Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
April 22 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Foodservice Group

Blue Chip Economists Fear Shallow Recession In The Works
Technomic's Top 500 Restaurant Chains Grew Sales 5%, Units 2.6% Last Year
Consumer Confidence Continues Dive As Gas, Food Prices Soar
FER Announces Date For President's Preview Forecast Seminar

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Market Forecast Meeting
Manitowoc To Buy Enodis
NSF Honors Food Safety Leaders
Washington, Cain To Highlight Michael E. Hurst Student Forum During NRA Show

FER QuickLinks Menu
Subscribe to FER
FER Buyer's Guide
FEtcR Services Guide
FER Calendar

FER Media Kit

Advertise with FER, contact Robin Ashton

To subscribe to this newsletter, click:
Subscribe FER Fortnightly

To unsubscribe from this newsletter, click:
Unsubscribe FER Fortnightly

To view archived issues of Fortnightly, click here.

This e-mail was brought to you by the folks at:
Foodservice Equipment Reports
8001 N. Lincoln Ave.
Skokie, IL 60077
Fax: 847/673.8679

In This Section:
Raleigh Dumps Disposer Ban In Garbage
Calorie-Counters Continue To Chase Chains
More Localities Blowing Smoke Over Smoking
What The Heck Are They Smoking?

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: FER E&S Market Forecast Meeting
Regulatory Report Enodis

Raleigh Dumps Disposer Ban In Garbage
About a month after the Raleigh, N.C., city council passed an ordinance banning garbage disposers in the city, council members repealed the law April 15.

At hearings back in March, a city water treatment official brought an example of gook that sewer workers had found clogging the city system, causing a recent storm sewer overflow. Dale Crisp, director of the city's Public Utilities Department requested the ban based on the amount of food waste sewer workers were finding, as well as an estimated potential water savings of 500,000 gals. per day. But he acknowledged grease was the number-one culprit for sewer overflows, followed by debris, structural damage, tree roots and heavy rainfall.

The ordinance grandfathered use of existing disposers, but banned installation of new ones or replacement of worn or broken units.

Complaints from residents and building developers caused the city council to rethink the issue. At a council meeting in early April, members heard from Kevin Keener, a Purdue University professor of food science, and Kendall Christiansen, a member of New York City's recycling advisory board, who both said there's no link between ground-up food scraps and clogged sewer lines.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Calorie-Counters Continue To Chase Chains
You might as well start assembling your menu's nutritional data now. The writing, so to speak, is on the wall—sooner or later you'll have to post it on your menu or menu board.

San Francisco passed an ordinance requiring chains with 20 or more stores to post calorie content of each item on menu boards. Other nutrition info, including fat, carbohydrates and sodium, must be prominently displayed on posters nearby. Chains without menu boards have to post all the same info on menus.

Not too far north, King County, Wash., also hammered out a calorie-posting agreement with the Washington State Restaurant Association that the county wants to make effective by next January. The state legislature threatened to bar local health departments from enacting such rules if they were too onerous on restaurants, so the county health department worked with the WRA on a compromise. Only chains with 15 or more stores are affected. Restaurants have to post calories, saturated fat, carbohydrate and sodium content, but those with menu boards only have to post calorie counts on them; other info can go on adjacent signs. Chains with printed menus can use menu inserts, tabletop electronic kiosks or an appendix in the menu to list the info. Info must be listed for menu items available for 90 days or more within a calendar year.

And halfway across the country, Chicago Alderman Ed Burke revived a proposed ordinance he floated more than a year ago to make chains post calorie counts. This time around, the ordinance is a "spittin' image" (or more precisely, the "spirit 'n' image") of the one that passed in New York recently.

Section sponsored by Enodis

More Localities Blowing Smoke Over Smoking
Despite continued resistance to smoking bans' lawsuits in several counties in Illinois challenge the constitutionality of the new state law there—smokers keep going down in flames. Here's a roundup of some of the latest:

The South Carolina Supreme court upheld Greenville's right to enact a smoking ban, saying municipalities have the power to protect the health of citizens. Eleven cities already have bans on the books, including the state capital, Columbia.

Monongalia and Harrison Counties in West Virginia are considering bans that would mirror one enacted in nearby Marion County. There, health department officials just toughened the county ordinance, banning smoking in bars, video lottery rooms and within 15 feet of any public entrance.

The Santa Monica, Calif., city council recently expanded the smoking ordinance there to provide fines for restaurants that "knowingly or intentionally" allow customers to light up in outdoor dining areas.

And in Pontotoc, Miss., officials passed a no-smoking ordinance this month that goes into effect May 1.

In Canada, British Columbia's province-wide smoking ban took effect on March 31. The law prohibits all indoor smoking in public buildings and within three meters of an entrance or window. Vancouver took its own ban a few steps further, expanding the ban to outdoor patios and dining areas and within six meters of doors and windows. Fines to restaurants for violations are—ouch--$2,000.

Section sponsored by Enodis

What The Heck Are They Smoking?
And this isn't even a foodservice story, unless cannabis could be considered produce, but it's an interesting commentary on regulation in general.

While other cities are wrestling with no-smoking ordinances, the city council of Arcata, Calif., has been trying to figure out how to classify a marijuana-growing business for zoning purposes.

When a pot-growing cooperative applied for a business license to dispense marijuana in the city, it claimed its facility should be designated a "floricultural retail outlet." The city planning committee disagreed, saying the amount of pot the business planned to grow and dispense was great enough to constitute agricultural use of the facility, which isn't permitted in the downtown area where it's located, and that dispensing it is a "medical office" type of use of the facility.

The business appealed, saying California hasn't yet designated cannabis as a medicine, so it couldn't claim "medical office" use when dispensing pot. The city council upheld the planning commission's ruling and suggested the coop reapply for planned development permit. Two members recused themselves from part of the appeal, however, since one owns property nearby and the other's partner is opening a restaurant next door. Hmm, smells like...

© Copyright 1996-2008. Foodservice Equipment Reports. All rights reserved.