Friday, January 9, 2009

Calorie counts

It's been reported recently that Massachusetts is considering having "major" chains post calorie information for their products. New York City does this already, which is why I know that the tasty Starbucks iced lemon loaf is really, really bad for you. I can wolf this thing down in about a minute, packing in 450 fat-rich calories and little or no nutrition.

In case you haven't seen it, here is a link to that article (sorry that it's pasted in - Blogger is giving me problems right now):

In a related note, McDonald's apparently has been working behind the scenes to convince moms that its food actually isn't that bad for kids. Kids love McDonald's, obviously; my kids already know, even though they are only 5 and we never go to McDonald's, that their colors are red and yellow. Whenever we play Uno, they tell us so ("Dad! I only have McDonald's colors). But Moms are the so-called "gatekeeper" that prevent their kids from going to McDonald's, so the restaurant chain's challenge is to get them bought in. The Washington Post had this story on their front page earlier this week.

I don't know if Five Guys can be considered a "major' chain since in Massachusetts there are literally 2 stores open. But here's one thing I do know: Five Guys is not health food. We all know this. The difference between Five Guys and other chains, however, is that we don't pretend it is. I've heard our Director of Franchise Development (McGuire - he's the white-suited guy in the Phantom Gourmet clip) announce this at ICSC events to wild cheers. We don't serve 1,000 calorie Asian Chicken salads. We don't sell "all white meat" Chicken McNuggets that have even more saturated fat than a Big Mac. We sell burgers and fries and they are not going to help you lose weight.

However, they are high-quality, award-winning products with legions of loyal customers. Giving these customers visibility into calorie counts, if that's what we are asked to do, is a part of the privilege of winning their business. It doesn't worry me much. I know all about the Starbucks lemon loaf and ate one only this past Tuesday. And it was delicious.

1 comment:

James said...

Personally, I like your candor and of that of the other independents who are honest with their customers. Hamburgers, made properly, are terrible for you.


Please, don't change. Just try to understand that if I want diet food, I won't go buy one of your burgers.