News

  • 21 Mar 2012 9:31 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Big-game day at Buffalo Wild Wings may truly be the next best thing to actually being present at a sporting event. Banks of large-screen TVs are visible in every direction, and roaring cheers punctuate the broadcast commentator analysis. The sense of camaraderie and competition that exists on the field - or in the sports arena - permeates the dining atmosphere. Contributing to that experience is the fact that Buffalo Wild Wings broadcasts not just the video, but also the audio content associated with these events.

    "We want our guests to feel as if they're at the stadium, or inside the arena," says Barry Fortner, regional manager for Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in portions of South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia. "We encourage a festive atmosphere. Making the audio available enhances that sense of being there. "

    Because the telecasts include music as an integral feature, Buffalo Wild Wings partners with Broadcast Music, Inc. - BMI - to obtain licensing necessary to make audio available. Depending on the size of the restaurant, 95 to 100 televisions may be stationed in various areas of the facility, including the patios. Of paramount importance is the installation of state-of-the-art sound systems, especially since it is common for multiple events to be broadcast within a single dining zone.

    "Audio clarity is a prime consideration," Fortner says. "We don't want any sound distortion, which is something we have to be cognizant of with open ceilings. Our sound people have always figured out how to deal with that issue effectively."

    "Boxing, hockey, college football and college basketball - our guests want considerable volume for those types of events," Fortner says. "And soccer as well. Remember those horns that were such a big part of last year's World Cup? Our guests at our Greenville, South Carolina restaurant somehow managed to find those same types of horns, and began blowing them in the restaurant. It's that sort of great atmosphere that having audio helps to create."

    Buffalo Wild Wings encourages their personnel to become knowledgeable and fluent in matters related to sports. "We train our servers and bartenders to be able to talk with guests about the various teams, and about the players on those teams," Fortner says. The company also embraces a policy that seems counterintuitive, on the surface, in that it does not encourage fast table turns.

    "That's something that distinguishes us from lots of other sports bars and restaurants," Fortner says. "We encourage people to remain with us for the full length of the game, or the sporting event."

    Although its presence is sometimes subtle, music invariably is featured in all varieties of sports broadcasts. In that regard, BMI facilitates the procurement of licensing rights necessary for Buffalo Wild Wings to include audio in its televised sports presentations. Operating in a not-for-profit-making fashion, BMI distributes 86 cents of every dollar it collects in licensing as royalties to the more than 500,000 songwriters, composers and publishers the organization represents. A blanket licensing agreement between Buffalo Wild Wings and BMI allows the company's restaurants to broadcast any of the 7.5 millions songs in BMI's catalog, eliminating the need to secure licensing agreements on an individual basis.

    "We have always known that the energy and atmosphere our guests experience in our restaurants are key to our success," says Sally Smith, CEO of Buffalo Wild Wings. "We invest in big-screen TVs and great sound systems in order to give our guests a front row seat for all the action during their favorite sporting events. Working with BMI to license music for our more than 800 restaurant locations allows us to also play the audio to these matchups. It helps us create the kind of fun, high-energy dining experience that has made Buffalo Wild Wings a fan favorite for sports lovers of all kinds, which in turn has fueled our growth across the country."

    For more information on procuring audio licensing rights, go to www.bmi.com.
    For an overview of Music Copyright Law and How It Applies to Restaurants, please visit the National Restaurant Association's Legal Problem Solver.

  • 19 Mar 2012 9:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From Georgians for Pastured Poultry
    By Leah Garces, Published: March 14

    Georgians for Pastured Poultry (GPP) applauds Atlanta chef and entrepreneur Shaun Doty’s move to open the first fast-casual chicken rotisserie in the state committed to sourcing 100% local free-range and pastured chicken. Doty’s commitment to animal welfare is growing, he is also the co-founder and executive chef of Yeah!Burger, which is dedicated to using grass-fed beef.

    This announcement comes a month after GPP’s launch in Atlanta, where Shaun Doty prepared pasture raised chicken at the launch event. The coalition includes lead members Compassion in World Farming, Sierra Club and Georgia Organics.  The group has set out to make Georgia the number one producer and consumer of higher welfare chicken in the country.

    “I am personally deeply committed to using high welfare chicken not just because of the superior taste, but because it is more humane. People in Atlanta are demanding high welfare chicken, and I want to ensure that the demand is met,” said Shaun Doty.

