What Are the Menu Labeling Requirements for a Restaurant Franchise?

waiter giving menu

If you have franchised your restaurant, then you must create your menu in a way that complies with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) menu labeling requirements. More specifically, this is mandatory if your restaurant and similar food establishments are part of a chain of 20 or more locations all doing business under the same name. Continue reading to learn what these requirements are and how one of the experienced franchise law attorneys at FortmanSpann, LLC can help you in fulfilling them.

What menu labels are required for a restaurant franchise?

Once your restaurant franchise has expanded to 20 or more locations, then you must comply with the FDA’s menu labeling requirements for standard menu items and variable menu items. For one, standard menu items are considered those that are routinely offered on your menu, menu board, self-service food, or food on display. Secondly, variable food items are considered those that qualify as standard menu items but that are listed as single menu items and that come in different flavors, varieties, or combinations.¬†Notably, you do not need to abide by the FDA’s menu labeling requirements for temporary menu items, otherwise known as items that appear on a menu for less than 60 days total per calendar year.

With that being said, for standard menu items, the number of calories must be listed next to the name of the price of the item. The type size cannot be smaller than that of the menu item or price, and it cannot be in a different color than this information. The reference to calories may be done by using the word “calories” or the abbreviation “cal.”

On the other hand, when it comes to variable menu items, the number of calories must be listed next to each flavor or variety. When not every flavor or variety is individually listed, the calorie disclosures must have a slash if there are two options available or must be shown as a range if more than two options are available. And when different serving sizes are available, additional calorie disclosures are required.

Importantly, many states and local municipalities have their own set of menu labeling requirements. So you must review these alongside the FDA’s requirements as your restaurant franchise begins to grow.

What else should I prepare for when franchising my restaurant?

Menu labeling requirements are just the start of the rules and regulations that come with franchising your restaurant. You will have to make great efforts to retain resources for your franchise, get a bank loan for your franchise, and build brand recognition for your franchise, among other things.

So, for more information on how to get your restaurant franchise started, you must reach out to one of the skilled franchise law attorneys today. We look forward to hearing from you.

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