Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
April 21, 2009

Economic Report:
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View From The Road: It's A Dining Bargain Bonanza
Food Prices Still Falling, Menu Prices Still Rising
General Economic Numbers Slightly Better In Latest Forecasts
Get Your Own Copy Of The Revised FER E&S Market Forecast

Industry Report:
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Server Products
FER Magazine To Host New 'Innovations Exchange' Meeting
Middleby Changes Up Divisional, Operations Management
Quizno's Creates Lease-Renegotiation Program
Yum! Buys Into China Restaurant Group
NRA Offers New Online Food-Safety Course For Servers

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In This Section:
Interior Designers For Kitchen Layout In Florida?
N.C. Town Offers Incentive To Cut FOG
S.F. Restaurateurs Denied Health-Insurance Relief
After Fat, Town Now Targets Calories
Surf City Implements FOG Law To Keep Surf Down
Your Mama Can't Dance, But Your Daddy Can Rock And Roll

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Food&HotelVietnam2009  
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

Interior Designers For Kitchen Layout In Florida?
In Florida, House Bill 481 (and a Senate version, 842) can conceivably be construed to require that commercial kitchen designers must be state-licensed interior designers. Not that the legislation mentions such kitchens, but Authorities Having Jurisdiction could interpret it that way. And the state has begun enforcing the law.

The two bills in Florida appear meant to protect the state from fly-by-night, unqualified designers. There might be special interests in the bushes too, according to industry observers, but that's beside the point where kitchen design is at issue. Foodservice Consultants Society Int'l. and the North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers have both issued statements against the proposals.

The good news is that an amendment that would correct the ambiguity regarding commercial kitchens has been proposed. A decision is expected by May 1.

If you have business in Florida and have an opinion about this topic, contact your legislative reps immediately.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

N.C. Town Offers Incentive To Cut FOG
In early April, the Salisbury, N.C., city council finally approved a fats/oils/grease ordinance we reported in FER Fortnightly last November. And while the city has given operators there three years to comply, the local water and sewer utility hopes to get them to move more quickly on installing newly required grease traps or interceptors.

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities is offering grants to restaurants as an incentive. Restaurants that install the proper grease removal equipment within the first year will get $1,500. Grants in the following years will decrease to $1,000 and $500, respectively.

Unsure how much grease trap those grants will actually buy, the city council has asked city staff to find out how large a grease trap a local Olive Garden will be required to have under the new ordinance as a frame of reference. An answer is expected by the end of the month.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

S.F. Restaurateurs Denied Health-Insurance Relief
The brouhaha over whether or not San Francisco restaurant ops should be allowed to opt out of the city's mandatory health insurance program was back in the news again late last month. The Golden Gate Restaurant Association, which challenged the legality of the city program to insure all residents, filed a request for an emergency stay of the fee with the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court is expected to decide this fall whether it will consider arguments in the case. In the meantime, GGRA's request for relief on behalf of its 800 members was denied by Justice Anthony Kennedy, who handles emergency Supreme Court appeals from California.

San Francisco's program requires employers that don't offer health insurance benefits to pay into a city fund based on the number of people they employ. The GGRA sued, saying the city ordinance conflicts with federal law, but a U.S. Appeals Court ruled in the city's favor last September.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

After Fat, Town Now Targets Calories
Brookline, Mass., one of the first cities in the country to ban trans fat, now has its eye on calorie counts. The big difference between this and other proposals to make restaurants post calorie content is that Brookline's new law would include all of them, not just chains.

The proposed city bylaw, Article 16, would give restaurants five years to get into compliance as a nod to the cost and inconvenience involved. Any restaurant applying for a permit to renovate or build a new store would have to post calorie information before the permit would be issued.

The proposed bylaw could be pre-empted by state regulations proposed by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The state proposal, now open to public comment, follows the gist of those passed in places like New York City and King County, Wash. It would require chains with 15 or more stores nationwide to list calorie counts on menus. The health department is expected to approve the regulation in April, giving chains six months to comply.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Surf City Implements FOG Law To Keep Surf Down
Surf City, N.C., aims to keep surf down, not up—sewer surf, that is. The city began implementing a new fats/oils/grease ordinance April 1, requiring foodservice facilities to install grease traps to prevent FOG from entering the sewer and causing clogs and overflows.

"This is a requirement for us to get the proper permits needed before our new wastewater treatment plant becomes operational," said Michael Moore, town manager.

Restaurants in town will have until April 1, 2010, to comply with the new ordinance.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Your Mama Can't Dance, But Your Daddy Can Rock And Roll
Police in Midlothian, Va., cracked down on two restaurants there in March for letting patrons dance to live music. They have nothing against dancing, according to a department spokesperson, but a local ordinance apparently limits dancing to nightclubs. Neither restaurant has one, though one is zoned for it.

A group of protesters, including restaurant patrons and band members who play both venues, descended on the Chesterfield County administration building in late March. The group objected to selective enforcement of the law, but police said they've simply been responding to a number of service calls at the two restaurants in question.

Police said they've received 51 service calls at one of the restaurants in the past 14 months, 26 for drunk and disorderly disturbances. The most recent citation for dancing without a license occurred in late February. The restaurant's co-owner told the Richmond Times-Dispatch that the citation involved a "senior citizen couple" dancing to the blues inside.

Where's Kevin Bacon when you need him?

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