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  • 10 Mar 2015 4:09 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Eater Atlanta

    by Chris Fuhrmeister Mar 10, 2015, 3:30p @ccfuhr

    Hate waiting until 12:30 p.m. for your Bloody Marys and mimosas? This bill is for you.

    Because Sunday morning hair of the dog can't arrive soon enough after a late Saturday night, a few state legislators have penned HB 535, also known as the Georgia Brunch Bill. If passed into law, Georgia restaurants would be able to serve alcohol at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings, instead of waiting until 12:30 p.m.

    The bill's first reader summary:

    A BILL to be entitled an Act to amend Title 3 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to alcoholic beverages, so as to provide that governing authorities of counties and municipalities in which the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises is lawful may authorize sales of such alcoholic beverages during a certain time on Sundays; to change the time on Sunday during which farm wineries may sell certain wine for consumption on the premises; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.
    The bill has bi-partisan co-sponsorship from State Representatives Brett Harrell (R, Snellville), Alan Powell (R, Hartwell), Margaret Kaiser (D, Atlanta), Spencer Frye (D, Athens), Allen Peake (R, Macon), and John Pezold (R, Fortson), and it is currently in the House Regulated Industries Committee. While the majority of co-sponsors aren't in the restaurant business, Peake is the co-owner of C&P Restaurant Co., which operates several of Cheddar's and Captain D's locations, and Pezold's Pezold Management operates a number of McDonald's outposts.

    The Georgia Restaurant Association says passage of the bill would generate an average of $25,000 per year for Georgia restaurants and "drive jobs, tourism, and economic growth in our state."

  • 10 Mar 2015 2:45 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Atlanta Magazine
    By: Osayi Endolyn 

    Sponsors estimate that bill would generate extra $100 million in taxable sales

    March 10, 2015

    As early as this fall, Georgians could get a morning Mimosa with their Sunday brunch. The Georgia Restaurant Association is courting support for HB 535, the Georgia Brunch Bill, which would give municipalities the option of permitting restaurants to serve alcohol as early as 10:30 a.m. on Sundays.

    Current law restricts businesses from selling alcohol for on-premise consumption on Sundays until 12:30 p.m. But state-owned facilities such as the Georgia World Congress Center are free to start pouring at 10:30 a.m. According to HB 535 sponsor Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville), the proposed change could rack up an additional $100 million in taxable sales, making this a presumed bi-partisan no-brainer for the legislative session.

    Worth noting: The law would only apply to those counties and municipalities that have already enacted Sunday sales. The earlier time would not apply to sales for off-premise consumption—so those sad little signs at the grocery store telling you it’s not yet time for booze would stay put.

    This morning, I spoke with Rep. Harrell and Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association, about the bill’s potential impact and next steps.

    Why is 10:30 a.m. the magic time?

    Karen Bremer:
    That’s when the state-owned facilities can serve alcohol. Places like the Georgia Dome, Phillips Arena, Lake Lanier Islands. We want to bring our membership in line with what state facilities already have.

    Rep. Brett Harrell: Georgia has historically been a conservative state in regards to alcohol, so it’s best to move in a methodical way. The easiest point of comparison is the number of state facilities that permit at 10:30. This seems to be a reasonable, incremental step; it ought not generate negative opposition.

    Clearly this is a carryover from the Blue law days. Why has it taken so long to revisit?

    Bremer: It seems to me that over the past few years, as leadership gets younger in our state, there’s more openness to having laws that are similar to surrounding states. We were the last state to repeal Prohibition in 1937—we still have laws on our books from 1937.

    Was it difficult to find a sponsor?

    Bremer:
    No, but before I found a sponsor, I was careful about talking to any interested parties including the leadership in all of the chambers, the Department of Revenue, the Attorney General’s office, the Association of County Commissioners.

    Can you break down the financial impact for the state?

    Harrell:
    We believe that of the 17,000 restaurants in Georgia, 4,000 would be able to participate once HB 535 became law. That’s $100 million in additional taxable sales for Georgia, including alcohol taxes, sales taxes, and maybe even employment taxes if businesses are able to grow.

    Bremer: We calculate that the increase of two hours in Sunday alcohol sales would average $480.77 per restaurant in that time period, adding up to $25,000 per year in average sales for each business. That’s a pretty significant economic impact.

