Foodservice Equipment Reports

No Island Of Lost Toys For Kids In San Francisco

Where there’s a plastic toy desired by small children, there’s a way. As Dec. 1 dawned and San Francisco’s ban on restaurants (i.e. fast-food chains) providing toys in children’s meals took effect, the chain targeted by the city council—McDonald’s—was joined by its top burger competitive, Burger King, in circumventing the ban. Both chains announced they would no longer include the toys with their kids’ meals, but instead sell the toys for 10 cents.

The city’s new Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance allows restaurants to give away toys or other kid-friendly inducements with combo meals only if the purchases have fewer than 600 calories and limit fat and sodium content in food and excessive sugar and fat in drinks. The meals also must include fruits and vegetables.

The 19 McDonald’s stores in San Francisco will donate the toy money to the city's Ronald McDonald House charity. Burger King has not announced its plans for its toy earnings.

McDonald’s is rolling out a new Happy Meal that, by the end of 2012, will reduce the portion of fries and cut calories by 20%. However, most of the combinations would still exceed fat, sodium or calorie limits set by the ordinance.