At present, local restaurants with under 25 seats aren't legally required to have an employee around who's trained to know what to do if you start choking. State representatives want to change that, and have proposed a bill that says all restaurants should be able to handle that scenario, even coffeeshops and cafes. Surprisingly, not everyone is in favor, including Dave Andelman, the CEO of the food media entity Phantom Gourmet and the president of the Restaurant and Business Alliance. The Globe quotes Andelman saying the proposed bill is not worth it because "we should not add more costs to our small businesses."
He acknowledges that the bill has "good intentions" but adds that "it is not fair that this vague bill burdens any businesses with liability for something beyond their control." Except that choking is generally something that is not beyond control, thanks to the Heimlich maneuver, not to mention thorough chewing. Says one of the state reps supporting the measure: "Our point is someone can choke if there's only 23 seats, as easily as if there were 30 seats." Readers, weigh in: what small restaurant would you not like to choke at?