Chain pizza restaurants are banding together to protest the new menu-labeling plan proposed by the FDA, because, they say, it’s hard to post nutrition facts. Because there are “millions” of combinations of pizza toppings that customers can choose, they say it would be too difficult to post nutrition facts for all the options on offer at their restaurants. Or is it the fact that forcing customers to stare down the calorie-count and fat content of their food might hurt business?
To be fair, posting accurate nutrition facts for all menu items does sound like a pain. That’s why the FDA’s proposal only applies to chain restaurants with 20 or more locations; it would be a lot to ask of a mom-n-pop pizza shop, but for Pizza Hut? They figure the company is big enough to cover the cost of pinning down the details of what goes into their food.
Some fast food chains seem to be gearing up for the change by developing diet-friendly menu items (or at least, ones that have a slightly more amenable calorie count), and some already make nutrition facts available to consumers. But not pizza restaurants.
Lynn Liddle, a Domino’s exec and chair of ‘The American Pizza Community,’ a coalition of pizza restaurants who don’t want to deal with the nutrition requirements, told Wall Street Journal:
A light bulb goes on when people hear about all the possible combinations for pizza. They start to realize how difficult it would be to take a one-size-fits-all approach.
Of course, brands like Subway have managed to post nutrition facts despite the myriad of toppings and condiments available, but then…customers can opt out of mayo on a Subway sandwich a lot more easily than they can opt out of cheese and meat on a pizza.
At the end of the day, nutrition facts on pizza probably aren’t going to save America from obesity, but they also probably won’t chains like Domino’s out of business. And even if the FDA’s proposed menu labeling is a thorn in their site, they should probably mind all the warnings against biting the hand that feeds you(/subsidizes all the cheese on your pizzas and helps you boost sales).