Responding to the launch of Chapter Two of Government’s childhood obesity plan, UKHospitality’s CEO, Kate Nichols, said:
“The out-of-home sector supports workable efforts to promote healthier eating habits, as demonstrated by the proactive actions already in reformulating menus to reduce calories and increase transparency and choice for customers. However, the introduction of mandatory menu calorie labelling would represent a significant burden for businesses, particularly smaller operators.
“Many venues already choose to show calorie content on their menus, with many high street brands giving customers an unprecedented level of information but the reality is that smaller businesses will struggle to do so. It would impose a serious additional cost for many businesses facing tightening margins, increased operating costs and wider economic instability.
“Furthermore, it would hamper venues endeavours to incorporate seasonal ingredients and ‘specials’ to attract custom, as well as restricting smaller restaurants’ ability to innovate, particularly when tackling food waste. Furthermore, calorie labelling would largely fall outside of the Government’s targeting of obesity among lower income children, as obesity in that demographic is less likely to be caused by dining in restaurants.”