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  • 26 Sep 2014 10:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    NRA’s Health Care HQ, unveiled at this year’s National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, offers exclusive pricing solutions for members through UnitedHealthcare

    (Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association (NRA) announced exclusive member discounts from UnitedHealthcare on manual medical rates for fully insured business groups with 51 or more eligible employees. Through NRA’s Health Care HQ, members can access potential savings of up to 5 percent on UnitedHealthcare’s standard medical product portfolio, which offers a broad range of plan designs and options through its vast care provider network. Note that some restrictions apply; and discounts may vary by location and group size.

    “NRA’s Health Care HQ is the restaurant industry’s comprehensive resource for delivering up-to-date information, trusted guidance and affordable, high-quality health care products and services,” said Phil Kafarakis, Chief Innovation Officer for the National Restaurant Association. “We are excited to offer members exclusive pricing and health care solutions through our alliance with UnitedHealthcare. Our Health Care HQ takes out the guesswork and provides tremendous value for our members looking to find health care solutions that best fit their needs. ”

    UnitedHealthcare also offers members up to a 5 percent discount on specialty benefits products, including dental, vision, life and disability, for fully insured groups. UnitedHealthcare is the only endorsed health insurance carrier of the NRA and its State Restaurant Association (SRA) partners.

    Health Care HQ was first introduced to members at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago this past May. Through Health Care HQ, individuals and employers can find a large selection of insurance plans and rates with the option to shop and compare or buy insurance products directly. The comprehensive range of benefits includes core medical coverage, supplemental coverage and ancillary products.

    Health Care HQ also includes a Health Care Knowledge Center with information on how the ACA affects restaurant employers, as well as a Notification Tool to help restaurateurs notify employees about government-run health insurance marketplaces.

    As part of Health Care HQ, NRA will host a webinar for membership on October 1st, 1pm CST hosted by Michelle Neblett, Senior Director of Labor and Workforce Policy and Randy Spicer, Vice President of NRA Health and Insurance. The webinar, titled “ACA Smart Money Compliance Strategy,” will focus on health care strategy for restaurant management. To sign up and find out more click here.


    About National Restaurant Association
    Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 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 and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

    About UnitedHealthcare
    UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 800,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. Globally, UnitedHealthcare serves more than 45 million people in health benefits and is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company.
  • 26 Sep 2014 9:16 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Join us as we once again bring together restaurant professionals for an inspiring and collaborative exchange of ideas that will help shape the way that restaurants use emerging technology. Based on the success and excitement from last year, we're bringing you another Restaurant Innovation Summit in 2014. This year we're focused on data alchemy - the amazing innovations that can be created with data stewardship and insights.

    When:  Oct. 28-29, 2014
    Location: Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
    $395 for active National Restaurant Association members and $895 for non-members.

    Learn more & Register.

    This year’s Summit Agenda will include nine dynamic sessions with a variety of subject matter experts focused on the following topics:
    • Mobile Commerce
    • Data Stewardship and Privacy
    • Collaborative Economy
    • Behavior Science and Loyalty
    • Innovative Social Media Uses
    Two special keynote presentations; one including the much-anticipated restaurant industry outlook & trends report.

    Last year’s attendees included Chief Executive, Marketing, and Financial Officers from a variety of companies, including: Brinker International, Caribou Coffee Company, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Dunkin’ Brands, Inc., Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, McDonald’s Corporation, Red Robin Gourmet Burgers, the Wendy’s Company, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

    Interested in Sponsoring?

    A variety of exclusive sponsorship packages are available to accommodate your marketing needs and include participation and attendance to multiple events. An impactful media and promotion plan has also been developed to create awareness and drive attendance. Sponsors will be taken on a first come first serve basis.

    For details, please contact Amanda Rieter at or (202) 331-5908 or Anna Tauzin at or (202) 973-3950.
  • 24 Sep 2014 2:43 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Battle of the Burgers still has a few more spots open for their 2014 competition and they want your restaurant to participate! The event will take place on Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. in John Howell park in Virginia Highlands. 