    “We fully support Shaun’s pioneering move that will directly result in thousands of chickens  living a better life. As far as we are aware, this is the first fast-casual restaurant of its kind not just in the state, but in the southeast. Shaun is a true leader in his field and we are certain this will be a huge success.” said Leah Garces, USA Director for Compassion in World Farming.

    The restaurant is set to open in September 2012 in the Ansely mall shopping center at Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive.

  • 07 Mar 2012 1:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    From the Washington Post
    By Jane Black, Published: March 6

    At Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, Ala., it’s policy that every day, everything is made from scratch: the pimento cheese, the hickory-smoked brisket and the lemon, chocolate and coconut pies. As if to prove a point, Jim ’N Nick’s owner Nick Pihakis refuses even to put a freezer in the kitchen.

    It makes sense if you know Pihakis. At 53, he has become a fixture on the sustainable Southern food scene. He is a co-founder of the Fatback Collective, which describes itself as a clan of “chefs, pitmasters, culturalists and eaters committed to porkfection” and he regularly pals around with the region’s culinary royalty: Charleston’s Sean Brock (McCrady’s and Husk), New Orleans’s Donald Link (Herbsaint and Cochon) and John Currence of the City Grocery in Oxford, Miss.

    One thing puts Pihakis in a very different league from his cohorts. Jim ’N Nick’s, a Southeastern chain with 27 outlets, competes with restaurants such as Famous Dave’s rather than fine-dining establishments. The restaurant’s average check size is $13. A substantial portion of its business comes from customers at the drive-through.

    His goal is to promote sustainable food in the world of casual dining, where pre-shaped burgers, frozen fries and gallon-size bags of salad dressings are kitchen norms. That means not only cooking from scratch but replacing factory-farmed pork with heritage breeds raised on smaller farms and contracting with local farmers to grow staples including pimentos, peppers, garlic, onions and jalapenos undefined all without raising prices above what his customers can afford.

    Pihakis is not the first chain restaurateur to wade into these murky waters. Chipotle’s Steve Ells has proved that serving high-quality, even local, meat can build customer loyalty undefined and profits. But Chipotle’s assembly-line, fast-food restaurants are less costly to run than Jim ’N Nick’s, which must pay servers and dishwashers and offers a menu with more variety.

    Perhaps Pihakis’s biggest challenge is that his customers appear happy with things just as they are. In 2011, the Birmingham News named Jim ’N Nick’s the best barbecue in the city. The one time Pihakis did try to introduce higher-quality meat undefined an antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken undefined with a slight price hike, customers complained. Pihakis returned to his former supplier of conventionally raised birds.

    However, Pihakis is determined to prove that good food doesn’t have to be expensive or highfalutin. “I don’t think good food has to cost that much more to produce,” Pihakis says. “It can be scaled. And that’s the only way we’re going to get it into the hands of mainstream Americans.”

    Pihakis says he always knew he wanted to be in the restaurant business. At 19, he got his first job as a bartender in Birmingham, his hometown. Eight years later, in 1985, Pihakis’s father, Jim, helped him open the first Jim ’N Nick’s. Today, the chain grosses $90 million a year and has outlets sprinkled across the southeast and in Colorado. Three more are set to open this year.

  • 02 Mar 2012 4:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Whether you’re planning to attend Hunger Walk/Run 2012 or not, you can still support the Atlanta Community Food Bank by making a donation at one of several participating restaurants. It’s simple; when presented with your check after your meal, you’ll see a space to make a donation. 

    Visit one of these participating restaurants now through Sunday March 11, 2012 and make a difference with your contribution.

    Aria 
    Ecco 
    Tap

  • 02 Mar 2012 12:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Blodgett/Pitco Mobile Innovation Trailer - Rolls Through the Southeast!

    The latest in commercial kitchen equipment innovations are on display in this live fully functional commercial test kitchen on wheels. Come attend one of the hourly cooking demonstrations that begin at 8:00 am through 2:00 pm.  Enjoy a light snack as they prepare today’s hottest food trends on the kitchen equipment of tomorrow.


