• 04 Jun 2013 3:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    U.S. Food and Drug Administration
    Latest effort to strengthen U.S. food defense

    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has released a new tool to help bolster the food industry’s defense measures against an act of intentional food contamination. The Food Defense Plan Builder is a comprehensive, easy-to-use software program designed to help owners and operators of food facilitiesundefinedranging from primary production and manufacturing to retail and transportationundefineddevelop customized plans to minimize the risk of intentional contamination at their individual food facilities.

    The FDA does not require food facilities to implement food defense plans, but many facilities have voluntarily put such plans into place to safeguard their products.

    “The FDA is committed to providing best practices and resources to support industry as we pursue our shared goal of protecting our food supply,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods and Veterinary Medicine Michael Taylor. “We strongly encourage companies to take full advantage of the Food Defense Plan Builder.”

    Cases of intentional contamination are infrequent but can entail serious adverse public health consequences. For example, in 2009, more than 40 people in Kansas became ill after disgruntled restaurant employees intentionally contaminated salsa with a pesticide. In 1996, 12 lab workers at a Texas medical facility became ill after eating pastries that were intentionally contaminated with a virulent strain of Shigellabacteria.

    The Food Defense Plan Builder is FDA’s latest effort to help owners and operators of food facilities take appropriate action to defend the food supply. In the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks, the FDA released a number of food defense tools and resources to aid the U.S. food industry, federal partners, state and local regulators, and the international community in protecting the food supply against biological, chemical and radiological attack.

    The Food Defense Plan Builder guides users through a series of substantive questions about the user’s food facility and the food manufactured, processed, packed or held there to develop a comprehensive food defense plan for the facility, which includes a vulnerability assessment, broad and focused mitigation strategies, and an action plan.

    The content in the tool is based on the FDA’s food defense guidance documents and as such, the Food Defense Plan Builder is consistent with the FDA’s current thinking on food defense preparedness. In addition to providing new functionality for food defense planning and implementation, the Food Defense Plan Builder harnesses existing FDA tools and resources into a single application. These tools and resources include the FDA’s food defense guidance documents, Vulnerability Assessment Software Tool, and Mitigation Strategies Database.

    To learn more about the FDA’s Food Defense Plan Builder or to download the tool free of charge, visit:
  • 04 Jun 2013 3:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kennesaw State University is starting a new degree program in culinary sustainability that will teach best management practices for the food service industry.

    The new program, reinforced by two sustainability awards in May from the National Restaurant Association, is part of KSU’s effort to establish its place in leadership training for nation’s $632 billion marketplace of restaurants.

    “We’re all fighting for the same consumers,” said Christian Hardigree, who devised the curriculum. “The question is: How can we do things that are more efficient, more effective, and that improve the bottom line?”

    Changing the lighting is one solution that Hardigree said was used by legendary restaurateur George McKerrow Jr., founder of LongHorn Steakhouse and, with Ted Turner, Ted’s Montana Grill.

    McKerrow invested $111,000 in replacing light bulbs in 56 restaurants, and he reaped a $250,000 return through energy savings during the first year, Hardigree said. In addition, because McKerrow negotiated a two-year guarantee on bulbs, the company had netted a total of $389,000 in savings before he stopped tracking the savings that resulted from the bulk of bulbs.

    “It was hard for him to convince people to invest $111,000,” Hardigree said. “He improved profitability just through changing the type of lighting.”

    Another way to view the new curriculum is through the business decision of the New York Hilton Midtown to end room service. Room service is so important to some guests that they said they won’t return.

    An alternative to discontinuing room service might have been to reduce the cost of food preparation through the sustainable practices to be taught at KSU. Areas students will examine include reducing food waste, redesigning the waste stream, and reducing the amount of energy consumed by lighting and cooking equipment.