    Interested restaurants can apply online at:

    Check out the competition and the restaurants already signed up to compete at

    Additionally, each participating restaurants is provided with enough ground beef for the event in an effort to ease the impact of their food cost.
  • 23 Sep 2014 2:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Guest Metrics 

    On-Premise traffic continues positive trend driven by improvements in casual dining, lodging and fine dining, while bars/clubs remain under pressure. Beer softened slightly vs prior month but remain better than earlier this year. Premium Light share loss continues to moderate vs craft.
    • Overall on premise traffic remained positive for the 4 weeks through 9/7 (+0.2%), resulting in the past 8 weeks being up 0.3%, and the best performance over the past 2 years. 2014 started off quite weak with traffic down a concerning -1.8% during 1Q14 and then improving to -0.9% during 2Q14. In terms of the specific channels comparing traffic from the most recent 4 weeks versus year-to-date, bars/clubs remained weak at -2.1% on the 4 weeks and -2.2% YTD, casual dining has shown a healthy improvement at +0.5% on the 4 weeks versus -0.8% YTD, fine dining also showed a strong improvement at +0.9% on the 4 weeks versus -1.7% YTD, and lodging also is solidly better at +2.4% on the 4 weeks versus flat YTD.
    • After starting off the year on a weak note with beer units at -3.8% during the first 6 months, the category improved to -2.2% during the 4 weeks thru 8/10, but softened somewhat to -2.9% during the most recent 4 weeks through 9/7. As we pointed out in our last report, while Premium Light continues to lose share largely at the hands of Craft, in y/y terms, Premium Light appears to be taking back some momentum from Craft over the past 12 weeks, signaling it may not just be a one-time World Cup effect.
    • Beer Growth: Beer volumes also started off 2014 on a very weak note with volumes down -4.2% during 1Q14, improved slightly to -3.6% during 2Q14, and were solidly better at -2.2% during the 4 weeks thru 8/10, but softened to -2.9% during the most recent 4 weeks. Comparing the last two 4-week periods, beer volumes weakened in bars/clubs from -2.3% to -4.2%, held steady in casual dining at around -3.0%, improved in lodging from +3.2% to +4.6%, and softened slightly in fine dining from +3.0% to +2.5%.
    • Segments: Comparing y/y share gain across the beer segments over the last two 4-week periods, Premium Light share loss improved from -1.6 YTD to -1.3 during the past 8 weeks, while Craft's share has gone from +2.1 YTD to +1.7 during the most recent 8 weeks. Imports weakened from -0.6 YTD to -0.8 during the past 8 weeks; Cider went from +0.6 YTD to +0.5 during the most recent 8 weeks.
    • Styles: While Pale Lagers account for about 59% of the beer category, it continues to lose share at the hands of the various Ales and Cider. During the most recent 4 weeks, Pale Lager's y/y share was -220bps (quite a bit more modest than the -250bps y/y share loss year-to-date), predominantly at the hands of IPA (+140bps), Cider (+60bps), and Imperial Ale and Pilsner Lager at +20bps.
    About GuestMetrics LLC
    Similar to what IRI does in the off-premise, GuestMetrics gathers data from the Point-of-Sales (POS) systems from restaurants and bars across the United States. GuestMetrics collects check-level data from over ten thousand locations closely representative of the broad on-premise sector across geographies, and with respect to the make-up of casual dining, bars/clubs, fine dining, and lodging. GuestMetrics turns billions of raw transactions into intelligible information that is transforming the business operations of everyone from the independently-owned bar/restaurant on the corner, to multi-national chains, to the food & beverage companies that supply them.

    Please visit for more information and to schedule a free demonstration.
  • 19 Sep 2014 9:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Arby’s Foundation was recently awarded the 2014 Corporate Volunteer Council of Atlanta’s Impact Award in the category of “Partnership Impact Award” for our “School’s Out, Food’s In” initiative this summer with Atlanta Public Schools and Mayor Kasim Reed’s Centers of Hope.

    The Corporate Volunteer Council is a membership organization that brings together brands and business professionals who are passionate about volunteerism so that they may share best practices, strengthen community investment strategies and make a difference through service. As the home to several of the largest corporations in the world, the Atlanta chapter of the CVC counts some of the “best in class” corporate charitable programs as its members, including UPS, Delta, Home Depot and numerous others.

