Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
September 10, 2009

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Internorga 2010
Public E&S Manufacturers Report Big Sales Drops For Q2, H1
NRA Performance Index Ticks Back Up In July
Think We Have it Bad? Other Major Foodservice Markets Get Hammered
FER E&S Market Forecast Webinar Set For Nov. 4

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
ASTM To Offer Lifecycle-Costing Webinar Next Week
Checkers Finds New Franchisees, New Locales
Burgerville Hits The Road
Einstein Spreads Wings
Russia To Get First Chili's

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In This Section:
Some Broilers May Get Break In San Joaquin
More Twists In San Francisco’s Healthcare Case
Three Tries And FOG’s In, Not Out
New Utah Bar Laws A Good-News-Bad-News Story
Comment Period On Smart Irrigation Now Open

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Internorga 2010 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products 
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Ice Inc.

Some Broilers May Get Break In San Joaquin
Thank yourselves, and maybe FER Fortnightly. In any case, enough foodservice operators raised concerns at recent public hearings in California's San Joaquin Valley to delay rules affecting charbroilers there.

We told you in June that the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District had delayed adoption of new rules requiring pollution control devices on both conveyor-driven and underfired charbroilers until the August meeting. Now the SJVAPCD is backing away from a portion of the rules affecting underfired charbroilers.

Based on feedback from local restaurateurs, the SJVAPCD staff now recommends that rules for underfired charbroilers get phased in more slowly. Under a new proposal, the agency won't even reconsider including underfired charbroilers in the rules until 2011. That's when restaurants with conveyor-driven charbroilers will have to register their equipment and proof of pollution controls with the district.

A vote on the proposal won't come until the district's September meeting at the earliest, giving it time to hold more public hearings. To get more details on the latest developments, go to


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Ice Inc.

More Twists In San Francisco's Healthcare Case
Ah, the plot thickens. But maybe not a whole lot. In the ongoing legal debate over San Francisco's universal healthcare plan, two restaurants have filed amicus briefs saying they're having no trouble covering the required contributions to the plan. A surcharge on patron checks appears sufficient.

The briefs contradict objections presented by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association asserting the financial burden imposed by the city ordinance is prohibitive.

Consequently, San Francisco's city attorney, Dennis Herrera, last month filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that the court shouldn't even bother hearing the association's challenge to the city's universal healthcare plan.

Herrera argued in his brief that since the city mandate requiring all employers chip into a universal health care plan for San Francisco citizens appears to be working and not economically prohibitive, the GGRA has no basis to appeal the ruling handed down by the Ninth Court of Appeals.

"Considering there are 4,000 restaurants (in the city), having two or three sign on in support of the program, to me, is not significant," GGRA director Kevin Westlye said.

An earlier argument presented by GGRA, alleging the city healthcare plan violates federal ERISA laws, was rejected by the court.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Ice Inc.

Three Tries And FOG's In, Not Out
After tabling discussion and a vote on a new Fats-Oils-Grease ordinance three times, the Zanesville, Ohio, city council finally passed a revised version at an August meeting.

We told you back in February the city was contemplating new FOG rules, but council members couldn't agree in past meetings on how far to extend them. Council members and business owners alike attending the meetings argued the proposal might be cost-prohibitive for many operators and wasn't fair to some types of operations.

Revised language in the ordinance changes the definition of a foodservice establishment, and eliminates a requirement that all new restaurants install a 1,000-gal. grease trap. Smaller sandwich and coffee shops will only have to install undercounter grease interceptors in most cases. New facilities, though, now have to hire an engineer to recommend the type and size of grease trap to install.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Ice Inc.

New Utah Bar Laws A Good-News-Bad-News Story
The new bar laws we reported in April are great for operators who already have liquor licenses, but pity the one hoping to open a new store. Utah's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control says in its summer/fall newsletter that it has only one full-service restaurant license left available. You have a better chance if you run limited menu restaurants, taverns or banquet facilities. The state has 11 limited-menu liquor licenses available, 34 tavern licenses and 20 banquet licenses.

The number of liquor licenses in the state is limited and based on population, and licenses only become available when businesses change ownership or close, or the state estimates growth in population. The license commission meets monthly to determine how many licenses are available in any given segment.

Your best option? The state has an unlimited number of on-premise beer licenses. If you qualify, you can serve beer until a full license becomes available.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Ice Inc.

Comment Period On Smart Irrigation Now Open
The public comment period for the latest draft protocol for soil-moisture sensor-based irrigation controllers is open until Sept. 22. Smart controllers estimate or measure depletion of available plant-soil moisture in order to operate an irrigation system, replenishing water as needed while minimizing excess water use.

The protocol is being developed by the Smart Water Application Technologies initiative, a coalition of water utilities, equipment manufacturers and irrigation specialists under the aegis of the non-profit Irrigation Association. The IA and SWAT are EPA WaterSense partners.

The eighth draft protocol is open to comments and suggestions online, making it easy to offer your input. To read the draft and make comments, go to

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