Last December, the FDA issued two final rules requiring that calories be listed on menus in chain restaurants. Calorie and other nutritional information needs to be clearly displayed on menus and menu boards and for salad bars and buffets, the calorie information must be displayed on signs near the foods.
It comes as no surprise that your customers want this information – Americans are paying more attention to the foods they eat – the kinds, the quantities, the sources, and the individual ingredients that go into restaurant meals.
Here’s the challenge…
As federal laws are introduced to menu labeling and availability of nutritional information for consumers increases, many operators are finding that the tools they have are barely adequate to meet and maintain labeling standards.
Because food safety and nutritional information has to be updated whenever vendor suppliers, food ingredients, or menu recipes change, the challenge for multi-unit operators to keep track and update nutritional and calorie information across all their locations menu boards is immense and ongoing. Paper-based systems are massively inefficient, expensive and impossible to maintain.
Here’s the solution…
The best solution for large restaurant chains is managing recipe information in a centralized online location (the “cloud”) where all your operators can access it anytime. A back office solution makes this easy, as its integrated with the USDA nutritional database and can also incorporate information from third party companies who will test and log recipe information for your company. With recipes neatly stored in your back office system, it's a snap for your staff to call up the latest nutritional, allergen or calorie information for any menu item on-demand right on their store’s existing computer or tablet device.
Restaurant back office food safety and nutritional tools:
Nutritional Calculator – As culinary teams build and alter recipes, they can monitor the nutritional attributes associated with each menu item including calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, sodium, carbohydrates and proteins.
Allergen Data – Ensure the safety of your customers by centrally monitoring allergen data for each recipe including dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, soy and more.
Comply with Menu Labeling Laws – Meet the regulatory requirements of local and federal menu labeling laws by centrally managing and displaying nutritional and calorie attributes for each menu item.
Restaurant back office systems will not only manage and maintain nutritional, caloric and allergen information, it also offers the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all your operators can confidently answer any question a guest may have about the menu. And, you will help your customers make informed eating decisions to live healthier lives.
To get started, visit CrunchTime at www.crunchtime.com and request a free demonstration.
Paul Molinari is the head of marketing for Boston-based CrunchTime! Information Systems, the hospitality industry’s leading restaurant back office software provider. Mr. Molinari holds a BS in Business Administration from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY and an MBA with a dual concentration in Marketing and Supply Chain Management from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.