    What’s next?

    Bremer:
    The bill goes to the Rules Committee on Wednesday, then to the floor of the House to be voted on by the entire body.

    Harrell: It could potentially be on the House calendar by Friday which is our crossover day. My understanding is it will find favor in the House. Then it will go on to the Senate.

    If the Senate passes the bill, how soon could municipalities approve? When can we have morning-time Bloody Marys?

    Bremer:
    As long as the governor doesn’t veto, and to my knowledge, he is not necessarily taking a position on this, laws generally go into effect on July 1.

    Harrell: City governments typically take about 60 days to generate new ordinances based on state law. Some communities will need to draft the change of ordinance, have a preliminary hearing to get input, then put it up for a vote. Atlanta has a significant number of restaurants that might benefit from this, so they might move quicker. So maybe in September.

    Bremer: There will be communities who opt not to serve alcohol. But in areas where there’s a lot of tourism, leisure travel, urban culture, and international visitors, we believe municipalities will be looking to opt in.

    - See more at: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/drinks/brunch-bill-aims-start-sunday-alcohol-sales-1030/#sthash.vIU12yMV.dpuf
  • 04 Feb 2015 10:42 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: Shelby Food Service
    Posted by: Sudie Crouch

    Georgia Restaurant Association has released the state winners of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Restaurant Neighbor Award. The national winners – chosen in early February from state awardees by a panel of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders from across the country – will be honored at a restaurant and food service industry gala awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 14.

    The Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators throughout the U.S. Created 17 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities.

    The 2015 Restaurant Neighbor Award winners from Georgia are:

    • Here To Serve Restaurants – An Atlanta based company, Here to Serve Restaurants does their part in giving back to the city and its foundations by running promotions in all 13 of their restaurants to donate a percentage of proceeds to multiple charities. Here To Serve Restaurants is involved with various organizations including: The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Humane Society, Camp Twin Lakes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Free To Breathe, GivingPoint, It’s The Journey Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Open Hand, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Simon Youth Foundation.
    • Norsan Group Restaurants – The philosophy of Norsan Group Restaurants is to give back and help the communities that they are part of, which is evident through the involvement of their restaurants Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano and Pampas Steakhouse. Pampas Steakhouse and Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano have aided and sponsored various events to help numerous organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Georgia Aquarium and other local organizations. Meanwhile, Frontera Mex-Mex Grill aids organizations that range from schools, religious associations, girls/boy scouts groups and more.
    • Ray’s on the River – For over 15 years, Ray’s on the River has partnered with the Fragile Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that “was formed to assist those families in need of aid to care effectively for medically fragile children.” Ray’s on the River hosts two annual events for Fragile Kids Foundation, a golf tournament and breakfast with Santa, where families who benefit from the services of the Foundation come to the restaurant to enjoy brunch and a visit with Santa.
    • Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern – For over 16 years, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern have partnered with Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA), which “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” Each year, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern host an annual golf tournament to benefit the organization. In addition to the golf tournament, Marlow’s Tavern raises money for SOGA at the opening of each new location.
    • Tin Lizzy’s Cantina – Tin Lizzy’s Cantina is committed to giving back to each of the neighborhoods they serve by working with local nonprofits in their community. Their top projects include: Donating $1 from each taco sold on National Taco Day to Bert’s Big Adventure as well as donating to It’s The Journey Inc. Additional partners of Tin Lizzy’s Cantina include: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Sunshine on a Ranney Day and more.
    • Unsukay Community of Businesses – Unsukay Community of Businesses is involved with numerous nonprofits and causes throughout Atlanta. In 2014 alone, Unsukay has participated in over 130 various nonprofit or charity events via direct involvement or in-kind donations of food and beverage. Most of Unsukay’s focus on giving back to the community is through The Giving Kitchen, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit cofounded by Ryan Turner, Chris Hall and Todd Mussman, whose mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s hospitality community facing unanticipated hardship.
    • Zaxby’s – While each of the 650 Zaxby’s franchise locations contributes to their local community a little differently – volunteering, hosting fundraiser nights, or sponsoring local teams – youth have always been at the center. In 2011, Zaxby’s partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical illnesses. Additionally, Zaxby’s has partnered with Always Play 4 Each Other (APIVEO) as well as Downtown Academy in Athens, Georgia.
    “Each year, the Georgia Restaurant Association, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, recognizes people and businesses who exemplify the good work and great achievements that are possible in the restaurant industry,” said GRA executive director Karen Bremer. “This year’s winners showcase the philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit unique to Georgia’s robust restaurant community – one that gives back in communities each and every day.”

