The Special and a Side of Informed Dining
The City of Toronto is following British Columbia’s lead in adopting the Informed Dining program, and is seeking provincial action on providing nutrition information across Ontario. The Informed Dining program provides comprehensive nutrition information customers have been saying they want and need, before they order a meal or snack at their favourite chain restaurant. So far, 25 of the country’s leading chains have signed up to provide nutrition information to their customers in this standardized format. After all, recent studies have shown that restaurant meals can contain extra ingredients that wouldn’t necessarily be included in home-cooked versions of restaurant meals.
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association (CRFA) and several provincial and territorial governments are working together to make the Informed Dining program — which was developed by the British Columbia government — the national standard for providing restaurant-goers with information so they can build their own nutritional meals. The CRFA welcomes the opportunity to work with the City of Toronto and the province of Ontario to implement a national standard that Canadians say they need and want. “A patchwork of programs municipality by municipality, is unworkable and costly for restaurant operators and their customers,” says Stephanie Jones, CRFA’s Vice President, Ontario. “The answer is a standardized model that can be adopted across the country – Informed Dining is that model.”
Informed Dining will make it easy for customers to see nutritional values like calories and sodium content in their standard menu choices. Recognizing that orders are customized, and space on menu boards is limited, Informed Dining is a better, stronger program than the one proposed by the City of Toronto.