    Products to be Demonstrated:
    - Hydrovection Oven, Convection Oven & Combi Oven
    - Spin Fresh Fryer & Low Oil Volume Fryer

    *Click* on a city below to reserve your spot on the State of Georgia tour:

    Savannah, GA - March 6th, 2012

    Macon, GA - March 7th, 2012

    Albany, GA - March 8th, 2012

    Atlanta, GA - March 20-22nd, 2012

    For more information please contact Michael Moore at (770)441-3100 ext. 2

  • 01 Mar 2012 10:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Provided by Taylor English Duma LLP


    Group Health Plan Disclosure Rules

    The IRS, the DOL and HHS issued final group health plan disclosure rules under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) which apply to self-insured as well as insured group health plans. These final rules are effective for plans years which begin on and after September 23, 2012. This effective date is intended to make the rules applicable to the up-coming open enrollment periods for 2013. The "plan sponsor" is responsible for compliance with these rules for a self-insured plan, and the insurance company is responsible for compliance for an insured plan. View the related disclosure rules and guidance document.

    PPACA FAQs

    The IRS recently published frequently asked questions from employers regarding automatic enrollment, employer shared responsibility and waiting periods under Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)
    The deadline for commenting on the FAQs is April 9, 2012.

    Final Fee Disclosure Regulations for Service Providers

    The DOL recently released its final fee disclosure regulations for service providers
    The DOL also issued a fact sheet on the final regulations.

    A plan fiduciary is subject to the prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA if a service provider fails to provide the required disclosures and the plan fiduciary fails to timely so notify the DOL. The DOL has posted a model notice for a plan fiduciary to use for this purpose.

    The July 1, 2012 effective date for these final regulations means that the deadline for a plan fiduciary making the related participant fee disclosures will be August 30, 2012.
  • 29 Feb 2012 10:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SYNOPSIS OF PROPOSED VARIANCE

    RULES OF

    DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES: PUBLIC HEALTH

    CHAPTER 290-5-14.04

    FOOD SERVICE

    NOTICE OF PROPOSED VARIANCE

     

    The Department of Public Health (Department) intends to consider a proposed variance to the current Rules of the Department of Human Services: Public Health 290-5-14.04 Food Services. The Department is authorized to grant a variance or waiver to a rule in the manner prescribed in Chapter 13 of Title 50 of the Official Code of Georgia.

    STATEMENT OF PURPOSE AND MAIN FEATURES OF PROPOSED VARIANCE

    The Department of Public Health’s Environmental Health Program is proposing a variance from Rule 290-5-14.04 (4)(a)(2), with conditions, at the request of the Georgia Restaurant Association, to be considered by the Department’s Board, so that employees at all food service establishments that utilize ready-to-eat food ingredients in preparation of their menu items that are cooked to at least 165°F for at least 15 seconds will be allowed to use their bare hands in preparation of the food.

    Rule 290-5-14.04 (4)(a)(2) provides that except when washing fruits and vegetables, food employees shall not contact exposed, ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment. The Georgia Restaurant Association is requesting a waiver so that employees at all food service establishments that utilize ready-to-eat food ingredients in preparation of their menu items that are cooked to at least 165°F for at least 15 seconds, will be allowed to use their bare hands in preparation of the food.

    Pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 50-13-9.1, the Department is authorized to grant a variance or waiver to a rule when a person subject to that rule demonstrates that the purpose of the underlying statute upon which the rule is based can be or has been achieved by other specific means. The Department proposes to grant the variance as it believes that the plan being proposed would provide the same protection from contamination from the food employees’ hands.

     

     

    SCHEDULE

     

    Interested parties who desire to do so may submit data, views, or arguments concerning the proposed variance in writing to the Department no later than 4:00 p.m. on February 7, 2012. Comments should be sent to:

    Simone Brathwaite

    Associate General Counsel

    Georgia Department of Public Health

    2 Peachtree Street, 1 5th Floor

    Atlanta, Georgia 30303

    The Department shall hear public comment and then consider approval of the variance on February 14, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at 2 Peachtree Street N.W., Floor Boardroom, Atlanta, Georgia 30303.

     

    290-5-14-.04 Food. (3) Specifications for Receiving. (k) Molluscan Shellfish, Original Container. 4. (cont,)

    (iii) The labeling information and dates specified under 4(11) of this subsection are maintained for 90 days; and

     

    (iv) The shellfish are protected from contamination.

