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The American Pizza Community (TAPC): Rival Companies Join Forces To Tackle Menu Labeling Laws

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American pizza companies are banding together and heading to D.C. in late June to address their concerns about mandatory menu-labeling legislation passed in 2010 as part of Obama's health care package.

The measures, which have not yet been enacted, would require restaurant chains with 20 or more locations to clearly post on their menus the number of calories of each item. Vending machines would also be subject to such rules.

The delegation, called The American Pizza Community (TAPC), includes companies that are usually rivals -- Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s Pizza, Little Caesar Enterprises, the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, Hungry Howie’s and Godfather’s Pizza -- but challenges posed by the implementation of the new legislation are apparently powerful inducement to join forces. Executives from these various companies will meet with federal lawmakers on June 19 and 20.

What are the challenges posed to TAPC members? They're specific to pizza, according to the companies, and they require an advocacy group separate from the National Restaurant Association and the National Council of Chain Restaurants. In a release, the group says that its main goal is to "protect the integrity of the product."

Nation's Restaurant News spoke with TAPC chair Lynn Liddle, who's also the executive vice president of communications, investor relations and legislative affairs for Domino’s.

“When there are 34 million ways to top a pizza just at Domino’s, it’s easy to understand how the one-size-fits-all situation currently proposed doesn’t work for pizza," Liddle explained.

In addition to menu labeling, the group's other concerns include fair wages and labor policies, tax reform and commodity policies.

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