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  • 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
    cheryl@acfatlantachefs.org
    www.acfatlantachefs.org.
  • 17 Sep 2014 1:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Featured on MSNBC.com
    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 msnbc.com 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.

    Contact
    Consumer:
    718-677-6888
    ssfoodimport@gmail.com

    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 3:17 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The first annual AJC Dunwoody Wine Festival is taking place on Saturday, October 11 at The Field at Hammond Drive (near Perimeter Mall) from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. A grand tasting, this first-ever Dunwoody event will be well attended by more than 2,000 wine- and food-loving OTP'ers (and likely some in-town folks as well).

    We are looking for chefs and beverage professionals to provide tastings for the audience. Additionally, there will be a demo tent and we are looking for chefs/wine/beverage professionals to participate in 30-minute demonstrations of either cooking, food & wine pairing, or cocktail preparation.

    There is NO cost to participate except that of the product you provide (should all be donated).

    The AJC is fully supporting with advertising/promotional and editorial coverage. John Kessler is 100 percent on board and will be doing 6 articles leading up to the event. $400,000 media package value.

    Exhibitors should anticipate 1,800 samples for the Saturday Grand Tasting Event.
    • 3 - 4 oz food portion
    • Exhibitors will receive:
    • Dedicated space with a 6’ table.
    • A 6’ prep / storage table behind your serving area.
    • Table Linens, and ice.
    • Electricity – 110v outlet (must be requested by in advance
    •  Custom event signag
    •  Three (3) passes to the Grand Tasting event for staff
    There is also a VIP Reserve Tasting event ticketed at $150 pp on Friday evening at Le Meridien Hotel. There is opportunity for food and beverage tables at this event as well.

    If you are interested in participating, please contact Elizabeth McDonald at lizzie@mcdonald-media.com.
  • 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.
  • 10 Sep 2014 11:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT:
    Katie Laning Niebaum (202) 973-3967 kniebaum@restaurant.org or Christin Fernandez (202) 331-5939 cfernandez@restaurant.org

    Restaurant Industry Ranks Number One on this Year’s Annual Gallup Poll
    Annual Poll Shows Americans Continue to View Restaurants Favorably

    (Washington, D.C.) The restaurant industry is regarded as the top business sector in America according to the results of the annual Gallup Work and Education poll released last week. Restaurants have remained one of the most highly viewed industries since Gallup started its annual poll of consumer perception of industries in 2001, re-claiming the top spot last held in 2007. In addition, this year’s poll recorded the most positive rating on record for the industry

    “Restaurants are the beloved cornerstones of communities across the country,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “From the local sandwich shop to the city steakhouse, the restaurant industry provides job opportunity to 13.5 million Americans and has become an essential part of our everyday lives.”

    According to National Restaurant Association research nine in 10 consumers say they enjoy going to restaurants and two in five consumers say restaurants are an essential part of their lifestyle. One half of all adults have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their lives and one third of all Americans got their first job working in a restaurant.

    As the nation’s second largest private sector employer, restaurants continue to be economic drivers, employing nearly 10 percent of America’s workforce.

    In addition, more than nine out of 10 restaurants are actively involved in charitable activities. Collectively, the charitable contributions of the nation’s nearly one million restaurants are estimated to reach up to $3 billion each year.

    The Gallup poll asks Americans to rate industries on a scale from "very positive" to "very negative." The computer industry is second to restaurants.

    ###

    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 Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

    To view this release online visit: http://www.restaurant.org/Pressroom/Press-Releases/Restaurant-Industry-Ranks-Number-One-on-this-Year%E2%80%99

    More news and information from the National Restaurant Association: http://www.restaurant.org/Pressroom
  • 09 Sep 2014 12:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: National Restaurant Association 

    The rising costs of coffee and protein-based foods, including bacon, eggs, ham and beef, are creating concern among industry experts and chains specializing in the breakfast day part who say the prices, historically, are higher than ever before.

    Food cost pressures are building, said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for the National Restaurant Association. “Operators have watched carefully what’s going on with staple breakfast items like eggs, bacon and coffee. Some will consider operational adjustments as cost pressures are sustained.”

    According to the NRA’s monthly Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, operators once again cite food costs as their top challenge. Last month eight in 10 operators said their average food costs are higher now than a year ago. Among family-dining restaurants, many of whom focus on breakfast, nine in 10 operators report higher food costs.

    “Price fluctuations of commodities can have a significant impact on the operator’s bottom line, especially if the items in question are essential to a specific concept or menu. Breakfast has been a growing day part over the last several years, as restaurant operators explore new avenues to build business and more consumers live life ‘on the go’,” Riehle said.

    John Barone, commodities analyst and CEO of MarketVision Inc., says prices eased over the summer but remain high, almost across the board. A drought in Brazil this spring continues to drive up coffee costs, he noted.

    “Coffee prices dropped 20 percent between April and July, but have regained most of that drop and look to be headed higher over the long term,” he said. “Brazil has a multi-year coffee problem. The bottom line is breakfast chains are really feeling the heat.”

    Some larger restaurant companies were able to negotiate contracts before costs started climbing. Corner Bakery Cafe, right now is in a good position on its coffee contract, although that could end sometime next year, said Ric Scicchitano, senior vice president of food and beverage.

