1) adding calorie information on slats or strips, 2) providing the calorie information on pictures and translites or 3) moving to a digital menu board solution.”


Mainstreet Menu Systems has implemented a ‘variable data printing service’ with over 20 customized websites for its customers in the past year. This may be an ideal tool for many chain operations that use mostly pictures or translites or a combination of pictures and slats.


“We’ve made the process simple for many chain customers,” says Howard Company Marketing Manager, Dawn Pankow. “We establish a unique website page for a chain, where a franchisee can view the graphic options for his location which will include the calorie counts for the chains products. The owner/manager types in the prices or product options for his distinct location and Mainstreet ships the new items direct to the location. A variety of payment options for the store visitor are offered at the time of ordering.”


As soon as the details from FDA are defined Mainstreet Menu Systems will begin design assistance to chains for compliance with the law. The technology implemented in the past year through “chain specific web stores for menu boards” and “Variable Data Printing” will be huge to many chain customers of Mainstreet Menu Systems and The Howard Company.


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