Make every year count
At the start of 2014, I was heavily anticipating the final FDA menu labeling regulations and its subsequent impact on the restaurant industry. While it took longer than expected for the FDA to make its ruling, I am thrilled that the ruling has now been made and restaurant operators can move forward with a clear set of expectations.
We were ready at the beginning of the year for these regulations to be announced and we have worked tirelessly for the last three years (yes, we've been waiting that long!) to help restaurant operators prepare. As I reflect back on 2014, I am reminded of how far the industry has come and I am fully aware of what's needed to help restaurant operators move forward.
The final FDA ruling will have lasting implications for restaurant operators. However, I truly believe that it is about protecting the lives and health of restaurant diners. That is true regardless of the discussion around menu labeling regulations, gluten-free offerings or allergy training for your employees. Your customers have and will always be your number one brand advocates and they look to your operation as one they trust. One wrong move and the whole thing has the potential to fail.
Menu labeling is a good thing from my perspective because it is all about helping your customers make better choices. While some will not change their ordering habits based on calorie content or grams of fat, there are many others who will.
I changed my entire dietary habit five years ago out of health concerns and have not looked back since. I don't always eat the healthiest food, but I have come to recognize the importance of balance in terms of the foods I choose to eat and when. Restaurant operators are now in the position to give their customers the information necessary to make those same choices for themselves.
The restaurant and food service clients that I work with understand the importance of giving their guests the information they need. And they are thrilled to provide this information to them. In fact, many have seen sales and customer satisfaction growth as a result.
Looking ahead, I anticipate our own business picking up as a result of menu labeling regulations and I anticipate more calls from food service operators as they try to navigate their own compliance. In fact, I see almost every aspect of our business increase as gluten-free eating becomes more ingrained into the American diet and allergy training continues.
I had no idea the direction the restaurant industry would take when I started MenuTrinfo and yet I have been fortunate enough to help lead so many great brands into the future. This has made me feel so lucky and blessed these past 20+ years. I am grateful to learn from and work for an industry I respect and with so many people I have come to admire. And with menu labeling legislation on solid ground, I am deeply honored to be part of the industry's solution.
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. www