     

    (I) Shellstock, Maintaining Identification.

     

    1. Except as specified under 2(11) of this subsection, shellstock tags shall remain attached to the container in which the shellstock arc received until the container is empty.

    2. The identity of the source of shellstock that are sold or served shall be maintained by retaining shellstock tags or labels for 90 calendar days from the dates of harvest:

    (i) Using an approved record keeping system that keeps the tags or labels in chronological order correlated to the date when, or dates during which, the shellstock are sold or served; and

    (ii) lf shellstock are removed from their tagged or labeled container:

    (I) Preserving source identification by using a record keeping system as specified under 2(i) of this subsection, and

    (II) insuring that shellstock from one tagged or labeled container are not commingled with shellstock from another container with different certification numbers; different harvest dates; or different growing areas as identified on the tag or label before being ordered by the consumer.

    (4) Protection From Contamination After Receiving.

    (a) Preventing Contamination from Hands.

    1. Food employees shall wash their hands as specified under Rule .03 subsection (5)(b).

    2. Except when washing fruits and vegetables, food employees shall not contact exposed ready-to-eat food with their bare hands and shall use suitable utensils such as deli tissue, spatulas, tongs, single-use gloves, or dispensing equipment.

    3. Food employees shall minimize bare hand and arm contact with exposed food that is not in a ready- to-eat form.

    (b) Preventing Contamination When Tasting. A food employee may not use a utensil more than once to taste food that is to be sold or served.
  • 20 Feb 2012 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    UPDATE: On March 6th, with the support of the GRA and other organizations, the MOST was passed with 85% of the vote. 

    The Municipal Option Sales Tax is a 1-cent tax that applies to most goods purchased in the City of Atlanta. These funds allow visitors and business people who use the City’s water and sewer infrastructure but do not pay City water/sewer bills to help pay for upgrading and maintenance of the infrastructure. This is NOT a new tax; it is the reauthorization of an existing tax.

    The History 

    The MOST was initially approved on July 20, 2004, and reauthorized by voters in 2008 by a 3-1 margin. From 2004 through 2010, it provided more than $700 million to help ensure Atlantans a future of clean, safe drinking water and environmentally sound wastewater treatment.

    Why the MOST was conceived?

    When the $4 billion Clean Water Atlanta Pro¬gram was first proposed in 2000, the City en-visioned paying for it through a combination of state and federal loans and grants, along with moderate rate increases. At a time of federal disinvestment in local infrastructure, it became clear that little federal money would be avail¬able. The state made $193 million available in the form of low-interest loans. Thus, the federally mandated work was possible only because of the revenues generated by water/sewer rates and revenues generated by the issuance of $3.66 billion worth of bonds. Revenues from the MOST enabled the Department to meet its minimum debt coverage obligations for those bonds in lieu of raising rates on users even higher that they have been.

    Accomplishments 

    With the help of revenues generated from the MOST, the City has been able to repair and replace old, decrepit sewer lines in compliance with two federal consent decrees. The Clean Water Atlanta Program increased sewer capacity throughout the City, supporting billions of dollars in development that would otherwise not have been possible. The work also resulted in dramatic decreases in both the number and volume of sewer spills (62 percent and 97 percent decreases, respectively between 2004- 2010). Highlights of Clean Water Atlanta and Atlanta water infrastructure projects include:

    • With the help of revenues generated from the MOST, the City has been able to repair and replace old, decrepit sewer lines in compliance with two federal consent decrees. The Clean Water Atlanta Program increased sewer capacity throughout the City, supporting billions of dollars in development that would otherwise not have been possible. The work also resulted in dramatic decreases in both the number and volume of sewer spills (62 percent and 97 percent decreases, respectively between 2004- 2010). Highlights of Clean Water Atlanta and Atlanta water infrastructure projects include:
    • Separation of 33 miles of combined sewers in the McDaniel, Greensferry and Stockade sewer basins, decreasing combined sewer overflows by 75 percent and adding sewer capacity to support additional development;
    • Construction of the Nancy Creek Tunnel, which has virtually eliminated sanitary sewer overflows in North Atlanta;
    • Construction of the West Area Tunnel, which has reduced combined sewer overflows from West Atlanta to the Historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods;
    • Recent completion of the South River Tunnel, which is expected to reduce sanitary sewer overflows in Southeast Atlanta;
    • Inspection of 1,596 miles of Atlanta’s 1,600 miles of sewer pipe, and rehabilitation/replacement of  460 miles of pipe that was determined to be damaged and leaking;
    • Commencement of a five-year Leak Detection Program under which City crews have, to date, inspected 335 miles of the more than 2,700 miles of water mains and repaired 19 locations identified as leaking;
    • The MOST has generated $700 million since 2004, money that has made it possible for the Department to issue the bonds that largely funded Clean Water Atlanta without increasing rates even higher than they were. 

