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The time is rapidly approaching when you will need to clearly disclose the calorie counts for every standardized item on your menus. You might not run the risk of a fine or slap on the hand from an agency, but consumer backlash in this day of instant access, opinion and screaming fans is clear. Right moves get noticed, but wrong moves get screamed about.
Having now completed this task for thousands of restaurant menu items there are some clear winners and ideas I would love to begin to pass along:
Kids meals are in the spotlight
The NRA recently announced a voluntary program focusing on creating healthier kids meal menu. Using Healthy Dinning Finders, you can make a few simple changes that will have a positive impact today.
Salad is a slippery slope
Our recommendation for most restaurants is to not list the calories of the salad dressing with the salad, but list the calories as "on the side." One exception to this is always the Caesar because it does come mixed in, but every other salad on a menu can come with choices of dressings. Below are tips to cut calories from your salads.
One of the largest diet companies in the country teaches people to not dump the entire 1-ounce portion of the dressing over their salads. Instead, they are to dip their forks into the dressing and then get a bite of salad on the same fork. This allows the diner to have the flavor without all the calories.
People Always get to be People
Conversely, some people couldn't care less about the calories and take two helpings of dressing. Menu labeling is not mandating this behavior – it's just sharing the information, so each diner can make a well-informed choice.
Look for more suggestions on menu labeling in my next blog.
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