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MenuCalc Frequently Asked Questions

What are MenuCalc’s primary services?

MenuCalc is committed to delighting its clients with nutrition solutions that combine personalized service, nutrition expertise and state of the art technology. With MenuCalc’s web-based nutrition solution, you obtain instant results and utilize comparison tools to analyze recipes and experiment with new products and ingredients. MenuCalc aids in the design of new menu items by allowing recipe adjustments in favor of desired nutrient levels and content claims such as "Low fat." You can also add recipes to menus and easily combine recipes for combination plates.

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What are the primary features?

As a member of MenuCalc you receive the latest features and improvements every single time you access your account. There are no patches to consider, no installation steps to go through— just log in and take advantage of the new tools and enhancements free of charge.

Built into each page are instructions, helpful tips and linked FAQs to ensure total user satisfaction and support. Below are key benefits offered through your membership with MenuCalc:

Recipe Creation:

  • Automatically receive accurate nutritional data provided by the USDA.
  • Instant Rounding Rules and % Daily Values.
  • Portion Size calculators (for your records results display for both)
  • Customization of recipe reports.
  • Allowing for ‘Cooking Instructions’ to be added.
  • E-mail, Save and Download all recipes and menus.

Product Development Solutions:

  • Pre-programmed criteria determination and reporting for eligible Nutrient Content Claims such as “Low fat”
  • Tracking tool that helps you navigate around the application.
  • Modification tools and assistance alerts
  • Step-By-Step examples

Member Usability Features:

  • Unlimited access anywhere and anytime to your account.
  • Analyze and securely store unlimited products
  • Sophisticated Recipe Library utilizing an array of organizational storage tools such as:
    • Archiving
    • Created and Modified dates
    • Product Descriptions
    • Product Status (Finished or Not Finished)
    • Recipe Category (Lunch, Breads, Appetizers etc.)
  • Track your progress by our advanced integrated recipe navigation steps that link to your every step to ensure completion.

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How many products can I analyze and store?

As many as you want. MenuCalc’s membership does not restrict account usage. In fact we’ve designed a sophisticated and customized Recipe Library manager that will enable you to sort and archive your products. There’s also a feature to enter previously analyzed products from another source.

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How much does is cost?

Click here to see our plan & pricing options.

Contact us to ask about rates for your restaurant and find out if you qualify for incentives or a custom package.

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Before the analysis begins, what do I need to do?

For each recipe you analyze, you will need to prepare:

  • A list of ingredients and their quantities (preferably by weight)
  • Specifics about each ingredient (i.e. is your flour bleach or unbleached, enriched or unenriched,…etc.)
  • Your known portion size (by weight)
  • Nutrition information for any ingredients not found in the MenuCalc database

With the Consulting Plans, MenuCalc’s expert team helps you take of compiling this information.

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How much time will it take to learn how to use MenuCalc?

Almost no time -- MenuCalc’s sophisticated web-based solution requires little training and no manual to study. The web screens are tested and designed with input and guidance from restaurant users like you so that you can get started right away.  You’ll find the navigation is seamless and using your account is a valuable time-saver!

How secure are my recipes?  Are they safe?

Security is our top priority! Every MenuCalc account is as secure as online banking. Each ingredient is encrypted with an indecipherable code that is inaccessible to both our team and outside personnel. If you decide to go with the RD plan and submit your recipes to MenuCalc staff, please give us a call if you'd like to see our confidentiality agreement.

It’s air-tight, and you can rest assured that your recipes and ingredients will be kept confidential and in the hands of professionals.

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Can MenuCalc employees see my recipes or access my account?

Only MenuCalc’s Registered Dietitians and nutrition analysis specialists will have access to your recipes, and only if you chose to go with the RD plan.  All staff with access to your recipes will be held under a strict confidentiality agreement, restricting them from sharing or reproducing your recipes.  MenuCalc employees do not have access to any web plan accounts.  The only people who have access to MenuCalc’s encrypted database are the owner and senior database manager who only access the database for updates and modifications. 

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Can other people access my account?

Absolutely not!  The only way for anyone to access user accounts is through a secured pass code.  Similar to online banking, or web-based credit card transactions, MenuCalc takes the highest security possible to ensure that user information is secured and confidential. 

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Is there a confidentiality agreement that protects my recipes?

Yes! All customer recipes are protected by our confidentiality agreement. We will never share or give access to your recipes without your explicit consent. You may view our confidentiality agreement by clicking here.

