Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
May 24, 2007

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice Group
SPECIAL REPORT: First Quarter 2007 Update
Big Public E&S Companies Report Another Decent Quarter
Operator Sales Growth Slows But Doesn't Tank
First Quarter GDP Tanks; Blue Chip Cuts Forecasts, But Consumer Mood Improves

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
NAFEM Opens Global Networking Event To All
Hanson Steps Up As New FEDA President
Papa John's Accelerates Openings

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In This Section:
San Francisco Calls For Voluntary Water Conservation
Indiana County To Post Inspections Online
Trans Fat Out, Off Table And Dismissed
Smokers Win In Tobacco Country, Lose Elsewhere

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Manitowoc Foodservice Group 
Industry Report Sponsor: FHA2008
Regulatory Report STAR Service & Parts/Enodis

San Francisco Calls For Voluntary Water Conservation
Hoping to avoid enforced rationing later this summer that could impact upwards of 20,000 restaurants and more than 6 million people in the Bay Area, San Francisco's Public Utilities Commission is asking residents and businesses to voluntarily curb water usage.

Amid a drought that has run four years so far, the reservoir serving about 85% of the needs of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda and Santa Clara counties is nearly full—but others are as low as one-third capacity. Snowpack in the Sierras this year was less than half the annual average, and rainfall has remained far below normal.

SFPUC has tips for both consumers and businesses on how to conserve water, including installing aerators on faucets and fixing leaky faucets and toilets. It's also offering free evaluations, aerators, spray nozzles and other water-saving devices as well as rebates on certain new appliances. For the complete list and more tips, go to


Section sponsored by STAR Service & Parts/Enodis

Indiana County To Post Inspections Online
Add another to the list: Health inspectors in Delaware County, Ind., will be posting results of their restaurant visits online starting this summer. The county, located northeast of Indianapolis, is revamping its website, and health department spokesman Robert Jones says about a third of the calls it gets are from consumers who want inspection reports.

County code, changed in 2004, inadvertently left out the clause that requires you to post health inspection results next to your permit. The health department recently proposed an ordinance that would put the clause back in. When the new website is finished, customers will be able to access reports both online and in your stores.

Section sponsored by STAR Service & Parts/Enodis

Trans Fat Out, Off Table And Dismissed
About as popular as Michael Moore at a Republican convention these days, trans fat is out at Starbucks, off the table in the Rhode Island legislature and dismissed by a judge in a lawsuit against KFC.

Starbucks announced that all the products, both food and beverage, in its U.S. and Canadian stores will be trans fat-free by the end of the year. The company is still working on how to reformulate products supplied in overseas stores.

Rhode Island's legislature, meanwhile, has backed off a bill that would have banned trans fat in restaurants there. So many restaurants say they've already made the switch that a ban isn't needed, says Rep. Joseph McNamara, the bill's sponsor. Instead, McNamara is proposing the state's health department create an education program for operators that might include some sort of incentives to phase out trans fat.

And two days after KFC announced it was switching to trans fat-free oil for frying chicken, a judge threw out a lawsuit that accused the chain of not telling customers it used trans fat to fry foods. U.S. District Judge James Robertson said the complainant, Dr. Arthur Hoyte, couldn't show he was harmed by trans fat. When Hoyte noted that consumers know more about the dangers of trans fat, the judge commented, "If consumers are increasingly aware of trans fat, where do they expect to find it if not in fast food restaurants?" With the industry rapidly making a switch to trans fat-free oils, QSRs may soon be where consumers can least expect to find trans fat.

Section sponsored by STAR Service & Parts/Enodis

Smokers Win In Tobacco Country, Lose Elsewhere
In a vote that was most likely more in favor of money than of cigarettes, the North Carolina House of Representatives has narrowly killed a bill to ban public smoking there. Records show that 19 Democrats, mostly from counties where tobacco is grown or processed, opposed the ban. Their votes, along with those of all but eight Republicans, helped defeat the ban 61-55.

In Minnesota, Senate and House versions of a statewide ban have been approved, but now must be reconciled. The House version exempts bars and restaurants that get most of their revenue from beverage alcohol if they offer a smoking room with no service. The Senate version only allows an exemption for bars that offer an outdoor smoking area; it doesn't exempt indoor smoking in any form in either bars or restaurants. Both bills now go to a conference committee for compromise.

A judge's stay that exempted restaurants and bars from a smoking ban that took effect in Allegheny County, Pa., Jan. 2 expired May 1. Two Pittsburgh restaurants challenged the ban on the grounds that it would irreparably harm them financially. Their case hasn't been heard by a Commonwealth judge yet, so the county judge let his temporary stay lapse. As of now, you have to post no-smoking signs and remove ashtrays from your stores.

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