Foodservice Equipment Reports Fortnightly

Welcome to FER Fortnightly Online Newsletter
November 18, 2008

Economic Report:
Sponsored by:
The NAFEM Show '09

Macro Forecasts Slashed, October Key Indicators Plunge
Employment, Consumer Confidence Numbers Dreadful
Forecasts For Nearly All Worldwide Economies Fall
FER Forecasts For 2008 and '09 Available

Industry Report:
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Server Products
Manitowoc Cleared By EU To Buy Enodis, Will Sell Enodis Ice Businesses
Book NAFEM Housing With Travel Planners
Missed The WaterSmart Innovations Conference? Attend Virtually
Chick-fil-A Cuts Straggling Trans Fats

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In This Section:
Stamford Wants Teeth For FOG Rules
CRFA Criticizes Toronto Disposables Ban
Zoning: What's The Question Here?
Philly Says You Get Info With That Order
Sidewalk Cafes Face New Fees In Hamptons

This issue's Economic ReportSponsor: The NAFEM Show '09 
Industry Report Sponsor: Server Products
Regulatory Report Manitowoc Foodservice

Stamford Wants Teeth For FOG Rules
The Stamford, Conn., board of representatives wants to put some local teeth behind a state requirement to keep fats, oils and grease out of its sewer system.

At a recent meeting, board members said a new city ordinance is needed to give city agencies the authority to enforce the state law.

The proposed FOG ordinance would require all foodservice operations that prepare their own food to install a grease trap or interceptor to prevent FOG from entering the sewer system. Restaurants opened or renovated since Sept. 30, 2005, would have to comply immediately; those built earlier would have until July 1, 2010, to install approved grease removal systems.

Restaurants would have to clean or empty grease traps on a regular basis and clean out solids at "reasonable intervals." Violators would be fined $90 per day. The city said it will likely cap penalties at $250 to mirror other city fines. As written, the ordinance would put the local Water Pollution Control Authority in charge of enforcement instead of the health department.


Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

CRFA Criticizes Toronto Disposables Ban
The Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association is taking umbrage at Toronto's plan to ban disposable cups and other food packaging.

Back in September, Toronto's city staff released a report recommending the city ban disposable coffee cups and other food packaging items that aren't accepted in Toronto's Blue Box recycling program.

The city also is proposing a mandatory discount to coffee customers who use their own refillable mugs. If approved, city officials want the new laws to take effect by Dec. 31, 2009.

The CRFA has countered, pointing out that many other municipalities have no trouble recycling disposable coffee cups, suggesting the problem is Toronto's recycling program, not restaurants' use of disposables.

In addition, CRFA Ontario vice president Stephanie Jones said the mandatory discount is nothing less than a business tax. "Through an expanded Blue Box program the city could well exceed its waste diversion goals without punishing business owners and customers," she said.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Zoning: What's The Question Here?
This story isn't a big story, in that it doesn't impact a big market. And even the topic is fuzzy. But it says a lot about what some people think of the standardization of America.

Zoning commission members in Woodbury, Conn. (pop. 10,000), are looking at a proposed change in an already approved commercial development. An independent burger-hot dog operator has dropped out of the project, and a Dunkin' Donuts is being considered to take the vacated space.

The zoning commission convened in October to decide whether the higher-volume chain operator conforms with the original zoning parameters for traffic, hours and so on. Ironically, however, locals attending a related hearing felt the question should be whether a national multiunit operator fit the character of the historically-oriented project.

So now the first order of business is to agree on what the subject of the disagreement is.

At the zoning commission's meeting, officials cited hours of operation, the change of character of the restaurant, the intensity of the use, vehicular traffic and the intensity of a seasonal operation as reasons to turn down the application. Attorneys for the developer, meanwhile, argued that traffic studies show the unit won't increase traffic; Dunkin' Donuts' expanded hours relative to the burger stand's are still "normal business hours" for the chain and for many other businesses in town; the footprint of the doughnut shop would be only half the space the burger stand would have taken up; and the intended use still fits exactly within the expressed language of the commission's regulations and its definition of a fast-food restaurant.

The commission is scheduled to meet again in mid-November to rethink the whole debate.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Philly Says You Get Info With That Order
Fries may be an option with orders of Philly cheesesteaks, but from now on you get calorie counts with every order. Philadelphia is the latest locale to mandate nutrition labeling on chain menus and menu boards. Like some of the legislation to come out of California, the city's new ordinance is one of the most stringent in the country.

Starting Jan. 1, 2010, chains with 15 or more units nationwide have to post calorie counts on menu boards. In addition, printed menus also must list saturated fat, trans fat, sodium and carbohydrates. If you only use menu boards, you must post a notice that nutrition information is available upon request. Take-out or delivered food must include nutrition information on the packaging. Fines for violators are up to $500.

Separately, Rockland County, N.Y., also is considering a menu-labeling ordinance similar to the one adopted in New York City and under review in Westchester County. Those ordinances only require chains to post calorie counts for each menu item.

Section sponsored by Manitowoc Foodservice

Sidewalk Cafes Face New Fees In Hamptons
Sidewalk cafes in Southampton Village, N.Y., put their tables away for the winter Nov. 1, as required by the town ordinance adopted three years ago. If a village board member's new proposal is approved, more than a few might not put them back out on April 1.

When the town's code was changed to accommodate sidewalk seating, an annual fee of $200 was set. This year, a dozen restaurants generated $2,400 in fees for the village. But a board member recently said the fee ought to be raised next year to as much as $100 per chair. Mayor Mark Epley said he thought that was too much but suggested charging full-service restaurants $50 per seat and cafes without table service $15 or $25.

Under the mayor's plan, one owner said his restaurant will end up paying $2,400 in fees next year to put out the same six tables he did this summer. Restaurants in the area count on the increased traffic in the summer months to get them through slow winters.

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