Restaurant Menu Symbol
Consumers are now accustomed to looking for the Whole Grain Stamp, to find good whole grain choices in the their favorite grocery stores.
Now an equally-helpful tool is available for restaurants and other food outlets: The Whole Grain Menu Symbol.
What Does the WG Menu Symbol Stand For?
Just like the Whole Grain Stamp, the Menu Symbol makes it easier for you to find foods containing at least half a serving of whole grain. Restaurants, cafeterias and other food establishments can put this symbol next to any dish that meets this requirement.
Examples of Whole Grain Options
You might see the Whole Grain Menu Symbol on foods like these:
A side dish made with any whole grain, such as brown rice, exotic colored rices, wild rice, quinoa, or barley
Whole grain pasta
Oatmeal, Cheerios® or other whole grain breakfast cereals
Whole grain breads, crackers, and flatbreads in the breadbasket
Whole grain cakes, cookies, brownies for dessert
Ethnic dishes like whole corn tortillas, buckwheat soba noodles, or kasha
How much whole grain qualifies as a “half serving?”
These are the minimum amounts of whole grain that qualify as a "half serving." In most cases, you'll be receiving much more than these minimums – given the size of most restaurant servings these days!
Whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc.): 1/4 cup cooked or 1/2 oz dry
Hot cereal (oatmeal, etc.): 1/4 cup cooked or 1/2 oz dry
Whole grain pasta: 1/4 cup cooked or 1/2 oz dry
Bread: 1 small slice 100% whole grain bread; 1 large slice “half and half” bread
Finding Restaurants and Reporting Your Findings
The Menu Symbol is fairly new, so you may not see it at your favorite restaurants right away. In the meantime, check our list of food establishments offering at least one whole grain choice daily, and Just Ask for Whole Grains. If you find a restaurant that's serving whole grains and is not yet on our list, tell us about it. There's a handy online entry form here on our website – just click here.
For Food Establishments:
How to Get Started with the Menu Symbol
Restaurants, schools, and foodservice establishments who would like to use the Whole Grain Menu Symbol follow these steps:
Read the Menu Symbol Usage Guide (258K PDF), and make sure you qualify.
We'll ask you to sign and return a one-time Menu Symbol Agreement Form, attesting that you will observe all the rules and standards of the Menu Symbol program. This form can be found on the last page of the Menu Symbol Usage Guide.
Once we receive your Agreement Form, we'll email you a high-resolution file for the Menu Symbol, and you're ready to add the Menu Symbol to your menus and PR, to attract and/or educate your diners.
Start using the Menu Symbol today! It's a valuable tool to publicize the fact that you believe delicious food can also be healthy – in the hands of a talented chef. And what's even better, there's no charge for using the Menu Symbol.
Contact Cynthia Harriman (617-896-4820 or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.