Pro-menu-info stance in NYC foretells new dietary data laws

Pro-menu-info stance in NYC foretells new dietary data laws

NEW YORK —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

The foodservice research firm’s findings, which suggest that more jurisdictions nationwide are likely to adopt similar regulations, also confirm that New Yorkers are changing their food-ordering habits because of the law, which took effect in July for local branches of chains with at least 15 U.S. locations. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Though Technomic expects more widespread nutrition disclosure laws, a landmark menu-labeling measure in California, which would require a broad range of dietary data to be divulged by chains with 20 or more branches in the state, now faces an uncertain future. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Passed by the state Legislature last month and awaiting Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s signature as of press time, the nation’s first statewide menu-labeling law could be scuttled because of California’s budgetary crisis and $15 billion deficit, which has hamstrung the state’s bureaucracy. Schwarzenegger has vowed not to sign the menu legislation unless the Legislature passes a new budget, and if that doesn’t happen by Sept. 30, the menu bill will die. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

And that would undo the compromises and protections for foodservice businesses that the California Restaurant Association [3] was able to lobby successfully to include in the legislation. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Nonetheless, the survey findings showing that New Yorkers have embraced the prominent disclosure of calories by large chain eateries tends to indicate that the trend of menu labeling is only likely to spread. In its survey of about 300 people in all five boroughs of the city, Technomic found that 86 percent of the respondents favored the new regulation. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Technomic official Bob Goldin said he was surprised that so many respondents favored the calorie disclosures, which are made by affected chain branches on printed menus and menu boards. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

However, Chuck Hunt, executive vice president of the New York City chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association [4], said he was skeptical of the study and its results. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“When things like this come out, you don’t know the origin of the data,” he asserted. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Hunt said his association is still challenging the mandate in court, although the NYSRA already has lost several rounds of litigation in a failed effort to block the ordinance from taking effect. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

In light of the new research showing that consumers overwhelmingly welcome menu disclosure mandates, operators nationwide are expected to more closely monitor other such laws in several jurisdictions, regardless of the fate of California’s initiative. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Despite that state’s budget crisis, the compromises California restaurateurs won in shaping the legislation could show lawmakers elsewhere how to make such measures more palatable for the businesses they would affect. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

The California Restaurant Association dropped its opposition to Senate Bill 1420 after the CRA helped to rewrite the law, incorporating several provisions the industry favored. For the first 18 months after the law is to take effect next July 1, affected outlets would have to disclose calorie data directly on their menus, or list that data plus fat, sodium and carbohydrate contents in brochures that would be available upon request. However, by Jan. 1, 2011, all affected restaurants would have to post the calorie information on menus or menu boards. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

In addition to the 18-month grace period, the CRA also obtained a statutory shield for restaurants against consumer lawsuits alleging that the disclosed dietary data varied from menu items’ actual contents. The restaurant association also convinced the Legislature to have the law pre-empt all other municipal menu-labeling ordinances, such as ones in San Francisco and several neighboring counties, and one pending in Los Angeles. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“The local pre-emption piece is critical,” said Jot Condie, the CRA’s president and chief executive. “The original legislation left in question so many other municipalities who had the ability to pass their own individual menu-labeling laws. For us that was the worst possible scenario: multiple locations and jurisdictions. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“Also, the protection against new causes of [legal] action was critical as well as the fact that [the compromise bill] gives restaurant operators time to ramp up…before the 2011 implementation day. That gives us the ability to prevent having to go right out of the chute and buy new menu boards and new menus.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Condie added that having to address only caloric content on menus rather than a full complement of nutritional data makes the mandate much easier for operators to follow. “This requires basically one data point instead of multiples, which provide exposure to more potential lawsuits,” he said. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“A good portion of our industry is supporting this model, so I suspect they’d support a similar model in other parts of the country,” he said. “And let’s say there’s a federal law [on the books]. You don’t want multiple states with multiple menu-labeling laws. If this becomes a national effort, the pre-empting done in California is something that should probably be [examined].” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

As for New York City’s calorie disclosure law, Technomic executive vice president Goldin said he had “kind of sensed there was a shift [in public perception] based on some other work I’ve done concerning government regulation and restaurant responsibility.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

He added, “The overwhelming nature of the favorable response was a surprise. Not only that, I think it’s an indication that we’re going to see a lot more mandated nutritional disclosure that likely will go beyond calories.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

In fact, a menu law requiring a broad range of data disclosure took effect in Seattle-anchored King County, Wash., last month. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Goldin said the New York survey asked participants whether they were aware of the law and favored it or not. The survey also featured a number of agree/disagree questions and several other attitudinal queries, “but the crux,” he said, “was about how they feel about the law and why.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

Many of the consumers polled said they were now changing their food orders based on the available nutritional information, he said. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“It’s always hard to tell, but consumers seem to want more information and to make more informed choices,” Goldin said. “At worst, [the law] will have no impact, and at best it may help. Basically, consumers are saying, ‘How can more information hurt?’” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

In California, a statewide poll last month found that 62 percent of respondents prefer to have nutritional information available in restaurants, but not on menu boards, versus 37 percent who said they’d like to see the data posted on the boards. The survey, conducted by D. Hart Research Associates, also found that 55 percent of polled consumer favor a statewide standard, versus local ordinances. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

“Our patrons want a choice in accessing the information rather than the government determining how, when and where they receive the information,” Condie said. —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

If the state budget impasse ends this month, California’s governor is expected to reverse a position he took last October when he vetoed a menu disclosure bill, albeit a stricter one. But Lisa Page, a spokeswoman for Schwarzenegger, said he “doesn’t have a position on the menu-labeling bill.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.

However, Condie said, “The governor and his staff worked very closely with us on this [bill], and they are very supportive of it. I would expect his signature.” —Nearly nine out of 10 residents of this city favor its new menu-labeling mandate because they believe chain restaurants’ calorie disclosures for all regularly offered food and beverage items enable smarter dietary choices, according to a new survey by Technomic Inc.