    “We did a lot of forecasting and booking on the contract side to manage risk for all of 2014 and into 2015 as much as possible,” he said. He said the company locked in a good coffee contract when it saw favorable prices in the last half of 2013, but will have to reset that contract for 2015. “We haven’t been exposed to the spike in prices, but I’ve been telling everyone that headwinds are brewing for next year because we don’t have positions to carry us all the way through 2015.”

    Dunkin’ Brands, parent of Dunkin’ Donuts, indicated it is exploring the possibility of raising prices on its coffee beverages to offset the surging cost of coffee.

    "We are currently holding conversations with our domestic franchisees about a modest increase in coffee prices,” spokeswoman Michelle King said. “We have not taken any significant price increases on coffee in the last several years and even with a modest increase, we continue to offer a great value to our guests every day."

    Coffee isn’t the only commodity causing headaches.

    Barone said prices on pork bellies, or bacon, are down about 20 percent from year-ago levels but remain historically high due to potential supply issues related to the outbreak of PEDv, or porcine epidemic diarrhea, which affects newborn piglets. Even after recent drops, the prices of ham and pork trimmings, or sausage, remain 30 percent higher than last year.

    PEDv disease is expected to reemerge this fall, when the weather cools, Barone says. “There’s really no end in sight because no one has any real information on when the virus will be under control or how much damage it will do to supplies.”

    Dennis Lombardi, executive vice president of strategies for foodservice consultant WD Partners, says he expects more restaurants, especially small operations and independents, will update and re-engineer their menus to feature alternative items that aren’t as costly to serve.

    “For independents, there really seem to be few choices available,” he said. “They basically can endure the higher food costs, change their menu prices accordingly, or update and re-engineer their menus, which they do three or four times a year anyway. A lot of the big chains are locked into supply contracts, which allow for more price sustainability.”

    Scicchitano said his company is still in good shape regarding food costs, but 2015 could be another story.

    “We took 95 percent of our risk off the table last December,” he said. “We’ve kind of been exposed to the cheese market a little bit, but for the most part we’ve been pretty insulated where pricing is concerned. I do think we have a little bit of a correction coming in some protein areas. I’m worried about that more than anything else ‑ and dried fruits and nuts. Those are the things that are going to keep me awake now for next year.”

  • 05 Sep 2014 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Office of the Governor Press Releases

    Economic impact of Georgia’s tourism industry hits record $53.6 billion, Deal says

    Gov. Nathan Deal today recognized several of the state’s top tourism professionals at the 2014 Georgia Governor’s Tourism Conference in Augusta. Hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Association of Convention & Visitors Bureau, the annual event gathered more than 500 of Georgia’s tourism industry professionals from Georgia’s convention and visitor bureaus, attractions, hotels and more.

    “Tourism is a powerful job and economic development generator in our state,” said Deal. “With a record $53.6 billion in economic impact, this industry employs more than 410,000 Georgians. Our tourism professionals play an instrumental role in ensuring Georgia’s economic vitality, and I am thankful for their hard work and dedication.”

    2014 award recipients, nominated by the Georgia tourism industry, include:
    • The Paul Broun Award for Marketing Initiatives was awarded to the Dahlonega-Lumpkin Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Dawson County Office of Tourism Development and Historic Roswell Convention and Visitors Bureau for the “Mansions, Moonshine and Gold Mines” promotion that was created for group tour operators.
    • The Larry Allen Tourism Leadership Award was presented to Barry White, president and CEO of the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau.
    • The Al Burris Award for Creative Expression was awarded to Explore Gwinnett for the Gwinnett Tourism Awareness Program.
    • The Paul Nelson Award for Outdoor Recreation and Preservation was awarded to the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau for Whitewater Columbus.
    • The Tom Kilgore Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Dotty Etris, executive director of the Historic Roswell Convention & Visitors Bureau for her lifelong commitment to the industry.
    • This year, the Champion Awards were renamed the Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Awards in honor of Bill Hardman Sr. for his tireless support and guidance for Georgia’s tourism industry. Recipients of the 2014 Bill Hardman Sr. Tourism Champion Awards include:
      • The Georgia Humanities Council was awarded the Tourism Champion in Government Award for its dedication to preserving Georgia’s rich history, diverse culture and timeless stories.
      • The “Gone With the Wind Trail” Association received the Tourism Champion Product Development Award.
      • Mills Marketing Group received the Tourism Champion Private Sector Award.
      • The Tourism Champion Partnership Award was presented to Visit Savannah and the Savannah Tourism Leadership Council for their combined service to visitors traveling to the Savannah and Chatham County areas.
    “Not only is the tourism industry a huge part of our department’s integrated approach to economic development, but it is one of the state’s strongest assets,” said Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Chris Carr. “Our tourism professionals are vital to the success of this industry – it was an honor to present awards to these deserving individuals and tourism entities.”

    The Governor’s Tourism Conference is intended to educate members of the tourism industry about travel-and tourism-related issues on a national and statewide level, focusing on emerging trends as well as ways to reinforce current tourism efforts and future initiatives. Next year’s conference will take place Aug. 31 – Sept. 2 in Savannah.

    About GDEcD
    The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development.
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