Information about food calories, nutrients, and percentage of daily recommended intake, is often buried in the websites of the country's major chain restaurants, according to research conducted by EatNation.com, a new website that connects people with their local food communities.
But another key finding offered a surprising take on some of the most nutritionally embattled fast food places: Chains that have received the most criticism for their ingredients and high calories tended to be more open about their food. KFC, Burger King, McDonald's, Subway, Pizza Hut, Wendy's and Dunkin' Donuts are among the largest chains that offer clear nutritional information in just one or two clicks.
The study looked at the 2009 annual list of the top 100 chain restaurants from Restaurant and Institutions magazine to determine how many made nutritional information easily accessible to customers. The results showed that many restaurants still appear reluctant to publish information about the food they provide.
Restaurants that have no nutritional information available online include some of the most recognizable names in the industry - Hard Rock Cafe, The Cheesecake Factory, T.G.I. Friday's, Tony Roma's, Maggiano's Little Italy, Waffle House, Ruth's Chris Steak House, and Bennigan's Grill & Tavern.
- 19 chain restaurants had no nutritional information at all available online.
- Only 12 percent of chain restaurants provided nutritional information in one click.
- Just over half of the restaurants have a nutritional link directly on their home page.
- It takes more than three clicks to get to the nutritional information for 39 percent of the top chain restaurants.