    One Restaurant Neighbor Award winner will be named the coveted Cornerstone Humanitarian for exemplary philanthropic commitment. The NRAEF awards program also includes the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award, sponsored by PepsiCo Food Service, and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

    “The NRAEF’s awards program honors the many ways restaurants support and enrich America’s communities,” said Rob Gifford, EVP strategic operations and philanthropy, NRP and NRAEF. “From the unlimited opportunity for people of all backgrounds to find success, to the countless ways in which restaurants invest in their communities, the awards help elevate the stories of impact that define our industry.”

  • 04 Feb 2015 10:38 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: NeighborNewspapers.com
    by Staff Reports

    The Buckhead-based Georgia Restaurant Association Tuesday announced the state winners of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Restaurant Neighbor Award, including some with locations in the area.

    The national winners — chosen in from state awardees by a panel of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders from across the country — will be honored at a restaurant and foodservice industry gala awards ceremony in Washington April 14.

    The award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators throughout the U.S. Created 17 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities.

    The 2015 Restaurant Neighbor Award winners from Georgia are:
    • Here To Serve Restaurants: An Atlanta-based company, Here to Serve Restaurants does their part in giving back to the city and its foundations by running promotions in all 13 of their restaurants to donate a percentage of proceeds to multiple charities. Here To Serve Restaurants is involved with various organizations including: the Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Humane Society, Camp Twin Lakes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Free To Breathe, GivingPoint, It’s The Journey Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Open Hand, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Simon Youth Foundation.
    • Norsan Group Restaurants: The philosophy of Norsan Group Restaurants is to give back and help the communities that they are part of, which is evident through the involvement of their restaurants Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Luci-ano’s Ristorante Italiano and Pampas Steakhouse. Pampas Steakhouse and Luciano’s Ristorante Italiano have aided and sponsored various events to help numerous organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Georgia Aquarium and other local organizations. Meanwhile, Frontera Mex-Mex Grill aids organizations that range from schools, religious associations, girls/boy scouts groups and more.
    • Ray’s on the River: For over 15 years, Ray’s on the River has partnered with the Fragile Kids Foundation, a non-profit that “was formed to assist those families in need of aid to care effectively for medically fragile children.” Ray’s on the River hosts two annual events for Fragile Kids Foundation, a golf tournament and breakfast with Santa, where families who benefit from the services of the foundation come to the restaurant to enjoy brunch and a visit with Santa.
    • Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern: For over 16 years, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern have partnered with Special Olympics Georgia, which “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” Each year, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern host an annual golf tournament to benefit the organization. In addition to the golf tournament, Marlow’s Tavern raises money for Special Olympics at the opening of each new location.
    • Tin Lizzy’s Cantina: Tin Lizzy’s Cantina is committed to giving back to each of the neighborhoods they serve by working with local nonprofits in their community. Their top projects include: Donating $1 from each taco sold on National Taco Day to Bert’s Big Adventure as well as donating to It’s The Journey. Additional partners of Tin Lizzy’s Cantina include: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Sunshine on a Ranney Day and more.
    • Unsukay Community of Businesses: Unsukay Community of Businesses is involved with numerous nonprofits and causes throughout Atlanta. In 2014 alone, Unsukay has participated in over 130 various nonprofit or charity events via direct involvement or in-kind donations of food and beverage. Most of Unsukay’s focus on giving back to the community is through The Giving Kitchen, a nonprofit co-founded by Ryan Turner, Chris Hall and Todd Mussman, whose mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s hospitality community facing unanticipated hardship.
    • Zaxby’s: While each of the 650 Zaxby’s franchise locations contributes to their local community a little differently — volunteering, hosting fundraiser nights, or sponsoring local teams — youth have always been at the center. In 2011, Zaxby’s partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical illnesses. Additionally, Zaxby’s has partnered with Always Play 4 Each Other as well as Downtown Academy in Athens.
    “Each year, the Georgia Restaurant Association, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, recognizes people and businesses who exemplify the good work and great achievements that are possible in the restaurant industry,” said association Executive Director Karen Bremer. “This year’s winners showcase the philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit unique to Georgia’s robust restaurant community – one that gives back in communities each and every day.”

