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Decals Gone Wild: On the Volunteer Trans Fat Program

In about a month, San Francisco restaurants will have the opportunity to join the City's voluntary ban of trans fats. While fellow big cities like NYC and Philadelphia have done the logical thing and banned trans fats, restaurants will be able to undergo an inspection process and pay $250 for ... a sticker (pictured, via the Chron/Health Dept). Of course, the vast majority of restaurants already ban the bad fats, and a similar program for green restaurants has produced one (one!) city certification in the last four years. But that's not deterred the health department people; in fact, they are simply in love with their brainchild and in a Chronicle piece, they wax poetic about the program and its pretty pretty logo. Here's what we took away:

Why Restaurants Should Pay $250 For a Sticker, Part One: "... restaurant owners who prove they serve nothing containing trans fats will get bragging rights in the form of a decal with a green heart emblazoned with a silhouette of the Golden Gate Bridge and the words 'Trans Fat Free San Francisco Restaurant.'"

Why Restaurants Should Pay $250 For a Sticker, Part Two: "The sticker ... is so attractive it's worthy of framing, according to one public health official."

Why Restaurants Should Pay $250 For a Sticker, Part Three: "'It's beautiful,' [a public health official] said. 'Other jurisdictions have asked us for a copy of it. No, we made it. You make your own.'"

Why Restaurants Will Not Pay $250 For a Sticker: "'The fact that a restaurant would be trans-fat-free would probably not be marketable since almost every restaurant is trans-fat-free,' [GGRA bossman Kevin Westlye] said. Besides, he added, many restaurants already say they're trans-fat-free on their menus - no $250 decal required."
· S.F. offers restaurants trans-fat-free decal [Chron]

Restaurateurs, we want to hear from you! Will you pay to volunteer in the program? And more importantly, will you frame your sticker?

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