• 23 Sep 2013 11:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    GRA member Bistro Niko, part of Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, was  featured on this past week’s episode of Atlanta Eats.

    Bistro Niko: In the beating heart of Buckhead is a French restaurant like no other in the city. With decor that’s reminiscent of the classic dining rooms of the 1920s, all that’s missing to make the place feel like burlesque Paris is a stage and Josephine Baker. Of course, if that’s what you’re missing, Atlanta has other places for you, you just won’t find Atlanta Eats cameras there (or, indeed, any cameras).

    But back to the bar, because that’s usually where you’ll find the Atlanta Eats team. Along with an extensive wine list with a giant range of French reds, whites, and champagne, Bistro Niko stocks beers from France, Germany, Italy, England, and right here in Georgia.

    And how about the food? Whether the charcuterie Grand Platter is your thing, or Herb Goat Cheese Ravioli, Shrimp En Brique or Steak Au Poivre, there is a classic French dish to match your palate, and the best thing is this: it’s all really good.

    Click here to view the clip!
  • 20 Sep 2013 2:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Restaurant Association

    The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation is looking for its 2014 class of Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity award winners.

    The NRAEF started accepting nominations for the two awards Sept. 16, and will name its winners at a gala celebration during the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference next year.

    The Restaurant Neighbor award, co-founded and sponsored by American Express, honors winners in four categories: small business, mid-size business, large business/national chain and Cornerstone Humanitarian. The award recognizes the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant members. Each winner receives $5,000 to support their charitable giving efforts. Participating state restaurant associations select winners in their respective states who then go on to compete for the national award.

    The Faces of Diversity award, co-founded and sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice, recognizes three individuals as national winners. The award celebrates members of the restaurant industry who, through hard work and perseverance, have achieved the American Dream. Each winner will have a $2,500 NRAEF student scholarship presented in his or her name.

    “The Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity awards spotlight the success stories of hardworking entrepreneurs and local heroes for their commitment to the industry and their communities,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president of philanthropic initiatives for the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “The restaurant sector is one of the most diverse in the United States, and the nominations we receive only reinforce how the industry makes a meaningful difference in people’s lives every day. We encourage those within the industry to share the inspirational stories of their employees and peers by nominating them for these two prestigious awards.”

    Applications and nomination forms will be accepted online until Nov. 18 at For more information on the award programs, visit
  • 18 Sep 2013 8:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    A limited number of P.F. Chang's Home Menu Pork and Leek Dumpling frozen appetizer sold at retail in 12.5 ounce bags is being recalled due to the possible presence of undeclared allergens, crustacean shellfish (shrimp) and fish (pollock). There have been no reported cases of illness. This recall does not affect any P.F. Chang's restaurants. No other P.F. Chang's® brand products are affected by this limited voluntary recall.

    The packaging indicates that the product is distributed by Unilever, based in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, because Unilever produces the P.F. Chang's Home Menu Pork and Leek Dumpling Frozen Appetizers for retail sale by ConAgra Foods.

    The following products are subject to recall:

    Product Brand Name: P.F. Chang's Home Menu Pork and Leek Dumplings
    UPC: 0 36200 21215 8
    The product is packaged in upright bags with a net weight of 12.5 OZ (354 g) and bears the following lot codes.

    0663 312871
    0663 312971
    The product has the following Use By dates:

    Use By MAY082014
    Use By MAY092014
    The establishment making all affected product:

    EST 21892
    The products were produced from May 8, 2013 through May 9, 2013 and distributed to retail establishments in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

    This product is a food safety concern only for people who are allergic to crustacean shellfish or fish.

    The company will work with retail customers to ensure that the recalled products are removed from store shelves. Consumers who purchased this product that are at risk for suffering allergic reactions should not consume it and should call 1-800-282-8070 for product replacement.

    The problem was discovered through a consumer complaint. Anyone concerned about an allergic reaction should contact a physician.

    (800) 282-8070

    Monique Farmer
    (402) 240-5781
  • 17 Sep 2013 2:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Don Fox, CEO of Firehouse Subs

    October 1st will be a watershed moment. On that day, the Affordable Care Act’s “Health Insurance Exchanges” will go into effect, and every working American will be informed by their employer what options they have regarding health insurance.