    One award winner will be named the coveted Cornerstone Humanitarian for exemplary philanthropic commitment. The national association’s awards program also includes the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

    “The NRAEF’s awards program honors the many ways restaurants support and enrich America’s communities,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “From the unlimited opportunity for people of all backgrounds to find success, to the countless ways in which restaurants invest in their communities, the awards help elevate the stories of impact that define our industry.”

    For a complete list of the 2014 state and national winners, visit www.nraef.org/awards.

    Read more: Neighbor Newspapers - National association honors Georgia restaurants
  • 04 Feb 2015 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Posted on PerishableNews.com

    by Georgia Restaurant Association

    Atlanta – Georgia Restaurant Association announced the state winners of the acclaimed National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Restaurant Neighbor Award. The national winners – chosen in early February from state awardees by a panel of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders from across the country – will be honored at a restaurant and foodservice industry gala awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 2015.

    The Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators throughout the U.S. Created 17 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities.

    The 2015 Restaurant Neighbor Award winners from Georgia are:
    • Here To Serve Restaurants – An Atlanta based company, Here to Serve Restaurants does their part in giving back to the city and its foundations by running promotions in all 13 of their restaurants to donate a percentage of proceeds to multiple charities. Here To Serve Restaurants is involved with various organizations including: The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Humane Society, Camp Twin Lakes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Free To Breathe, GivingPoint, It's The Journey, Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Open Hand, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Simon Youth Foundation.
    • Norsan Group Restaurants – The philosophy of Norsan Group Restaurants is to give back and help the communities that they are part of, which is evident through the involvement of their restaurants Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Luciano's Ristorante Italiano and Pampas Steakhouse. Pampas Steakhouse and Luciano's Ristorante Italiano have aided and sponsored various events to help numerous organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Georgia Aquarium and other local organizations. Meanwhile, Frontera Mex-Mex Grill aids organizations that range from schools, religious associations, girls/boy scouts groups and more.
    • Ray's on the River – For over 15 years, Ray's on the River has partnered with the Fragile Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that “was formed to assist those families in need of aid to care effectively for medically fragile children.” Ray's on the River hosts two annual events for Fragile Kids Foundation, a golf tournament and breakfast with Santa, where families who benefit from the services of the Foundation come to the restaurant to enjoy brunch and a visit with Santa.
    • Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow's Tavern – For over 16 years, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern have partnered with Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA), which “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” Each year, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern host an annual golf tournament to benefit the organization. In addition to the golf tournament, Marlow's Tavern raises money for SOGA at the opening of each new location.
    • Tin Lizzy's Cantina – Tin Lizzy's Cantina is committed to giving back to each of the neighborhoods they serve by working with local nonprofits in their community. Their top projects include: Donating $1 from each taco sold on National Taco Day to Bert's Big Adventure as well as donating to It’s The Journey, Inc. Additional partners of Tin Lizzy's Cantina include: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Sunshine on a Ranney Day and more.
    • Unsukay Community of Businesses – Unsukay Community of Businesses is involved with numerous nonprofits and causes throughout Atlanta. In 2014 alone, Unsukay has participated in over 130 various nonprofit or charity events via direct involvement or in-kind donations of food and beverage. Most of Unsukay’s focus on giving back to the community is through The Giving Kitchen, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit cofounded by Ryan Turner, Chris Hall and Todd Mussman, whose mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s hospitality community facing unanticipated hardship.
    • Zaxby's – While each of the 650 Zaxby’s franchise locations contributes to their local community a little differently – volunteering, hosting fundraiser nights, or sponsoring local teams – youth have always been at the center. In 2011, Zaxby’s partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical illnesses. Additionally, Zaxby’s has partnered with Always Play 4 Each Other (APIVEO) as well as Downtown Academy in Athens, Ga.
    “Each year, the Georgia Restaurant Association, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, recognizes people and businesses who exemplify the good work and great achievements that are possible in the restaurant industry,” said GRA Executive Director Karen Bremer. “This year’s winners showcase the philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit unique to Georgia’s robust restaurant community – one that gives back in communities each and every day.”

