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  • 29 Aug 2014 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    There’s nothing easy about running a business even if that business is modeled after the Big Easy itself, New Orleans. One of the greatest challenges is managing costs especially in the competitive restaurant industry. Bartering within a professional network can save thousands of dollars every year. Now, that’s something every business owner can get jazzed about.

    For 10 years, Copeland’s of New Orleans, has been working with The Barter Company to exchange their services with other barter clients.

    “We estimate a net cash savings of 30% on every barter transaction,” said Bill Goudey, owner of two Copeland’s Atlanta locations. “Copeland’s does about $125,000 in barter per year,so the inflow and outflow is double that amount.”

    Copeland’s of New Orleans restaurants serve New Orleans cuisine in a casual dining atmosphere. The extensive menu includes: seafood, steaks, sandwiches, burgers, and a kid’s menu.

    Barter is one of the ways to make things a little easier in the restaurant business. Goudey explains: “We barter food and beverage from our restaurant primarily for marketing and repair services. That includes printing, print and broadcast media, restaurant cleaning services, supplies, general construction and maintenance services. We even use gift certificates for entertainment and dining as rewards and prizes.”

    People have exchanged goods and services for centuries through a simplistic barter system. Today, barter plays an important role in the payments industry with businesses incorporating it into their system along with cash, credit, virtual payments, and loyalty cards. 

    “Alternative currencies are trending for business,explains Ric Zampatti, The Barter Company CEO. “More and more businesses are taking another look at barter and how it can benefit their cash flow.”

    The best reason of all to use barter, according to Goudey, is “the introduction of many new clients to the business that would not otherwise visit our establishment. That and the cash savings from leveraging the barter network.

    Effective bartering takes time so be committed to the concept. The Barter Company’s trade coordinators work hard to help us build barter traffic and spend our dollars wisely.” The Barter Company makes it easy.

    About TBC:
    The Barter Company is a recognized leader in the barter industry with offices in Georgia and Florida. TBC provides businesses with an alternative currency network by using barter dollars instead of cash to handle your transactions. TBC acts as a third-party records keeper, providing clients with monthly statements that reflect all barter purchases, sales and current barter dollar balance. For more information, please call (770) 591-4343 or visit

    The Barter Company...redefining commerce & trade.

  • 27 Aug 2014 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Dear Members of the Downtown Atlanta Community:

    This letter is to inform you that beginning at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 4, 2014 thru 3:00 p.m., Baker Street between Peachtree and Spring Streets will be closed to setup TV production for the annual 100 Black Men of Atlanta “Parade of Excellence”. Beginning at 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 4, 2014, cars that are parked illegally in the area will be towed. No on-street parking will be allowed on this block. Additionally, there may be some noise related to the television production setup beginning at 3:00 a.m.

    On Saturday, October 4, 2014 beginning at 6:00 a.m. in the areas listed below we will begin aggressively towing cars that are parked illegally to ensure the safety and ease of movement necessary during the parade. No on-street parking will be allowed in these blocks on parade day. The list below also outlines the area that is closed for the marshaling of the parade beginning at 7:00 a.m.
    • Peachtree Street between Pine and Harris streets
    • West Peachtree Street between Pine and Peachtree streets
    • Ivan Allen Boulevard between Peachtree and Spring streets
    • Ralph McGill between West Peachtree and Courtland Avenue
    • West Peachtree Place between West Peachtree and Spring streets
    • Porter Street between Peachtree and West Peachtree streets
    • Simpson Street between West Peachtree and Spring streets
    • Baker Street between Spring Street and Peachtree Center Boulevard
    The Parade should clear this area no later than 1:00 p.m.

    The annual 100 Black Men of Atlanta “Parade of Excellence” on Saturday, October 4, 2014 begins at 10:00 a.m. from the corner of Ralph McGill and Peachtree Street and ends at Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive. Disband occurs between Marietta and Nelson streets on COP Drive. For additional information on the parade please access<>/parade.

    Amplified and live sound will occur during the parade between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

    Please direct your questions or concerns to Barkley Russell at 770.234.3612. We appreciate your cooperation.

