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No More Homemade Sauces

A Dairy Queen is forced to stop making from-scratch sauces because of menu-labeling requirements.
October 9, 2013

​WASHINGTON – A Dairy Queen franchisee in Washington state has reverted to pre-packaged sauces because of ObamaCare’s menu-labeling requirement, United Liberty reports. The menu-labeling portion of the Affordable Care Act mandates that restaurants — including convenience stores and supermarkets-- with 20 or more than locations to provide the calorie content of menu items.

The Dairy Queen posted a sign alerting its customers to the change: “Due to the nutritional labeling requirements of ObamaCare, we have to serve pre-packaged, pre-made fry sauce. We can no longer make our own as we have done for many years. The additional cost to us is substantial, about $5,800 per year.

“I regret to say, we are forced to pass the cost of pre-packaged fry sauce, for take-out, along to you the customer. We will serve pre-made bulk fry sauce in the lobby at no additional charge. It is for the same reason we have had to discontinue our Buffalo Sauce and Habanero Ketchup, which were made in-store.

“Please be assured we are doing our very best to keep the cost to you, our customer, down while still maintaining the quality you have come to expect from us.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which will implement this provision, said the chains will shell out around $537 to fulfill the regulation requirements. Annual compliance will cost as much as $64 million. “The potential benefit from the proposed rule stems from the effect that decreasing the consumption of calories from restaurant and restaurant-type food has on mitigating obesity rates and growth in the U.S. population,” said the agency. “While survey data has shown that calorie labeling increases the number of people who see, and claim to use, this information, the literature has found mixed results on the effect of calorie posting on actual food consumption.”​

Recently, NACS member Jay Ricker of Ricker’s Convenience Stores, wrote a scathing op-ed blasting the menu-labeling requirement. One question Ricker asked in his op-ed was “How much time would you be willing to spend deciphering nutrition information if it were wallpapered across the store? And how much more money would you be willing to pay to cover those costs?”