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As the New Year began, California decided to stand firm and strong on a very interesting topic for anyone that is in the food service business: menu labeling. That small set of numbers that is popping up on menu boards in many different parts of the country are almost seeming without rhyme or reason. However, it definitely is being driven strongly in The Golden State.

Here at MenuTrinfo, we have been providing this service to restaurants concepts for just under a year but the ripple we have begun to see across the California coast is not surprisingly strong. Many are turning to the service to provide this information in a concrete way and to do so with help and assistance. 

As it turns out, the type of restaurant or number of locations required to comply matter in the eyes of the law, but not to the eyes of the patrons. The laws state the location must be one of 20 of the same to be required to provide this nutritional information. 

The first parts of the country that discussed menu labeling laws back in early 2003-2004 were mainly on the East Coast with Texas and California thrown in. The states involved back then were New York, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, as well as the District of Columbia. 

As stated on the website www.onenewsnow.com a piece was posted on 12/31/10, “California will carry the torch in menu labeling.” Beginning back in 2008, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger planned to force restaurants to publish calorie counts among other information about their menu items. 

The plan is for the law to be in effect starting Jan. 1, 2011. Bottom line is today, under state law in California, there is now a requirement to include calorie details for each item seen on menus and menu boards. 

2011 will have us all seeing not only how the state laws affect our country, but most interesting in my line of vision is how the federal law will impact the entire industry. A part of the health care bill does in fact dictate menu labeling for chains of 20 or more locations.

Consumers are demanding the information in order to spend their hard earned money at your restaurants. Following the laws of the diner’s voices and wallets many restaurateurs big and small are looking to answer the call on menu nutritional information.    

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Betsy Craig
Betsy Craig brings 20 years of food service industry experience to MenuTrinfo, LLC a menu nutritional labeling Company. Her commitment to the betterment of the food industry and her desire to affect the dining public are the driving forces behind her new company Kitchens with Confidence, LLC.
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