Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
October 3, 2006

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Scotsman Ice Systems/Enodis
Technomic Details Threats But Predicts Decent 2007 For Operators
Blue Chip Holds 2007 Forecasts Steady But Hints Improvement
Final Second Quarter Public Company Numbers Show Decent Growth
And Just What Are The Chances Of Recession?

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Hotelex Shanghai,
April 4-7, 2007
IAFP Holding Symposium On Salad Safety
IFMA Issues Call For Silver Plate Entries
'Napkin' Could Soon Detect Food Contaminants
Chemistry Professor Invents E. Coli Sensor Technology
Salmonella, E. Coli Test Strips Hit Market

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In This Section:
NYC Won't Wait For Chains To Drop Trans Fat
Des Moines FOG Ordinance Proving Foggy
Another Chicago Suburb Eyes Smoking Ban
Marriott, Tripp's Grill Among 2006 Energy Star Winners

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: Scotsman Ice Systems/Enodis | 
Industry Report Sponsor: Hotelex Shanghai, April 4-7, 2007 

Regulatory Report Sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

NYC Won't Wait For Chains To Drop Trans Fat
Tired of waiting for restaurants to voluntarily eliminate trans fat from their menu items and help fight obesity, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced last week it submitted two proposals for public comment that would take the decisions out of the industry's hands.

The first proposal would require you to phase out trans fat in cooking and foods you serve over a period of 18 months. After that, if any menu items contain more than 0.5 g of trans fat, you'd face a fine. The only exemption would be packaged foods still in the manufacturer's original packaging.

The department began a public education program on trans fat a year ago, and it asked restaurants at that time to voluntarily eliminate trans fat from cooking. A few restaurants have made the switch to fats and oils containing no trans fat, most notably Wendy's, but health officials say restaurants are still consumers' main source of trans fat.

Health officials also want to actively combat obesity with a proposal that would require you to post calorie content on menu boards of any menu items that are standardized. Only those who make their calorie information public, either in-store or online, after March 1, 2007, would have to post it on menu boards.

NYC's health department is holding a public hearing on both proposals Oct. 30 and plans to issue final rules in December.


Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Des Moines FOG Ordinance Proving Foggy
The new FOG (fats, oils, grease) ordinance in Des Moines, Iowa, has some restaurant owners foggy over who's responsible and at what point the law has unintended consequences.

The ordinance, which took effect July 1, requires new restaurants, whether new construction or remodels of existing buildings, to have a 1,000-gal. grease interceptor installed. Existing restaurants can get by without one unless they discharge more than 400 milligrams of grease per liter of water.

But here's where it gets foggier. Restaurants can get exemptions if they can prove "exceptional physical constraints or financial hardship." But some restaurants have expressed concern about what constitutes either of those conditions. Schaffer's, a formalwear store, learned it would cost as much as $75,000 to install a valid grease trap for a planned 20-seat café. Owner Kari Smith appealed to the Wastewater Reclamation Authority, but her request was denied.

The WRA's director, Bill Stowe, said the ordinance was written to include all foodservice operations because even a coffee shop can quickly expand its menu to include grease-producing items. Cases will be reviewed on an individual basis to see if the ordinance is creating undue hardship, according to city manager Rick Clark, who sits on the WRA board.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Another Chicago Suburb Eyes Smoking Ban
City council members in Naperville, Ill., one of the country's perennial best-places-to-live winners, say some sort of non-smoking ordinance is needed and could be ready for a council vote by late November.

The council heard public debate on pros and cons of a ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants, at a town hall meeting in September. The council will decide possible exemptions to the proposed ban at its Nov. 7 meeting.

More than 20 cities in Illinois, including Chicago, have implemented some sort of anti-smoking ordinance.

Chicago, for its part, has been on something of a regulatory binge lately. This past year it banned foie gras and smoking, and it's looking into some kind of trans fat rules. The city's mayor recently vetoed the city council's move to raise minimum wage requirements for big-box retailers.

Section sponsored by Franke Foodservice Systems

Marriott, Tripp's Grill Among 2006 Energy Star Winners
A couple of operators were among this year's Energy Star award winners for improved energy efficiency. Marriott International was named an Energy Star Partner of the Year for energy management. And Tripp's Grill & Six-Pack, North Bend, Pa., won a small business and congregation award.

Energy Star cited Marriott for taking energy management to the next level, making it part of its daily operations. Marriott has benchmarked 580 of its 980 properties, and 150 of those have earned the Energy Star label. By changing lighting and holding employee contests for the best energy-saving tips, the company is saving an estimated $5 million in annual energy costs.

The owners of Tripp's contacted the Environmental Management Assistance Program for ideas on how to save money in their 1,400 sq. ft. operation. Replacing four beverage coolers with a single six-door walk-in and an old freezer with a new Energy Star-qualified unit saved energy and cut HVAC bills in the summer as well. The operation saves about $1,900 a year on electricity.

The Energy Star awards are given annually to businesses that demonstrate a commitment to energy efficiency.

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