Domino's CEO: Why Put Calories On The Menu If 90% Of Our Customers Never Enter The Store?

As regulations requiring all restaurants with 20 or more outlets to label their in-restaurant menus with calorie info go nationwide, the CEO of Domino’s Pizza says the idea — as constructed by the federal government — just doesn’t fit a business like his, given the variable nature of pizza and its many toppings and the fact that store owners are paying for sign updates that most customers will never see.

J. Patrick Doyle, the pizza chain’s president and CEO, lays out his objections to the law in an op/ed piece for TheHill.com, but here are the highlights of his argument:

* 90% of Domino’s orders are placed online or by phone, meaning that adding those calorie counts to the menu is virtually pointless.

* Doyle claims the FDA regulation doesn’t account for foods like pizza that have a vast range of calorie possibilities, depending on what the customer orders and how many people share the pizza. He says the law requires Domino’s to give calories for a whole pizza, while customers would rather it be done by the slice.

* In places like New York, where calorie counts have been on the menu for quite some time, Doyle says the company has seen no change in ordering habits.

* While there are many, many Domino’s around the country, Doyle says that the average franchise owner has four stores and half of the franchisees only own one. But because they fall under the Domino’s umbrella, they are each required to have the calorie counts.

Concludes Doyle:

It is absurd to impose rules that will increase costs to business in a manner that will never be seen by 90 percent of our customers, and will be so confusing as to be ignored by the very few who ever see it.. We strongly support the spirit of what the FDA is trying to provide to consumers. The FDA should let us continue to give customers relevant nutritional information where they actually order, in an efficient and fair way, so we can get back to growing our businesses.

On menu regulations, government must do better [TheHill.com]