    The concept of culinary sustainability is associated with the more widely known movement of farm to table food. Hardigree said that as awareness of the cost of food transport has grown, both in economic and environmental terms, awareness is rising of the cost of energy and water used in food preparation. As she wrote in one proposal:

    “The hospitality and restaurant industries, renowned energy “hogs”, must leverage sustainable practices to shrink costs and maximize profits.”
    Culinary sustainability is also part of the growing awareness of the nutritional aspects of food in the context of the farm to table movement.

    KSU has dubbed its version a “farm to campus” program. And it’s an award winner: In May, KSU beat out competitors including Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, in Florida; the U.S. Air Force; and HMSHost, which provides food and beverage at venues including Atlanta’s airport.

    “The NRA awards are like the Oscars of food service,” Gary Coltek, KSU’s director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, said in a statement. “This award truly speaks to the direction that college and university food service has taken over the past few years.”

    KSU’s farm to campus program began in 2010 with a 2-acre organic farm. The next year, it was expanded to a 40-acre property with 6,000 square feet of greenhouse space. Only non-GMO produce is grown, using only natural farming methods. Nearly 50 honeybee colonies were added to assist with pollination. Waste that can be composted is returned to the farm for reuse, according to the program’s website.

    This program will serve as a laboratory for students in the sustainability degree program, Hardigree said. The experience will add value to their bachelors degree in culinary sustainability because future employers will recognize the graduates practiced their skills in an acclaimed farm to campus program, she said.

    From a statewide perspective, KSU’s culinary sustainability advances support the University System of Georgia’s drive to devise forward-looking programs in order to compete for the nation’s top students and maintain enrollment.

    The goal is to begin the new culinary program with 150 students this autumn and grow to 400 students in four years. Out-of-state students are expected to comprise an ever-rising proportion of enrollment, growing from 4 percent at the start to 8 percent in four years, to 15 percent in five years, according to the curriculum proposal.
  • 30 May 2013 11:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Suwanee Patch
    You might soon notice some so-called happy hour promotions at establishments around Suwanee that serve alcohol. The city just made it legal.

    Suwanee City Council on Tuesday (May 28) approved what the agenda called "substantive" changes in the city's alcoholic beverage ordinance.

    A key provision is that restrictions on happy hours -- generally regarded as special prices on drinks during certain hours -- have been removed.

    Also noteworthy is that diners may now "cork" and take home a bottle of wine that they purchased with dinner. This is consistent with Georgia law.

    The changes were proposed by city staffers and done in consultation with the Suwanee Police Department.

    The changes also provide for an "amenity" permit that would allow businesses such as nail and hair salons to serve alcohol on a complimentary basis. Another revision is that a restaurant would only have to generate 40 percent of its business from food sales -- down from 50 percent -- to qualify for an alcohol license.

    One resident spoke out against the alcohol changes in the public hearing portion of Tuesday's meeting.

    Karen Williams, noting that she is a 30-year resident of Suwanee, said she felt like the new ordinance is "lowering our standards" and that it makes the city "a less safe place for children."

    Mayor Pro Tem Dick Goodman presided at the meeting, as Mayor Jimmy Burnette was on vacation. Council member Dan Foster also was absent, meaning four members -- which is a quorum -- voted on all agenda issues.

  • 28 May 2013 10:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Dine Out Day is a national program that asks restaurants to participate in supporting the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund. It will take place on June 19, 2013 and supports organizations that aid in the recovery and rebuilding efforts of New Jersey communities impacted by the storm.

    Please visit to sign up and participate in the National Dine Out Day program. In the Toolkit section, there is a sign up form that needs to be completed by the restaurant. Once the terms and conditions have been accepted, the form will be sent to the Fund for review and confirmation. The website will have a restaurant locator that will list all participating locations by state.

    Contributions from restaurants to National Dine Out Day will benefit the Fund. Restaurants can choose to contribute in several ways.
    50% of sales from 6/19/13
    25% of sales from 6/19/13
    15% of sales from 6/19/13
    Daypart proceeds - Breakfast 6am-10am
    Daypart proceeds - Lunch 11am-2pm
    Daypart proceeds - Dinner 5pm-8pm
    Coupon Card
    Other restaurant-specific contributions

    Should you have specific questions on the participation level of your restaurant, or if you have other questions, please contact:
    Lindsay Reynolds
  • 23 May 2013 3:47 PM | Deleted user
    Join us at the The Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia Monthly Networking Breakfast at the BB&T Headquarters in Atlantic Station.

