Get the latest updates and news on what is happening in the restaurant industry.
Source: National Restaurant Association
(Washington, D.C.) Driven by stronger same-store sales and customer traffic levels, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) posted a solid gain in July. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 102.7 in July, up 0.7 percent from June and the first gain in three months. In addition, July represented the 29th consecutive month in which the RPI stood above 100, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
“July’s RPI gain was fueled primarily by an improvement in the current situation indicators,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of the Research and Knowledge Group, National Restaurant Association. “Although a solid majority of operators reported higher same-store sales and customer traffic levels in July, their outlook for both sales growth and the economy is more cautious compared to recent months.”
The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators. The Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index.
Source: Atlanta Foodservice Expo
Atlanta, Georgia – Atlanta Foodservice Expo (AFSE) announced today a cooperation with Georgia Grown and the Georgia Department of Agriculture which will feature a Georgia Grown Pavilion on the exhibit floor to highlight local resources for foodservice operators.
The Georgia Grown program is a marketing and economic development program of the Georgia Department of Agriculture whose number one goal is to aid the agricultural economies by bringing together producers, processors, suppliers, distributors, retailers, agritourism and consumers in one powerful, statewide community.
“Georgia is fortunate to produce a wide range of specialty produce and artisanal food products that are perfect for food service. Our partnership with the Atlanta Foodservice Expo is a wonderful opportunity to help promote these items to the southeastern restaurant community.” stated Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black.
“Local sourcing and natural ingredients continue to be two top trends in the industry and with the support of Georgia Grown the event will be able to showcase local suppliers that haven’t been able to participate previously. This has been a top request among the attendees for the last two years and we are happy to be able to add this valuable resource.” added Stephanie Everett, EVP & COO of AFSE.
Atlanta Foodservice Expo is the only event in Georgia to bring together under one roof all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries with a broad range of the best suppliers. The third edition will be held October 19 – 20, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information please visit www.AtlantaFoodserviceExpo.com.
Source: National Restaurant Association
(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association today issued the following statement regarding the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries case. The 3-2 party-line decision – in which the Board ruled that a staffing agency can be considered a joint employer – has broad implications across several industries, including restaurants.
“While we continue to review the NLRB’s ruling, it appears that once again the Board is stacking the deck against small businesses,” said Angelo Amador, Senior Vice President of Labor and Workforce Policy and Regulatory Counsel, National Restaurant Association.
“The Board is overturning years of established law that has worked to help grow business and feed our economy. The NLRB is already using its new rationale to dismantle the franchisor-franchisee model, which would stifle entrepreneurship and obstruct small businesses’ ability to continue to create jobs in an increasingly challenging economic and regulatory environment.
“Our industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, and 90 percent of restaurants are owned by small business men and women. Our industry relies on the vision, innovation and risk-taking of our franchisees to provide opportunities to millions of people. The decision to upend the joint-employer standard will have dire consequences on franchisees' decisions to grow and expand their businesses, jeopardizing economic growth in communities across the country.”
For more information on this ruling, click here.
Source: National Restaurant Association
(Washington, D.C.) To spotlight the restaurant industry’s ongoing commitment to food safety, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced this year’s National Food Safety Month (NFSM) theme will be “Let it Flow,” focusing on the flow of food through a restaurant.
NFSM, held annually in September, was created in 1994 by the NRA to heighten awareness about the importance of food safety education. The NRA offers free resources for foodservice industry professionals and this year will highlight tips for a number of food safety topics including receiving, storage, thawing and holding, preparation and service.
For more information and resources on NFSM, visit: FoodSafetyMonth.com
To join the conversation, follow @ServSafe on Twitter and use the hashtag #FoodSafetyMonth.
Because health care is a top concern for the hospitality industry, the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) and the National Restaurant Association (NRA) are working with UnitedHealthcare to provide easier access to health care coverage and related products and services.
UnitedHealthcare, the GRA and the NRA offer an exclusive program to members, featuring the following:
The NRA’s alliance with UnitedHealthcare began in 2010. It chose to collaborate with UnitedHealthcare as its only endorsed health carrier because of UnitedHealthcare’s wide range of innovative products and services to address the diverse health care needs of hospitality industry employers, employees and their families.
UnitedHealthcare offers access to its expansive network of health care providers and services, online tools, and a range of health benefit designs and wellness programs. In addition, UnitedHealthcare helps provide guidance and solutions around health care reform.
Interested in learning more? Visit www.uhctogether.com/gra.
Source: The Brunswick News
A handful of restaurateurs gathered Tuesday at Halyards Restaurant on St. Simons Island to tell the man who represents them in Congress that they need help.
Joined by Rep. Buddy Carter, R-1, restaurant owners said they are looking at a dwindling, talented labor pool and becoming increasingly dependent on immigrants during a roundtable discussion supported by the Georgia Restaurant Association. They also said they’re feeling the pinch of the Affordable Care Act and are concerned about efforts to raise the minimum wage, saying they can’t afford it.
