Majority of quickservice chains wait to display calorie counts

Vino Wong, McDonald’s added calorie counts to its menus nationwide, including Atlanta and Dunwoody (shown). It’s a move the Chicago-based giant said will help it get an early jump on a mandate under the Affordable Care Act that requires restaurants with more than 20 locations to post calorie content on menus. By Leon Stafford

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

In September, McDonald’s broke with the restaurant industry pack by announcing it would immediately begin putting calorie labels on menus months ahead of a new federal health care law mandate that takes effect in in 2013.

But instead of following in the burger giant’s footsteps, metro Atlanta restaurants — including locally based eateries such as Chick-fil-A, Arby’s and Waffle House — have decided to wait for the mandate.

The reason, they say: uncertainty over which calories to count, where they should be listed and the cost associated with menu alterations.

“We simply do not want go ahead and make changes of what we ‘think’ will be required and then have to make a second change a few months later once we do know the specific requirements,” Chick-fil-A spokesman Mark Baldwin said.

Arby’s leaders agreed, saying they expect the Food & Drug Administration to set the guidelines sometime later this year.

“Until then there are still many details to be determined and limited guidance has been provided to date by the FDA,” said Jo Ann Herold, a spokeswoman for the roast beef giant. Read More