    Best regards,

    Barkley Russell
    Partner, Argonne Parades
    Parade Consultant to 100 Black Men of Atlanta

    Attachments: Road Closures, Marshalling Map, Route Map

    2014 “Parade of Excellence”
    Presented by The 100 Black Men of Atlanta
    Street and Lane Closings – as of 08/24/2014


    October 4, 2014

    Telecast Set-up
    3:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Close Baker Street between Peachtree and Spring streets
    NOTE: Allow wrong way traffic in north curb lane to provide access to parking lots located on the street, there will be barricades with officer assigned

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Close West Peachtree Street from Pine Street to Peachtree Street for marshalling.

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Close the following streets between West Peachtree Street and Spring Street
    Simpson Street
    Ivan Allen Boulevard
    West Peachtree Place

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Close Porter Street between West Peachtree and Peachtree Streets for parade marshalling.

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Close Ralph McGill between Peachtree Street and Courtland Avenue. Westbound traffic from Peachtree Center Avenue will be allowed to exit to Courtland Street

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

    Close Peachtree Street between Harris Street and Pine Street

    Marshaling Area
    8:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

    Close two right curb lanes of Spring Street for off-loading of busses between Baker Street and Ivan Allen Blvd.

    Band Bus Parking
    8:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    Close two left curb lanes of COP from Marietta to Nelson Street for band bus and other parade vehicle parking.

    Parade Route
    10:00 a.m.

    All Streets crossing Peachtree Street will close during parade movement

    Disband Area
    10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

    Completely close Disband area on Centennial Olympic Park Drive between Marietta and Nelson Street.

    Closes with Step-off of parade at 10:00 a.m.

    Close the following until parade clears area:
    1. Centennial Olympic Park Drive from Marietta Street to Andrew Young International Blvd
    2. Andrew Young International Boulevard from Centennial Olympic Park Drive to Williams
    3. Luckie Street from Centennial Olympic Park Drive to Spring
    4. Nassau between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Spring
    5. Walton Street between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Spring
    - All Streets crossing Peachtree Street

    Please review attachment for maps.
  • 25 Aug 2014 10:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Atlanta Fixture & Sales Co., Inc. announces that Craig Carrier, a 17 year industry veteran, has joined the firm to improve customer service and increase market share in the region.

    Atlanta Fixture Hires Sales Representative to Grow Carolinas, Eastern Tennessee and North Georgia Markets Atlanta, GA, August 22, 2014 --( Craig Carrier joins Atlanta Fixture as a Sales Representative to continue successfully providing business solutions to many of the top foodservice establishments in the Southeast. A 17-year veteran of the foodservice industry, Carrier spent the past six years at an equipment and supplies dealer. His experience also includes serving as an Executive Chef for Sodexo. “I recognized an opportunity at Atlanta Fixture,” Carrier said. “I’m excited to be able to work for a company so well-known for their quality and leadership in the foodservice industry. As someone who’s motivated by taking on new challenges, this represents a wonderful opportunity, and I can’t wait to get started.”

    “I couldn’t be more pleased with this announcement,” Ron Bruck, President of Atlanta Fixture, stated. “Craig brings a wealth of skills and knowledge to our company. His experience in the foodservice industry supports the mission of Atlanta Fixture and the needs of our customers.”

    About Atlanta Fixture
    Atlanta Fixture has been in business for over 85 years and employs 125 dedicated team members. They are an industry leader in the distribution of foodservice equipment and supplies to restaurants, healthcare and educational facilities, lodging establishments and other foodservice organizations. In addition, Atlanta Fixture has a team of experienced restaurant design project managers who use the latest in CAD technology to design the most efficient kitchen and dining areas for your space. For more information regarding Atlanta Fixture please visit

    Contact Information
    Atlanta Fixture & Sales Co. Inc.
    Alicia Pack
  • 22 Aug 2014 4:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: PropertyCasualty360


    Short answer: Food service is a messy business

    Pretty much everyone has at one point or another fantasized about owning a restaurant. Putting your name on the front window, running the show from your own private booth, maybe even naming a cocktail after yourself. It sounds like great fun. But the fact is, food service is very a risky business.

    Case in point: More than 3,000 people die each year from choking on food that's been served to them at a restaurant.

