RESTAURANTS with more than 250 employees will have to begin providing the calorie breakdown on their menus this coming year.

The ruling may affect pubs and restaurant franchises financially, as customers may not wish to eat their usual meals once they become aware of the calorie intake. However many larger franchises already have the system in place.

Eddie Gershon, spokesman for Wetherspoons, which has two pubs in Worcester, the Crown and Postal Order, said: “Wetherspoons is ahead of the game. We have had food and drink calories on the menu for the past three years. Our customers are happy with it. They can see the calorie intake if they wish before purchasing a meal and a drink. I think it’s a positive thing from a health perspective.”

The Queen announced the mandatory ruling as part of 30 new laws parliament intend to pass this year. The legislation is part of the government’s scheme to tackle obesity in the UK.

Whilst smaller franchises won’t be affected by the rule, some business owners feel that customers may start to see it as the norm and expect this from smaller restaurants - ultimately giving them no choice but to implement the ruling. Dorian Kirk, owner of the Burger Shop, in Cherry Tree Walk, said “I think it’ll put undue pressure on smaller businesses to have to do something like that . We change our menus regularly so calorie counting each dish when we change our menu wouldn’t be feasible”.

He added: “Most chains pre-order their stock in advance, but as a business we’re more chef led and fluid the way we run things, changing the menu as and when stock is available. It would definitely add financial pressure.” With the ruling due to take place later on in the year, it gives businesses time to adapt to customer expectations. Mr Kirk said, “Personally, at this stage I don’t feel it will affect the business, but we will have to cross that bridge when we get there. We made it through covid, so if the new legislation does end up affecting smaller restaurants, I’m sure we’ll be able to get through this too”. As well as the calorie breakdown, warnings will also be displayed recommending a daily maximum intake of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men. The new rules will apply to all food outlets, including restaurants, cafes and takeaways, that employ more than 250 people.