    When: Thursday, May 30, 2013

    Where:  BB&T Headquarters at Atlantic Station
    (5th Floor - Conference Room)
    271 17th Street
    Suite 500
    Atlanta, GA 30363

    Topic: The Essential Economy and US Immigration Policy

    Keynote Speaker: Mr. Sam Zamarripa
    Former State Senator – Atlanta
    Co-Chairman of the Essential Economy Council

    The Essential Economy includes some of the most important industry sectors in our economy, where hard work is done to produce goods and services that are essential to our economic growth and quality of life.

    The Essential Economy is an occupational cluster that includes restaurant kitchen staff, janitors, landscape crews, farm workers, nursing aides, stock clerks and other non-managerial positions. The cluster spans six major economic sectors from agriculture and construction to hospitality and personal care. Workers in The Essential Economy have traditionally been described as low wage and unskilled.

    The Council
    The Essential Economy Council is a bipartisan, nonprofit organization that originates research and communications that will be used to educate elected officials and business leaders on the value of Georgia’s Essential Economy. The Council is managed by a board of industry specialists and professionals, and it partners with leading businesses, economic development organizations and academic institutions to design and execute its research and communications.

    In 2012 the Council initiated and funded original research on the size and importance of the Essential Economy in the State of Georgia. The findings of this study were released in February of 2013 to business leaders and members of Georgia’s General Assembly.

    Join us on May 30 for a special presentation on the importance of the Essential Economy in Georgia and its relation to US Immigration Policy.

    About our guest speaker:
    Mr. Sam Zamarripa is Founder and President of Zamarripa Capital Incorporated, a private equity corporation focused on lower middle market companies, primarily in the Southeastern United States. The company provides capital strategies and transaction consulting for executive teams involved in the sale or acquisition of assets in media, financial services and consumer products.

    From 2002 – 2006, Sam was a Partner and Managing Director at Heritage Capital Advisors focusing on investments in media and financial services. In 2007, Mr. Zamarripa was appointed as a Senior Advisor to Darby Private Equity, the private equity arm of Franklin Templeton Investments. He began his career in financial services in 1990 with Diaz-Verson Capital Incorporated of Columbus, Georgia.

    He is a Director of Assurance America Corporation and Chairman of the Compensation Committee. In 2010, Mr. Zamarripa was elected to the Board of Managers for IP2Biz, LLC of Atlanta, Georgia. In 1998, Mr. Zamarripa co-founded United Americas Bank, NA of Atlanta where served as Board Member until 2009.

    Mr. Zamarripa served two terms in the State Senate of Georgia representing the City of Atlanta, where he served as the Secretary of the State Economic Development Committee and member of the committees on Insurance, Science & Technology and Transportation. He retired from the State Senate undefeated in 2006.

    Mr. Zamarripa is a Trustee of the Annie E. Casey Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland and a Trustee of Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York. He is the founder of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials and Chairman. Mr. Zamarripa is on the US Board of Advisors for Centro Fox, which is the Presidential Library of Former Mexican President Vicente Fox. He is also a member of the Board of Counselors for the Carter Center of Atlanta. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. He holds a BA from New College of Sarasota, Florida, and a Masters of Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University, Syracuse New York.

    Register Now!  

    The Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia: Fostering the economic growth and development of the Latin American Business Community in Georgia.
  • 23 May 2013 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    The Wall Street Journal 

    Franchisees Try to Stay Below Insurance Threshold; White Castle Slows Its Expansion

    Some restaurant operators are scaling back expansion plans because of uncertainty about the expense of insuring employees under the new federal health-care law.

    The concerns are especially acute among smaller operators who are more likely to be on the cusp of the Affordable Care Act's requirements for increased coverage of workers. The doubt is adding to anxiety over other rising costs for items like ingredients at a time when diners are cutting back on eating out.