    Ballot Language: 

    Shall a special 1 percent sales and use tax be reimposed in the City of Atlanta for a period not to exceed 16 calendar quarters and for the raising of not more than $750, 000, 000 for the purpose of funding water and sewer projects and costs? 
    Voters supporting reauthorization of the sales tax should vote YES; voters opposing the reauthorization should vote NO 

    FAQs  

    What is the MOST? (Municipal Option Sales Tax) 
    The municipal option sales tax (MOST) is one tool the City of Atlanta uses to finance the federally mandated Clean Water Atlanta infrastructure overhaul and keep water rates lower than they would be otherwise. Initially approved by Atlanta voters in July 2004 and reauthorized in 2008 with 71 percent of the vote, the MOST also allows the City
    to spread the financing of the $4 billion Clean Water Atlanta water and sewer infrastructure improvement program to visitors and business travelers who use our infrastructure every day but do not pay City of Atlanta water/ sewer bills.

    How much is the water and sewer tax or MOST? 
    The MOST is a 1-cent tax on most products purchased inside the City.

    Does the MOST apply to all goods? 
    No. There are exemptions: school lunch¬es, medical equipment like eyeglasses and wheelchairs, prescription medication, sales to Grady Hospital and other non-profit health care facilities, food purchased with WIC coupons and automobiles.

    When is the vote on the reauthorization of the MOST? 
    The MOST reauthorization measure will be on the March 6, 2012, primary ballot.

    Does reauthorization mean an additional 1-cent tax? 
    No. It is merely a reauthorization of the existing 1-cent tax. If the MOST passes, Atlanta’s in-City tax rate will remain at the current level of 8 percent for another four years.

    How does the MOST affect water/sewer rates? 
    The City estimates that Atlanta’s already high water/sewer rates would have to increase by 25 to 30 percent without the MOST.


  • 20 Feb 2012 1:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Georgia Get your Business Online with Google
    Share Google+ Twitter Facebook
    Google and friends invite you to get your business online...for free!

    If you don’t have a website or online business listing, you’ll find everything you need to get started – web professionals at your side every step of the way. If your business is already online, you’ll find tools and resources to help you succeed. Space is limited, so register in advance for this FREE event.

    Georgia Get Your Business Online

    March 1 - 2, 2012

    Thursday, March 1:
    7:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

    Friday, March 2:
    7:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    Register

    Learn more

    www.georgiagetonline.com/register
    Google Map of Event

    High Museum of Art
    1280 Peachtree Street,
    Northeast Atlanta, GA 30309

    Get Directions
    Sessions

    Build your free website 1.5 hours

    Create and publish a website for your business using Intuit Sitebuilder. We’ll provide laptops or a place to plug-in if you bring your own.

    • Set up your free website account
    • Register a domain name (your “address” on the web)
    • Select a website template and learn how to customize it
    • Publish your website

    Grow your business online 1 hour

    • Learn the basics of how other people find your business online, with methods like search engine optimization (SEO), web analytics and more.
    • Run your business more efficiently with online tools, including applications for improving collaboration and communication.

    Promote your business online 1 hour

    • Attract customers down the street or across the country with online marketing tools like Google AdWords and AdWords Express.
    • Learn how to focus your marketing efforts and budget for your target audience.

    Online Expo All day

    No pre-registration is needed to participate in the Online Expo. Sit down with Google team members to get one-on-one advice. Be sure to bring your toughest online marketing questions!

  • 17 Feb 2012 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Buckhead Restaurant Week returns Saturday, February 25, through Sunday, March 4.

    Enjoy select $25 or $35 prix fixe menus from some of your favorite Buckhead restaurants all week long.

    Visit brwatlanta.com for more information.
 


 

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