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Counting Calories @ Courtyard by Marriott

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Courtyard by Marriott is making it easier for travelers to maintain a healthy diet while on the road with the launch of new menus that list total calories for each item.

The calorie count menus will be available later this month at Courtyard hotels featuring the brand’s popular food and beverage outlet, The Bistro – Eat. Drink. Connect.

The move also puts Courtyard on the forefront of the U.S. healthcare reform bill, which will require all chain restaurants in the U.S. to post calorie counts on their menus.

The Bistro is a key component of Courtyard’s new Refreshing Business lobby concept that is being rolled out across the brand. The completely redesigned dining concept offers guests a variety of options for breakfast and dinner – from “grab and go” items, to dine-in selections.

The more extensive menu includes many healthy options like low-carb, low-fat muffins and salads, as well as comforting items like the Tender BBQ Ribs.

Beverage choices range from Starbucks coffee to domestic and imported beer, wine and cocktails. The Bistro is currently in place at nearly 160 hotels in North America, and that number is expected to reach 300 by the end of the year.

“We began this initiative late last year when we tested our new menus in two hotels Seattle, Washington,” said Lon Southerland, Courtyard’s director of global food and beverage sustainability. “The response from our guests was extremely positive, and we quickly moved to roll-out calorie count menus across the brand.”

The new menus at The Bistro are yet another step in Marriott International’s ongoing efforts as an industry leader in helping guests live a healthier lifestyle. In 2007, Marriott announced it was eliminating trans fats in fried foods and deep frying oils and in 2006 initiated a “smoke-free” policy at all hotels. In 2003, the company introduced the Fit For You program at Marriott Hotels & Resorts and JW Marriott Hotels, and in 2002, the company introduced the Eat.Drink.Balance program at its Renaissance brand. Both programs were designed to address healthy eating and dietary issues including low fat, low cholesterol and carb conscious foods.

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