Get the latest updates and news on what is happening in the restaurant industry.
Source: National Restaurant Association
In the restaurant industry, guest satisfaction is one of our top priorities. Customers expect a flawless dining experience during every visit and we want to provide that. In order to meet their expectations, restaurants offer great selection and value, which can translate into an abundant supply of food. However, this abundance can also result in the generation of food waste, and that is problematic.
In food and environmental circles today, discussion on food waste seems to be everywhere. It’s being addressed in articles and documentaries, in high-tech solutions and in local mandates and regulations. It is the sustainability topic du jour.
But as the issue gains momentum, our industry is taking notice. Restaurant operators are beginning to change their thinking around food recovery and reducing waste. Though we still have a ways to go, we’re working with partners to divert waste from landfills and put it toward better use, such as recycling or donating food to those in need.
Through the NRA's participation in the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, a coalition made up of members from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, and the Food Marketing Institute they are working to educate the food industry on the issue. Education is the key to real change so they're getting the word out to operators and their customers alike. They’re committed to teaching them and sharing best practices to help solve the problem. But making significant progress will take time and help from everyone involved. No one company or entity can do it alone.
Source: National Restaurant Association
In a major win for restaurants and other employers, a provision of the Affordable Care Act that was confusing, redundant, bureaucratic and costly for both employers and employees is now finally, officially dead.
President Obama yesterday signed a budget bill that ends the ACA's unpopular and unworkable auto-enrollment mandate, which would have forced employers of 200 or more to automatically enroll full-time employees in company health plans if they hadn't already opted out. It's been a high-priority ACA legislative fix for the NRA and their members for more than four years. They worked closely with other employers in the E-FLEX Coalition to make it happen. Repealing the mandate was one of House Speaker John Boehner's final actions.
To learn more about the NRA and its position on the Affordable Care Act, click here.
Source: National Restaurant Association
The National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2016 culinary forecast shows that mature menu trends maintain momentum, while sub-trends evolve in their wake. The annual survey of nearly 1,600 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation – found that local sourcing and environmental sustainability continue to rule the top of the menu trends list for 2016, from overall culinary themes to more focused versions of those themes. Also prominent in the top 20 are various takes on global flavors.
“True trends evolve over time, especially when it comes to lifestyle-based choices that extend into other areas of our everyday life,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association.
"Chefs and restaurateurs are in tune with over-arching consumer trends when it comes to menu planning, but add their own twist of culinary creativity to drive those trends in new directions. No one has a better view into the window of the future of food trends than the culinary professionals who lead our industry," Riehle said.
Top 20 food trends for 2016:
1. Locally sourced meats and seafood
2. Chef-driven fast-casual concepts
3. Locally grown produce
4. Hyper-local sourcing
5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food
6. Environmental sustainability
7. Healthful kids' meals
8. New cuts of meat
9. Sustainable seafood
10. House-made/artisan ice cream
11. Ethnic condiments/spices
12. Authentic ethnic cuisine
13. Farm/estate branded items
14. Artisan butchery
15. Ancient grains
16. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items
17. Fresh/house-made sausage
18. House-made/artisan pickles
19. Food waste reduction/management
20. Street food/food trucks
Source: Net Financial Outsourcing Robert Wagner, CPA
Atlanta Q3 2015 restaurant sales volume grew a modest .7% over Q3
2014. For the quarter ended September 2015 positive sales gains were
reported at 60% of the 105 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed.
Year-to-date 2015 Atlanta restaurant sales are up 2.6% over the ninemonths
ended September 2014.
In its survey of national restaurant sales Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking
company, reported national restaurant Q3 revenues increased 1.5%. Black Box reported that nationally
year-to-date same-store sales increased 2.1% compared to 2014.
Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Q3 2015 was the second challenging quarter in a
row for existing Atlanta restaurants. The .7% increase in Q3 is the smallest quarterly comp sales
increase we have seen at Atlanta restaurants since 2010. While a clear majority (60%) of existing Atlanta
restaurants in our Q3 survey experienced positive comp sales, the percentage of stores experiencing
negative comp sales (40%) was at an all-time high. It does not appear that total Atlanta restaurant sales
have declined. Rather, operators tell us they’ve noticed increased competition from new restaurants
opened during the last year. There are simply a lot more restaurant seats in Atlanta than there were a
year ago. By definition, new restaurants are not included in our quarterly sales survey.”
