Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
June 5, 2007








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc Foodservice Group
SPECIAL FOCUS: Equipment, Supplies Market On Track For Moderate Growth
NRA Performance Index Falls Back In April Surveyr
May Jobs Growth, Consumer Sentiment Stronger Than Expected
Top 500 Chains Grew Sales 6% in 2006, Says New Technomic Study

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Hatco Becomes 100% Employee-Owned
TriMark Acquires S.S. Kemp
Survey Says: Companies Benefit From Having CEO
Rivera Named National Restaurant Association Head
McD's, Marriott, Starbucks Among World's Most Ethical Companies



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In This Section:
Humor Police Come Down On Florida Pubs
County In Maryland Nixes Trans Fat; More Chains Switch
Illinois Legislature Says It's Time To Snuff Out Butts

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

Humor Police Come Down On Florida Pubs
Check everything you think is funny in your restaurants. You might be next on the humor police list.

Florida state inspectors last month told management at McGuire's Irish Pubs in Destin and Pensacola to take down confusing restroom signs that play jokes on unsuspecting patrons.

The sign on the men's room door says "Ladies" with an arrow pointing in the direction of the ladies' restroom. The ladies' restroom is similarly labeled "Men's" with an arrow pointing in the opposite direction. The signs had been there for 10 years at the Destin store and 30 at the Pensacola location.

A patron at the Destin location complained when a man inadvertently walked in on his daughter in the ladies'restroom, embarrassing her to tears. Though most patrons who've fallen for the ruse get a chuckle out of it, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation didn't find the signs funny. The signs were ordered fixed.

Fortunately for people who can still laugh at themselves, just as FER Fortnightly was going to virtual press, DBPR officials rethought the matter and decided to give the signs a reprieve of sorts, at least for the moment. But only if the owners post the correct signs on an inner door leading into the restrooms themselves. McGuire's has 30 days to put up the new signs.

All of which raises a philosophical question: If a sign hangs in a pub and nobody reads it, is it still a sign?

At least one flashback-prone editor here wonders whether similar signs are still up at a college bar called the Bum Steer in Tucson, Ariz.

 

Section sponsored by Enodis

County In Maryland Nixes Trans Fat; More Chains Switch
The trans fat backlash, which flared up like the Hindenburg last year, continues to spread with amazing speed.

Montgomery County, Md., which includes the Rockville-Bethesda-Gaithersburg area near Baltimore, has approved an ordinance barring restaurants from using cooking oil, shortening or margarine containing trans fat after Jan. 1, 2008. The county health department isn't exactly sure how to enforce the ban, but has enlisted the aid of New York's health department. Health inspectors will likely take an additional 15 minutes during health inspections to check for products with trans fat content, according to Ulder J. Tillman, the county's health officer.

Many localities are still taking a wait-and-see approach as more restaurants voluntarily go trans fat-free. Applebee's and Cracker Barrel are two additional major chains to join the list announcing their intent to eliminate trans fat from menu items. Applebee's International says its frying oil is now trans fat-free, and its 1,937 stores will have a zero trans fat pan and grill oil within weeks. Cracker Barrel says it plans to eliminate trans fat from all menu items by the middle of next year.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Illinois Legislature Says It's Time To Snuff Out Butts
Just two years after giving local governments the right to determine how they want to address the rights of smokers and non-smokers, the Illinois legislature decided to make the decision for them. The House passed a statewide smoking ban last month that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to sign any day.

The ban includes restaurants and bars, and smoking is prohibited within 15 ft. of windows and entrances to public places. Assuming the law is signed as written, it will take effect Jan.1, 2008.

Not too far away, a smoking ban went into effect June 1 in Berrien County, Mich. While the law prohibits smoking in public places, restaurants and bars are exempt. County leaders may be hoping smokers annoyed by the ban in Illinois will think about eating in local restaurants. Berrien County is about an hour's drive from Chicago.



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