Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 22, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Foodservice Group

MAFSI Barometer Goes Negative As Public E&S Companies Report Gains
Retail, Foodservice Sales Better Than Expected In April
Blue Chip Economists Continue To Trim GDP, Spending Forecasts
Be In The Know: Register Now For FER's President's Preview Forecast Seminar

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
FER E&S Market Forecast Meeting
ITW, Manitowoc Back And Forth Over Enodis
Middleby Buys Giga Grandi, FriFri
There's Still Time To Get Into Hot Water
NRA Looking To Award Next 'Good Neighbor' Restaurants
NACUFS Names Best College C-Stores
Thinking Outside Bun Saves Taco Bell Water, Energy

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In This Section:
FOG Crackdowns Spreading
Senate Bill Could End Credit Card Lawsuits
L.A., Other Cities Tell Taco Vendors To Keep On Truckin'
Michigan A Step Closer To Statewide Smoking Ban

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

FOG Crackdowns Spreading
Add Dallas and the Chicago suburb of Aurora, Ill., to your ever-growing list of jurisdictions cracking down on fats, oils and grease getting into sewer systems.

Last year, Dallas instituted new anti-FOG rules and launched a public-relations campaign to educate the public and restaurant owners about the problems FOG causes. City code now requires restaurants to empty and clean grease traps every 90 days or when 25% of the trap contains floating FOG. Inspectors are more vigilant now, too.

In Aurora, the Fox Metro Water Reclamation District Board passed an ordinance last December that requires restaurants to upgrade their grease traps. Many area operators now say the additional cost—which some claim could run anywhere from $25,000 up to $80,000—could put them out of business.

Updated grease traps must be no smaller than 500 gallons, the Aurora ordinance says, and should have a capacity of at least 125 gals. per inlet. Fines range from $50 for failing to submit proper records to $1,000 for causing a sewer backup.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Senate Bill Could End Credit Card Lawsuits
A bill recently introduced in the U.S. Senate could put an end to hundreds of lawsuits filed against businesses of all types, including restaurants, claiming they violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act.

FACTA, enacted in 2003 and effective December '06, was intended to help prevent credit card fraud by requiring retailers to truncate credit card numbers to just five digits on receipts. Vague wording in the law, however, prompted lawsuits against businesses that didn't also exclude card expiration dates from receipts.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York) introduced S.B. 2978 in early May to clarify the language in FACTA. The bill mirrors a House bill introduced last fall and now in committee. Stay tuned.

Section sponsored by Enodis

L.A., Other Cities Tell Taco Vendors To Keep On Truckin'
In a new round of crackdowns on mobile vending trucks, cities are focusing on their mobility instead of their cleanliness and sanitation.

Not too long ago, FN reported on several cities that started enforcing health codes to force taco trucks out of business. Places like Los Angeles County and Conroe, Tex., now are passing ordinances that prohibit the trucks from parking anywhere longer than an hour or so. Their reasoning: Mobile vendors should be mobile. Restaurant owners say the trucks, with their low overhead, have an unfair advantage if they're allowed to park in one place all day.

L.A. County's new ordinance imposes up to a $1,000 fine or six months in jail for parking a mobile vending truck for more than one hour. The law replaces an ordinance that had a $60 fine for parking longer than 30 minutes. Conroe's ordinance, passed in February, is similar, with fines of up to $2,000 for vendors who park longer than two hours in any one spot.

Mobile vendors in these locales may soon give new meaning to "food on the fly."

Section sponsored by Enodis

Michigan A Step Closer To Statewide Smoking Ban
Michigan took a step closer to clearing the air in early May when the state Senate passed a bill that would ban smoking in all public places. The House passed its own anti-smoking bill in late December, but differs from the Senate version, exempting casinos, bingo halls, race tracks and tobacco shops. The Senate bill prohibits smoking in all workplaces, though casinos on tribal land may be exempt due to sovereignty issues.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm says she'll sign a smoking ban when it lands on her desk. The Senate bill now goes back to the House for debate and a vote.

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