Longwood, Florida-based Food Systems Unlimited is a cutting-edge restaurant management corporation with franchises in food courts, malls and airports throughout the United States. The company’s innovative style, creative food concepts and focus on fine ingredients and excellent service have earned it a reputation for serving the most “distinctive food court cuisine” in the industry. Food Systems Unlimited features three unique fast food restaurants – Asian Chao®, Maki of Japan® and Chao Cajun®, offering Chinese, Japanese and Cajun-style cooking respectively. Founded in 1991, the company now has more than 75 restaurant locations nationwide.
Growing consumer health-consciousness has prompted lawmakers in selected counties in California, New York, Washington and Oregon to pass ordinances mandating that chain restaurants post nutrition information to help diners make educated, healthful ordering decisions. Other states are on the way. Many restaurants consider the measure unworkable, citing the enormous cost of nutritional analysis. Laboratory food analysis can cost $500 to $1,000 per recipe, and nutrition CD-ROM’s for menu analysis are priced at thousands of dollars. Faced with these prohibitive costs, Food Systems Unlimited marketing manager Bouahong Vongmany consulted MenuCalc founder and CEO Lucy Needham, who claims to effectively slash them in half by utilizing a database of 20,000+ ingredients compiled primarily from USDA Nutrient Laboratory data. Vongmany is delighted with MenuCalc’s analysis and service.
“MenuCalc is much more economical and efficient than other options we explored, such as laboratories and third-party consultants,” said Vongmany. “Also, the company’s nutrition analysis is guaranteed for accuracy, which is critical since we don’t want to give our customers potentially misleading data. Plus, it’s great that MenuCalc’s staff includes a fully-qualified Registered Dietitian, whom I can easily reach at all times. I feel as if I have my own dietician on-site!”
Vongmany also says that she appreciates MenuCalc’s outstanding customer service and ability to manage the entire process of nutrition analysis, which saves Food Systems Unlimited valuable time and resources. The MenuCalc team reviews analyses to ensure regulations compliance, secure storage/archiving, correct portion sizes and presentation of “A Healthy Choice” recipe claims. In addition, they proactively guide clients in redesigning dishes/recipes for increased healthiness and nutrition.
“I am extremely happy with the level of customer service and support provided by Lucy Needham and her team,” said Vongmany. “They respond very quickly to all our questions and have gone out of their way to help us gather the additional information we needed to complete our analysis.”
Under the supervision of lead dietitian Alyson Mar, MenuCalc offers consulting services to advise clients regarding industry issues, laws and developing food trends. “Our goal is to exceed our clients’ expectations in every way,” said Mar. “In addition to giving our clients a turnkey solution for nutrition analysis, we serve as their knowledge resource. In contrast, most companies charge high prices for specialized assistance, often up to $500 for a single question.”
Vongmany describes herself as very satisfied with MenuCalc’s help in this arena. “Since we have to observe constantly evolving laws, it’s great that Lucy and her team are experts on regulations. They help us understand the rules better and show us different ways to display information. I’d recommend MenuCalc to any restaurant looking for quick, accurate, reasonably-priced and dependable service for nutritional analysis.”
MenuCalc is one of two nutrition analysis applications developed by San Francisco, CA-based FoodCalc® LLC. Founded in 2003, FoodCalc develops unique online solutions for a healthier America. For more information, visit www.MenuCalc.com and email info@MenuCalc.com or call 415-398-4628.
Customer: Food Systems Unlimited, Longwood, FL
The Challenge: Offer Food Systems Unlimited an accurate, economical option for nutrition analysis.
Executive Summary: Food Systems Unlimited had to obey ordinances mandating that chain restaurants post nutrition information for diners. Faced with the exorbitant fees charged by laboratories and third-party consultants, the company utilized MenuCalc’s services to obtain fast, precise and cost-efficient nutrition analysis.