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  • 05 Mar 2015 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    House Bill 535: Brunch Bill; would allow for municipalities to opt in to permit their restaurants to start serving alcohol at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays, this creates a level playing field with state-owned facilities such as the Georgia World Congress Center, Lake Lanier Islands, as well as the many other private country clubs in Georgia.

    The passing of the Brunch Bill will have a huge economic impact on restaurants and the state of Georgia. Each restaurant that can sell alcoholic beverages in Georgia will generate an average of $480.77, or $25,000 per year. There are roughly 4,000 restaurants in Georgia that could benefit from this bill, which would mean a total of $100 million in additional revenue. These changes will help drive jobs, tourism and economic growth in our state.

    Support the Brunch Bill:

    1. Look up your local senator and representative here. Send them an email asking them to support HB 535: Brunch Bill. Let them know that you live in their district, and that this is important to you. View talking points and fact sheet or download a sample letter.
    2. Contribute to the GRA Political Action Committee. With your contribution, the GRA can become more effective in passing the Brunch Bill. Your contributions will help fund our efforts to make a change and will be used towards our political lobbying efforts.
    3.  Use #GABrunchBill to show your support and educate the public on this initiative. View sample social media posts.
    If you have additional questions, please contact the Georgia Restaurant Association at info@garestuarants.org or (404) 467-9000.
  • 04 Mar 2015 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, March 4, 2015
    Source: National Restaurant Association 

    National Restaurant Association ServSafe Program Reaches New Heights with 6 Million Certifications
    Friendly’s Manager Earns 6 Millionth Food Safety Handling Certification

    (Providence, R.I.) The National Restaurant Association (NRA) reached a new milestone by issuing its 6 millionth ServSafe® certification, underscoring its place as the number-one food safety training program in the United States and abroad.

    Friendly’s manager Errin Davis, who started her career as a server in 1999, earned her certificate in Providence, Rhode Island. The NRA and the RI Hospitality Association recognized Errin’s achievement and the company’s commitment to food safety at a recent ceremony at the restaurant.

    “The National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe program is the gold-standard for educating restaurant and foodservice managers and staff about food safety requirements,” said Sherman Brown, Senior Vice President, ServSafe Business and Financial Strategy for the National Restaurant Association. “Reaching such a historical milestone further proves our commitment to educating our industry about the importance of safely preparing and handling the food we serve to 130 million Americans daily. We congratulate Errin, and are proud to honor Friendly’s dedication to training and educating their team on food safety.”

    “Our business is all about providing the best possible experience for our guests,” said Dale Venturini, President & CEO, RI Hospitality Association. “Programs like the National Restaurant Association’s ServSafe help to educate our workforce on food safety and provide the necessary tools to ensure an exceptional experience.”

    “We are thrilled that Errin Davis is being recognized for her efforts in completing ServSafe and being certified in food safety. We place a high priority on both food safety and restaurant cleanliness at Friendly’s as it is an essential part of our overall company vision and values,” said Lionel Bisson, Friendly’s Director of Quality Assurance.

    The NRA’s ServSafe program leads the way in providing comprehensive educational materials to the restaurant industry. The training and certification program is recognized by more federal, state and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification. Four areas of training are available: ServSafe Food Protection Manager, ServSafe Food Handler, ServSafe Alcohol and ServSafe Allergens.



    Pictured from left to right: Steve Weigel, Executive Vice President & COO, Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC, Heather Singleton, Senior Vice President, Education, RI Hospitality Education Foundation, Errin Davis, Manager, Friendly’s North Providence, Bahjat Shariff, Operating Partner, Senior Vice President of Operations, Howley Bread Group, LTD, RI Hospitality and NRA Board Member, Kevin Scott, ServSafe National Accounts Manager, National Restaurant Association, Lionel Bisson, Director of Quality Assurance, Friendly’s Ice Cream, LLC

    CONTACT:
    Rachel Salabes (202) 331-5997 rsalabes@restaurant.org
    Christin Fernandez (202) 331-5939 cfernandez@restaurant.org

    ServSafe on Twitter and Facebook

    ###

    Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 16-19, 2015, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart) as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

    View this release online: http://www.restaurant.org/Pressroom/Press-Releases/National-Restaurant-Association-ServSafe-Program-R

    More news and information from the National Restaurant Association: http://www.restaurant.org/Pressroom.


  • 04 Mar 2015 9:03 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Steve Tucker, Managing Partner, Enviro-Master Services, Marietta, Ga.