Led by Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association, the group identified the issues as just some of the service industry’s greatest hurdles and concerns for the future. Many of those at the table had begun their careers in the industry like attendee Jason Hyde, a current owner of Brogen’s North, who started at age 15 and worked his way up the ranks until he became an owner just three years ago.
The service industry is the second largest private sector employer in the state, Bremer said, and the state ranks second in the nation in terms of growth in the industry.
Source: Net Financials
Atlanta restaurant sales volumes have slightly increased 1.6% over the same quarter in 2014. Positive sales gains were reported at 63% of the 79 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed. Year-to-date 2015 Atlanta restaurant sales are up 3.0% over the six-months ended June 2014. Factors that influence this slow increase are the unemployment rate in Georgia at 6.0% and the increase in new restaurants. Atlanta’s rise in visitors has also increased the demand for restaurants.
The Sample: The 79 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $60 million for the quarter. The survey includes restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 18 months. Learn more.
Source: Georgia Department of Revenue
Georgia law requires that anyone registering for or holding an Alcohol or Tobacco License or Permit must submit a Citizenship Affidavit and Secure and Verifiable Document. If the individual signing the Affidavit is not a U.S. citizen, the Affidavit and Secure and Verifiable Document must be submitted annually when renewing the License or Permit. If the individual is a U.S. citizen and has previously submitted an Affidavit and Secure and Verifiable Document, these documents do not need to be submitted again during renewal.
The documents must be submitted online in the Georgia Tax Center (GTC). Do not mail, hand deliver, fax, or email the documents. Instructions for how to submit the required documents on GTC are available at http://dor.georgia.gov/documents/manage-license-web-request
Georgia State University's School of Hospitality Receives $1 Million Endowment from Restuarant Industry Leader
Source: Georgia State University
ATLANTA–Food service industry leader Regynald G. Washington has given a $1 million endowment to the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality Administration at Georgia State University’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business.
Under the endowment, the school’s graduate program will be named the Regynald G. Washington Master of Global Hospitality Management. The endowment will offer graduate student scholarships, allow for enhanced global experiences and provide expanded teaching technologies.
“Regynald Washington is a true role model for our hospitality students,” said Georgia State President Mark P. Becker, “not only in terms of his career achievements but also his personal and professional values. To have his name associated with our hospitality program is a real point of pride for the entire university.”
“The Robinson College is grateful to receive Regynald Washington’s generous investment in our global hospitality program,” said Richard D. Phillips, dean of the Robinson College. “His gift will enhance the quality and accessibility of the program to business leaders from all backgrounds. It will have a lasting and positive impact on the next generation of hospitality professionals.”
Washington joined the School of Hospitality’s Industry Board 15 years ago.
“I’m very impressed by the quality of faculty, the structure of the academic programs, and the courses and content,” he said. “But most importantly, I think the students are truly awesome. They’re grounded, respectful, hungry for knowledge and eager to learn about and grow in the industry, all of which are the attributes of successful hospitality professionals.”
“Mr. Washington is an incredibly passionate mentor who wants to bring out the potential in everyone he meets,” said Hospitality School Director Debra F. Cannon. “This gift demonstrates his generosity and focus on cultivating future industry leaders.”
A native of Marathon, Fla., Washington began his career in hospitality at age 13 busing restaurant tables and later graduating from Florida International University with a degree in hospitality management. He joined The Walt Disney Company in 1997, rising to vice president of worldwide food and beverage operations for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts responsible for food and beverage services at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Paris, Tokyo Disneyland, Hong Kong Disneyland and Disney Cruise Line. In 2010 Washington joined Atlanta-based Hojeij Branded Foods as chief operating officer. He was named its chief executive officer in March 2015. In that role, Washington oversees 70 restaurants in 12 of the nation’s largest airports. The brands include P.F. Chang’s, Gordon Biersch, LongHorn Steakhouse, Celebrity Chef Cat Cora, Celebrity Chef G Garvin, Chick-fil-A and illy among other major names.
One of the premier leaders in the food service industry, Washington was chairman of the board of the National Restaurant Association from 2003-04. In 2007 he was inducted into the College of Diplomates of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the advancement and enhancement of the restaurant and food service industry.
For more information about the Regynald G. Washington Master of Global Hospitality Management program visit http://hospitality.robinson.gsu.edu/mghm
Opening a new restaurant can be a risky business. Owners need a solid business plan, an efficient yet friendly staff, delicious food and a little bit of luck.
Location is also key to the success of a new eatery. Entering a market that’s oversaturated with dining options or where the population is on the decline can spell disaster for a fledgling restaurant.
There are some markets where demand for new restaurants is high and restaurateurs are thriving. NerdWallet crunched the numbers to help find those places across the nation.
NerdWallet examined 530 cities in the U.S., each with a population of at least 50,000. They used U.S. Census Bureau data to calculate the score for each location based on demand for new restaurants and local economic conditions that could affect the success of those restaurants.
To analyze demand, they looked at population growth and density, and we also factored in median annual income and income growth, as well as restaurant sales per resident and the number of new eateries.
To assess economic conditions, they looked at payroll costs, growth in labor and median monthly housing costs. For more details on the methodology, see the end of this article.