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What security does MenuCalc provide for my account and ingredient data?

MenuCalc’s servers reside in Time Warner Telecom's secure facility where the application is hosted by a company that has been a leader in Commercial Web Hosting, almost 10 years in service and provides hosting to government and Fortune 500 companies around the world. MenuCalc’s databases are located on its own dedicated server that performs daily back-ups and made safe by firewall protection.

MenuCalc has been designed with specific producers in mind for ever single user. We have a secure and mandated protocol that each new and current customer must follow in order to retrieve and log in to their account. Each account has been encrypted to grant access is the User Name, Security Question and Password is correct.

If at any time you suspect fraudulent activity on your account and fear someone shouldn’t have access to your data. Please contact us immediately at info@foodcalc.com.

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Do you have a secure payment process for using credit cards?

MenuCalc understands and fully identifies with the significance of a secure online payment process. In order to provide you with the up most security MenuCalc uses 2 advanced payment systems both provided by VeriSign, Inc:

1) VeriSign’s Commerce Site Pro:
http://www.verisign.com/products-services/payment-processing/commerce-site-faq.html

2) VeriSign’s Advanced Fraud Protection:
http://www.verisign.com/products-services/payment-processing/online-payment/fraud/faq.html

We work closely with the Bank and Merchant services to test our application daily and run routine security checks for the confidence of our members.

If at any time you suspect fraudulent activity on your account MenuCalc will work diligently with you and all involved parties to ensure the best results for you and your company.

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If I get stuck, what do I do?

MenuCalc was designed to be as easy to use as possible so that you the process is as simple as possible.  If you get stuck look for the  buttons at every step of the process to help guide you.  When you sign up for the web plan you will have a training session with one of MenuCalc’s Registered Dietitians who will explain the process to you and answer any questions you have.  And of course, call us with any questions (888) 804-0001.

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If I need to talk to someone, what’s the best way?

Click here to see various ways you can contact us.

We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and are happy to assist you with any of your nutrition analysis needs.  Our staff is in the office from 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Pacific Time. 

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What if I cannot find an ingredient in the database?

If MenuCalc does not have a specific ingredient in the database you can add this yourself by filling out an easy to use format as shown below:

Label

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What browser do you recommend for using with Menucalc?

Menucalc can be used with all major browsers: Internet Explorer (version 7.0+), Chrome, Firefox and Safari.

We highly recommend the use of Chrome when available.

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What’s the difference between using MenuCalc and a laboratory?

In the world of nutrition analysis there are two ways to calculate the nutritional content of a food sample; chemical, and by calculation. Chemical analysis must be performed in a lab where food is incinerated and tested for its exact nutrient content. That being said, when using chemical analysis the results are limited to that specific sample; unavoidable variations during preparation or ingredient variations cannot be accounted for. When using lab/chemical analysis you should test multiple samples of a food to establish an average, these additional tests can be very costly.

Analysis via calculation involves taking data from ingredients that have been previously chemically tested and scaling those nutrient values to match the amounts used in the final food product. The USDA has compiled a database that includes nutritional information for about 18,000 ingredients commonly found in the US diet. MenuCalc has built tools that use the USDA’s data to instantly calculate a food product’s nutritional profile.

Analysis by database has been touted as more accurate than chemical analysis because it uses ingredient averages instead of chemical results from one sample.

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I’m franchised owned, do I still have to comply with the menu labeling law in my area?

YES! All of the menus labeling laws specify that restaurants that operate under the same name, and serve substantially the same standardized menu qualify as chain restaurants, and must comply with the laws.

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Can MenuCalc also help me with menu labeling compliance?

YES! MenuCalc’s expert staff is well versed in all menu labeling laws and are happy to assist you in becoming compliant. Regulatory compliance advice comes standard with all RD plans. MenuCalc staff is also available for consultancy services for $90 per hour to web plan clients, or non MenuCalc clients. Email info@foodcalc.com for details.

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Is it true that the FDA approves software and services?

Yes and no. The FDA does not approve any companies who provide nutrition analysis. However, they do approve methods of compiling nutrition analysis. The FDA has approved analysis by database (as used in MenuCalc) as a method for determining a food’s nutrient content.

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Where do I make my nutrition information available?

That depends on what laws you fall under. If you do not qualify for any menu labeling laws, where you put your nutrition information is up to you. If you have locations in an area that falls under a law you should refer to the MenuCalc menu labeling whitepapers for details: http://www.menucalc.com/menulabeling.aspx

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