Matthew Yglesias wants to make menu labeling mandatory at all restaurants, not just chains. Conor Freidersdorf explains how that will benefit big restaurant chains, and kill variety and innovation at one-off shops and mom-n-pop spots.
This is the same lesson Yglesias and Ezra Klein failed to learn from Walmart signing on to the employer health care mandate. The behemoth companies love regulation, because the compliance costs tend to kill off upstarts and smaller competitors.
It’s only a matter of time before we’re going to see one or more big restaurant chains join the menu labeling crusade. In fact, I’m surprised we haven’t seen it already. It makes good business sense. A federal law seems inevitable now. Jump on board early, and you’ll have a say in how the regulations are written–specifically, exactly who will be required to abide by it.
It’s amusing how the people who so eagerly embrace heavy-handed regulation tend to be the same people who decry the Gap-ification of America. They don’t seem to realize the connection between the two.