Okay, I don't get political on this blog or any of my others, for that matter. I was a poli-sci major in college, and I would crawl if I had to in order to vote..... but otherwise, I don't delve too deeply unless it's a campaign season. Campaigning is another beast entirely - I love watching the tactics that politicians will use (read: depths they will sink to) in order to win.
BUT..... no matter how you feel about the recent health-care legislation, one of the brightest shining provisions is the one requiring chain restaurants to post the calorie counts (if nothing else). Frankly, I wish they'd make them hand out a complete nutrition guide at the door, with fat, fiber, sodium, sugar, and a few other things listed..... but at least the calorie count is a starting point.
And I love restaurants that WILLINGLY provide that information now. Regular readers know that I am totally kookoo for Jason's Deli, just because of the great information they provide and are willing to give you ..... in one situation, with a new menu item, the manager even went online to their staff section to find the information for me. Now that's dedication! Kudos also to The Pita Pit (and we FINALLY have one around here, in Clemson!) -- their Athens GA location did the same for me one day and it was so deeply appreciated.
Today for lunch, I was out and about, and didn't want the usual stuff. It had been a while since I'd been to Arby's (except for one sandwich on vacation recently), but I remembered that they had a really good salad a while back -- the Martha's Vineyard. And naturally..... le sigh. No longer on the menu. But I went in and asked the counter staff if there was a nutrition guide where I could decide. They went right to the information center, got one for me, and I sat down with my handy calculator and figured out POINTS values. They were so very helpful, and willing to give the information! That earns quite a bit of respect from me.
Now, for the one complaint -- and this goes for many fast-food restaurants who offer salads. Here's a suggestion: How about letting ME decide if I want cheese or bacon or whatever on the salad. You can package the basics: the veggies and the meat, but all the accoutrements? Let me decide. You can put them in little containers within the package -- that still allows the service staff the ability to just grab, hand, and move to the next customer without having to freak over a special order. Or tell me up front what's on the salad: had I known that this one came with bacon and cheese, I may have chosen differently (even though it was good!). What would have been the harm in a package of bacon bits or little plastic container of cheese ..... I could have added it or not, but that would have been my choice. The salad was tasty - don't get me wrong - but really, to pick out the cheese is nearly impossible (the bacon was easier to remove). And to Arby's: bring back the Martha's Vineyard salad; it was so good!
But back to my point.............. having that information allowed me to make the best possible choice that I could. That's all any of us can ask for.... even if the choice becomes, "Wow. I think I'd better go somewhere with healthier options!" Don't think it hasn't happened, and my guess is that if it starts happening often enough with chains, they may start thinking, "Ooh. How do we remedy this?"