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Considering people consume 33% of their calories away from home, the FDA has rolled out a new set of guidelines that require restaurants or similar food retailers with 20 or more locations to clearly display calorie and nutrition information next to items on their menu wherever they can be seen or purchased. Changes will go into effect on May 5, 2017.

Whether it’s a meal at a sit-down restaurant, food purchased at a drive-thru, or a pastry on display at a coffee shop, the calories in an item must be distinctly shown next to the price of the item on the menu or menu board. While these guidelines won’t affect restaurants with less than 20 locations, customers may start to expect nutrition information to be available everywhere they’re dining.

In a study of more than 3,000 people, researchers found that when presented with nutrition information, diners were three times more likely to use this information when ordering their meal than diners who were not presented with nutritional information.  Therefore, when diners have the tools to make more informed decisions about what they’re eating, they are more likely to make health-conscious decisions. Giving these tools to your customers could make your restaurant friendlier to health-conscious eaters.  

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This is not the first time that the FDA has pushed an initiative that promotes public health via restaurant regulation. The FDA announced a ban on trans fat in June of 2015 as trans fats have been linked to 50,000 fatal heart attacks a year. Make sure that your restaurant is making strides to create a healthy experience for your diners, not only will it help you be FDA compliant but it also may inspire more loyalty amongst your diners. 

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