    A full 48% of all food poisoning cases in the U.S. are caused by restaurant food.

    And more than 67,000 food service workers are seriously injured on the job each year, badly enough to miss multiple days of work.

    It's no surprise, then, that insurance coverage is a crucial part of the long-term success of each and every restaurant in this country. Without it, most food service businesses wouldn't last beyond their first serious incident.

    To highlight the wide-ranging impact that such coverages can have on a business, restaurant and hospitality insurer Insgroup recently released the infographic below summarizing some of the risks that owners face.

    Consider those restaurant ownership dreams squashed.

    Click graphic to enlarge

  • 21 Aug 2014 2:53 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Note to media: Press credential applications are available on the Taste of Atlanta website by visiting Application deadline is Friday, October 10, 2014

    Jennifer Walker / Shannon King
    BRAVE Public Relations

    St. Ceclilia, Lusca and The Albert among more than 90 dining destinations to be featured at renowned food festival October 24-26

    ATLANTA (August 21, 2014) – More than 90 of Atlanta’s most notable and on-the-rise restaurants have signed on to participate in this year’s Taste of Atlanta, which will take place October 24-26 in Midtown at Tech Square. With eateries featured from both inside and outside the perimeter, festival-goers will be able to savor truly authentic flavors that represent every corner of the city.

    New this year, to help attendees pinpoint their local favorites or discover new dining treasures during Taste of Atlanta, the festival will take food lovers on a culinary tour through the city’s many diverse neighborhoods. Whether it’s Buckhead’s St. Cecilia, Virginia-Highland’s The Original El Taco, Roswell’s Little Alley Steakhouse, Decatur’s No. 246, Brookhaven’s THERE, Alpharetta’s Milton’s or Midtown’s Table at Ten, festival-goers will experience a variety of signature sensations from each community. With such a smorgasbord of cuisine available – from classic Southern specialties, South of the border-inspired fare, Japanese fusions and coastal European delicacies – there’s sure to be a dish to satisfy every craving.

    Keeping with tradition, Taste of Atlanta will kick off the festival’s 13th year of fantastic fare with an exclusive block party on Friday, October 24 to prep and pump up taste buds for the food-filled weekend! The event, themed Culinary Matrimony, will feature local celebrity chefs, including Patric Bell, Ron Eyester, Jay Swift and Tyler Williams, for an evening of both famed and more obscure flavor pairings. Guests can also look forward to live music from Electric Avenue, a PleaseRock tribute band, and bountiful booze. Select restaurants, including Seven Lamps, Fox Bros. BBQ, The Optimist and Buttermilk Kitchen, will also be onsite to serve up delicious bites.

    “I think people will be hard pressed to find more culinary variety in one place,” said Chef and Restaurateur Ron Eyester of Rosebud, The Family Dog, Timone’s and his latest concept, Diner. “With every signature taste, the festival showcases just how diverse and progressive our city’s dining scene really is. I welcome any opportunity to support my fellow chefs and our local food landscape, and that is exactly what Taste of Atlanta brings to the table!”

    For more than a decade, Taste of Atlanta has featured hundreds of the city’s finest restaurants, celebrated Atlanta’s top-notch chefs and transformed tasters into diners. Now in its 13th year, the legendary three-day food festival continues to stimulate the local dining scene and further establishes Atlanta as the Food Capital of the South.

    *Participating restaurants include:

    • 10th & Piedmont
    • 1920 Tavern
    • 1 Kept
    • 4th & Swift
    • Aja
    • Alma
    • Argosy
    • Article 14
    • Barcelona
    • Barrelhouse
    • Bartaco
    • Bellwoods Social House
    • Bhojanic
    • Big Tex
    • BLT Steak
    • BrickTop's
    • Burger Fi
    • Buttermilk Kitchen
    • Café Intermezzo
    • Chai Pani
    • Cibo E Beve
    • Cinebistro
    • Coast
    • Davio's Northern Italian Steakhouse
    • Delia's Chicken Sausage Stand
    • Der Biergarten
    • Desta Ethiopian Kitchen
    • Diner
    • Don Antonio by Starita
    • Egg Harbor Café
    • Farm Burger
    • FIGO Pasta
    • Fox Bros. BBQ
    • Grand Champion BBQ
    • G's Midtown
    • Hard Rock Café
    • Ink & Elm
    • JCT Kitchen
    • Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q
    • Johnny Rockets
    • Kaleidoscope
    • King + Duke
    • Little Alley
    • Lusca
    • Makan
    • Max Lager's
    • Max's Wine Dive
    • Mediterranean Grill
    • Mi Cocina
    • Milton's
    • Morelli's
    • Nahm Thai Cuisine
    • No. 246
    • Ocean Prime
    • Paschal's
    • Polaris
    • Ratio Bakeshop
    • Ray's NY Pizza
    • Ri Ra
    • Righteous Que
    • Rosebud
    • Saltyard
    • Seven Lamps
    • Smoke Ring
    • Smokebelly
    • South Main Kitchen
    • Sprinkles Cupcakes
    • Sufi's
    • Sugar Shack
    • SunO Desserts
    • Table at Ten
    • Taco Mac
    • Taqueria del Sol
    • The Albert
    • The Big Ketch
    • The Bishop
    • The Family Dog
    • The Melting Pot
    • The Optimist
    • The Original El Taco
    • The Pig and the Pearl
    • The Spence
    • THERE
    • Thrive
    • Timone's
    • Tin Drum
    • Trader Vic's
    • Tupelo Honey Café
    • UmmaFood Inc.
    • Villains
    • Vin Vie Bistro
    • Waffle House
    • White Oak Kitchen
    • Will's Way Creole Kitchen
    • Woody's
    • Wrecking Bar

    *Restaurant List Subject to Change

    Guests are encouraged to visit the 2014 festival website ( for the most up-to-date list of participating restaurants and event news!

    About Taste of Atlanta:
    Taste of Atlanta packs the bold flavors, colorful personalities and vibrant energy of an entire city into 10 blocks in Midtown Atlanta. The three-day festival explores the city's unique neighborhoods by sampling tastes from the chefs and bartenders that give each area its own creative energy. Since its inception in 2002, Taste of Atlanta has become an annual pilgrimage for thousands of food, wine, beer and cocktail lovers from across the country. Festival attendees bring their adventurous appetites and experience a full range of flavors, from time-honored Southern classics to innovative dishes that are destined to be the next culinary trend. Patrons also enjoy interactive cooking demonstrations on four main stages, live entertainment and family-friendly activities for food lovers of all ages. Taste of Atlanta supports several Atlanta non-profit groups, including Share Our Strength’s Cooking Matters, Atlanta’s Table, Georgia Organics and Hospitality Education Foundation of Georgia and ProStart®. Indulge in the city’s flavors Friday through Sunday, October 24-26 in Midtown at Tech Square to truly savor what makes Atlanta the food capital of the South. For more information, visit

    Stay connected to Taste of Atlanta 2014:
    • Sign up for the Taste of Atlanta newsletter:
    • Follow Taste on Twitter:
    • Like Taste on Facebook:
    • Follow Taste on Pinterest:
    • Follow Taste on Instagram:

    # # #

    Note to media: Press credential applications are available on the Taste of Atlanta website by visiting
  • 21 Aug 2014 12:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Fishbowl

    Another day, another change to how Facebook works for restaurant marketers. Facebook recently announced that they will be removing ”Like Gating,” otherwise known as “Fan Gating,” from apps/tabs on Facebook pages on November 5th. It’s a big change, but not an unwelcome one. The SM3 team is prepared for the challenge. Call us now for help adjusting to Facebook’s big change.

    What is a Like Gate and Why is it Changing?
    A “Like Gate,” as it is known among marketing circles, is a term for a Facebook application, such as a sweepstakes, that requires a guest to Like the page of the restaurant before being able to participate. It’s been a tool to acquire new Facebook Fans for a long time – guests Like a page for access to exclusive content and offers, then stay for your regular social media marketing posts.

    Facebook is removing the Like Gate because it wants to emphasize “quality connections” rather than one-off relationships that die once the original incentive is no longer available. It’s a noble goal. It’s up to marketers to face the change head on – and the results might be great for restaurants.

