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Regulation Nation: Mapping state, local issues

Regulation Nation: Mapping state, local issues

Nation’s Restaurant News looks at the biggest legislative issues threatening your business and finds strategies for cutting through the red tape. Full Report >>

Sweeping national reforms — think health care, immigration and minimum wage — may dominate the headlines and weigh heavily on operators’ minds, but they’re not the only issues threatening to drive up costs and create operational headaches.

The industry also is monitoring proposals at the local, state and federal levels that seek to regulate a broad range of business and social issues, including waste, sugar consumption, unions and transparency in food labeling.

“The proposals and policies that we’re looking at all have an impact on restaurant business models and threaten the ability to provide jobs,” said Brendan Flanagan, vice president of state and local affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “The more active and educated you are, [the more you] can promote not only your business, but also the industry.”

While some are federal issues, many are measures introduced by bellwether states or localities that are being closely monitored by other jurisdictions around the country. As a result, it’s not safe for operators to ignore legislation outside of their markets, even when an unfavorable policy is struck down or is contained to a far-away city, Flanagan said.

“When the industry is successful in defeating something that would be onerous, it’s probably not the last time that measure will be introduced and pursued,” he said.

The following map provides a snapshot of some of the emerging issues and key legislative battlegrounds that industry organizations and operators are watching closely.

Photos: Thinkstock

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Regulation Nation, the full report, at

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