Nancy Snyder, MS, RDN
Staying on track with your health and fitness goals while eating away from home can prove challenging when restaurant nutrition information is not readily available. Below we will explore how to quickly and easily locate restaurants with nutrition facts so you can continue to work towards your goals.
Food tracking has become increasingly popular in recent years with the help of food logging apps and websites. While tracking what you eat at home can be rather straightforward thanks to the help of retail packaging labels, tracking what you eat at restaurants can prove more challenging when nutrition information is either not available or not easily integrated into your tracking app.
Luckily, MyMenu Concierge is making it easy in 5 ways! You can:
Find nutrition information for restaurant meals
Filter for restaurants in your area that meet your nutritional preferences
Customize menu items to meet your nutritional preferences and view instructions for exactly how to order the menu item
Recalculate the nutrition information based on your customized order
Add it to TRACK, the Cronometer Gold tracker included on MyMenu, with just one click.
Let's dive in!
Do All Restaurants Have Nutrition Facts?
As you likely have discovered from perusing your favorite restaurant websites, the short answer is no. While food labeling is required for most prepared foods found at the grocery store, only certain restaurants and retail food establishments are required to disclose nutrition information for standard menu items.
Are Restaurants Required to Provide Nutritional Information?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires that restaurants with 20 or more U.S. locations disclose number of calories on menus and menu boards. These restaurants are also required to provide, upon request, written nutrition information for total calories, total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, sugars, fiber and protein.
What About Restaurants That Don't Provide Nutrition Information?
If your favorite restaurant does not currently provide nutrition information for their menu items, be sure to put in a request! Often times when restaurants receive a significant number requests and inquiries for nutrition information, they will recognize the importance of providing this for their customers.
While not required, many other restaurants voluntarily provide complete—or partial—nutrition information for their menu items. While this is great news, how can one quickly differentiate which restaurants offer nutrition information so you can order and accurately track your calories and macros?
Where Can I Find Nutrition Facts for a Restaurant?
Restaurant Nutrition Data
As mentioned above, if a restaurant is required to provide nutrition information to customers (typically large chains with 20+ locations), you will be able to find calorie information on their menu and menu board at any restaurant location, as well as any other menu format where ordering may take place (for example, an online menu or to-go menu). These restaurants will also have additional, written nutrition information for all standard menu items available upon request, typically in the form of a brochure or pamphlet in the restaurant, as well as on the restaurant website.
For all other restaurants, you typically have to experiment with trial-and-error of visiting the company website to confirm and/or calling the restaurant to ask the staff. But this is time consuming and not ideal when you are hungry and limited on time.
Restaurant Nutrition Apps
There are many food tracking and restaurant nutrition information apps out there that provide some nutrition data for restaurant menu items. Where these nutrition apps fall short is that their restaurant nutrition data is often scraped from the internet and can often be inaccurate, outdated and extremely limited. What's more, this stagnant nutrition data does not allow for customization (for example, did you order your salad without any cheese? Or sub a turkey burger in place of a hamburger patty?), and therefore is not very practical or useful.
With MyMenu Concierge, you will have access to an extensive database of restaurant nutrition data that is obtained, verified, and updated regularly by a team of registered dietitians. In addition to providing next level food tracking, MyMenu Concierge also has the most advanced personalized eating technology ever developed! Meaning you can be proactive in selecting menu items that meet your dietary preferences or specific fitness goals. Let's take a closer look!
Explore MyMenu's Proprietary Restaurant Database
Powered by dietitians, MyMenu Concierge makes it easy to:
Locate restaurants with nutrition facts near you—simply enter your address or zip code and hit go!
Locate restaurants with menu items made without gluten or made without dairy (as well as 'Made Without' other ingredients) or other lifestyle preferences (e.g., vegan, vegetarian, keto-friendly, planet health-focused, etc.)
Customize a menu item to your personal preferences (i.e., without cheese, substitute gluten-free bun) —and see the nutrition information update in real time!
Save time by setting your personal preferences first, and then let MyMenu show you how many menu items, at each restaurant, meet your preferences (see counts in red circle). For example, maybe you're interested in low-calorie restaurant meals, or perhaps you are trying to stay within your macros and want to specify your amount of carbohydrates, protein and fat.
Find out exactly how to customize the menu items to meet your preferences. For example, if you selected 'Made Without Dairy,' the Personalized Ordering Instructions will show you how to order the menu item so it is prepared and served without dairy.
Add your meal to MyMenu's food tracker, Cronometer Gold, with the click of a button—or use the MyMenu nutrition data to add to other trackers precisely the way you ordered it.
Restaurants with Nutrition Facts in our App
MyMenu Concierge's database of restaurants contains more than 125,000 restaurants across the USA, including popular chains, as well as smaller trendy and health-focused restaurants. Below are just a few:
Interested in learning more about how easy it is to find nutrition information at restaurants in your area? Learn more about it on the EAT page. Then, explore the other key components of the MyMenu health and wellbeing digital/mobile platform: TRACK, CALIBRATE, SUPERKIDS.
Ready to get started? Sign up at MyMenu Concierge today!