Get the latest updates and news on what is happening in the restaurant industry.
By: Judson Wallace
The regulations and guidance presented in the Code of Federal Regulations Title 21 Section 120 can be pretty daunting. The “Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points” or HACCP system was originally proposed all the way back in the early 1970’s and after being adopted in the late 90’s, it continues to be tweaked and altered to reflect the concerns surrounding food safety.
In the most basic sense, HACCP can be thought of a seven step process. And when used properly, this process seeks to provide a framework of training and management that prevents foodborne illnesses. It also mandates a documentation trail to be traced and evaluated if a problem should occur. First, we will break down the seven steps, and later, we will show you how innovative new solutions can assist restaurants, food processors, and other operators in compliance with the HACCP system.
The Seven Steps of the HACCP system:
Source: National Restaurant Association
The Department of Labor will unveil new federal overtime regulations May 18, the White House confirmed in a fact sheet today.
According to the White House fact sheet, the new federal overtime rule will go into effect Dec. 1, 2016. Further details will be available in DOL regulations and technical guidance. The rule:
The NRA noted in a statement that we are appreciative that the DOL appeared to listen to restaurants’ concerns and did not include the burdensome “long” duties test that would have led to increased contentious disputes and litigation--something the DOL stated it wanted to avoid. However, the threshold for exempt employees in the final regulations is still too high.
Restaurants operate on thin margins with low profits per employee and little room to absorb added costs. More than doubling the current minimum salary threshold for exempt employees, while automatically increasing salary levels, will harm restaurants and the employer community at large.
More than 80 percent of restaurant owners and 97 percent of restaurant managers start their careers in non-managerial positions and move up with performance-based incentives. These regulations may mean that salaried employees, who have worked hard to get where they are, could be subject to becoming hourly employees once again.
Opposition will continue
The DOL moved ahead with these regulations despite widespread opposition. Hundreds of lawmakers have joined with employer and nonprofit groups in criticizing DOL for failing to accurately estimate the rule’s impact. We expect immediate legislative efforts to defund, block or nullify the rule, as well as possible litigation against the DOL over its process for issuing the final rule and some of its mandates. The NRA has been a leading force in D.C. on this issue and will continue to use all available legislative and legal options to block a damaging rule.
NRA analysis and webinar
We will provide our members with an initial analysis of the rule this week, followed by a webinar Thurs., May 26, 3 p.m. ET. The webinar will be hosted by attorneys Angelo Amador, senior vice president and regulatory counsel at the NRA, and Alex Passantino, partner at Seyfarth Shaw and former Acting Administrator of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. Information on how to register for the webinar will be provided on Restaurant.org as soon as it is available.
Source: Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced today the publication of its final guidance for industry, “A Labeling Guide for Restaurants and Retail Establishments Selling Away-From-Home Foods – Part II (Menu Labeling Requirements in Accordance with 21 CFR 101.11).” The guidance is an important resource to help businesses comply with the menu labeling final rule. FDA guidance documents describe FDA’s interpretation of our policy on a regulatory issue. The draft guidance was announced in the Federal Register on September 16, 2015.The FDA intends to begin enforcing the menu labeling final rule one year from the date that the Notice of Availability (NOA) is published in the Federal Register. The NOA for the guidance is expected to be published in early May 2016.
This guidance responds to many frequently asked questions that the agency has received to date. It differs from the draft guidance by providing additional examples and new or revised questions and answers on topics such as covered establishments, alcoholic beverages, catered events, mobile vendors, grab-and-go items, and record keeping requirements.
The FDA is committed to working flexibly and cooperatively with establishments covered by the menu labeling final rule and to providing educational and technical assistance for state, local, and tribal regulatory partners to support consistent compliance nationwide. After release of the guidance, the agency will continue to conduct webinars and will hold menu labeling workshops that focus on specific stakeholder needs. The FDA will announce more information about these workshops at a later date. Covered establishments can send questions on menu labeling requirements to CalorieLabeling@fda.hhs.gov.
