Cosi serves up menu of lighter fare

DEERFIELD Ill. Cosi is rolling out a menu of lower-calorie sandwiches and salads systemwide, the operator or franchisor of 140 bakery-cafes said Monday.

The Lighten Up! Menu features five sandwiches and four salads that each contain fewer than 500 calories. Cosi said it had been testing the lighter options in New York City, which recently began requiring local branches of chain restaurants to post the calorie information of all standard menu items on their menus or menu boards.

"We really believe in the values that led to the law implemented by New York City Board of Health," Jill Lawrence, Cosi's marketing director, said in a statement. "We want all of our customers to have more choices when they visit us, especially those who are conscious about making healthy eating decisions."

Cosi said it worked with a nutritionist to figure out ways -- such as switching to low-fat mayonnaise or cutting down on cheese -- to reduce the calorie content of some of its menu items. The Lighten Up menu features a combination of new and existing menu items, including reduced-calorie versions of some of Cosi's more popular offerings.

Acopy of the Lighten Up menu can be seen here. [2]