    A huge piece of the puzzle is still missing, however. Some employers, large and small, are in an almost impossible position to make a final, well-informed decision on what plans to offer their employees: As of the date of this writing, we have not received a definitive, binding quote for a policy that would meet at least the minimum requirements of the ACA. Perhaps these quotes are imminent, but our original expectation is that we would have quotes back in May or June. As it now stands, we are under the gun to notify our employees, and we are empty-handed.

    Without this centrally important information about the policies we can offer, businesses are unable to offer our employees the help they deserve. Without such knowledge, they can’t know how much their new insurance plans will cost them-making monthly budgeting an impossibility for American families.

    This also places an obligation on us to put the pieces together at the very last minute, with no regard to cost. The government might operate in such a haphazard and ill-informed way when it comes to financial matters, but when businesses do that, it is universally recognized as incompetence, if not outright negligence.

    Unfortunately, this isn’t the only problem that the Affordable Care Act has forced upon both employees and employers.

    The most pressing problem is the ACA’s definition of a full-time employee as someone who works 30 hours per week. This definition defies conventional wisdom and common sense about the historical view of full-time employment.

    As a result of the law, scheduling of employees will become more rigid. Put plainly, the ACA undermines the flexibility of scheduling that has helped ensure a quality dining experience for customers, not to mention provided employees the convenience of flexible schedules and the ability to earn more income as their time permits. Employees throughout the restaurant industry have embraced and enjoyed this benefit for decades, and they are about to lose it. As it stands, the net effect of these requirements will be a limitation of the earning potential of the 13.1 million of American who work in the restaurant industry.

    In the end, many industry employees are going to feel the law’s squeeze through diminished hours, and thus lower pay. At the same time, they’ll be forced to buy health insurance that’s now much more difficult to afford…or that, quite simply, they do not wish to purchase. It’s a double-whammy of lower pay and higher costsundefinedthe worst combination for both businesses and families.

    Thus, many employees in our industry will be penalized from all sides, all because of the unintended consequences of a poorly designed law.

    I am blessed to have a business that can afford some of these changes. We have had a great health insurance program for our salaried employees for many years, and we are still planning on implementing insurance for our full time hourly employees effective 2014, despite having been granted the one-year relief by the Administration. But not all businesses are in the same boat, and I have great empathy for those employers who simply do not have the financial capacity to absorb the additional financial burdens.

    We already know that these burdens will exist; such is the nature of any business mandate. Unfortunately, we cannot know just how costly the ACA will truly be. There are many decisions that need to be made by businesses that cannot be made with any level of prudent judgment unless and until the actual cost and availability of qualifying insurance is known. And as it now stands, that information does not exist.

    This doesn’t mean that the Affordable Care Act can’t be fixed. Obviously, the issues of health care and health insurance are complicated, intertwined affairs, and I will not pretend to hold all of the answers for dealing with them for the long term. But right now, there’s little prospect that all of the pieces will come together in such little time for the proper and prudent implementation of the employer notification and subsequent personal mandate.

    The law needs to be both delayed and reformed: only then can it better reflect the realities and sensibilities of both employers and employees.

    Don Fox is the Chief Executive Officer of Firehouse Subs
  • 13 Sep 2013 4:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - MINNEAPOLIS, September 09, 2013 - Talenti® Gelato & Sorbetto is voluntarily initiating a product recall of Talenti German Chocolate Cake Gelato pints with the UPC # 1 8685200063 1 with a BEST BY DATE of 11/04/2014 M1, 11/24/2014 M1, and 11/24/2014 M2 as a precautionary measure. The recall was initiated after it was discovered by the firm that the product may contain undeclared almonds.

    This recall affects pints of product with the BEST BY DATE of 11/04/2014 M1, 11/24/2014 M1, and 11/24/2014 M2 on the bottom of the container.

    For consumers who are not allergic to almonds, there is no safety issue with the product. The company has received no reports of illnesses associated with this product. People who are allergic to almonds could have a serious or life-threatening reaction if they consume this product.

    No other Talenti Gelato branded products are affected by this voluntary recall.

    Consumers in possession of the recalled product that have an allergy to almonds should not consume it and should discard it. Consumers with questions may contact the company at (612) 455-8104, Monday – Friday, 7am – 7pm, EDT.

