Law putting weight on small businesses

As of Jan. 1 Washington state restaurants were required by law to provide nutritional information on the food items they serve.

As of Jan. 1 Washington state restaurants were required by law to provide nutritional information on the food items they serve.

The legislation is an effort to combat the rise of obesity, but saw opposition from some claiming it put the weight of costs to study food content on small businesses.

Kristi Kildare, manager and owner of Midtown Station in Sumner said her restaurant began displaying the nutritional information about eight months ago, when The Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department started offering free tests on the content of menu items. The health department partnered with the MultiCare Center For Healthy Living to provide the information to consumers.

To determine the content of the restaurant’s dishes, the recipes are recorded and the precise information is evaluated by a dietician who assesses calories, fat, sodium and carbohydrates.

The legislation provides different ways by which to make nutritional information available such as on a sign inside the restaurant, or printed on a separate sheet of paper than the menu itself, but the information is printed directly on the menu at Midtown Station.

Kildare said she hasn’t noticed a dramatic difference in the eating habits of customers since the information began appearing, but some customers cut calories by splitting an item between them.

“People don’t really order any differently, but I would say 90 percent of the people like it,” she said. “They all want to know what it means, but when people go out to eat they’re expecting to eat a lot of calories.”

Kildare said the change not only benefit people counting calories, but also help customers with special diets and make going out as a family easier.

“If you’re on a low-sodium diet, they can bring the whole family here,” Kildare said.

So far, she views it as a positive change.

“I haven’t seen any downside. The response has been very good overall.”

More in Business

Local entrepreneur gives tips on successful crowdfunding

Enumclaw Councilman Beau Chevassus has learned from his Kickstarter flops, and now has had several successful money-making ventures.

Enumclaw Chamber installs new board, hears optimistic outlook

The Chamber hopes to convince the state to keep Cayuse Pass open year-round, citing economic impacts for Enumclaw.

Copper making a comeback as a major disease fighter | Don Brunell

Brass surfaces kills a wide-spectrum of bacteria and fungi.

Dams are the Northwest’s flood busters | Don Brunell

Removing dams is a pricey project, and would likely encourage flooding in Washington.

Student loan assistance is an attractive employer benefit | Don Brunell

A study shows 9 of 10 workers are distracted by their financial worries, especially school loans.

Local midwife offers alternative birth options

Many studies show home births are not that much more dangerous than hospital births — and Washington is one of the best states to use a midwife.

Sulfur standards aim to curtail maritime fuel oil | Don Brunell

Sulfur fuels help create acid rain, which has numerous negative effects on the environment.

Boeing faces strong head winds | Don Brunell

Airbus saw a 28 percent in deliveries last year, while Boeing’s fell 37 percent.

Caring for small businesses makes ours ‘A Wonderful Life’

Here are some great local examples of George Bailey’s Savings and Loan.

Bridges shouldn’t have to sink to be replaced | Don Brunell

I-5 needs to be replaced long before it’s necessary to do so.

Boeing Renton plant to halt 737 Max production

Suspension expected to begin in January

Hydrogen fuel cells gaining momentum | Don Brunell

But we’ve still got a long way to go before replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles.