Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly
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Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
October 21, 2008








Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
Manitowoc
Foodservice Group

Last Chance To Sign Up For FER's 2009 E&S Market-Forecast Webinar
Technomic Forecasts Tough Couple Years For Foodservice
Blue Chip Economists Whack Macro Forecast Again
NPD Releases Annual Report On Eating Trends

Industry Report:
Sponsored by:
Server Products
Editorial Opinion: Hanging Onto Energy Star
Financial-Rescue Plan Includes Shorter Depreciation Schedule
Silver Lining In Credit Crisis: Maybe Cheaper Leases
BK's Whopper Bar To Debut At Universal's CityWalk
FCSI Americas Division Gains Legal Independence



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In This Section:
Seattle Okays Sidewalk Cafes—Just In Time For Winter
County FOG Law Could Cost You $10K Per Day
Atlantic City Reviews Casino Smoking
Town Beats State To Punch On Latex Gloves

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

Seattle Okays Sidewalk Cafes—Just In Time For Winter
After several months of deliberation, Seattle has finally amended its ordinance governing sidewalk cafes—just in time for the city's infamous rainy season.

Pushed by Mayor Greg Nickels in June, the revised ordinance makes it easier and less expensive for restaurants to apply for permits for sidewalk cafes.

Changes, which passed by a 7-1 council vote, include lowering permit fees from $2,300 to about $600 and reducing the permit review time from what many said used to be months to no more than 10 days. Restaurants now will pay a one-time $450 permit review fee, and an annual fee of $101 plus $1.56 per square foot.

Nickels said the impetus for the changes was downtown revitalizations in similarly sized cities such as Copenhagen, Denmark, and Melbourne, Australia, where sidewalk cafes helped build downtown pedestrian traffic. Copenhagen now has more than 5,000 cafes and Melbourne more than 600 compared to Seattle's 225.

The city's transportation department plans public hearings in the coming weeks to set up rules for the sidewalk cafes. A number of blind activists protested the ordinance changes, saying they cause pedestrian hazards.

 

Section sponsored by Enodis

County FOG Law Could Cost You $10K Per Day
Holmes County, Ohio, home to the largest Amish community in the country, settled an Environmental Protection Agency contempt citation last month by hiring a sewer sanitation engineer, promising the expansion of a county wastewater facility and drafting a fats, oils, and grease ordinance that could cost you up to $10,000 per day if you're in violation.

Seems the EPA took offense at the fact that one of the county's wastewater facilities had unacceptable amounts of glue in the water. Another facility had far exceeded its capacity of 90,000 gals./day, sometimes treating as much as 140,000 gals. The county responded in court with a plan to fix the violations and prevent further problems with the adoption of a new ordinance limiting "any water or waste containing wax, fats, grease or oils whether emulsified or not" to 100 milligrams per liter.

The new sanitary engineer will have the authority to collect up to $10,000 per day, and up to $1,000 per day for late reporting from violators, including restaurants. The county plans to hold public hearings in the next few months, so the wording of the ordinance may go through several revisions before being adopted next February. But the draft is based on the EPA's model ordinance, according to county commissioners, which was pulled off the EPA website.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Atlantic City Reviews Casino Smoking
What are the odds guests will be able to smoke in Atlantic City casinos? About 5-4.

That was the vote when city council members in Atlantic City voted to approve at the first reading of an ordinance temporarily suspending the total ban on smoking in casinos.

The city placed a partial ban on casino smoking 18 months ago, limiting smoking to 25% of a casino's floorspace. Last April, the city council approved a full ban that relegated smokers to enclosed, ventilated smoking lounges effective Oct. 15.

The full ban may only be in place for a week. A second reading of the ordinance is scheduled at a council meeting tomorrow. If passed, the ordinance would be temporary, requiring the council to revisit the need to continue the delay in one year.


Section sponsored by Enodis

Town Beats State To Punch On Latex Gloves
Time to hang up the gloves. Bellingham has become the first community in Massachusetts to ban the use of latex gloves in restaurants. The town's health department passed the by-law back in late June because allergies to natural latex affect a "significant population," according to Vincent Forte, Jr., the health board chairman.

About 175 restaurants fall under the rule, the health department says, which just took effect.

The town's new by-law was modeled after a state bill introduced into the House in the most recent legislative session. House Bill 2238 would ban the use of latex gloves statewide, and fine violators up to $500. The town beat the state to the punch, though, by enacting its rule first. The state bill was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee in May for review.



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