Tag Archives: restaurant legislation

Central’s Week in Brief: June 24, 2011

Every Friday Central brings you stories from the week that you might have missed, but that are definitely worth a look. We’ll feature food news covering everything from the weird to the wonderful in the world of restaurants, schools, the military and more. It’s our way to help you go into the weekend with a little extra knowledge and maybe even a project or recipe to try out!

1) Keeping up to date with legislation pertaining to the restaurant industry can be hard.  This week, Nation’s Restaurant News posted this update which will inform you about the following five issues that could have an affect on your restaurant: Tip Credit, E-Verify, Corn-Based Ethanol Subsidies, Health Care Reform, Lending Regulations.

2) At the end of last year, we posted 10 foodservice trends for 2011.  To follow up to see how our list is comparing, this week Zagat posted “The 5 Hottest Dining Trends in 2011 So Far.” We’re pleased to see some of the trends such as food trucks and beer, are still on track and going strong!

 

3) We bid farewell to the food pyramid earlier this month when the government introduced MyPlate.  The USDA describes MyPlate as a “user-friendly visual” of the the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  This Food Safety News article covers the latest on MyPlate including some very helpful hints on how to stay on track.

 


4) Every Thursday in June we discuss how to use social media for your restaurant. To help encourage restaurants to become involved with social media, this recent article from The Social Graf reported on KN-CMR’s “The Faces of Social Media” study which found 38 million U.S. adults (18-20) said “they discover new products and brands or refer to social media before making purchase decisions.”

 


 

 

 

 

 

5) To curb obesity, school districts like the Central Nebraska School District are making changes.  This AP article, posted on the Daily Journal’s website, explains they have been “using a three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education.” This grant has helped them buy equipment, implement programs and train teachers and staff.  While they report 14 percent of the elementary school students are still obese, “three elementary schools have seen decreases in obesity ranging from 23 percent to 27 percent.”



Menu labeling update

A few more words on the menu-labeling controversy – I’m beginning to understand that it’s not necessarily about the cost associated with compliance, but more the manner in which the labeling is carried out, the difficulty in providing consistently accurate food content information across the board and the risk of frivolous lawsuits as a result of innocent errors in calculation.

As noted by a friend in the industry, any restaurant that makes items from scratch may add a pinch more of this or that to the recipe, making universal labeling nearly impossible; and if a staff member happens to pick up the wrong ladle, portion sizes are going to be inaccurate.

I commend organizations such as Yum! brands that have opted to voluntarily comply; my point is that until there is a national standard for menu labeling, there are going to be some difficulties, especially for smaller restaurant chains that do not have the resources of the international corporations.

States currently considering bills to require menu-labeling include Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia. Check out Google News to see what’s going on in menu-labeling legislation this week. I look forward to your comments and feedback about this important issue.