Restaurant regulations can be difficult for restaurateurs to navigate. Here are six regulations forcing restaurants to adapt or pay the price.
1. No New Fast Food in Los Angeles, California
In July 2008, the LA City Council unanimously passed a law that banned the opening of new fast-food restaurants It applied to restaurants in a 32 square mile area. While Americans generally recognize that there is an obesity problem, it is unclear what effect the restriction of new fast-food restaurants has upon caloric intake.
2. No Food Coloring in Europe
Yellow 5, Red 40, and other artificial dyes have been banned in many countries throughout Europe due to ties to cancer and ADHD risks.
3. Foie Gras Farewell in California
While many fine diners with strong ethical considerations may choose to forego ordering the foie gras, California took the step of barring restaurants from selling the dish. The restaurant ban went into effect on July 1, 2012. California residents can still purchase foie gras online, or restaurants may provide it as a complimentary ingredient that accompanies a dish. The result, of course, is some very expensive brioche with a free side of foie gras.
4. Big Apple Soda Ban
New York City’s ban on sugary drinks over a certain size is well-known at this point. Much like the Los Angeles ban on new fast food restaurants, this Board of Health regulation is one that has an element of good intention, but questionable effect on its target. Obesity is a large and growing problem. But whether limiting the size of beverages sold has a causal relationship with decreasing obesity in Americans is unproven. Moreover, the loopholes (let’s consider milkshakes, or really any other form of caloric intake) are so vast as to overtake the rule. If we want people to make better caloric choices, education seems a better option.
5. Malaysia’s Strict Laws on Foreign Labor
In 2009, Malaysia imposed strict regulations upon foreign labor, particularly those in industries that are “speciality stores,” which applies to restaurants among others. It burdened restaurant operators with finding labor for their existing restaurants, and forced some to close. The Malaysian government has attributed the measure to an effort to keep jobs within the country, as Malaysia has no minimum wage, and foreign workers may be willing to accept a lower wage.
6. Nitaqat in Saudi Arabia
Though not exclusive to restaurants, Nitaqat’s regulatory influence in the Saudi Arabian labor market will become a bit of an obstacle for restaurateurs in the Kingdom. All managers must be Saudi nationals and any twenty-four hour restaurants must be equipped with security guards and cameras.