Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill into law which exempts foodservice equipment dealers from long-standing legislation that prohibited them to design commercial kitchens. The proposed bill, which was passed by the Florida House of Representatives in early May, included an amendment to allow dealers, as well as foodservice equipment manufacturers and their reps, to continue designing or aiding in the design of commercial kitchens in Florida as they have done so in the past, but now on a legal basis.
Before Gov. Crist signed the bill, in Florida, only certified interior designers were legally able to design commercial kitchens. Equipment dealers had been unknowingly, illegally designing commercial kitchens based on a decade-old law that was never really enforced.
Read the complete bill. Lines 630 to 650 contain the information pertaining to equipment dealers and the foodservice community.
The amended bill was the result of a year-long lobbying effort on behalf of the North American Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM), the Manufacturers’ Agents Association for the Foodservice Industry (MAFSI), and the Foodservice Equipment Distributor’s Association (FEDA), the Florida Restaurant Association and individual members of the foodservice industry, in conjunction with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB), the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), the Institute for Justice and other parties.
Legislative activity of this kind in Florida may impact all foodservice professionals throughout the country who design kitchens but are not licensed interior designers.