Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
February 12, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Foodservice Group

MAFSI Barometer Reports Slower E&S Sales Growth In 4Q
NRA's Performance Index Drops To Five-Year Low
Quick-Service Trends Go Flat, Even Negative
January Jobs Growth Goes Negative, Consumer Confidence Mixed
RevisedFER E&S Market Forecast Now Available

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Whole Foods Bids Plastic Bags Bye-Bye
New Guide Highlights Energy-Saving Tactics For Hotels
Starbucks Trims Growth Plans
FEDA Convention Registration Deadline Nears
Mary Jane Moon, Former Lakeside Chair, Passes
Thank You From Lyall And Deb Newby

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In This Section:
NYRA Not Blinking In Calorie-Posting Fight
...While Left Coast Group Supports Statewide Proposal
North Carolina Bars, Restaurants Adapting To New Recycling Law
ASHRAE Updates Building Efficiency Standards
Worcester Not Blowing Smoke On FOG Law

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products
Regulatory Report Enodis

NYRA Not Blinking In Calorie-Posting Fight
This must be a 10-round bout. As expected, the New York Restaurant Association has now filed suit challenging New York City's newly revised ordinance requiring chains to post calorie counts on menu boards. NYRA won an injunction last year against a similar, earlier ordinance the city health department passed in Dec. 2006 that was supposed to take effect last July.

In September, a federal judge ruled in NYRA's favor, saying the earlier ordinance tried to preempt federal nutritional labeling laws. The judge gave the health department some wiggle room to rewrite the ordinance, resulting in the new law, which takes effect March 31.

Lawyers for NYRA, however, say "the same federal preemption and first amendment arguments apply" to the new ordinance, according to David Wukitsch with McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams, the law firm that prepared the suit.

The ordinance affects about 10% of New York City's restaurants. Stay tuned.


Section sponsored by Enodis

...While Left Coast Group Supports Statewide Proposal
Meanwhile, those of you with operations in Washington State will be interested to know lawmakers there are considering two different tacks in the war on obesity.

Two bills in the state Senate would require restaurants to post nutrition information, especially calorie counts, more conspicuously. One closely follows the lead King County set last year with an ordinance that requires chains with 10 or more stores to post calorie counts on menu boards, a la NYC's new law (now being challenged).

But perhaps cognizant of the problems New York City officials face, the other Washington Senate bill would only require nutrition info from chains with 25 or more stores, and restaurants could post the info in a variety of ways such as on food packaging, at the table or counter, or on posters or electronic displays. Even the Washington Restaurant Association supports that one, according to Trent House, WRA's director of government affairs.

A third bill in the Senate would create a task force to study current menu-labeling efforts.

Section sponsored by Enodis

North Carolina Bars, Restaurants Adapting To New Recycling Law
If you operate with a liquor license in North Carolina, you probably know you've been required to recycle all glass bottles, aluminum, plastic and paper as of Jan. 1 this year. But you might have also found the new law has been a little difficult for many restaurants and bars because the state passed it without funding any recycling centers.

Only five counties in the state offer pick-up service for recycled materials. Another 51 counties have set up recycling centers, but in many counties, facilities are inadequate and often far away from businesses that need to drop off recycling.

In any event, the current law requires you to submit a recycling plan to the state, or show state officials a contract with a pick-up service to obtain or maintain a liquor license. Until recently, your license could be revoked if the ABC's Alcohol Law Enforcement arm found you weren't recycling. The law has been rewritten, however. Now, you face a fine and suspension of your license.

The state's Alcohol Beverage Commission is in charge of enforcing the new law.

Section sponsored by Enodis

ASHRAE Updates Building Efficiency Standards
Looking to save energy in new stores you're planning? The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers might be able to help.

ASHRAE has recently updated its Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings (otherwise known as ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1). The new 2007 version contains 47 addenda to the prior standard from '04. The standard sets minimum requirements for energy-efficient building design.

The changes address ways in which builders can reduce heating and air conditioning loads through better insulation, window design and placement, revised retail lighting schemes and many more mechanical and design improvements.

Co-sponsored by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America, the ASHRAE update is available for $119 ($95 to ASHRAE members). To order, call ASHRAE 800/527-4723 or go to

Section sponsored by Enodis

Worcester Not Blowing Smoke On FOG Law
No more reprieves for Worcester, Mass., restaurants when it comes to overflowing grease traps. As you may recall reading in FER Fortnightly, last year about this time, the city called on a couple of famous state politicians to run interference with the Environmental Protection Agency so restaurants would have more time to comply with FOG ordinances. But the city's public works department said it's not molly-coddling scofflaw restaurants anymore.

In the two years since the EPA told Worcester to clean up its act, fining the city for 50 storm-sewer overflows between 2001 and '03, the city passed a new FOG ordinance and has brought about three-fourths of city restaurants into compliance. Last year, the public works department made it even simpler for them by easing requirements on floor drains and mop sink drains not in food prep areas.

About 206 operators, however, refused to acknowledge FOG ordinance compliance notices sent from the city, according to public works commissioner Robert L. Moylan, Jr. The department got tough, sending out a "strongly-worded letter" at the end of January. Operations that fail to show significant efforts to comply by the end of February could lose their food permits.

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