    In the supermarket, it's paper or plastic. In many restaurant restrooms, it's paper towels or electric hand dryers – and a new study from England adds to a body of research suggesting that paper towels may be the healthier choice.

    The study shows that as they remove moisture from users' hands, air dryers spew bacteria into the air and onto people.

    Conventional (warm air) and high-velocity (jet air) dryers alike spread bacteria into the air, according to the study. Airborne germ counts near warm-air dryers were found to be 4.5 times higher than the counts near paper towel dispensers, and the counts near jet air dryers were a whopping 27 times higher.

    It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what's going on here. Quoting the study leader, Professor. Mark Wilcox, Professor of Medical Microbiology at the University of Leeds,

    "While jet air dryers are good at hand drying, they achieve this by using air velocities of about 400 miles an hour…Unfortunately, this means that the dispersed water droplets (containing more or less bacteria and/or viruses depending on how hands were washed and how contaminated they were in the first place) will be [projected] longer distances and some will remain suspended in the air for many minutes (possibly hours)."

    "Next time you dry your hands in a public toilet using an electric hand dryer, you may be spreading bacteria without knowing it. You may also be splattered with 'bugs' from other people's hands."


    For the study, the researchers contaminated people's hands with harmless Lactobacillis bacteria. Then they measured levels of the bacteria in the air at distances of up to two meters away from the dryer after the people had dried their hands.



    Wilcox said he had no proof that germs spread by dryers could cause illness but added that the findings suggest this "could happen. I believe that the results of our work mean that electric dryers should ideally not be installed in settings where microbe transmission is a greater risk."

    Previous studies have shown mixed results, some finding air dryers spread more bacteria and others showing they’re as safe as towels. A review of past studies published in 2012 in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings suggested that, in healthcare settings, where the most stringent disease prevention protocols exist, “paper towels should be recommended.”

    That sounds a lot like the conclusion of a 2012 study published in the Journal of Hospital Infection comparing paper towels and hand dryers, which read in part: "From a hygiene standpoint, paper towels are superior to air dryers; therefore, paper towels should be recommended for use in locations in which hygiene is paramount.”

    What level of disease prevention is appropriate for your facility? How hygienically sound are your restrooms and your public and common areas? We offer a complimentary Restroom Hygiene and Disease Prevention Scorecard – no fuss - no muss – just plain facts and straight talk. Call us at (678) 496-3303 to schedule yours.

    Information in this post includes cites and excerpts from excerpted articles by Science Daily, 11/20/14, Janice Neuman, Reuters, 11/26/142:19am EST, and David Freeman, The Huffington Post, 11/21/2014, 12:31 pm EST.
  • 26 Feb 2015 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Restaurant Association® Launches Regional Star of the Bar Competitions

    BAR at the NRA Show announces local bartender challenges in six target markets for a prized spot in the Star of the Bar competition at the 2015 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel‐Motel Show®

    STAR OF THE BAR MARKET CHALLENGE – ATLANTA
    Date: Monday March 2, 2015
    Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm (Competitors should arrive at 5:30pm)
    Location: Bocado Atlanta– 887 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318 (www.bocadoatlanta.com)

    Details: Mixologists will craft a cocktail using sponsor spirit Casamigos Tequila during a two‐hour long competition judged by a panel of media, previous Star of the Bar champions, and cocktail personalities. Cocktails will be judged on the following criteria: 25 percent technical skills, 50 percent taste, and 25 percent sales appeal.

    Winners of each regional competition will go on to compete in the Star of the Bar Competition to be held at BAR at the NRA Show, May 17‐18 at Chicago’s McCormick Place. The competition aims to elevate local talent from these six markets, selecting one mixologist in each location to represent their city in the semifinals and finals at the annual trade show.The Star of the Bar Champion receives a prize of $5,000!

    Competitors:
    Each original cocktail must contain at least 1.5 ounces of Casamigos Tequila (Blanco or Reposado), with a minimum volume of 3 ounces and maximum volume of 11 ounces.

    Please bring enough ingredients to prepare four (4) full size cocktails with you to this competition. Casamigos Tequila, ice, and standard bar glassware will be provided for you.

    Fill out an entry form online: http://toqueandbottle.formstack.com/forms/star_of_the_bar.

    One winner will receive an all‐expense paid trip to Chicago to participate in the National Finals.

    Read the full rules and regulations. 