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New York, NY- April 27, 2016- Broadcast Music, Inc.®, (BMI®), the global leader in music rights management has promoted Jessica Frost to Executive Director of Industry Relations. In her newly-expanded role, Frost will continue her work to develop and cultivate relationships with industry associations and businesses across the country that use BMI music. Frost is based in Nashville and reports directly to Dan Spears, Vice President of Licensing, Industry Relations.
“Jessica’s ability to both educate business associations on the importance of having a music license and explaining the value that music brings to each establishment is second to none,” said Dan Spears, Vice President of Licensing, Industry Relations. “She has strong relationships in the industry and is a true advocate for our songwriters who rely on the licensing fees we collect so they can get paid for the music they create.”
Frost began her career at BMI in 1999 as a Customer Relations Executive for the Licensing team and moved through the ranks holding various positions until she was promoted to Senior Director of Industry Relations in 2013. Frost currently sits on the board of the Nashville/Midsouth Chapter of The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Frost attended the University of Florida where she received her B.A.
Source: National Restaurant Association
If you employed an average of 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time-equivalent employees) in 2015, or if you offered a self-funded health insurance plan last year, deadlines are quickly approaching for you to file new forms with the IRS under the health care law: Forms 1095-B (Health Coverage) and Forms 1095–C (Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage).
Recognizing the complexity of these massive new reporting requirements, the IRS late last year extended the filing deadlines to May 31 for covered businesses that file paper returns, and June 30 for employers who file electronically. Groups that file 250 or more returns are required to file electronically.
What is a 1095 form?
The 1095 forms are aimed at helping the government enforce the Affordable Care Act’s employer and individual mandates, including identifying whether certain large businesses make offers of health care coverage to full-time employees. The forms also help determine which individuals may qualify for federal tax help to buy health insurance through government-run exchanges.
The Treasury Department and IRS first unveiled the forms in regulations issued in March 2014 to implement the ACA’s information-reporting rules for insurers and certain employers. The information-reporting requirements take effect for calendar year 2015, with reporting beginning in 2016.
The 1095 forms collect information required under new sections 6055 and 6056 of the tax code. Section 6055 requirements apply to any entity that offers a health plan, such as self-insured employers and health insurers, and tell the IRS who was enrolled in coverage and for what month. Section 6056 requires businesses that employ 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to certify whether they offered minimum essential coverage (MEC) to full-time employees.
Employers who offer MEC to employees during a calendar year are required to report to the IRS certain information about individuals covered by MEC and also to provide a statement to those individuals.
What is the difference between Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C?
The 1095-B and 1095-C forms are similar in that they report information to the IRS and furnish information to taxpayers about health care coverage.
Because this is the first year the reporting rules are in effect, and since so many questions remain about the requirements, the IRS says employers that put forth a “good-faith effort” will be considered to be in compliance for this year even though there may be errors in their filing.
These days serving alcohol is a big part of what’s expected by restaurant patrons. Whether it's coming in for a beer after work or getting together with friends for a nice dinner - the alcohol options behind the bar matter and people are loyal to their brands. Unfortunately the hardest part about maintaining your alcohol inventory is purchasing your products and many restaurateurs don't realize there are simpler, more streamlined ways to restock inventory, pay invoices, and ensure they're getting the best price for their products.
Understand Alcohol Complexities
The alcohol industry is rife with varying rules and regulations - not only by location, but also by product. With each state setting and abiding by their own rules, the Three Tier System (manufacturers sell to distributors, who sell to retailers) is what governs the sale of alcohol and simultaneously adds complexities to the purchasing process. Depending on your business, you could end up paying alcohol invoices according to a variety of different regulations – especially if you have operations in different states.
Aside from the burden of ensuring invoices are paid on time and according to the correct alcohol regulations, restaurateurs often have to manually write checks for delivery, maintain escrow accounts, and contend with the concern of consequences if they are a day late on payment.
There are several ways to combat these problems, but the most immediate solution is to start automating purchases with electronic payments. When it comes to payment, compliance, reconciliation, insight into purchasing data, and integration into back office and accounting systems, solutions such as Fintech streamline your beverage alcohol business. Electronic payment also alleviates several manual processes that restaurants face on a weekly and sometimes daily basis, such as inventory control, restaurant accounting, and cost analysis.