    Sam Ballas, chief executive of ECW Enterprises Inc., owner of East Coast Wings & Grill, a 26-unit chain in North Carolina and Texas, in March imposed a three- to five-unit limit, for the time being, on the number of restaurants that franchisees can own, because of worries about health-care costs.

    White Castle Management says it is significantly slowing its growth plans in light of rising health-care and other costs.

    The law requires employers with more than 50 full-time equivalent employeesundefinedthose who work 30 hours or more a weekundefinedto start offering health insurance to full-time employees in 2014, or to pay a penalty.

    Mr. Ballas said several East Coast Wings franchisees are up against that limit now and that one is considering selling a restaurant to remain below the threshold.

    Mr. Ballas's company studied the past two years of financial data from its restaurants, and modeled how many units a franchisee could own and remain profitable after covering full-time workers. The model showed that franchisees who operate three or fewer stores are likely to remain under the mandatory insurance threshold, while an owner who manages five restaurants efficiently would have just enough scale to offset the cost of paying for insurance or the penalty. Beyond that number, Mr. Ballas said, his company isn't sure how many restaurants a franchisee could profitably operate under the new law.

    "There is no question that the Affordable Care Act has thrown a wet blanket on franchise development," said Stephen Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association. In a recent survey of its members, the trade group found that 64% of franchisers and almost 72% of franchisees said the health law creates some uncertainty or significant uncertainty in long-term planning.

    "Small-business people are telling us they're afraid to take on any more debt until they know the full cost of the Affordable Care Act," said Richard Hunt, CEO of the Consumer Bankers Association.

    The restaurant business has been a focus of debate about the health-care law's impact, in part because of its heavy reliance on part-time workers who don't currently have coverage. Some executives have warned that it could hobble the industry, although some companies, including Wendy's Co., have scaled back initial estimates of how much the law will cost their restaurants, and others, such as Dunkin' Brands Group Inc., have played down the impact the health-care overhaul will have on the industry.

    The Obama administration says the health-care law will benefit small businesses like franchises, in part by creating insurance marketplaces where they can pool their buying power. "The Affordable Care Act will save money for businesses while giving workers and employers access to quality, affordable health care," said a Treasury Department spokeswoman.

    The law hasn't crimped expansion plans for some big restaurant companies. Large chains tend to have sophisticated procurement departments that can hedge against volatile commodity costs as well as the scale to negotiate prices of other items, such as paper goods, which can better help franchisees absorb other cost increases. McDonald's Corp., which estimates the law will cost $10,000 to $30,000 per restaurant, is opening more new restaurants in the U.S. this year than it has in each of the past three years. A spokeswoman said she hasn't heard of franchisees scaling back expansion plans.

    For others, though, the law adds to other reasons for caution. White Castle Management Co., a closely held chain that doesn't franchise any of its 406 restaurants, says it is significantly slowing its growth plans in light of rising health-care and other costs. The burger chain plans to open two or three new restaurants this year, down from about a dozen three years ago, and five in both 2011 and 2012, company spokesman Jamie Richardson said.

    White Castle currently offers health insurance to employees who work 35 hours or more per week, and 80% of eligible employees accept. Under the law, the offer will have to extend to those who work 30 hours weekly, and employees who refuse will have to pay a penalty. "What we don't know is what percentage who decline insurance now will sign up for it" when the law takes effect in January, Mr. Richardson said. "This has caused us to re-examine our strategy."

    Franchisees say some of the law's details, such as how employers will count workers' hours, have yet to be finalized, limiting their ability to plan. Joe Drury, who owns 22 Wendy's restaurants in Tennessee and Virginia that employ 600 people, said he wants to open three more restaurants next year. But "if the Affordable Care Act costs me too much money, I'm not going to. It's as simple as that," he said.Wendy's spokesman Denny Lynch said health-care costs are among many concerns franchisees have expressed, along with high chicken and beef costs. Like other restaurant chains, Wendy's is pushing franchisees to remodel their restaurants in order to remain competitive with the likes of McDonald's, which has upgraded thousands of restaurants. Wendy's is presenting franchisees with different remodeling options ranging from $350,000 to $750,000 per store.