    Spectators:
    Cheer on your favorite Mixologist while sipping on signature cocktails featuring Casamigos Tequila. A selection of beers from Goose Island Beer Co. and wine samples from Trinchero Family Estates will also be available for your enjoyment. $25 inclusive includes drinks and assorted bites for 2 hours.
  • 23 Feb 2015 3:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

    Restaurateurs Exemplify Opportunity, Achievement and Community Investment

    WASHINGTON, D.C. – Feb. 23, 2015 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today its 2015 Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity American Dream award winners. The winners will be honored at a gala on April 14, 2015, during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.

    The Foundation’s Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators. Now in its 17th year, the award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities. The Faces of Diversity American Dream award, sponsored by PepsiCo, is given to diverse members of the restaurant industry who have, through hard work and perseverance, achieved the American Dream.

    “The recipients of the 2015 Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity awards tell the story of opportunity and community engagement within the restaurant industry. More than three-quarters of America’s restaurant owners started their careers in an entry-level position and charitable contributions in the industry exceed $3 billion annually,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of strategic operations and philanthropy for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “We congratulate these restaurateurs and applaud their immense passion for what they do for their communities.”

    Recipients of the 2015 Restaurant Neighbor Award receive a $5,000 contribution to continue supporting their charitable initiatives. The winners are:
    • Ollie’s Restaurant (Edwardsville, Pa.): Since 2011, Ollie’s Restaurant has provided six meals a week to children at risk of hunger through its Dinners for Kids program. Currently, staff and volunteers prepare and deliver 37,000 meals annually for 120 children. Because Ollie’s uses its own kitchen facilities to cook and package meals, 100 percent of the funds raised for Dinners for Kids — $250,000 to date — are used for meal costs. King's college conducted research and found that the program has a positive impact on the children's behavior and academic performance.
    • The King’s Kitchen / Jim Noble Restaurants (Charlotte, N.C.): In 2008, the Jim Noble Restaurants formed a separate nonprofit restaurant, the King’s Kitchen, with 100 percent of its proceeds used to feed the less fortunate. The kitchen also provides job training opportunities for homeless men and women. At least once a week, the staff provides boxed lunches and distributes sandwiches to those living on the streets.
    • Cornerstone Humanitarians: Ryan Turner, Chris Hall & Todd Mussman, Founders, Unsukay Community of Businesses (Atlanta, Ga.): In response to an employee who was diagnosed with stage 4 gallbladder cancer and given a grave prognosis that warranted major funding beyond his health insurance coverage to pursue progressive healthcare options, the founders led the charge on hosting a community fundraiser and raised nearly $300,000 within a four week period to help offset his expenses. The outpouring of support from the Atlanta restaurant community sparked the idea for the Unsukay partners to help found and create The Giving Kitchen, a non-profit whose funds provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community. In just over a year, $300,000 dollars has already been granted to over 150 recipients. The Giving Kitchen also just started construction of the forprofit restaurant it owns, called Staplehouse. One hundred percent of all dividends from Staplehouse will flow directly to The Giving Kitchen.
    • T.L. Cannon Companies (Williamsville, N.Y.): As a franchisee of 61 Applebee’s restaurants across New York and Connecticut, T.L. Cannon Companies provided nearly $2.5 million in monetary and in-kind donations in 2014 through creative, in-store fundraisers. Its spring and holiday fundraisers along with an annual charity golf tournament has sponsored more than 130 Make-A-Wish children since 2008 and the company has provided more than $1.1 million in funds and in-kind support to benefit the organization. Additionally, its Flapjack Fundraisers helped local schools and youth organizations raise $1.75 million last year.
    The 2015, the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award went to three restaurant entrepreneurs. The winners are:
    • Nafees Alam, CEO, DRG Concepts (Dallas, Texas): Alam, who came to the U.S. from Bangladesh at age 17, entered the restaurant industry right out of college as an executive with Waffle House. As a leader, he joined DRG Concepts, a restaurant operations brand that has helped revitalize Downtown Dallas. Alam and his staff have been incredibly involved with various charities, including: The Bridge, a homeless recovery center; Vogel Alcove, which provides free childhood development services for children in poverty; and 6 Stones, a non-profit that provides a variety of services to help those in need.
    • Carlito Jocson, Corporate Executive Chef, Yard House (Irvine, Calif.): Jocson emigrated to the U.S. from the Philippines at a very young age. While studying biochemistry in college, he worked at a restaurant to earn extra money — eventually leaving his pre-med program to become a chef. Over the last 30 years, Jocson has enjoyed a successful career, including 16 years as Yard House’s executive chef and an original partner. He continues to be involved in organizations that help educate younger generations about Filipino culture and feeds up to 150 homeless and at-risk families every week.
    • Pamela Patton, Patton’s Restaurant & Catering, (Des Moines, Iowa): Raised in rural Georgia with her seven siblings, Patton was the first member of her family to graduate college. Her passion for cooking began in rural Alabama under her great grandmother, Gussie Hayes, at the age of nine. Patton loved to cook, and began inviting Drake college students to her home after church, offering them a home cooked meal and leftovers to carry them over for a few days. The number of students she helped grew from 25 to 100. While working in corporate America in Des Moines, she started a catering business while still feeding the college students. Some graduated and were transitioned into employment at the company where she worked. In 2010, she secured a loan from the Targeted Small Business (TSB) when banks were not lending monies, and her business opened in 2011. Patton wanted to establish her business in a diverse neighborhood and currently has a diverse staff, reflective of the neighborhood she serves.
    “PepsiCo is honored to have supported the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award for nearly a decade. The restaurant industry has provided millions with a path to rewarding, long-term careers and this year’s winners are evidence of the upward mobility one can have,” said Doug Allison, Vice President, Industry Relations, PepsiCo Foodservice. “Each year, we are reminded of the powerful stories of determination as entrepreneurs work to achieve their dream. They continue to inspire us and those within the industry.”

