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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Can't S.F. Ban 'Formula Restaurants'?

Posted By on Tue, Aug 17, 2010 at 5:36 PM

click to enlarge Subway franchise on Main at Howard in SOMA. - DAVID D./YELP
  • David D./Yelp
  • Subway franchise on Main at Howard in SOMA.
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Thanks to SFoodie's blog sib Noah Galuten of LA Weekly's Squid Ink for directing our browser to USA TODAY, which today records a backlash against efforts by a craggy, scenic town in Utah to keep chain restaurants from getting a toehold.

Smack up against the red rocks of Zion National Park, Springdale, Utah, passed an ordinance that keeps what it calls "formula restaurants" from moving in fryolators, menu boards, and uniformed teen workers ― the city wants to keep Springdale pretty enough to rate tourist quaint. Now, investors in a would-be Subway are challenging the ban. USA TODAY:

Springdale's zoning ordinance, similar to others across the nation, prohibits a variety of businesses, including formula restaurants and delicatessens, because they are found to be in conflict with the town's general plan. It defines a "formula restaurant" as a business required to provide "substantially identical named menu items, packaging, food preparation methods, employee uniforms, interior decor, signage, exterior design or name as any other restaurant or delicatessen in any other location."

In California, the towns of Arcata and Solvang have similar ordinances.

What about it, San Francisco? Isn't the city consistently picturesque enough to rate the plastic-tray blight ban? Pretty enough to make an argument for crumpling up the paper fast-food hat, driving out the dollar meal with the buck-fifty taco, and voiding the Happy Meal in favor of Happy Dumpling?

Follow us on Twitter: @SFoodie. Contact me at John.Birdsall@SFWeekly.com

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