Stop Leaving Money on the Table
With a business to run there isn't always time in the day to compare prices to previous costs or to scour bills to see where you could be saving money. In situations like this, it's ideal to let your vendors do the work for you. Start asking your distributors for their price list and broken case reports and for purchasing insight into where extra fees are piling up and where discounts have been lost.
Fintech has partnered with the Georgia Restaurant Association to provide its members with a one source solution for their beverage alcohol business. Visit http://go.fintech.net/GRA for more information on exclusive discounts for GRA members and to begin a free 30 day trial for your beer, wine, and liquor deliveries.
Tigerchef is excited to be giving away a scholarship to any culinary student who submits a winning essay on what inspired them to choose an educational path in the food industry!
TigerChef is a wholesale restaurant equipment supply store, servicing the restaurant and catering business for the past 10 years. Their expertise in the food industry drives their success and has aided them greatly in establishing and maintaining their fine reputation.
Please submit a 500-600 word essay on what inspired you to choose an educational path in the food industry. Food industry includes baking, culinary management, hospitality management, culinary arts, etc. Please include a separate, brief bio about yourself. Graphics and visual presentations are most welcome.
TigerChef.com will award $1,000 USD to two winning student scholarship entries each year. Each student will receive $1,000 USD.
They are now accepting submissions. Please send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for receiving scholarship submitted applications is biannually, twice each year, on May 1st and November 1st. Please include all relevant contact information in your email.
To participate, you must be: a legal resident of the US or Canada and a current student in an accredited US or Canadian college or university taking food-related classes. If you already received a full scholarship, you are not eligible.
You must submit proof of enrollment to participate. We accept the following proofs to be submitted with your essay:
Submissions received after the deadline will not be considered.
The winner will be notified after our judges make the final decision and will be announced on the TigerChef Facebook page. The scholarship will be awarded twice by May 15th and November 15th each year. The award must be used for educational-related purposes and will be sent directly to the school in the form of a co-payable check directly to the financial aid office of the institution attended by the winner.
Source: National Restaurant Association
The U.S. Department of Labor recently proposed significant changes to the nation's overtime regulations. If the DOL regulation goes into effect, it will create big challenges for restaurant owners, could hit employees in their own pocketbooks, and possibly become a new frontier for plaintiffs’ attorneys.
Click here to contact your legislators.
The DOL proposal would alter the overtime pay requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including an unprecedented increase of over 100 percent in the minimum salary threshold (from $455 per week to $970) for exempt employees. This would greatly limit workplace flexibility and increase labor costs for restaurants across the country. The proposal is on a fast track. Implementation and compliance requirements could come to your restaurant within months.
What can you do?
Congress has proposed a sensible solution that will slow down the DOL overtime rule and assess the impact before the rule can be implemented. The "Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act" would require the DOL to perform additional analysis on the impact the changes would have on employees, businesses and the economy.
Click here and urge your legislators to co-sponsor the “Protecting Workplace Advancement and Opportunity Act.”
WebstaurantStore, a leading online restaurant supply store, is offering an annual scholarship to all culinary arts and hospitality students. The winning applicant will receive $1,500 towards the cost of their education.
Click here for a flyer with a brief overview of the scholarship. All of the application details and the 2016 essay question are available here.
Deadline: June 15, 2016
Qualifications: The scholarship is open to all students who are currently enrolled in a Culinary Arts or Hospitality Management program at an accredited American College or culinary school.
Application: Students are to write a 500 word or less essay on the yearly topic outlined
WebstaurantStore provides restaurant supplies and equipment to the foodservice industry and individual customers worldwide. Their parent company, Clark Associates, was awarded the Foodservice Equipment & Supplies Magazine (FE&S) “Dealer of the Year Award” in 2015. They are dedicated to fostering the next generation of foodservice professionals and offer this scholarship as a sign of our commitment to the foodservice community.\
For questions, contact Evan Mellott at: email@example.com