    About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
    As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. In 2015, the restaurant and foodservice industry is projected to comprise 1 million outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees, making it one of the nation's largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.

    About American Express:
    American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with on facebook.com/americanexpress, foursquare.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/companies/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.

    Key links to products and services: charge and credit cards, business credit cards, travel services, gift cards, prepaid cards, merchant services, corporate card and business travel.

    About PepsiCo:
    PepsiCo products are enjoyed by consumers one billion times a day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world. PepsiCo generated more than $66 billion in net revenue in 2013, driven by a complimentary food and beverage portfolio that includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product portfolio includes a wide range of enjoyable foods and beverages, including 22 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.

    At the heart of PepsiCo is Performance with Purpose – our goal to deliver top-tier financial performance while creating sustainable growth in shareholder value. In practice, Performance with Purpose means providing a wide range of foods and beverages from treats to healthy eats; finding innovative ways to minimize our impact on the environment and reduce our operating costs; providing a safe and inclusive workplace for our employees globally; and respecting, supporting and investing in the local communities where we operate. For more information, visit www.pepsico.com.
  • 20 Feb 2015 9:24 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: National Restaurant Association

    If your restaurant hasn’t been on the receiving end of a legal shakedown from a patent troll, your time may be running out.

    Over the past few years, patent trolls—companies that purchase vague patents and threaten to sue restaurants and other businesses that don’t pay licensing fees for their use of common technologies—have cost the economy more than $20 billion a year. The number of lawsuits is on the rise. Patent Freedom, which collects data on patent troll activity, reports that 3,716 companies faced lawsuits from patent trolls in 2013, up from 3,352 the year before. 

    And patent trolls aren’t just going after big companies. A 2012 study by Boston University researchers found that most defendants in suits brought by patent trolls were small or medium-sized companies—those that can least afford the often seven-figure costs of defending against patent infringement lawsuits.

    Patent trolls have come after restaurants for common service-enhancing features like online ordering, in-store WiFi, and digital menu boards.

    Seeking relief for restaurants

    The National Restaurant Association recently joined United for Patent Reform, a coalition of businesses and trade groups representing technology, retail, communications, construction and other sectors, to ask Congress to make changes to help end frivolous patent-infringement lawsuits.

    Among other reforms, the coalition is seeking an end to vague demand letters designed to extract early settlements; clear, specific explanations from patent trolls regarding their interest in the patent; protections for the end users of products and technology; and requirements for patent trolls to pay plaintiffs’ legal costs when their infringement lawsuits are unsuccessful.

    Help could be on the way in the form of the Innovation Act, recently introduced in the House by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). The bill aims to curb frivolous infringement lawsuits by requiring plaintiffs to disclose the owner of the patent and why they’re suing the defendant, as well as allow some of the costs of defense to be shifted to the plaintiff if the lawsuit is unsuccessful. The bill passed the House with bipartisan support in 2013 before stalling in the Senate.

    Tell Congress to support legislation to stop patent trolls.

