California Restaurant Association Partners with FoodCalc® To Help Restaurants Calculate Recipe Nutritional Profiles
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sacramento, Calif., Feb. 3, 2009 – The California Restaurant Association (CRA) today announced a partnership with FoodCalc®, makers of an online tool, MenuCalc, which instantly calculates the nutritional profile of recipes. As a CRA preferred-vendor product, MenuCalc will provide CRA members with an exclusive discount of 10 percent off already low prices for nutrition analysis and regulatory compliance services.
The CRA/MenuCalc partnership is well-timed in the face of growing consumer health-consciousness, with three in four adults saying they are trying to eat healthier now at restaurants than they did two years ago, according to the National Restaurant Association's Industry Forecast for 2009. Furthermore, a recent report by market-research firm Mintel states that the predominant restaurant trend for 2008 and 2009 is "downsizing", with diners seeking restaurants that offer mini or bite-sized foods; value; and lighter, healthier dishes.
In today's tough economic climate, many savvy restaurants are realizing that they can instantly achieve a strong competitive advantage, gain consumer confidence, and profit from the $35 billion-dollar diet industry simply by providing the nutrition information that their customers crave. And although menu labeling has historically been unworkable for many restaurants due to the high costs of laboratories and consultants and the complexity of nutrition CD-ROMs, now there is a time-efficient, economical solution in the marketplace – MenuCalc. The sophisticated tool successfully cuts costs in half by leveraging web-based technology and a growing database of 20,000-plus ingredients.
"The CRA is excited to begin a partnership with FoodCalc as many of our members look for ways to comply with SB1420," said Jot Condie, CRA president and CEO. "We see true value in their accurate online system, MenuCalc, combined with individualized access to trained registered dietitians. The partnership will provide our more than 22,000 members with exclusive discounts that are particularly important during these challenging economic times."
"Menu labeling is the wave of the future, driven by increasing consumer health consciousness and demand for dietary information," said Lucy Needham, president and CEO, FoodCalc. "Our mission is to offer all restaurants, regardless of size, a cost-effective and technologically-advanced nutritional analysis solution that helps them stay competitive in today's tough economy. We are proud to partner with the CRA to help deliver outstanding value to its members."
The MenuCalc product offers two unique solutions for restaurants. The Web do-it-yourself plan starts as low as $35 per recipe, and allows users to license MenuCalc's online application for unlimited use and independently perform their nutrition analysis, assisted by training and customer support provided by MenuCalc's expert staff. With the Registered Dietitian Plan, MenuCalc's registered dietitians perform the analysis, contact ingredient suppliers and assure compliance of all locations under menu labeling bills. Both plans generate instant results that can be customized and exported into programs like Microsoft Word and Excel. Completed nutrition data can easily be printed, emailed and shared via brochures, menus and Web sites.
In addition, MenuCalc offers Consultancy Services for all restaurants that wish to benefit from their expertise in labeling and menu display compliance (staff is certified to support FDA labeling inquires), nutrition analysis and ingredient projects beyond the paid plan. The consultancy rate is $90 an hour and does not include the CRA member discount.
Multi-unit restaurants that have signed up for MenuCalc's nutrition analysis include San Francisco, CA-based Specialty's Cafe & Bakery; St Louis Park, MN- based Granite City Food & Brewery; Sherman Oaks, CA-based Chinese Gourmet Express; San Francisco, CA-based based Mixt Greens; and Florida-based Asian Chao (owned by Food Systems Unlimited). Bouahong Vongmany, marketing manager of Food Systems Unlimited 39 restaurants nation-wide, said she chose MenuCalc because of outstanding customer service. "The team takes care of the entire process, responds instantly to our questions and has qualified Registered Dietitians on staff," she said. "They are much more efficient and reasonably-priced than the other options we explored, such as laboratories and third-party consultants."
About the California Restaurant Association
The California Restaurant Association is the definitive voice of the California restaurant and hospitality industry and has served to protect and promote its success since 1906. The restaurant industry is one of the largest private employers in California, representing more than 1.4 million jobs. Restaurants produce more than $56 billion in sales annually and generate more than $4.5 billion in sales tax for the state.
MenuCalc is one of two nutrition analysis applications developed by San Francisco, CA-based FoodCalc® LLC www.foodcalc.com. Founded in 2003, FoodCalc is the food industry’s gold standard for web-based nutrition analysis solutions. FoodCalc also built LabelCalc®, the only online tool that instantly generates accurate, up-to-date FDA-compliant nutrition facts panels for small-to-medium sized food manufacturers. For more information, visit www.MenuCalc.com and www.LabelCalc.com; email info@FoodCalc.com or call (415) 398-4628.