Calories on menus – your questions answered | Kitchen CUT

In a bid to reduce childhood obesity, the UK government recently announced that it is considering compulsory calorie labelling on menus in restaurants, cafés and takeaways.  Whilst this is a positive step in promoting a healthy lifestyle and better education about what the food we eat contains, for the F&B industry this change could herald a huge amount of work.  Each product and each sub recipe that is used in every recipe for every dish on every menu will need to be have its calorie content and nutritional information monitored, recorded and presented to customers.  And this information will need to be updated every time there’s the slightest change for any ingredient, no matter how small, as this could impact on the calorie count for that dish. 

We asked chefs about their key concerns regarding the impending legislation and came up with some solutions of our own…

We don’t have the time to overhaul our whole menu to make it more healthy, how can we make our menu more appealing from a calorie count perspective without making big changes?

With Kitchen CUT there is a facility to create duplicate recipes and adjust the macro ingredients allowing you to tweak your recipe into a healthier version of the original.

Finding out nutritional information is manual and time consuming, is there a fast and accurate way to do this?

Kitchen CUT has data from two nutritional databases which provide immediate analysis of raw and cooked ingredients.  Our analysis tool pulls data from both the current USDA & FSA CoFIDS Food Labelling databases giving all members the ability to provide nutritional analysis for their customers. Once a recipe has been created, by simply matching ingredients the nutritional information will automatically be calculated and provide a per serving and a per 100g analysis, as well as a colour-coded traffic light system based on RDAs – simple, effortless, accurate.

Preparing dishes can vary from chef to chef, so consistency can be an issue in terms of keeping calorific information completely accurate.

By recording videos on how to create a dish, as well as including images and step by step instructions, your dishes can be both healthy and consistent, plus your reporting on nutritional information will be as accurate as possible.  Kitchen CUT software allows you to do all of this and our recipe specs are easy for chefs to follow. 

We have daily specials and change some of our menu items weekly.  What is the best way to implement this without the additional expense involved both in printing new menus and being able to track the resulting revenue?

Kitchen CUT users love the speed with which they can create and cost new recipes in the system. They can create a recipe within 4-6 minutes, ready for chefs to follow and deliver to a consistent standard, thanks to the dish specs containing videos and photographs to drive high levels of consistency – important for customer satisfaction!

Additionally, once menus have been created in Kitchen CUT these can quickly and easily be pushed out to websites, tablets and other devices to produce customer facing menus.  If you need to change a price for any reason, these changes are immediate and will update on your website (and the changes to your gross profit will be calculated automatically so you’ll know if it’s still making you money!).

We never know just how well a particular menu is performing.  How are we able to track this and identify any specific issues?

The menu engineering facility with Kitchen CUT gives you detailed data on menu performance so you that you can easily identify problem dishes or ingredients and make adjustments quickly and simply. 

Healthier recipes/ingredients are more expensive to create and difficult to cost

Recipes are costed as you build them, taking into account your target margins and CoS, so that you’re able to see at a glance if the dish will be cost effective (and make you money!) and you can adjust and make changes to the recipe until you are happy with it.

Allergen tracking is a huge worry for us as it is a manual task open to human error.  Should we need to swap ingredients on a dish, we may not know whether the allergen information is correct and up to date. Is there a more reliable way to go about this?

Every dish you create within Kitchen CUT will identify the key allergens from an ingredient level, and when you change a supplier or ingredient, KC will automatically update every recipe/menu with the correct allergen information.

Including calories on menus, as well as other nutritional information may seem like a huge mountain to climb, but with a system in place that eliminates the risk of human error, updates information automatically and provides the information your customers and entire team need to run your F&B business, the new legislation will have very little impact on your time or your profit!

You can get more information about Kitchen CUT by emailing or calling +44 (0) 330 113 0050

You can register for a free trial here

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