The federal rule requiring chain restaurants with 20 or more locations to post calorie counts on their menus has been delayed by the Food and Drug Administration until 2018. The rule was supposed to go into effect Friday, May 5, but has been pushed back to May 7, 2018.
What Does This Mean for Your Restaurant Chain?
If you’ve already gone through the effort of updating your menu with calorie counts, then you don’t need to worry about being in compliance this time next year.
If you were scrambling to update your menu before May 5, 2017, you’ve got some more time.
If you’re thinking about including the calorie counts on your menus anyway, you may want to hold off until the new deadline draws closer due to pending legislation in the Senate.
The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, which is meant to weaken or remove some of these labeling regulations, has passed the House and was introduced in the Senate this past February. Passage of this law would allow restaurants where most orders are placed online to bypass listing their nutrition information on physical menus or menu boards, so you may only need to update the menu on your website.
Keep in mind that states and municipalities that have established their own nutrition labeling legislation may still try to enforce their regulations before May 7, 2018. You should check with your state restaurant association or local municipality to ensure you’ll have no issues with compliance in your particular area.
As with any legal matter, you should always follow the counsel of your legal team. Visit the FDA’s website for more comprehensive information on federal menu nutrition labeling requirements.