Q3 Atlanta Q3 National YTD Atlanta YTD National
2015 Comp Sales .7% 1.5% 2.6% 2.1%
Typically sales at Atlanta’s existing restaurants increase when Atlanta’s unemployment decreases.
However, Atlanta’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.5% in September (from 6.7% in September
2014) and the Q3 Atlanta restaurant comp sales percentage also decreased. The positive unemployment
trend, plus new city residents and abundant business visitors were not enough to offset a wave of new
restaurant openings over the last 12 months.
The Sample: The 105 non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total
survey sales volume was $70 million for the quarter. The survey includes restaurants in Atlanta’s fastcasual,
casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 21 months.
Source: Atlanta Foodservice Expo
Exhibitors and Attendees both pleased with the continued growth and development.
Atlanta, Georgia, November 3, 2015 – Atlanta Foodservice Expo concluded its third edition last
month with both exhibitors and attendees satisfied at the continued growth and development of the
Atlanta Foodservice Expo 2015 was supported by the Georgia Restaurant Association, Georgia Hotel
& Lodging Association, Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance, and the ACF Atlanta Chefs
Restaurant INFORMER was the official Media Partner working to continue the goal of helping the
event gain awareness and increase attendance.
Additional Industry Supporters
The 2015 event was also supported by several industry associations, groups, and publications to assist show management in spreading the word about the 2015 Atlanta Foodservice Expo. These
include: Atlanta Community Food Bank; Atlanta Street Food Coalition; Foodservice Daily News; Les
Dames d’Escoffier International Atlanta Chapter; National Association for Catering and Events;
Restaurant Activity Report; Sunbelt Foodservice; Today’s Restaurant News; The Giving Kitchen; and
the UGA Small Business Development Center at Kennesaw State University.
ATLANTA — The Georgia Secretary of State’s Office opened an investigation into a potential scammer targeting food banks across the state.
This comes at a time the charities are most in need ahead of the busy holiday season.
Food banks are reporting a man is telling them he is affiliated with the Atlanta Community Food Bank – or their umbrella organization Feeding America.
“He’s been active across the state and in other parts of the country we need to put a stop to him,” said Kyle Waide, the CEO of the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Food banks are reporting the man, sometimes purporting to be a pastor, is luring the food banks to send money via a PayPal account, promising sought-after food like turkeys, hams, and hens for a small fee.
“But, of course, the turkeys and hams never show,” Waide said. “To get an offer like this that’s too good to be true of ham, turkeys, hens at impossibly low prices, it is incredibly alluring and it’s taking advantage of the good will of our community.”
“Man, I would love to meet this gentleman and pray for him … if you get my code,” said Afemo Omiliami, the COO of HOSEA Feed the Hungry and Homeless.
So far no one has been charged, but the Georgia secretary of state’s investigation is ongoing.
Watch the video here.
What is the IARC?
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, based in Lyon, France, is part of the World Health Organization. Its major role is to identify possible causes of cancer. The IARC classifies carcinogens through its Monograph program, which convenes panels of scientists to examine scientific evidence and conduct hazard assessments.
What is a hazard assessment?
A hazard assessment examines whether a substance or an occupation could, under some circumstance, at some level, pose a cancer risk. The IARC’s Monograph Program’s role is to identify cancer hazards. It does not evaluate the risks associated with actual exposure. It is not a risk assessment, which measures probability that cancer will occur, taking into account the level of exposure. Without a risk assessment, hazards can be identified but the likelihood (or degree to which) they cause harm cannot be measured. A hazard assessment only looks for potential problems.
What did the IARC determine after reviewing red meat and processed meat?
The IARC’s Oct. 26 Monograph places processed meats in the highest hazard classification (Group 1: carcinogenic to humans). The IARC places red meat in its second-highest classification (Group 2A: probably carcinogenic to humans).
What is a Group 1 classification?
The IARC classifies a substance as Group 1 (carcinogenic to humans) when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. The Group 1 classification does not mean that eating processed or red meat will result in cancer.
What is a Group 2A classification?
The IARC put red meat into its Group 2 (probably carcinogenic to humans) category. This category is used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.
Does this mean eating red meat and/or processed meat causes cancer?
The research the IARC reviews does not prove cause and effect. The IARC instead tries to make conclusions about theoretical hazards. The IARC bases its Monographs on research completed by others. Each IARC Working Group has the task of determining which research to consider and which research to disregard in their evaluation.