  • 18 Feb 2015 7:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    ATLANTA (Feb. 18, 2015) – Georgia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Gary W. Black and Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) Executive Director Karen Bremer announced the 2015 Georgia Grown Executive Chefs on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015 at the GRA’s Taste of Georgia Legislative Reception, held at the Georgia Railroad Freight Depot.

    The four chefs for 2015 include: Chef Matthew Basford of Canoe in Atlanta, Chef Cathy Conway of Avalon Catering in Atlanta, Chef Jay Swift of 4th & Swift in Atlanta and Chef John Syzmanski of The Kroger Co.

    “As we welcome another group of talented chefs into this distinguished program, we continue to further promote and foster relationships between Georgia farms and local chefs,” Black said. “Georgia has an ample amount of quality, local products that are available throughout the cooking season and these great products can continue to be showcased to the state’s culinary community via the Georgia Grown Executive Chef program.”

    “The 2015 chefs chosen for this program have exceptional experience and talent in their field and already demonstrate a strong support for Georgia grown products,” Bremer said. “These chefs will without a doubt do an excellent job representing Georgia’s restaurants and Georgia Grown and they will help continue to strengthen the relationship between Georgia’s chefs and farmers.”

    These four distinguished chefs will join the current Georgia Grown Executive Chefs, including:
    • Chef Holly Chute, Executive Chef, Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program
    • Chef Michael Deihl, CEC CCA AAC, Vice President of Culinary Innovation, A Kitchen Kalamity
    • Chef Kevin Gillespie, Owner, Gunshow in Atlanta
    • Chef Hilary White, Executive Chef, The Hil, A Restaurant at Serenbe
    • Chef Jennifer Hill Booker, Executive Chef & Owner, Your Resident Gourmet in Lilburn
    • Chef Linton Hopkins, Executive Chef, Restaurant Eugene/Resurgens Hospitality Group in Atlanta
    • Chef Ahmad Nourzad, Executive Chef, Affairs to Remember Caterers in Atlanta
    • Chef Dave Snyder, Owner & Executive Chef, Halyard Restaurant Group in St. Simons Island
    • Gary Coltek, Senior Director, Kennesaw State University Culinary and Hospitality Services in Kennesaw
    • Chef Roberto Leoci, Executive Chef, Leoci's Trattoria in Savannah
    • Chef Marc Taft, Executive Chef, Chicken and the Egg in Marietta
    • Chef Virginia Willis, Executive Chef & Food Writer, Virginia Willis Culinary Enterprises, Inc. in Atlanta
    The Georgia Grown Executive Chef Program seeks to promote the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown campaign statewide. Now entering its fourth year, the program offers participating chefs a mark of honor and distinction, while increasing awareness for both restaurateurs and consumers about which local Georgia products are available for the cooking season.

    As the program grows, it will create a pathway for consumers to find Georgia Grown products in their communities in order to support local, seasonal foods when dining out. It also aims to highlight and involve public school culinary education and school food nutrition in terms of increased opportunities for Georgia Grown products, training and recipe development. The chefs will participate in a spring and fall school event, an organized farm tour, at least one seasonal cooking clip with the Department and at least one Georgia Grown cooking event designated by Black.

    About the Georgia Restaurant Association
    The GRA’s mission is to serve as the voice for Georgia’s restaurants in advocacy, education and awareness. The GRA is sanctioned by the National Restaurant Association to operate Georgia’s only not-for-profit representing the state’s foodservice industry. The GRA serves as the unified voice for over 16,000 foodservice and drinking places in the state of Georgia with total sales in excess of $16.5 billion which provides more than 405,800 jobs. From large chains to start-ups, the GRA helps make Georgia a better place for restaurants to do business and helps make restaurants better for Georgia.

    About Georgia Grown
    The Department of Agriculture’s Georgia Grown program provides a powerful branding tool as well as education, marketing and business connections to expand agribusinesses and the agricultural industry throughout the state. Learn more or join Georgia Grown at www.GeorgiaGrown.com.

    For media inquiries, contact Rachel Bell, manager of marketing and communications, at (404) 467-9000 or rachel@garestaurants.org.

    ###
  • 18 Feb 2015 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    NEWS RELEASE
    2015 Advisory Council Announced

    Atlanta, Georgia, February 18, 2015 – Atlanta Foodservice Expo LLC announced today the 2015 Atlanta Foodservice Expo Advisory Council. The Show Management team has compiled a dynamic group of industry
    leaders to assist with the continued development of the show.

