WAND Caloric Count Digital Menu BoardsWith the countdown to the FDA restaurant menu labeling requirements deadline approaching (nine months to go from the date of this post) many restaurants are going to have to start moving (if they haven’ already) to get their menus updated with calorie count info.

My team here has outlined a Six Steps to Success plan we’ve been recommending our customers use to prepare for this. I thought today’s post would be a great place to share this plan with everyone:

Six Steps to Success
To prepare for the FDA restaurant menu labeling requirement deadline December 1st, 2015.

1. Choose a Champion. Determine a champion (project manager) in your organization to dedicate to this task. Having one person own this will ensure there is one person pushing to make this happen in your restaurants. Plus it gives you one person who is the designated Subject Matter Expert on the topic.

2. Find Your Calorie Counts. If you don’t have them all yet you’ll need to build your list of calorie counts for your menu items. Identify who in your organization would have the calorie counts and have your champion work with them to finalize your calorie counts list for your menu items.

3. Conduct an Audit. Conduct an audit of all current menu types you need to update. Printed, online, static and Digital Menu Boards, outside menus – anything with written menu items on it needs calorie counts. Build a checklist of all the menus that need to be updated.

4. Create Your Process. Document and process out the typical way menus are updated now (if not already done) in your organization. If you use a vendor (or multiple vendors) to update your menus, notify them of your timeline and your needs. Ask them how they can help update your menus.

5. Determine Your Approach. Determine the ideal approach for updating menus at your organization. Also identify where to make changes (printed vs. online, static vs. digital, time to launch a menu app?). Since you’re taking the time to update all your menus this year it’s the perfect time to consider launching new technologies to make it easier to update menus in the future.

6. Manage Through Completion. The final step is managing your plan through completion. If you’ve built your plan well and done your audit and homework then implementation and execution should be no problem.

What other steps are you taking to prepare for this roll out? Anything I missed?