    Wendy's originally estimated the cost of complying with the law to be $25,000 a year per restaurant, but more recently its chief financial officer revised it to $5,000 because the company expects many employees to decline the insurance.

    "I sure hope he's right," said Mr. Drury, who said he hasn't yet done his own calculations for his operations.

    Mr. Drury said he is committed to remodeling his existing stores because "I have to do it to protect my market share." But, he said, "I'm not committing to how fast I'll move until I know what the costs of the health-care act will be."
  • 21 May 2013 3:10 PM | Deleted user
    The National Restaurant Association has announced the winners of the second annual Operator Innovations Awards, with Kennesaw State University taking home the prestigious Innovator of the Year award. Selected by an independent panel of expert judges, the winners were recognized for their achievements in driving advancement in the foodservice industry. The innovative restaurant operators were revealed live last night at Destination: Celebration, the gala event for the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, in each award category of: Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability, and Technology.

    “These restaurant operators have found solutions for their businesses with programs and initiatives that combine creativity and hard work,” says Jeffrey W. Davis, Convention Chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corporation. “The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners redefine how the industry views innovation, and will serve as the benchmark for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations.”

    The 2013 Operator Innovations Awards winners are:

    Food Safety
    Ninety Nine Restaurants (Woburn, Mass.)
    An allergy alert system that combines staff training and involvement with clear communications via ordering, display systems and tracking, ensuring awareness and proper preparation for everyone who touches a guest’s food and minimizing risk for all.

    Health & Nutrition
    United States Air Force (San Antonio, Texas)
    Food Transformation Initiative (FTI), revolutionizes Air Force food selections, cooking methods, meal availability, and merchandising to guide customers toward healthier choices. When comparing participating with non-participating operations, performance metrics confirm FTI elevates healthfulness, energy and alertness through optimal nutrition, without sacrificing flavor, taste and satisfaction.

    Menu Development
    HMSHost (Bethesda, Md.)
    The Freedom To Choose Web portal is an internally developed, custom online tool for the company’s 100+ airport operations and is designed to give local operators access to hundreds of menu items, allowing them to quickly and easily tailor menus to keep up with traveler preferences and regional trends.

    Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, Ga.)
    The University’s 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts including a robust organic "Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm" program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a gold LEED certification.

    Walt Disney Parks and Resorts (Lake Buena Vista, Fla.)
    The Be Our Guest Restaurant utilizes a unique fast-casual restaurant system capable of automating elements throughout the operation, including RF table locators, ordering, checkout, back-of-the-house workflow and more to deliver a personalized, streamlined experience for guests that allows the operation to serve more than 3,000 meals at lunch each day.

    The annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show is the largest single gathering of restaurant, foodservice, and lodging professionals. NRA Show 2013 will be held May 18-21 at McCormick Place in Chicago, and the 2013 International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event held in conjunction with the NRA Show will take place May 19-20. The events attract 61,000+ attendees and visitors from all 50 states and 100+ countries, and the event showcases the latest products, services, innovative ideas, up-to-the-minute information about trends and issues, and more growth opportunities than any other industry event.
  • 21 May 2013 2:53 PM | Deleted user
    Kennesaw State University
    wins Innovator of the Year and Operator Innovations Award for Sustainability

    It was a clean sweep for Kennesaw State Saturday night, as the university won two national awards from the National Restaurant Association - the “Innovator of the Year” and Operator Innovations Award for Sustainability.

    Citing its “comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program” and “Farm to Campus to Farm” initiative, this is the first time an educational institution has been selected to receive the prestigious Innovator of the Year award.

    “It is an incredible honor to be the first university to receive this prestigious national award,” Kennesaw State President Daniel S. Papp said. “This award recognizes the leadership and excellence that are the hallmarks of KSU’s culinary sustainability program.”