    (612) 455-8104

  • 13 Sep 2013 1:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    September is Hunger Action Month and there are plenty of ways that you can get involved! Whether it’s volunteering, hosting a food drive or spreading the word of what the Atlanta Community Food Bank does, you can help make a difference. Join the Atlanta Community Food Bank and Feeding America to take action against the issue of hunger.

    To learn more about how you can help make a difference, please visit
  • 13 Sep 2013 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Associated Press

    ATLANTA — Secretary of State Brian Kemp is declaring September as Voter Registration Month in Georgia. 

    Kemp said in a statement this week that he is working with various officials to make eligible voters aware of registration deadlines and requirements for the upcoming general election on Nov. 5. 

    Georgia residents have until Oct. 7 to register to vote for the general election.

    Residents can download a mail-in voter registration application on the Secretary of State's website or obtain the form at their local county elections office, public library or government offices. Registration is also offered when residents renew or apply for a driver's license.

    The National Association of Secretaries of State established September as National Voter Registration Month to encourage voter participation and increase awareness of state requirements and deadlines for voting.

    Link to the Voter Registration page:
  • 13 Sep 2013 11:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    By Todd Rushing
    Appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution 
    September 12, 2013

    My partner Bob Amick and I own and operate five restaurants in Atlanta employing 300 people. Our employees are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. They are cooks, dishwashers and service staff, all vital to a restaurant’s success.

    We need Congress to repair the immigration system so it benefits our business and the economy. We need stronger border security and immigration law enforcement. Congress must also provide businesses a way to verify if new hires are legally eligible to work.

    Most unauthorized immigrants are otherwise law-abiding, hard-working individuals whose work bolsters U.S. prosperity and sustains jobs. We should allow them to earn their way onto the right side of the law. Meaningful reform, however, must look beyond today’s unauthorized immigrants. The heart of reform is mending the immigration system so it works for America’s future, admitting the immigrants we need and preventing future illegal immigration.

    Our restaurants pay well above the minimum wage, between $9.50 and $19 an hour. However, the U.S. labor force has changed dramatically. Today’s workers are more educated than the generation before and have other employment options. Often, there are not enough willing and able Americans to answer the labor shortage. The restaurant sector is not unique. Many indispensable industries rely on less-skilled immigrants. Without this workforce, these sectors would be severely hobbled or collapse.

    The greatest problem is there is virtually no legal way for less-skilled foreigners without family in the U.S. to enter the country and work in year-round jobs. The two, existing, temporary worker programs for less-skilled workers are for seasonal labor on farms and at summer and winter resorts. There are virtually no permanent visas for less-skilled workers who want to settle in the United States.

    Congress needs to fill this gap by developing a visa program for less-skilled, non-farm workers. Employers should hire Americans first and pay decent wages. If they cannot find enough U.S. workers, however, they should be able to hire foreign workers quickly, easily and legally. Any new program should also respond in real time to changing U.S. labor needs, growing in prosperous years when the economy needs more foreign workers, and shrinking in down times when more Americans are out of work.

    Without a workable temporary visa program, the nation cannot hope to end illegal immigration. An overwhelming majority of the 11 million unauthorized immigrants in the U.S. today would rather be here legally. Without a legal way for less-skilled workers to come to the U.S. in the future, we will find ourselves in exactly the same predicament undefined wondering what to do about a new influx of millions of unauthorized immigrants.

    Fixing our broken immigration system cannot be put off. If we do not create a legal way for less-skilled immigrants to enter the country and work, we will not restore the rule of law and will guarantee that millions more come to the U.S. illegally. The stakes could hardly be higher. We need Congress to act decisively and swiftly.

    Todd Rushing is part-owner of Concentrics Restaurants.
  • 13 Sep 2013 8:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    ATLANTA, September 13, 2013 – What’s the best way to enjoy a National League East-leading, Atlanta Braves baseball game at Turner Field? The answer: stop by a TEAM Georgia operated #NoDUI Designated Driver Booth, sponsored by Coors Light, sign up to be your party’s designated driver, get a free soda courtesy of ARAMARK, enter to win a raffle prize and make it a safe and memorable day.

    TEAM Georgia proudly reports that it will be expanding its #NoDUI Designated Driver campaign at Turner Field for every Braves home game with a new, state of the art Coors Light Designated Driver Booth (photo at bottom of release).