    Via CVC: Arby's Foundation is recognized for its partnership with the Mayor's Centers of Hope to provide meals to metro Atlanta kids at risk for hunger when school is not in session. The program's major accomplishments include 28,000 students in the city public school system receiving a punch card, equaling 280,000 summer meals for at-risk children, which helps alleviate the burden for thousands of families trying to provide for their children during the summer. The program's back pack meal program also allowed schools to serve 50 percent more kids each week. Since the volunteer project was located in the office, employee volunteer participation increased, attracting people not typically able to volunteer off-site.
  • 17 Sep 2014 4:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The ACF Atlanta Chefs Association is in need of help. One of the largest fundraiser for the chapter is the Cheer for Children Ball. This event raises money to help physically and sexually abused children recover from the devastation they have experienced.

    For many years, our chefs have helped to supply food stations, sweet and savory, for this event and we need some help. The event will take place on October 17th from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Foundry at Puritan Mill – 916 Joseph Lowery Blvd, NW 30318. We need food stations providing 400 to 450 servings. If you are able to help with this worth cause. please contact:

    Cheryl Glass
    Executive Director
    ACF Atlanta Chefs Association, Inc
    P 850-556-7736
  • 17 Sep 2014 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Featured on
    By NRA CEO Dawn Sweeney

    Editor’s note: This op-ed is a response to “The rise of the low-wage restaurant industrial complex,” a column by Saru Jayaraman, co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, which ran on on Sept. 13.

    The organized protests against the restaurant industry and orchestrated arrests that took place earlier this month were successful in grabbing headlines, but when you really listen to the majority of those who work in a restaurant, you’ll hear a different story about the opportunities available in our industry.

    You’ll learn first that only 5% of restaurant employees earn the federal minimum wage. Of that 5%, 77% work part-time and 71% are under the age of 25. This aligns with recent data released by the Pew Research Center showing that the majority of those earning the federal minimum wage are young adults and part-time workers – the exact profile of a worker the minimum wage was designed for when it was enacted.

    More importantly, you’ll learn about the opportunities that restaurant jobs have provided the millions of employees who have worked in our industry, and the pride they take in their work.

    Restaurants employ 10% of the nation’s workforce – and according to the employees themselves, they are overwhelmingly satisfied with their jobs. The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation just released a nationwide survey of nearly 5,100 current and former members of the restaurant industry workforce that found more than 9 of 10 restaurant employees and owners say they are proud to work in the restaurant industry. In fact, over 90% of respondents – from crew members and servers to chefs and managers and those in business operations – agree that a restaurant is a good place to get a first job. So much so, that a solid majority of those surveyed say they would encourage their friends or family members to get a job in a restaurant.

    The story of our industry is also one of success and opportunity. Consider Randy Swanson, who got his start in the restaurant industry 37 years ago launching his career earning minimum wage in 1977. Today, he owns two restaurants in North Carolina – The Icehouse Waterfront Restaurant and The Boro Café – mainstays in their communities, employing more than 50 people. People like Randy have helped shape the recovery and economic growth of this nation.

    We train America’s workforce. Regardless of your age or experience, restaurants are a great place to learn critical skills, such as personal responsibility, teamwork and accountability – skills that help build the foundation for a successful career.

    Many Americans who begin in restaurants choose to stay in the business throughout their careers. Perhaps this is because restaurants thrive on upward mobility. Individuals advance to become supervisors, managers, chefs and even owners. The facts tell the story: more than 9 of 10 managers, supervisors and chefs said they started out in entry-level positions in restaurants, as did 77% of restaurant owners and operators.

    Our industry welcomes with open arms people at different stages in their careers. Marla Topliff joined Rosati’s Pizza as her first job in the industry at the age of 49. She started as a mom re-entering the workforce after raising her kids and learned the business from the ground up. Today, after a lot of hard work, Marla is the President of Rosati’s.

    We recognize that our industry includes some of the most recognizable brands in the world, and therefore are convenient targets for these protests. And, we agree that a debate over wages is a legitimate discussion to have as a country – but not at the expense of so many people who work hard every day.

