March 24, 2010 // Franchising.com // WASHINGTON — Federal government pre-emption of state and local menu labeling regulations included in the health care reform legislation will provide more regulatory certainty to franchise chain restaurants and offer consumers consistent nutritional information from location to location, the International Franchise Association said today.
"Franchise restaurants that are part of chains with 20 or more units nationally will no longer face a patchwork of state and local menu labeling mandates under this provision," said IFA Vice President of Government Affairs David French. "While the IFA lobbied strongly in opposition to the health care reform package, the one bright spot of the bill is that the federal government will for the first time take the lead regulatory role in how restaurants provide nutrition information to their customers."
French said the new menu labeling law mirrors the federal regulation for packaged food and gives flexibility in the manner that information is provided. The provision, which was based on the IFA-endorsed Labeling Education and Nutrition (LEAN) Act, also offers liability protection for restaurants, recognizing the variation in the nutritional content of food that is hand prepared.
The new national structure for restaurant menu labeling applies to restaurant systems of 20 or more units throughout the country and sets requirements for various, pertinent nutritional information.
"In the face of multiple and conflicting menu labeling requirements at the state and local levels, this national solution will provide consumers with the full range of information they desire to make an informed dining decision," French said.
The International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. Celebrating 50 years of excellence, education and advocacy, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising through government relations, public relations and educational programs. Through its awareness campaign highlighting the theme, Franchising: Building Local Businesses, One Opportunity at a Time, IFA promotes the 21 million jobs and $2.3 trillion of economic activity generated by franchising. IFA members include franchise companies in over 90 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law and business development.