    “We know that for many legal-drinking-age fans, enjoying a beer at the ballpark is part of the baseball experience,” said Pam Perri, responsibility initiatives manager for MillerCoors. “We encourage fans to enjoy the game responsibly and designate a driver to ensure their party gets home safely.”

    Recently the Atlanta Braves recognized TEAM Georgia for 25 years of service at Turner Field, signing up tens of thousands of designated drivers during that period -

    “The Braves are proud to continue our partnership with TEAM Georgia and expand the #NoDUI campaign at Turner Field, in partnership with Coors Light. It is because of TEAM Georgia and Coors Light that our fans have encouragement to secure a designated driver and enjoy the ball game in a responsible way,” said Jim Allen, VP of Corporate Partnerships for the Atlanta Braves.

    “Our number one goal is to educate and secure fan commitment to have a designated driver for the game, we are ecstatic that our efforts encourage all fans to act responsibility on the roadways,” said Ron Fennel, Chairperson, TEAM Georgia.

    About TEAM Georgia
    Since 1985, TEAM Georgia ( has worked to save lives and reduce injuries on Georgia's roads and waterways. We draw on the support of public safety officials, law enforcement, professional sports teams and venues and a wide range of corporations and individual volunteers to end impaired driving. TEAM Georgia’s goal is to educate and secure fan commitment to be designated drivers and encourage all fans to act responsibly, particularly on the roadways and waterways of our state.

    TEAM Georgia Designated Driver Booths are located at Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, Philips Arena and the Gwinnett Arena. Designated Driver Booth volunteers encourage fans to secure a designated driver when attending sporting, music and cultural events at these venues. Volunteers seek fans to sign up as designated drivers prior to and during games at these professional sporting venues. Since the Designated Driver Booth programs began, over 320,000 individuals have pledged to serve as Designated Drivers and received information on impaired driving and Georgia’s DUI laws.

    About MillerCoors
    MillerCoors brews, markets and sells the MillerCoors portfolio of brands in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Built on a foundation of great beer brands and nearly 300 years of brewing heritage, MillerCoors continues the commitment of its founders to brew the highest quality beers. MillerCoors is the second-largest beer company in America, capturing nearly 30 percent of U.S. beer sales. Led by two of the best-selling beers in the industry, Coors Light and Miller Lite, MillerCoors has a broad portfolio of highly complementary brands across every major industry segment. The company offers a variety of leading craft and import brands, including Blue Moon and Leinenkugel’s, through its Tenth and Blake division. MillerCoors operates eight major breweries in the U.S., as well as the Leinenkugel’s craft brewery in Chippewa Falls, Wisc., and two microbreweries, the 10th Street Brewery in Milwaukee and the Blue Moon Brewing Company at Coors Field in Denver. MillerCoors insists on building its brands the right way through brewing quality, responsible marketing and environmental and community impact. MillerCoors is a joint venture of SABMiller plc and Molson Coors Brewing Company. Learn more at, at or on Twitter through @MillerCoors.

    Media Contacts:
    Ted Terry
    Program Coordinator
    TEAM Georgia

    Bob Cucchi
    Executive Director
    TEAM Georgia

    Courtney Schiesher for MillerCoors
  • 12 Sep 2013 12:54 PM | Deleted user

    Advice to restaurateurs for running smarter and more environmentally-efficient businesses

    Operating an eco-friendly business does not mean forsaking your quality of food or service, but it’s, in fact, becoming the opposite. The National Restaurant Association recently produced a report on sustainability best practices for the foodservice industry, which includes input from the Clinton Global Initiative, Starbucks, Chipotle, and renowned chef Rick Bayless among many others.

    Chef Bayless reminded us that sustainability means investing in local communities and growing local flavors. This deviation from the trend of importing exotic or foreign ingredients led Bayless to form the Frontera Farmers Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides small grants to local farms.

    Also included in the report are ways to design and manage a sustainable foodservice facility without much effort, but will take some planning. One of the first steps to take in energy reduction are researching and asking the right questions, which can reduce food waste up to 80 percent annually according to the report. 

    A further detailing of topics, tips and trends can be found in the full report by visiting the NRA’s official website or by clicking here to download the PDF.


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