    The 2015 Advisory Council Members include:
    • Paul Baldasaro, Chief Operating Officer, Mellow Mushroom
    • Archna Becker, President, Bhojanic
    • Rafih Benjelloun, Chef and Owner, Imperial Fez
    • Karen Bremer, Executive Director, Georgia Restaurant Association
    • Kully Crean, President, American Culinary Federation Atlanta Chefs Association
    • Patrick Cuccaro, Managing Director, Affairs to Remember Caterers
    • Paul Damico, Group President, Focus Brands
    • Todd Ginsberg, Chef & Co-Owner, The General Muir
    • Cheryl Glass, Executive Director, American Culinary Federation Atlanta Chefs Association
    • Mindy Hanan, President, Alabama Restaurant & Hospitality Alliance
    • Scott Hauswirth, Food and Beverage Director, Wyndham Atlanta Galleria
    • Robby Kukler, Co-Founder & Partner, Fifth Group Restaurants
    • Todd Rushing, Partner, Concentrics Restaurants
    • Cindy Shera, Owner, The Pig & The Pearl / The Shed at Glenwood
    • Russell Sleight, Executive Chef, The Westin Peachtree Plaza/Sundial
    • Paul Slobig, Director of Food and Beverage, The Westin Peachtree Plaza
    • Jim Sprouse, Executive Director, Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association
    • Tracy Stuckrath, President and Chief Connecting Officer, Thrive! Meetings and Events
    • Riccardo Ullio, Chef & Owner, U Restaurants
    A key objective for the council is to continue assisting show management with building awareness in Georgia and the surrounding markets about the event to significantly increase the attendance and attract a larger group of exhibitors.

    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.

    Media Contacts:
    Atlanta Foodservice Expo
    ###
  • 13 Feb 2015 10:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Robert Wagner, CPA, president of NetFinancials, Inc.

    Through Q4 2014 Atlanta restaurants sales continued to outpace a re-energized national restaurant industry. Atlanta Q4 2014 restaurant sales volume increased 6.2% over Q4 2013. For the quarter ended December 2014 positive sales gains were reported at 67% of the 96 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed. Year-to-date through December 2014 Atlanta restaurants sales were up 5.9% over 2013 sales.

    National Trends
    In its survey of national restaurant sales Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic-tracking company, reported national restaurant Q4 revenues increased 2.5% while same-store traffic was flat at 0.0% growth. Black Box noted that Q4 2014 sales were the best national same-store sales results reported in six years.

    Conclusion
    Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Atlanta’s independent restaurants in Q4 2014 continued to outperform the nation. Atlanta Q4 2014 restaurant sales were the best quarterly comp sales performance we’ve seen since Q1 2012. In addition, for the full year 2014 Atlanta comp sales of 5.9% was the best annual comp sales performance since 2011. In general Atlanta restaurants are vibrant and growing. Existing stores in our survey are doing remarkably well even as new stores open at places such as Krog Street Market and Buckhead Atlanta.”

    2014 Comp Sales
    Q4: 6.2% | YTD Atlanta: 5.9% | Q4 National: 2.5%

    Atlanta’s improved restaurant sales were due to favorable demographics, strong Atlanta visitor traffic and positive economic activity. The Georgia unemployment rate declined to 6.9% in December. Last December the Georgia unemployment rate was 7.4%. In addition, Atlanta hotels experienced in 2014 the highest occupancy growth in the nation.

    The Sample: The 96 independently-operated, non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $66 million and $255 million, respectively, for the quarter and year ended December 2014. The survey includes restaurants in Atlanta’s fast-casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 24 months.

    Robert Wagner, CPA is president of NetFinancials, Inc. which provides a full range of tax and accounting services for restaurant companies. Email: bob.wagner@netfinancials.com. www.netfinancials.com Direct: 404-874-7002

    The NetFinancials quarterly Atlanta restaurant sales survey is provided as a public service to the restaurant industry. Copyright NetFinancials, Inc.

  • 12 Feb 2015 9:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    When a customer makes a payment at your restaurant, it is done with the trust that their data will be kept safe. A swipe, a few key strokes or signature - it all seems so simple. However, many restaurants, both large and small, know firsthand that keeping that data secure can feel complicated or overwhelming. The last thing a restaurateur wants to face is a data breach.

    When it comes down to it, the decisions made to keep payment data secure are crucial for the brand and success of the company. For that reason, we're making payments a top priority and bringing new content to our members regularly.

    View the transcript of the chat on the NRA's website and continue to tweet your questions to us using hashtag #SecurePayment.
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