The Blog

Is Menu Labeling Effective?

Obey the egg.

9:22 AM, Apr 20, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

Victorino Matus writes in the Washington Post:

Obey the egg. That’s what the little flag toothpick sitting atop my not-so-little Royal Red Robin Burger was telling me. For aside from the bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise, this specially promoted hamburger features a fried egg. On the menu, it is described as “the aristocrat of all burgers.” Indeed, sitting in my booth at the Red Robin in Gaithersburg, looking down on this symbol of decadence along with a side of fries, I did feel like a king.

At the same time, knowing that this particular burger contains 1,191 calories had me also feeling like that other king, Elvis Presley (he of fried-peanut-butter-and-banana-sandwich fame). What’s more, I began my lunch with onion rings and jalapeno chips. By the time the check came, my meal totaled approximately 3,000 calories.

Basically, I exceeded my daily recommended allowance by about 1,000 calories. As such, I had little to eat the rest of the day. I had also skipped breakfast that morning. Sure, my lunch didn’t have to be so Caligulan. But it was ultimately my choice — an informed choice.

Since July 2010, the Red Robin at Lakeforest Mall in Gaithersburg has provided caloric content for every single menu item as part of a law passed by the Montgomery County Council that applies to restaurants with 20 or more locations in the country. But earlier this month, the Food and Drug Administration issued its own proposal for menu labeling as required by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, in which all chain restaurants with 20 or more locales must post caloric content for standard menu items as well as a suggested daily allowance....But will Americans take control of their own health? Will patrons of Red Robin flock to the Garden Burger knowing it has a mere 561 calories?

Whole thing here

Recent Blog Posts