New Menu Law Calls For New Design and Print

May 7, 2018

The FDA’s New Menu Law

Beginning May 7th, chain restaurants in the US are now required to list the calorie counts of food items on their menus. The law is an effort to encourage Americans to choose healthier options when eating out. This law, enforced on chains with over 20 locations, includes:

  • Restaurants
  • Movie theaters
  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Pizza chains
  • Vending machines

Why it may affect every food business

While the FDA is only requiring certain sellers to list their calorie counts, there’s always a chance the law could change. In the future, all businesses that sell food may need to include calorie counts.

Customers may also begin to expect calorie counts to be on menus wherever they purchase food. With businesses under this new law along with places that already list calorie counts by choice (like Starbucks and Chipotle), it may become habit for consumers to choose menu items—at least in part—based off of calories.

People reading lunch menus

New menu designs

Adding new information requires a new design. Simply inserting the calorie count into the existing menu can increase clutter, especially with the food names, prices, descriptions and images already present. More clutter means difficulty reading and can be a less pleasing experience for your customers.

Adding calorie counts involves choosing specific design elements, like:

  • Typeface
  • Font
  • Placement
  • Sizing
  • Spacing
  • Color

Carefully choosing these elements allows customers to read a menu that’s easy to digest. This is also a good time to update your outdated design to one that’s more modern.

Lunch menu before and after redesign

Even digital menus will need an upgrade. Since customers view website menus on their phone, tablets and computers, the information needs to be able to automatically resize and reshape to fit each device. You need to make sure adding calorie counts won’t disrupt how your menu looks on a screen.

New menu printing

After calorie counts are added, you’ll need to print new menus. This is a good time to think about your print options.

Your menu can look cheap and outdated if you’re using a Microsoft Word template, a desktop printer or average printer paper. Consider everything you can do to make your menus stand out and match your branding:

  • Thickness
  • Sizing
  • Single-sided vs. double-sided
  • Color vs. black and white
  • Bound vs. folded
  • Colored background vs. blank background
Stacked printer paper

How we help

Graphic design

Our designers can create, recreate or revamp a menu that is anywhere your customers may see one:

  • Food menus
  • Drink menus
  • Happy hour displays
  • POS menus
  • In-store digital displays
  • Foamcore menus
  • Table tents
  • Website menus

Send us your menu info, and we can create a new design that fits your branding, is easy to read and is appealing to both look at and hold. Even if your menus change weekly or daily, we can design each one or create a template for you to input the menu items yourself.


We have a full-service printing team, so we can print high volumes of menus often at lower costs than a business can with a desktop printer. We use high-performance printing equipment, so your color won’t fade or misalign like the typical office printers.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.