Americans are craving more information about the food they are served, and fast-food companies, as well as casual restaurants, are increasingly obliging, many going well beyond legally mandated calorie counts.
They are updating their signs and menus for diet-conscious customers, and they also are highlighting potential problems for those with food allergies or other dietary restrictions.
Although responding to demand, quick-service restaurants also see that providing the additional information can help them stand out in the highly competitive marketplace.
"If you can demonstrate to families that you can offer them a safe meal, you establish a tremendous sense of loyalty and create repeat customers," said Chris Weiss, a vice president at the nonprofit Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. "As we look to the future, we'll definitely see more restaurants doing this."
Healthful eating is already at the forefront of the food industry. California requires large chains to disclose calorie counts for each meal, and similar federal rules are coming next year.