Count Your Calories! It’s Time to Implement the FDA Guidelines


Taste, price and healthfulness are the biggest drivers of food purchasing decisions.1 And until recently, healthfulness has been absent from menu descriptions.

Nutrition is important to diners, and research shows that most consumers want menu labeling to help them make better choices. For example, when diners eat fast food, they tend to consume more calories than they realize…and menu labels can help them choose lower-calorie options.2

FDA approved

Today, the FDA is finally giving diners what they want…and so must many of our restaurant partners.

The FDA recently released final guidance on menu labeling. If your restaurant is part of a chain of 20 or more locations, you’ll need to include caloric content of each item on your menu by May 2017.3 Calorie labeling has been required since 2010 as part of the Affordable Care Act, but implementation has been delayed for several years…until now.

Have no fear! Menu labeling isn’t a death sentence, in fact, these guidelines are an opportunity for restaurants to showcase (or offer) lower-calorie alternatives, whether they complement or replace high-calorie meals. Use the guidelines to give diners more delicious (and lower-calorie) reasons to frequent your restaurant.

If you haven’t done so, you can review the regulations here. There’s also a page dedicated to restaurant-specific questions.

Happy calorie counting!


1 Food & Health Survey 2015

2 Research: Consumers Want Menu Labeling

3 FDA Menu and Vending Machines Labeling Requirements

FDA Industry Questions & Answers