Earlier this week, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) published their long-awaited final regulations governing menu labeling requirements around the country. The FDA regulations, mandated by the Affordable Care Act and available in pdf format here, require that specific caloric and other information be included on menus and menu boards for “covered food establishments”. “Covered food establishments” are defined as being a part of 20 or more locations doing business under the same name and offering substantially the same menu items, a definition that clearly includes franchises with 20 or more locations. Those covered will be required to clearly display calorie information next to the name or price of an item in a type face that is the size of either the name or price and in the same color “or at least as conspicuous” as the item. In addition, the regulations preempt current state and local menu labeling laws, thereby establishing a national standard with which all covered restaurants must comply. The final rules also require all menus and menu boards to contain the statement: “2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice, but calorie needs vary.” Our friends at the Coalition of Franchise Associations (CFA) have an excellent summary of the rules available here.