    One Restaurant Neighbor Award winner will be named the coveted Cornerstone Humanitarian for exemplary philanthropic commitment. The NRAEF awards program also includes the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award, sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice, and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

    “The NRAEF’s awards program honors the many ways restaurants support and enrich America’s communities,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president strategic operations and philanthropy, National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “From the unlimited opportunity for people of all backgrounds to find success, to the countless ways in which restaurants invest in their communities, the awards help elevate the stories of impact that define our industry.”

    For a complete list of the 2014 state and national winners, please visit www.nraef.org/awards.

    For media inquiries, contact GRA Manager of Marketing and Communications Rachel Bell at (404) 467-9000 or rachel@garestaurants.org.

    About the Georgia Restaurant Association
    The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s restaurants in advocacy, education and awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 16,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $16.5 billion which provides more than 405,800 jobs. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

    About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
    As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation's largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.

    Source: Georgia Restaurant Association
  • 26 Jan 2015 9:58 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Restaurant Informer

    rKaren Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), has been elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The NRA is governed by a volunteer board of directors and led in Washington, D.C. by a president and chief executive officer. On average, the board consists of 90 to 95 directors from across the country who represent every facet of the restaurant industry.

    With over 35 years in the hospitality industry, Bremer is a founding member of the GRA and the past president of the GRA Board. She serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Council of State Restaurant Associations. She also sits on the Industry Advisory Board of Georgia State University’s Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration and is a trustee of the Arby’s Foundation. She has been inducted to Les Dames d’Escoffier International and the International Women’s Forum. Bremer was the former owner of Dailey’s and City Grill restaurants and was a top executive with the Peasant Restaurant Group, starting out as a manager and ultimately being named its president.

    Bremer has garnered numerous awards including the ACVB Member of the Year Award in 2002 for her role in founding Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week. In 2009, Bremer received the Lifetime Achievement GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for her outstanding contributions to Georgia’s restaurant industry. Bremer has also been listed as a notable Georgian by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

    Share
    This entry was posted on Thursday, January 22nd, 2015 at 7:05 pm and is filed under News.
  • 24 Jan 2015 9:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: FSR magazine

    Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), was elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (NRA).

    The NRA is governed by a volunteer board of directors and led in Washington, D.C. by a president and CEO. On average, the board consists of 90 to 95 directors from across the country who represent every facet of the restaurant industry.

    With over 35 years in the hospitality industry, Bremer is a founding member of the GRA and the past president of the GRA Board. She serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB), the DeKalb Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Council of State Restaurant Associations.

    She also sits on the Industry Advisory Board of Georgia State University's Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration and is a trustee of the Arby’s Foundation. She has also been inducted to Les Dames d'Escoffier International and the International Women's Forum.

    Bremer was the former owner of Dailey’s and City Grill restaurants and was a top executive with the Peasant Restaurant Group, starting out as a manager and ultimately becoming president.

    Bremer garnered numerous awards including the ACVB Member of the Year Award in 2002 for her role in founding Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week. In 2009, Bremer received the Lifetime Achievement GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for her outstanding contributions to Georgia's restaurant industry.
  • 23 Jan 2015 9:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: PerishableNews.com

    Atlanta – Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA), was elected to serve on the board of directors for the National Restaurant Association (NRA). The NRA is governed by a volunteer board of directors and led in Washington, D.C. by a president and chief executive officer. On average, the board consists of 90 to 95 directors from across the country who represent every facet of the restaurant industry.

    With over 35 years in the hospitality industry, Bremer is a founding member of the GRA and the past president of the GRA Board. She serves on the board of directors for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB), the DeKalb Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Council of State Restaurant Associations. She also sits on the Industry Advisory Board of Georgia State University's Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration and is a trustee of the Arby’s Foundation. She has also been inducted to Les Dames d'Escoffier International and the International Women's Forum. Bremer was the former owner of Dailey’s and City Grill restaurants and was a top executive with the Peasant Restaurant Group, starting out as a manager and ultimately being named its president.