    What Should Restaurants Do?
    Fishbowl believes that change and "quality connections" are a good thing! The loss of Like Gates will change the way guest acquisition works in Facebook, and we have some recommendations for how to weather this latest change for the better.
    1. Focus on Facebook Ads. Our full-service SM3 team has been managing Facebook Ads for our clients for several months and have seen great results! Facebook Ads have often proved to be more successful than Like Gated apps because we are able to acquire more quality Fans by targeting people in your specific community. We see an average cost of $0.32 per Fan!
    2. Encourage Likes without offering incentives. You can still ask guests to Like your Page. Put signage up in your store, send a mailing out to your eClub, and add a link to your website. Be sure to tell guests why they should Like your Page - ex weekly Facebook-only offers, exclusive behind-the-scenes looks at the restaurant, monthly recipes from the Chef, etc. The good news is that guests who Like without expecting a reward are more likely to stay with the page and are more likely to continuously engage.
    3. Use Like Gates while you can. Put together a sweepstakes while you can still make use of the Like Gate, and drive as many new Fans as possible in the coming months. Since this will likely be the last time you can Like Gate a sweepstakes, consider a richer reward as they tend to drive higher guest acquisition results. Instead of a discount on lunch, consider free lunch.
    Looking for ways to grow your Facebook (and email) audience before and after the November deadline? Call us. We can help.

    Request a Demo.

    Contact Us 1-800-836-2818
  • 14 Aug 2014 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Visiting Nurse Health System’s In The Moment – A Celebration of Life on Thursday, October 16th at the Piedmont Driving Club will support hospice patients and their families. You can help by donating silent or live auction dining experiences like in-home dining, chef’s table, wine tasting, happy hour, etc. Please contact Katherine Reilly to donate and learn more at
  • 14 Aug 2014 1:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Taste of Chamblee is fast approaching, with over 18 restaurants confirmed for the event! A special sponsorship opportunity is available for Chamblee Chamber of Commerce members. For all Chamber members who are interested in a sponsorship for the Taste of Chamblee, we would like to present a special offer this year. Chamber Members can sign up for a Gourmet Giver Sponsorship (see details below), for only $1,000! The Gourmet Giver sponsorship level is reserved for regular sponsors at $2,500.

    Gourmet Giver
    • 10 x 10 booth space
    • Dedicated social media post
    • Logo/Name on Event T-Shirt
    • Festival Signage
    • Logo/Link on Website
    • 30 food tickets
    Please contact Kembra at the Lighthouse if you are interested. Click here to see the regular sponsorship kit.

    Kembra Landry
    Chief Development Officer
    Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation
    Main: 404.325.3630 x 322
    Direct Line: 770.738.4676

  • 14 Aug 2014 9:25 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Scott DeFife on CQ RollCall

    The Food and Drug Administration will soon issue final regulations detailing a national standard for what is known as “menu labeling.” This new national standard will require restaurant and similar retail food establishments (think grocery and convenience stores) of 20 or more same-brand locations to display calories on the menu, menu board or drive-thru, as well as provide additional nutrition information to consumers upon request.

    Our convenience store friends (“Hand-Me-Down Menu Regulations Just Don’t Fit Convenience Stores” Roll Call, Aug. 6) are trying to exempt themselves from these requirements although there is a fast growing market of restaurant-type foods being sold in their stores. In fact, convenience and grocery stores are among the fastest-growing foodservice markets in recent years. Between 2007 and 2012, food service sales in these kinds of retail businesses jumped 25 percent, nearly double the 13 percent gain in traditional restaurant sales during the same period, according to National Restaurant Association research.

    Convenience and grocery industry representatives readily proclaim that restaurant-type food is the future of their industry. Many employ food service and culinary professionals to develop meals for their customers. So is it not only fair that these “similar retail food establishments” with restaurant-like operations be treated equally under the law?
    Unfortunately, as we approach the 11th hour, convenience and grocery store representatives are pushing legislation that would upend the progress made and exempt them from labeling requirements. This will create confusion for consumers that are looking for that same nutritional information consistency across the foods they purchase regardless of the venue. True, implementing the law will come with costs, but most claims are overblown and the costs of returning to a complicated state and local regulatory patchwork would be even greater.

