Nutritional Menu Good news, but still more work to go.

I received an email today from Panera.

Panera Bread has announced that it will post calorie information on all Company-owned Panera Bread and Saint Louis Bread Co.® bakery-cafe menu boards by April 2010. The bakery-cafe concept expects franchise-operated locations to follow suit and have calories posted on menu panels by the end of 2010. This would make Panera Bread the first national concept to voluntarily post calorie information on menu boards across the country.

This is good news. You know I am a big fan of menu labeling.

Panera says they’ve noticed their customers have changed their purchase patterns as a result of their new informative menus.

“As we’ve been introducing our new menu boards across the country, customers have responded very favorably,” Scott Davis, Panera’s Chief Concept Officer said. “We’ve seen them gravitating towards options that allow them to customize their meals such as our You Pick Two® where they can pair smaller portions of our soups, salads or sandwiches to create a meal with fewer calories.”

“This whole initiative prompted us to take an even closer look at our menu offerings,” Davis said. “The result was we improved the nutritional content and ingredients in several of our menu items. We view it as a ‘win-win’ for both our customers and Panera.”

I think this type of responsibility and activity is only going to increase. If I were a restaurant, I’d be working on labeling my menu right now to stay ahead of the nutritional curve.

What can we do today?

Ask your favorite restaurant to add calorie information to their menus!

If you are a small to medium sized restaurant owner who’s determining ways to implement nutritional information for their constantly changing menus, contact us for some possible solutions.