Large businesses, including cafes, restaurants and takeaways, will be required to display the calorie information for food and soft drink items from April 2022.

Calorie information will need to be displayed at the point of choice for the customer, such as physical menus, online menus, food delivery platforms and food labels.

Alcoholic drinks served in licensed venues will exempt from the requirement.

Kate Nicholls said such regulations were “the last thing the sector needs”.

The regulations, due to be laid in parliament today, apply to companies of 250 or more employees in England.

The measures form part of the government’s strategy to tackle obesity, which it said had a major impact on people’s health outcomes during the pandemic.

Public Health Minister, Jo Churchill, said: “Our aim is to make it as easy as possible for people to make healthier food choices for themselves and their families, both in restaurants and at home. That is why we want to make sure everyone has access to accurate information about the food and drink we order.

“These measures form an important building block in our strategy to support and encourage people in achieving and maintaining a healthier weight.”

The government said by only requiring large businesses to label calories on menus, it will not impact small, independent businesses, and will ensure those who might find the requirement more difficult are not impacted.

In July 2020, the government published its consultation response on introducing mandatory calorie labelling in the out-of-home sector.

Kate Nicholls, CEO of UKHospitality, said: “The last thing the sector needs after prolonged periods of closure and trading restrictions is unnecessary red tape.

“Hospitality businesses share the government’s objectives in tackling obesity and improving public health, but at a time of huge economic uncertainty these new rules must strike a balance and be proportionate.

“Layering on new costs for businesses in a sector that has been hardest hit by the pandemic risks prolonging their recovery and business’ ability to invest and create jobs. We urge the government to consult meaningfully with the sector via the new Office for Health Promotion on any measures that are included in the Bill.”