The popular restaurant chain Freshii says it will “meet the minimum compliance as required” under Ontario’s law to post calorie counts on menu boards.

In a statement on Tuesday, the chain said that if “the province of Ontario insists on threatening to fine our franchise partners, then we are prepared to take the appropriate steps to meet the minimum compliance as required by the rules.”

  • Freshii food chain a holdout in posting calories on menu boards

The company’s announcement comes one day after CBC News reported that the restaurant chain was breaking provincial law and risking substantial fines by failing to post calories on menu boards.

A spokesperson for Ontario’s Health Ministry said the government will continue to seek compliance as part of its Healthy Choices Act.

“Menu labelling at the point of purchase increases awareness of caloric information and has been shown to influence consumer behaviour. Emerging evidence also suggests menu labelling may encourage restaurants to reformulate their existing menu items and create more healthy options,” David Jensen, a spokesperson for Ontario’s Health Ministry, said in an email.

He added that studies show consumers’ understanding and use of the information is better when calorie counts are displayed with information on how many calories people need at different ages. 

In its statement, Freshii said it respectfully disagreed with the province that requiring calories to be displayed on menus provides nutrition information to help them make well-informed choices. 

The company’s motto is: “Count Nutrients, Not Calories.”  

“At Freshii, we believe that displaying only calories on a menu is misleading for our guests. The Ontario menu labelling legislation is overly simplistic and does not go far enough; it does not tell a holistic nutrition story, nor does it consider the customization demanded by today’s guests.”

The publicly traded company did not provide a timeline on when customers can expect to see the calories on menus.