The Informed Dining program is a voluntary nutrition information program for food service establishments developed by the Province of British Columbia. Participating food service establishments provide their guests with nutrition information, before or at the point of ordering, for all standard menu items.
Why should you join?
Approximately 70% of British Columbians are more likely to visit a restaurant that provides nutrition information.
Public Opinion Research 2014
By participating in the Informed Dining program, your business will be responding to the growing trend and interest in nutrition and will be seen as a leader in customer service by providing guests with nutrition information to help them make informed menu choices.
Over 10,000 food service outlets across Canada participate in the program. Businesses range from small independent cafes to national restaurant chains and public institutions like the University of Victoria.
Click here if you are a food service establishment operating in a BC health care facility.
Your guests want to know ‘What’s in their Meal’
"I would eat out more if this information was available in restaurants." Consumer
"I like the idea that the restaurant cares enough to offer this information." Consumer
"Sometimes wanting to eat healthy can prevent me from going out to eat. If I knew what meals were healthier for me and what was in my meal, I would choose to dine at that participating location over another." Contest Entrant March 2014
Who supports Informed Dining?
Restaurants Canada (formerly the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association) and the BC Restaurant and Food Services Association (BCRFA) have provided valuable advice on the development of the Informed Dining program.
“We are proud to be part of a program that offers a framework to help customers make informed food choices when they are eating out. This is part of building a relationship with our customers and providing the full nutrition information they crave.” Mark von Schellwitz, vice-president, Restaurants Canada
“Small business operators in BC appreciate the value this program brings to our customers. British Columbians are demanding more information about their food choices and Informed Dining makes that information easily available.” Ian Tostenson, president and CEO, BC Restaurant and Food Services Association.
Top five questions about the program:
1. Who can apply?
The Informed Dining program is available to all food service establishments with a minimum of one outlet located in British Columbia. This can include quick service, full service/table service, chains or franchises, and independently owned and operated establishments.
See the Participation Guide to learn more about the program and the requirements.
2. How is the calorie and nutrient content of menu items determined?
Food service establishments can use any reliable and verifiable method of nutrient analysis to determine the calorie and nutrient content of standard menu items. It is the food service establishment’s responsibility to ensure that the nutrient values presented are accurate.
Not sure if your recipes are accurate? The Recipe Standardization Module is an online teaching tool for operators to learn how to standardize their recipes. Click here for the 10-step module.
See the Guide to Nutrient Analysis for more information.
Your food service establishment may qualify for Nutrition Information Support, which is designed to provide operators in BC with additional assistance to participate in the Informed Dining program. Qualifying food service establishments benefit from a suite of services including:
- Nutrient analysis of recipes
- Recipe reformulation
- Graphic design of nutrition information
Click here to see if you qualify.
3. What resources are available to train staff?
Downloadable resources are available to help food service staff understand the program and assist customers in accessing the nutrition information.
- Top Five Things You Need to Know About Informed Dining - Poster
- Informed Dining Staff Training Guide
4. How is the program monitored?
Environmental Health Officers (EHOs) verify that program standards are being met in all participating restaurants in BC.
The program administrator provides ongoing support should issues arise during the monitoring.
5. What’s the first step to getting started?
Upon review of the Expression of Interest, the program administrator will contact you to set up a meeting to discuss the program in detail.