    The National Restaurant Association, along with our members, advocated for a national, uniform labeling standard for larger brands and worked collaboratively with the public health community and bipartisan supporters in Congress to find reasonable, common sense standards so that customers have access to consistent nutrition information nationwide wherever restaurant-type food is served.
    From a customer standpoint the new national standard makes sense. Just as restaurants and other food retailers have evolved, so have the desires of customers to make informed choices. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2014 Restaurant Industry Forecast, a third of all adults have gone online to get nutrition data on restaurant food. That percentage jumps to 48 percent for adults ages 18 to 34.
    It also makes good business sense to have a national standard. Several restaurants have embraced menu labeling and are already initiating their own voluntary rollout as other restaurants prepare their operations for the new changes.

    We have worked closely with legislators and urged the FDA to allow our industry as well as this growing segment of other food retailers the flexibility needed to implement the new standard, including how the information is displayed on a menu or menu board, and the period of time in which operators must comply and effectively absorb the additional cost burden.

    Political collaboration is a rarity in Washington these days. Restaurant and retail food establishments have a great opportunity to be role models and come together and collectively embrace this important new market evolution to better serve our customers.

    Scott DeFife is executive vice president, Policy & Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association.
  • 12 Aug 2014 4:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Atlanta, Georgia, August 12, 2014 – Atlanta Foodservice Expo announced today a Keynote Panel of Industry Leaders to take place on October 14th from 1:00pm to 2:00pm as a highlight to the second and final day of the 2014 Atlanta Foodservice Expo. The panel will bring together four local industry restaurant owners who will share their viewpoints on what it takes to succeed in the highly demanding, wonderful world of restaurant ownership.

    The Keynote Panelists are:
    Kevin Gillespie, Owner, Gunshow

    In May 2013, Kevin Gillespie opened his restaurant, Gunshow, in the Glenwood Park neighborhood of Atlanta. In February 2014, Gunshow earned the seventh spot on GQ magazine’s list of “12 Most Outstanding Restaurants.” His next restaurant Terminus City is scheduled to open in 2015. An Atlanta native, Gillespie began his culinary education at the Art Institute of Atlanta and went on to hold different positions at several well-known Atlanta restaurants including chef de partie at Atlanta Grill at The Ritz-Carlton, sous chef at TWO Urban Licks and chef de cuisine at Woodfire Grill. In 2009, Nicolas Quiñones and Bernard Moussa of Five Senses Restaurants, LLC purchased Woodfire Grill and promoted Gillespie to executive chef. During Gillespie’s time at Woodfire Grill, the restaurant was featured on CNN and in Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Men’s Health as a dining destination for visitors to Atlanta. Additional accolades include: a spot on Bravo’s Emmy and James Beard Awardwinning series “Top Chef” for the show’s sixth season, and Mother Nature Network’s top “40 Chefs Under 40” in 2009;’s “Top Five Rising Chefs” and semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award in 2010; nominated for Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef”, and named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in the magazine’s listing oftomorrow’s brightest stars in 2011; semi-finalist for the James Beard Foundation’s “Rising Star Chef of the Year” award, and “Best Local Chef” by Georgia Voice in 2012.

    Todd Ginsberg, Chef & Co-Owner, The General Muir
    Todd Ginsberg is the chef and co-owner of The General Muir as well as Fred's Meat & Bread and Yalla at Krog Street Market both scheduled to open late summer 2014. Locally, Atlanta Magazine and Eater Atlanta both named The General Muir their 2013 “Restaurant of the Year” and Creative Loafing named it the “Best New Restaurant” of 2013. Nationally, Bon Appetit magazine included The General Muir on its list of 50 Best New Restaurants for 2013 and GQ magazine included it on its list of 25 Best New Restaurants for 2014. Todd is a 2014 James Beard Foundation semi-finalist for Best Chef: Southeast and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, New York. He started his career at The Dining Room at The Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta under Joel Antunes and Bruno Menard, led the kitchens at Asher in Roswell, Georgia, and Madison's in Highlands, North Carolina, and spent time at Lucas Carton in Paris and at Alain Ducasse in New York. Upon his return to Atlanta, he worked for the Concentrics Restaurants group, serving as chef at both TAP and Trois, and was the chef at Bocado from its opening in 2009.