    The innovative restaurant operators were revealed in Chicago, at “Destination: Celebration,” the gala event for the 2013 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show. Selected by an independent panel of expert judges, the winners were recognized in five categories for their achievements in driving advancement in the foodservice industry.

    Winners in each of the five award categories of Food Safety, Health & Nutrition, Menu Development, Sustainability and Technology were eligible for the Innovator of the Year award.

    “The NRA awards are like the Oscars of food service,” said Gary Coltek, director of Culinary and Hospitality Services, which operates the University’s campus farms and manages the Farm to Campus to Farm initiatives. “This award truly speaks to the direction that college and university food service has taken over the past few years. A strong component of our sustainability program is education and outreach, and this award has given us the opportunity to promote what we’re doing and hopefully motivate other operators to do the same.”

    In claiming the Innovator of the Year title, Kennesaw State bested Walt Disney Parks and Resorts in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., the Operator Innovation Award for Technology winner; and the U.S. Airforce, the Operator Innovation Award for Health & Nutrition winner. Other finalists included Ninety Nine Restaurants in Woburn, Mass., the Food & Safety winner; and HMSHost in Bethesda, Md., the Menu Development winner.

    “These restaurant operators have found solutions for their businesses with programs and initiatives that combine creativity and hard work,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, convention chair for NRA Show 2013 and IWSB and CEO of the United States Beef Corp. “The 2013 Operator Innovations Award winners redefine how the industry views innovation, and will serve as benchmarks for other operators to apply the same innovative spirit within their own operations.”

    In naming Kennesaw State a finalist for the Operator Innovations Award for Sustainability, the National Restaurant Association cited: “The University’s 5,000 guest/day dining operation incorporates a comprehensive, closed-loop waste management program through a variety of efforts, including a robust organic "Farm-to-Campus-to-Farm" program, water reclamation, aerobic digestion, composting/recycling programs, oil-to-biodiesel conversion and more to significantly reduce costs, minimize environmental impact and qualify the facility for a LEED Gold certification.”

    The National Restaurant Association recognition is no flash in the pan for Culinary and Hospitality Services. Beginning in 2011, Kennesaw State was ranked among the top 25 schools for best food by Newsweek. That nod was followed by a string of accolades beginning last summer when Kennesaw State joined Stanford and the University of Massachusetts in receiving top honors from the National Association of College and Food Services (NACUFS) for sustainability outreach and education. In September, The Daily Meal, an online publication dedicated to culinary trends and news, ranked Culinary and Hospitality Services 10th in its “52 Best Colleges for Food in America.” Kennesaw State last month received a prestigious NACUFS Loyal E. Horton Award for its dining hall, The Commons.

    “While Kennesaw State seeks to make a substantial impact on our campus, in our community and across the globe, we strive to reduce any negative impact on our environment,” President Papp said. “Along those lines, we recently launched a new bachelor’s degree in Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality that moves the farm-to-table concept from the plate to the bottom line, looking at the economic advantages of implementing sustainable practices throughout the food service industry.”

    As part of the new degree program, students will complete their internships in The Commons, which will include the opportunity to harvest honey from 42 bee colonies and grow heirloom varieties of vegetables and herbs across Kennesaw State’s three campus farms.

    "Graduates of our program will have a competitive advantage in the job market because they will have experiential learning in managing a facility at the top of its game," said Christian Hardigree, founding director of the Institute for Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality.

    Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.
  • 09 May 2013 2:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    More than 16 million kids in America don't get the food they need. You can help change this, and do something good for your business at the same time.

    Participation in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry is flexible. Restaurants can create their own custom promotion and materials or use the materials we’ve created. Popular fundraising methods include customer funded promotions, and, for smaller operations, menu promotions. You choose. The best way to raise funds is the way that fits your business best.

