Frequently asked questions
What is menustat?
MenuStat is a unique resource. It is a free interactive nutrition database of foods and beverages served by the nation’s largest chain restaurants. All data can be exported for further analyses.
who should use this site?
Everyone! Researchers can export data for their own analysis. Journalists can explore trends. Teachers can integrate the site into lessons. And, restauranteurs can check out the competition.
how are the data collected?
Nutrition information was manually collected from restaurant websites in January of each year through 2020. The Restaurant Data Availability chart reports which restaurants are included each year. The process for data collection changed for the 2021 dataset, more details will be published in the methods when that data becomes available to download.
How do i know if the data are correct?
Nutrition information is captured as a snapshot in time and is listed on MenuStat exactly as it appeared on restaurant sites at the time it was collected. Therefore, it is as accurate or as inaccurate as the information presented by restaurants. Source files (e.g. menu images, nutrition PDFs) can be provided upon request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where can i find more information about menustat's methods?
MenuStat’s Methods & Codebook describes how data are collected and entered.
Why isn't nutrition information available for every item?
MenuStat does not control what nutrition information is posted on menus. The site simply posts information as it is presented on restaurant websites. Although some jurisdictions require menu labeling, standardized requirements for all restaurants are not in place; chain restaurants are required to post certain nutrition information by May 7, 2018 according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MenuStat’s Methods & Codebook provides information on data completeness.
is the nutrition information national or regional?
MenuStat captures national data. If regional nutrition information is posted on the restaurant’s website, it is coded as a variable in MenuStat.
will more information be posted in the future?
Yes. If you would like to be contacted when annual data is added, please subscribe to receive periodic updates about MenuStat.