Why Your Online Menu Needs a Nutrition Calculator

See our meal builder nutrition calculator in action here.

If we’ve learned anything since the Millennial has become the generation with the most buying power, it’s that customization is king. We see it everywhere, from the social media influencer to the new local food truck, everyone is on a mission to “define their brand”, be it their personal brand as a human being or their business that has become a cohesive extension of the individual who founded it. Millennials are redefining the industry by pioneering a mentality that demands personalization. And as they demand food choices as unique as they are, it becomes very apparent that it’s important that a restaurant provide that type of flexibility. Gone are the days where food trends are dictated by the food industry itself. Consumers have flipped the switch, and they’re expecting their dining experiences to match their personal preference. For this reason, we’ve created a nutrition calculator that can plug straight in your online menu that allows the diner to customize their dining experience according to their dietary preferences. Enter: Meal Builder.


If you’ve ever set foot in a Chipotle or other restaurant that offers a “build your own” format, you can begin to understand how extraordinary a nutrition calculator can be for an online menu. If a customer is going through the options online to create their burrito bowl, they can easily choose their rice type, protein preference, and select their toppings with just a few clicks of the button. Meal builder takes this “build your own” model and combines it with a real-time nutrition calculator. As a diner changes the ingredients in their burrito bowl, they can see the nutrient changes and the altered caloric values, instantly.

No meat? No problem. If a diner wants to remove the chicken from a menu item and replace it with a plant-based protein, they can easily do so with a few clicks and can instantly see how this changes the nutrient values of their customized menu items. And because Meal Builder syncs directly into your online menu and POS system, all changes can easily alter price correctly of accuracy at checkout.


There are 8 food allergens, known as the “Top 8”, that restaurants are often called upon to provide by the customer. Depending on how astute your staff is on nutritional information, it might prove difficult to cite the presence of allergens easily and efficiently once a diner has begun customizing their meal. The meal builder nutrition calculator bridges this gap by offering the nutritional values in real time. If the recipes entered into the recipe database for your online menu (in this case, your menucalc account), contain any of the top 8 food allergens, Meal Builder can pinpoint their presence within a customer’s meal even once ingredients have been altered. This real-time data share is crucial for those dining out with health restrictions, such as food allergies.

User Insights

As more and more menu items are created and customized within the Meal Builder nutrition calculator, new data is collected that begin to form patterns that tell a story about your primary dining audience and their dietary preferences. Meal Builder has the ability to track customer behavior by the ingredients that are chosen most often or even omitted by your customer. This data can help assist the ordering process with distributors, cutting costs and food waste while allowing the restaurant to appeal to their diner.

As time goes by and this data begins to build, reports can be run to discover what items are ordered most often per day, per week, per quarter. Chefs can begin to craft meal offering around customer’s most-ordered menu items and most preferred ingredients. This technology begins to allow the restaurant to begin to get ahead of the curve by understanding the customization preferences of their diners, saving valuable time and money in product development and giving them a competitive edge to appeal to their target audience.

More than a Nutrition Calculator

Because of the detailed information that is collected as more and more users begin to interact with Meal Builder’s nutrition calculator, the capabilities of this extraordinary platform become exponential. Meal builder brings the solution far past the need for caloric values on menus and into increasing business operation efficiency. If you’re curious about how Meal Builder could work for your location, we’re happy to give you the grand tour. Contact us today. (You can view an example of our Meal Builder in action here.)

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