    Bremer has garnered numerous awards including the ACVB Member of the Year Award in 2002 for her role in founding Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week. In 2009, Bremer received the Lifetime Achievement GRACE (Georgia Restaurant Association Crystal of Excellence) Award for her outstanding contributions to Georgia's restaurant industry. Bremer has also been listed as a notable Georgian by Georgia Trend Magazine in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

    About the Georgia Restaurant Association
    The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s restaurants in advocacy, education and awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 16,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $16.5 billion which provides more than 405,800 jobs. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

    Source: Georgia Restaurant Association

  • 20 Jan 2015 2:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Savannah Morning News
    By Eric Curl

    Patrons of Spudnik on Broughton Street who haven’t turned 21 will continue to be able to eat their baked potatoes in peace late into the evening.

    The city is no longer considering a requirement that alcohol-serving restaurants, such as Andrew Wanamaker’s carb-centric eatery, boot underage customers at 10 p.m. when they’re not accompanied by a parent or guardian.

    ...

    On Tuesday, city spokesman Bret Bell said the concerns of business owners such as Wanamaker prompted the city to reconsider the 10 p.m. rule and other proposed changes to Savannah’s alcohol ordinance that were presented for feedback in late August.

    Some issues are still being considered, but Bell said the city wanted to keep the public updated by providing the latest plans for the ordinance.

    “The process is still going on,” he said. “No changes have been made yet.”

    The updated revisions include:
    • The removal of a requirement that would have forced anyone under 21 to leave an establishment that serves alcohol at 10 p.m. when they’re not accompanied by a parent or guardian.
    • The removal of a requirement that alcohol-serving establishments hire security and purchase an additional license for operations after midnight. Instead, only businesses that have had problems would have to provide such security.
    • The allowance of minors into a business that serves complimentary alcohol such as a hair salon that gives free wine to customers.
    • The expansion of residency requirement for the managers from within the city to a 50-mile radius around the establishment.
    Mike Vaquer also praised the latest plan for the ordinance after he had raised some concerns last year as a lobbyist for the Georgia Restaurant Association.

    “We’re encouraged,” Vaquer said. “Stepping back is a step in the right direction.”

    ...

    Read the full article.

  • 06 Jan 2015 4:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    January 2015
    Source: Shelby Foodservice

    By Karen Bremer/Executive Director, Georgia Restaurant Association

    As Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s food service industry, the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) serves as the unified voice for more than 16,000 food service and drinking places in the state of Georgia. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and represents all restaurants in the state of Georgia – from large chains to start-ups.

    The GRA stands behind the mission to serve as the voice for Georgia’s restaurants in advocacy, education and awareness, and the goal of the GRA is to help make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and to help make restaurants better for Georgia. One way the GRA is successful in staying true to our mission is via the work that is accomplished from a legislative standpoint.

    Advocacy is a major focus of the GRA’s mission, and we support legislation that will help restaurants thrive and fight against legislation that will hurt businesses and bring on onerous stipulations and regulations to restaurant owners. The GRA exists so restaurants can focus on their day-to-day operations and we represent the industry on issues such as minimum wage, sick pay, EPI pens, extending alcohol sales, growlers in brewpubs and much more. The GRA also advocates for the restaurant industry not only at the local and state level, but on a national level as well through our partnership with the NRA.

    As we work to advocate on a legislative standpoint, we also strive to keep our members informed of the latest key issues affecting their business and what the GRA is doing to fight for pro-restaurant legislation. This is achieved via the GRA’s various communication platforms such as weekly legislative bulletins during session, action alerts and our website and resource center. To make sure the restaurant industry is adequately represented, we also encourage our members to get involved in advocating for the restaurant industry. One way to increase the recognition of Georgia’s restaurant industry is during the GRA’s signature Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception.

    Taste of Georgia takes place each year during the legislation session and is an opportunity for GRA members to showcase their restaurants to elected officials and lobbyists. During this event, Georgia’s state legislators have the opportunity to learn about the impact of the restaurant in the state and get a taste of what the restaurant sector is doing to help contribute to the state’s economy. The next Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015, 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot in Atlanta. For more information about the event, or how you can participate, visit www.garestaurants.org/TasteofGeorgia.

    As the strongest supporter and largest advocate for Georgia’s restaurant industry, the GRA will continue to fight for the success of the industry. The GRA will also continue to serve as the voice for the industry to make sure the impact and contribution of Georgia’s restaurants is widely recognized and understood.
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The Georgia Restaurant Association represents all restaurants.

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