Source: WSB-TV Atlanta
ATLANTA — Beginning Nov. 1, new food-safety rules begin in Georgia that include information to help you know if an ingredient you’re allergic to is in a restaurant’s food.It has been nine years since the Georgia Public Health Department last updated the food services rules and regulations.
It made these new changes based on recent FDA guidelines and from what they’re hearing from food operators. One change means leafy greens in Georgia restaurants will be considered hazardous foods. To prevent food poisoning, the greens must be kept at a certain temperature.
In one of the major changes, restaurant operators will have to know about allergens and let customers know the ingredients they’re using, such as peanuts, eggs, seafood etc.
The Georgia Environmental Health director, Dr. Chris Rustin, says if, for example, you have an allergy to eggs and ask a server if there are eggs in a dish, the managers as well as servers need to be able to explain the ingredients in that dish.
One man we talked to in Dunwoody says he likes that change. Raymond Crosby says servers should be well-educated on how the food is prepared.
Another change in rules would allow secured pet dogs on outdoor patios at restaurants as long as the owner notified the public that dogs are allowed. One dog lover, Melissa Lynch, says she supports what she calls “paws on the patio.”
Another change would allow food trucks to serve in multiple locations as long as they notify the county health department. Currently, food trucks can only operate in two locations.
Dr. Rustin told Channel 2’s Carol Sbarge the new rules can be found on the Georgia Public Health Department website.
He says when county health inspectors do their first inspection in a restaurant after Nov. 1,that inspection will be an educational tool to let them know about the changes. That means there will be a grace period.
Source: 90.1 WABE
A movement to increase the minimum wage is underway both nationally and in Georgia. But it’s a contentious topic at best. The federal minimum wage currently stands at $7.25 an hour, and in Georgia it’s even lower at $5.15 an hour. Advocates pushing for an increase want a minimum of $15 an hour.
Shannayl Connolly with the TM Restaurant Group discussed the downside of a potential minimum wage hike on the restaurant industry on ''Closer Look.''
Most minimum-wage workers in Georgia are classified under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act and are paid the federal minimum wage, but those not covered under the FLSA could be making the state wage of $5.15 an hour.
Those working for tips, like restaurant workers, typically earn much less, around $2.15 an hour.
One grassroots movement in Georgia is working to change those numbers. The group ATL Raise Up is part of the movement to increase the minimum wage to $15 and joined “Closer Look” last week to discuss it.
But the CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, Karen Bremer, said during an interview on “Closer Look,” that a minimum wage hike to $15 an hour is a bad idea. “It eliminates an entry level for young people to start their careers,” Bremer said.
Bremer and Shannayl Connolly with the TM Restaurant Group discussed the downside of a potential minimum wage hike on the restaurant industry with WABE’s Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer on “Closer Look.”
Listen to the recording of the interview here.
Source: Atlanta Journal Constitution
Inspired by wage-hike victories in New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta officials Wednesday resurrected last year’s legislative push for a $15 minimum wage for tens of thousands of fast food, home health, child care and restaurant workers.
The prospects, though, remain dim in the conservative General Assembly.
Elected officials nonetheless convened a “wage board” at the capitol to hear testimony from more than a dozen low-wage workers struggling to survive on salaries that mostly begin at $7.25 an hour. They spoke of unpaid bills, lack of health insurance, the embarrassing need for food stamps and Christmas presents never bought.
“Fifteen dollars would allow me to purchase health insurance and pay my bills. I haven’t had a mammogram in five years. I’ve never had a Pap smear,” testified Latonya Allen, a home health worker in Stockbridge who makes $9.50 an hour. “It’s not right. It’s not fair. It’s in the wage board’s power to fix that (and) to see that we make a living wage.”
Atlanta’s wage board packs no regulatory weight. Georgia Sen. Vincent Fort and Rep. Dewey McClain, Democrats from Atlanta and Lawrenceville, respectively, vowed to carry legislation in the upcoming legislative session seeking to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Fort also said he’d introduce legislation requiring low-wage employers to publicly list employees who receive public assistance, as well as require employers to pay a fee to defray Medicaid and food stamp costs.
He wouldn’t predict the bills’ chances of becoming law. Rep. McClain’s bill (HB 8) didn’t make it out of committee last year. Its prospects haven’t much improved in the the Republican-dominated legislature.
Conservatives say mandated wage increases hurt job creation and the economy. The General Assembly also prohibits municipalities from unilaterally raising the minimum wage.
Local organizers, backed by unions, say the $15 wage surge in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle boosts chances of a wage rise in Georgia.