Posts Tagged ‘restaurants’

D.C.’s fast food zoning rules

“Emergency regulations” adopted in 1985 by the District of Columbia sharply restrict where fast-food restaurants may operate, and despite an effort in 2007 to refine the definition of a fast-food place, it remains rigid: any eatery where the utensils are disposable is included, as does any in which cash is paid before the meal is handed over. Now the regulations have come to restrict the operation of popular “fast-casual” restaurants and even one-off ventures launched by noted chefs, like a barbecue sandwich place that had been slated to open in Shaw near the Convention Center. [Tim Carman, Washington Post via Scott Beyer, Forbes]

Wage and hour roundup

  • Los Angeles hotel workers catching on to real intent of city ordinance carving out sub-minimum wage at unionized employers [Scott Shackford, Reason, earlier] “Why Sports Authority is throwing in the towel and closing all of its stores” [Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune/Pasadena Star-News]
  • “France might pass a law that makes it illegal to send after-hours work emails” [Washington Post]
  • Boiled at slightly lower temperature: DoL considering knocking down salary threshold a bit, $47,000 rather than $50,440, for its awful upcoming overtime mandate [Jon Hyman; video from Partnership to Protect Workplace Opportunity, group critical of regs; earlier here, etc.]
  • “Eleventh Circuit Reins in NLRB’s Mischaracterization of Independent Contractors as ‘Employees'” [John Park, Washington Legal Foundation]
  • “Relax Everyone: NELP’s New Report Says The Minimum Wage Doesn’t Cost Jobs” [Tim Worstall] “The Economic Denialism of a $15 Minimum Wage” [John McGinnis; Chris Edwards/Cato] David Henderson scrutinizes work by left-wing Berkeley economist Michael Reich backing $15 minimum [EconLog]
  • Idea of abolishing the tip system, pushed by some labor activists and eyed as a fallback by businesses tied up in wage law knots, meets with huge resistance from restaurant staff in U.S. [NPR]
  • “Hillary Clinton Just Turned the Democratic Party Into the Party of the $15 an Hour Minimum Wage” [Peter Suderman]

FDA issues menu labeling mandate

Vaping isn’t the only issue on which the Food and Drug Administration has stopped its ears to distress cries from the regulated community. It has now followed through with a stringent rather than lenient version of the menu labeling concept mandated by the ObamaCare law, one that will extend coverage to doubtful areas including some restaurant coupons and advertisements and ensure burdensome compliance issues for variety items such as toppings on pizza or ice cream. [CS News, Elizabeth Harrington/Free Beacon, earlier]

“I’m a lawyer. And lawyers write letters.”

Dwain Downing, an attorney in Arlington, Texas, says he is suing a Mansfield diner that ran out of soup at 2 p.m. during a Saturday lunch special. The server and on-site manager told Downing that while he didn’t have to order the sandwich, two sides, and soup special at all if the lack of soup made it unattractive to him, the restaurant’s policy was not to discount the $7.95 price or offer a third side dish as a substitute. “Downing demands $2.25 – the cost of an additional side at Our Place – plus $250 in legal fees.” Why didn’t he handle it through an online review, calling the owner on the phone or simply not coming back? “‘I’m a lawyer,’ Downing said Friday by phone. ‘And lawyers write letters.'” [Marc Ramirez, Dallas Morning News]

California: we’ll make our citizens guinea pigs for $15 minimum

California political leaders have agreed on a deal that will lead to imposing a $15 minimum wage statewide, not only in San Francisco and San Jose, where the median wage is expected by 2022 to be $34-37, but also in Fresno and Chico, where the projected median wage in that year is around $20. [Noam Scheiber and Ian Lovett, New York Times]

Cities with high real estate prices are typically better able to withstand minimum wage increases than cities with low prices, because wages represent a smaller fraction of a business’s overall cost in those cities and therefore have a smaller effect on the bottom line….

Craig Scharton, the owner of a farm-to-table restaurant called Peeve’s Public House in downtown Fresno, said he was still smarting from a recent increase in the minimum wage from $9 to $10 an hour. He said the increase had forced him to close on Mondays and Tuesdays and played a role in reducing his staffing to a dozen today from 18 two and a half years ago.

Mr. Scharton was at a loss to explain how he would absorb the new increase. “We’re trying our best to revitalize downtown,” he said. “This just kind of kicks our legs out from under us.”

More: Scott Shackford/Reason, Preston Cooper/Economics 21, Charles Hughes/Cato, Timothy Lee/Vox, Ira Stoll (role of Berkeley “radical economist” Michael Reich).

Food roundup

  • Delay FDA menu labeling rules? Tinker? No, repeal [Baylen Linnekin, earlier]
  • European trade negotiators would like to keep cheeses and beverages on American shelves from bearing names like Parmesan, Gouda, feta, Champagne, port, and sherry unless made over there. Nein danke, no grazie, non merci [William Watson, Cato] Weird how EU laws prevent spirits producers from being completely honest with consumers [Jacob Grier]
  • Regressive-yet-progressive: “Taxing soda fits the narrative in which the obese are oppressed and soda manufacturers are the oppressors.” [Arnold Kling]
  • New research (“no consensus among scientists on whether a population-wide reduction of salt was associated with better health outcomes”) could be blow to Gotham’s sodium regulation cause [Dan Goldberg, Politico New York] “Suit Halts NYC’s Misguided Restaurant Salt Warning Labels” [Linnekin]
  • Lawyers in hot coffee suits still pushing “unreasonably high holding temperature” theories [Nick Farr, Abnormal Use, earlier]
  • Chef turned Amish traditional sausage maker in rural Maine finds that regulation is a grind [Linnekin]