On May 5, 2017, new federal regulations finalized three years ago will go into effect that require chain restaurants with 20 or more outlets to post calorie counts on their menus, as well as on food items sold in vending machines and snack bars. Before that happens, lawmakers in the Senate have introduced a bill to make a few revisions. What would those revisions mean for consumers faced with making mealtime decisions?
One change the bill makes to the original law would allow pizza chains and “similar retail food establishments where the majority of orders are placed by customers who are off-premises at the time such order is placed” (in other words: restaurants that are primarily delivery to pick-up) to post their nutritional information solely online, and not at the actual restaurant. So even if a restaurant has 49.9% of its orders placed on the premises, it would be exempt from posting calorie counts on menus under this provision.
The pending legislation would also not require the online menu be visible when you place an order, whether on an app or through social media. Thus, a restaurant could bury this info somewhere on the eatery’s site.
Another proposed tweak to the law would also benefit pizza chains — as well as any restaurants selling items as smaller parts of a whole….