    This is an industry that helps people achieve the American dream. Anyone, with hard work and dedication, can advance. Randy and Marla are just two of the millions of people across the country whose stories are pulled from the menu of opportunities restaurants provide.

    Dawn Sweeney is the president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association.
  • 16 Sep 2014 4:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association 

    A substantial number of operators are practicing sustainability, new National Restaurant Association research shows.

    According to the NRA’s new survey, restaurants are interested in implementing environmental practices into their plans.

    Conducted earlier this year among 1,000 fullservice and quickservice operators, the survey found that nearly three quarters of operators recycled used fryer oil, fats and grease. More than six in 10 recycled their cardboard and paper, used compact fluorescent lighting and bought products made of recycled materials. About three in 10 installed faucet aerators to conserve water.

    Key findings determined that:
    • 74 percent recycled their used fryer oil, fats and grease
    • 66 percent recycled cardboard and paper
    • 63 percent used compact fluorescent lighting
    • 61 percent purchased products made of recycled materials
    • 48 percent installed low-flush toilets or waterless urinals in the back- and front-of-the-house
    • 41 percent purchased products that can be composted
    • 29 percent installed aerators on faucets
    • 22 percent donated leftover food to food banks or similar organizations
    • 17 percent composted food waste.
    “More operators are looking at ways to increase efficiency – environmentally and fiscally,” said Scott DeFife, the NRA’s executive vice president of policy and government affairs. “Restaurateurs today know a lot more about how sustainability can reduce utility costs and, in some cases, increase profitability.”

    The survey also asked restaurateurs about composting, food donation, energy efficiency and how they handled their used fryer oil.

    Download the full report.

    Visit the NRA’s Conserve program to learn more about sustainable tips, tools and best practices for the restaurant industry.
  • 16 Sep 2014 4:14 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration Recall -- Firm Press Release

    FDA posts press releases and other notices of recalls and market withdrawals from the firms involved as a service to consumers, the media, and other interested parties. FDA does not endorse either the product or the company.


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 16, 2014 - S&S Food Import corp. is recalling all packages of Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) with the following package code “Best Before 06.05.2015”. The Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) was sampled by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets food Inspectors during a routine sanitary inspection. Subsequent analysis of the product by New York State food Laboratory personnel confirmed that the fish had not been properly eviscerated prior to processing.

    This product may be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum spores with can cause botulism, a serious and potentially fatal food-borne illness.

    The sale of uneviscerated processed fish is prohibited under New York State Agriculture and Markets regulations because Clostridium botulinum spores are more likely to be concentrated in the viscera than any other portion of the fish. Uneviscerated fish have been linked to outbreaks of botulism poisoning.

    Symptoms of botulism poisoning include blurred or double vision, general weakness, and poor reflexes, difficulty swallowing and respiratory paralysis.

    No illnesses have been reported to date in connection with this problem.

    The Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) was distributed nationwide, in 5 kg boxes.

    Consumers who have purchased Uneviscerated Dried Roach (Vobla) are advised not to eat it and should return the product to the place of purchase. Consumers with questions may contact the company S&S Food Import Corp at 718-677-6888.

  • 12 Sep 2014 12:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association 

    Regulations on food safety and responsible alcohol service can vary widely by state and county. Operators of multiple restaurants may have to comply with different sets of rules, even for restaurants that are only miles apart.

    To help restaurateurs learn which regulations apply to their restaurants, the National Restaurant Association, through ServSafe, offers an interactive map that provides details on state and county regulations for food safety managers, food handlers, and alcohol service.

    The new interactive ServSafe regulatory maps are the only central source that offers information on the latest food and alcohol safety information for every U.S. county. It also provides the latest information on training and testing requirements for food safety and alcohol service, including where the NRA’s ServSafe program is accepted to fulfill these requirements. Other topics include:

    On food safety:
    • Certification requirements
    • HACCP requirements
    • Required number of training hours.
    • On alcohol service:
    Training requirements
    • Penalties/fees
    • Happy hour and service restrictions
    • Required number of training hours.
    Find out what food and alcohol safety regulations apply in your state and county.

    ServSafe offers training and certificates in food safety and alcohol risk management for foodservice professionals. ServSafe certificates are recognized by more federal, state and local jurisdictions than any other food safety certification.
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