The foodservice industry is still waiting for final approval on the new menu labeling requirements proposed by the FDA back in 2011.
The proposal states that any chain restaurant or food vendor with 20 or more locations will be required to clearly display the calorie content of their menu items.
NRA president Dawn Sweeney commented on the initial proposal stating, “Consumers will get consistent nutrition information in most chain restaurants, and restaurant companies won’t be burdened with a patchwork of conflicting laws in cities and states.”
Yet some three years have elapsed since President Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law – mandating the calorie labeling system across the country.
So what’s the hold up?
For starters, the law will present challenges impacting more than 200,000 restaurants in the United States. Admittedly one of the sticking points has been the additional cost restaurants will absorb in order to update their existing menu boards based on the new labeling system.
Many foodservice organizations are using this as an opportunity to revamp their current menu board system to one with more flexibility and technology.
Some restaurants are simply retrofitting their existing boards with new ones, saving time and money. Others are completely replacing their current system with either digital menu boards or a hybrid menu board system – which combines both static and digital formats.