    Robby Kukler, Co-Founder & Partner, Fifth Group Restaurants
    The legacy began in 1993 when Robby Kukler and his partners opened South City Kitchen on Crescent Avenue in the heart of midtown Atlanta. A continued focus on innovation and growth led to the development of South City Kitchen in Vinings, La Tavola Trattoria, Ecco, The Original El Taco, Alma Cocina, Lure and one of the South’s most renowned catering companies, Bold American Events. These successful concepts make up what is now Fifth Group Restaurants – Atlanta’s awardwinning chef and community driven hospitality group. Over the past 21 years, Fifth Group Restaurants’ food, chefs, business practices, green initiatives and community work have been frequent features of high profile publications such as The New York Times, Atlanta Business Chronicle, Southern Living, Food & Wine, Garden & Gun, USA Today and Esquire. Robby leads and mentors Fifth Group Restaurants’ Operations, Marketing and Recruiting teams as well as heads new concept development. He is a long-time member and advocate of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and frequent industry speaker and advisor.

    Todd Rushing, Partner, Concentrics Restaurants
    Todd Rushing’s presence in the Atlanta restaurant scene has been long-running. Rushing is a partner in the nationally acclaimed, Atlanta based, Concentrics Restaurants which owns, manages and develops nationally acclaimed concepts across the U.S. Rushing is responsible for creating innovative wine programs which have received numerous awards and recognition in publications such as Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, Bon Appétit, Condé Nast Traveler and more. In addition to owning Atlanta’s ONE. midtown kitchen, TWO urban licks, TAP, PARISH and The Spence, Rushing along with Bob Amick, current owner and founder of Concentrics Restaurants, offer a full-service development and management team that provides A to Z solutions to any food and beverage operational needs. Due to national hotel, corporate and individual interests, Concentrics Restaurants has partnered with Lodging Hospitality, Unicorp Development, First Hospitality, Tavistock, Sports Radio 790 The Zone, Legacy Property Group, France Developments, The Novare Group, ECD Company, and more to launch and grow nationally successful concepts under the Concentrics’ umbrella in Chicago, St. Louis, San Diego, Charlotte, Winter Park, FL and beyond. Concentrics Restaurants have been named to Condè Nast Traveler’s “Hot List”; Bon Appetit’s “Hot 50 Tables”; Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants” and has been nominated for several James Beard Awards including “Outstanding Restaurateur” and “Best Restaurant”.

    To add to this impressive line-up of panelists, the keynote session will be moderated by Steak Shapiro, Founder & Host of Atlanta Eats. 
    With a name like Steak, it’s no surprise that he would carve out a career in food. From Atlanta, by way of Boston, Steak Shapiro has been one of the most entertaining food and television personalities for the better part of two decades. He cut his teeth on sports radio, and has been tapped by Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and ESPN to provide commentary for years. As the longest running talk show host in Atlanta, his voice is instantly recognizable. His passion for food has made him a culinary giant. When Steak noticed that his beloved city didn’t have local food programming, he took a page from his own playbook and founded Atlanta Eats in 2012. He has hosted the award winning show for 5 seasons, and guides diners through Atlanta’s vibrant food scene leaving no fork unturned. Steak is also the founder and CEO of Bread ‘n Butter Productions which creates compelling video content throughout the nation. Working with world class brands, and stars known throughout the world, Bread ’n Butter has been able to establish itself as THE premier culinary production company. This fall, Steak can be found on the Food Network show, Food Truck Face Off. 

    Atlanta Foodservice Expo is the only event in Georgia and the Southeast to bring together under one roof all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries with a broad range of the best suppliers. The show will be held October 13 – 14, 2014 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.

    For more information please visit
    Media Contacts:
    Atlanta Foodservice Expo
    Stephanie Everett, EVP & COO, 770-432-4200 x105,

    Brianna Morris, Marketing Manager, 770-432-4200 x110,


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The Georgia Restaurant Association represents all restaurants including Independent Bars and Independent Restaurants

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