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Calories On The Menu - Is Your Hotel Ready?

Updated: Nov 6, 2022

Hospitality calorie labelling legislation is about to come into force. As of April 6th, businesses across the UK will have to provide calorie content information for their customers.

Melissa Thompson is our F&B Safety Expert. In this article, she explains how the law will be applied and why it might affect your hotel. Even if you find it doesn't apply to you right know, it's worth taking 5 minutes to think about what could happen if the legislation is expanded at a later date!

Melissa is currently Managing Director of Safer Food Scores - one of the most respected food safety agencies in the country. Their Hotel credentials speak for themselves, having worked with Holiday Inns, Penta Hotels and London locations such as the Langham and Rosewood Hotels amongst others.

What is happening?

The Calorie Labelling (Out of Home Sector) (England) Regulations 2021 are due to come into force on 6th April 2022. They require businesses to declare the calorie content of NON-PRE-PACKED food and drink.

Who do the regulations apply to?

They apply to food businesses with 250 or more employees in the out of home sector. This is generally considered to be any business where food is prepared in a way that means it is ready for immediate consumption, both on or off site e.g. restaurants, hotels, takeaways, bakeries.

How will employee numbers be calculated?

When determining if businesses have 250 or more employees, both full-time and part-time employees will be considered.

Businesses trading under franchise agreements, where the food, premises and business model are similar to each other, will qualify if the sum of employees operating under the franchise is 250 or more.

Government guidance is unclear with regard to multi-site operations that may have separate limited companies or incorporated bodies, so we have sought and are awaiting clarification on this from the Government.

In the meantime, this is our preliminary opinion:

If businesses have more than one site, the count of employees is across all sites. If the operations are split between separate limited company names or incorporated bodies, the employee count would be for each entity.

However, in such circumstances, the operation may be sufficiently similar to meet the definition of a franchise arrangement even though it is not ordinarily considered to be one. That would then result in a count of staff in those operations combined.”

Which foods do the regulations apply to?

Non-prepacked food and drink which is offered for sale in a form which is suitable for immediate consumption.

This includes foods without packaging, food packed at the consumers request and food prepacked on the same site that it is sold (prepacked for direct sale).

Examples include hot beverages, sausage rolls, pies, pasties, pizza slices, breakfast rolls, sandwiches, toasties, pastries, biscuits and cakes.

Are any foods exempt?

Yes, foods not covered by these regulations include:

Foods sold temporarily i.e. for less than 30 consecutive days and a total of 30 days in any year

Food not on a product list/menu or otherwise offered for sale but is expressly requested by the consumer to be prepared differently to usual.

Alcoholic drinks over 1.2% ABV (alcohol by volume)

Condiments added by the consumer e.g. ketchup, mustard etc.

Loaves of bread or baguettes (but not rolls or buns)

Fish, meat, or cheese (but not if added to multi-ingredient products e.g. chicken sandwiches)

Fresh fruit or vegetables and other unprocessed products such as nuts, or seeds (but not if added to multi-ingredient products e.g. fruit salads)

How should the calorie information be displayed?

You must:

Display the energy content in kilocalories (kcal)

Reference the size of portion to which the calorie content relates

Display the statement ‘adults need around 2000 kcals a day’

This information must be displayed clearly and prominently at the ‘points of choice’ e.g. on menus (including online menus) and at food displays such as grab and go fridges and display counters.

Food ordered online or by telephone is considered ‘distance selling’ so as well as at the point of choice, calorie information must also be provided at the point of delivery e.g. by enclosing menus or by placing labels on food containers.


Any guidance given in this article is not official and can take no responsibility if the information is used to form part of any legal or regulatory compliance for your business.

Expert Support is available

This guidance should help you to understand what is required. If you need further support, Melissa is available at HotelCostClinic to help via our One-on-One video consultancy at:

All of our team want to make their skills and expertise should be available to hotels across the UK of all sizes and budgets. Click here to see his Melissa's full profile.


While you are here, please take time to have a look around and see where the team might help you over the coming months.

Why not try a free introductory session (Free Treatment) on any area of support. Drop a note to and we will be happy to help.

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