Have you noticed the new calorie labelling on Ontario chain restaurant menus? Operators, servers and consumers are coming to grips with the new reality of revealing calories in a serving of food. We’ve been busy moderating partnership events and engaging with stakeholders about the challenges of the new menu labelling. The events were in collaboration with Canadian Association of Foodservice Professionals (CAFP), Restaurants Canada and Dietitians of Canada.
A shout out to fellow dietitian Donna Bottrell who did a terrific job organizing the events, and to Nancy Hewitt President CAFP Toronto for her support.
From left: Donna Bottrell, organizer of the event; Nancy Hewitt, CFE, President of the CAFP Toronto Branch; Susan Somerville, Dean, from Humber College, and Panelist Jamie Rillet and Moderator Lucia Weiler.
Here is a snapshot of what we heard:
- ‘Medium and small chains are looking for guidance and consistency from the Government.’ Jamie Rilett, Restaurants Canada
- ‘It’s challenging for a server to explain the calorie range for a serving size. More support and education would be helpful’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s
- ‘There is the nutrient variable to consider and educate about. How to address the fact that milk has more calories than pop but it’s also more nutritious?’ Katie Jessop RD
- ‘Collaboration is needed between food professionals: chefs, dietitians and nutritionists. And we are eating foods- not just one food. Food combinations in menus can help create healthier options. Nutrition professionals can assist operators and consumers.’ Lucia Weiler RD
- ‘A lot of time was spent by Aramark in the initial analysis…they made sure to standardize recipes and then tested and tested which led to a recipe database.’ Karen Williams, Aramark
- ‘Menu calorie labelling is just the beginning. There is a future importance for all aspects of nutrition and food, especially sustainable processing. Millennial consumers are very conscious about the’ what’ and the ‘how’ of food.’ K.B.Bose, Shoeless Joe’s
For more stakeholder views and participant feedback please contact us. We would be happy to help your team formulate unique insights that integrate our Registered Dietitian expertise in food and nutrition and provide you with solutions that both foodservice professionals and consumers can use.
Contact us for comments or questions.