    Here's how Dine Out For No Kid Hungry works:
    1. Register your restaurant.
    It's free, and your restaurant gets on the map for consumers to find you.
    2. Learn how others have succeeded,
    both multi-unit and smaller or independent operations.
    3. Use the Online Resource Center
    for best practices, employee education tools, templates for media and marketing tools, customer communications - even POP materials to download or customize.
    4. Plan your fundraising activities and train your team by September 1.
    Reinforce your training throughout your program..
    5. Run your program during September/No Kid Hungry month.
    Include one or more days between September 15 and 21, the focus period for the national media campaign.
    6. Thank your customers and employees for supporting the No Kid Hungry campaign,
    send in the funds you raised, and enjoy the business boost.

    Questions? Contact Ashley Davis or call 202-734-3534.
  • 09 May 2013 1:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    May 7 marked the last day for Governor Deal to sign legislation into law passed from the 2013 General Assembly.

    Below is a list of bills that Governor Deal signed that the Chamber either deemed “Scorecard” issues for 2013 or were Chamber-backed legislation.

    Scorecard Legislation Signed into Law

    HB 154: Workers’ Compensation Reform - includes changes to the current worker’s compensation system that will manage employer costs while ensuring compensation for injured workers. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    HB 188: Aid to Military Families Seeking Employment Certification - designed to help qualified military veterans and their spouses certified or trained in certain skilled trades to obtain an expedited Georgia license or certification, expediting employment opportunities for trained veterans. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    HB 244: Improvements to Georgia’s Teacher Evaluation System - ties state teacher evaluations more directly to student achievement and builds a more transparent and uniform system to determine the effectiveness of teachers in Georgia’s classrooms beginning with the 2014-2015 school year. Law becomes effective July 1, 2014.

    HB 318: Georgia Tourism Development Act (includes Angel Investor Tax Credit and Invest Georgia) - updates the current process for granting tax exemptions for certain tourism projects. It also addresses a top Chamber priority – identifying new sources of venture capital funding for high-tech and start-up companies by extending the current angel investor tax credit and creating a new public-private mechanism for funding called Invest Georgia. Law is effective as of governor’s signature.

    HB 336: Changes to Offers of Settlement - clarifies the amount of time an insurer has to respond to an offer of settlement for certain claims and allows the defendant to make inquiries regarding the terms of the offer without that action being considered a counteroffer or rejection. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    HB: 361: State Labor Reforms - Paycheck Protection for Union Dues – allows employees to choose whether or not to be part of a union by requiring that authorization for union dues be renewed and allowing the revocation of that authorization at any time. The bill exempts any contract or collective bargaining agreement currently in place as well as any professional association composed exclusively of educators, firefighters or law enforcement officers. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    HB 372: HOPE Grant Eligibility - adjusts the academic qualifications for the state’s HOPE Grant – which provides tuition funding for technical college – in order to provide workforce training to more students. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    SB 24: Medicaid Funding Plan - allows the Georgia Department of Community Health to fill a shortfall in the state Medicaid program, protecting hospitals from having to cut important services, and helping many rural hospitals across the state avoid closure. Law was effective as of governor’s signature on 2/13/2013

    SB 113: Clarifying Laws for Issuing Summons to a Corporate Entity - amends Georgia law by codifying a more direct official process as to how a claimant can serve a corporate entity with a legal summons. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    Chamber-Supported bills Signed into Law

    HB 164: Sales Tax Exemption for Use of Certain Equipment/Property in Aircraft Maintenance - supports Georgia’s growing aviation industry by continuing the sales tax exemption for engines, parts, and property used in the maintenance and repair of aircraft. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    HB 475: Reciprocal Drivers’ Licenses - authorizes the Commissioner of Department of Driver Services (DDS) to establish a reciprocal driver's license program in Georgia with foreign nations. Individuals could only qualify for the reciprocal license program if their home country offers similar opportunities for Georgians and has similar driving rules and regulations. Law becomes effective July 1, 2013.

    SB 179: Public Contracts - SB 179 clarifies bonding requirements for state and local government public works projects, and allows government to provide contract incentives for early project completion and damages for late project completion. Law is effective as of governor’s signature.


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