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  • 26 Feb 2015 4:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    National Restaurant Association® Launches Regional Star of the Bar Competitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Read the full rules and regulations. 

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

    Restaurateurs Exemplify Opportunity, Achievement and Community Investment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Source: National Restaurant Association

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

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

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

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

    Seeking relief for restaurants

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

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

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

    Tell Congress to support legislation to stop patent trolls.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Atlanta Foodservice Expo is the only event in Georgia to bring together under one roof all sectors of the restaurant, foodservice, and hospitality industries with a broad range of the best suppliers. The third edition will be held October 19 – 20, 2015 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. For more information please visit www.AtlantaFoodserviceExpo.com.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    View the transcript of the chat on the NRA's website and continue to tweet your questions to us using hashtag #SecurePayment.
  • 05 Feb 2015 3:33 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Georgia Department of Revenue 


    The Georgia Department of Revenue has discovered a number of attempts to file fraudulent income tax returns for the 2014 filing season. DOR has reason to believe the fraudulent filings originated from data compromised through third-party security breaches. All information in the State’s tax computer system remains secure and has not been compromised.

    To date, the Department of Revenue has flagged a significant number of returns as potentially fraudulent. Georgia taxpayers who filed state income tax returns electronically prior to 2014 through third-party vendors are potentially affected. The Department of Revenue will reach out individually to alert those who are confirmed to have been victimized.

    “Securing taxpayers personal information is our first priority,” said Lynne Riley, Commissioner. “Our systems at the Georgia Department of Revenue have not been compromised but we believe it is our responsibility to alert taxpayers who may have potentially had their personal information compromised so they can take the necessary steps to protect themselves.”

    At this time it appears that numerous other states have identified similar problems. The Department of Revenue is taking extra precautions to verify filings and refunds to ensure that the correct taxpayer receives his or her proper refund. The Department of Revenue utilizes technology and resources to help protect and secure all taxpayer data. When inconsistencies in returns are identified, the Department of Revenue will contact the individual taxpayer. DOR is also in communication with the appropriate authorities on the matter.

    Taxpayers who have concerns about the security of their personal information can log onto Georgia Tax Center and set a notification when a tax return has been filed with their Social Security number.

    Please go to https://gtc.dor.ga.gov and click create my user name. The below video will guide a taxpayer through the process: http://dor.georgia.gov/videos/how-signup-online-access-individual

    How to Opt In/Out of Notifications:
    • Log in to your GTC account
    • Go into your Individual Account
    • Select the “Opt-in/out of Notifications” web request in the top right corner
    • Select Yes to opt- in
    • Select Submit
    • Click OK
    ###
  • 04 Feb 2015 8:34 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    February 4, 2015

    GEORGIA RESTAURANT NEIGHBOR AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR EXCELLENCE IN COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
    National Awards to be Presented in April

    Atlanta – Georgia Restaurant Association announced the state winners of the acclaimed National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Restaurant Neighbor Award. The national winners – chosen in early February from state awardees by a panel of restaurant and foodservice industry leaders from across the country – will be honored at a restaurant and foodservice industry gala awards ceremony in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 2015.

    The Restaurant Neighbor Award, developed in partnership with American Express, celebrates the outstanding charitable service performed by restaurant operators throughout the U.S. Created 17 years ago, this award recognizes the impact restaurants and entrepreneurs have made on their local communities.

    The 2015 Restaurant Neighbor Award winners from Georgia are:
    • Here To Serve Restaurants – An Atlanta based company, Here to Serve Restaurants does their part in giving back to the city and its foundations by running promotions in all 13 of their restaurants to donate a percentage of proceeds to multiple charities. Here To Serve Restaurants is involved with various organizations including: The Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Humane Society, Camp Twin Lakes, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Free To Breathe, GivingPoint, It's The Journey, Inc., Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Lupus Foundation, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Project Open Hand, Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research and the Simon Youth Foundation.
    • Norsan Group Restaurants – The philosophy of Norsan Group Restaurants is to give back and help the communities that they are part of, which is evident through the involvement of their restaurants Frontera Mex-Mex Grill, Luciano's Ristorante Italiano and Pampas Steakhouse. Pampas Steakhouse and Luciano's Ristorante Italiano have aided and sponsored various events to help numerous organizations such as the Atlanta Community Food Bank, the Georgia Aquarium and other local organizations. Meanwhile, Frontera Mex-Mex Grill aids organizations that range from schools, religious associations, girls/boy scouts groups and more.
    • Ray's on the River – For over 15 years, Ray's on the River has partnered with the Fragile Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that “was formed to assist those families in need of aid to care effectively for medically fragile children.” Ray's on the River hosts two annual events for Fragile Kids Foundation, a golf tournament and breakfast with Santa, where families who benefit from the services of the Foundation come to the restaurant to enjoy brunch and a visit with Santa.
    • Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow's Tavern – For over 16 years, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern have partnered with Special Olympics Georgia (SOGA), which “provides year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.” Each year, Sterling Spoon Culinary Management and Marlow’s Tavern host an annual golf tournament to benefit the organization. In addition to the golf tournament, Marlow's Tavern raises money for SOGA at the opening of each new location.
    • Tin Lizzy's Cantina – Tin Lizzy's Cantina is committed to giving back to each of the neighborhoods they serve by working with local nonprofits in their community. Their top projects include: Donating $1 from each taco sold on National Taco Day to Bert's Big Adventure as well as donating to It’s The Journey, Inc. Additional partners of Tin Lizzy's Cantina include: Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Habitat for Humanity, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Sunshine on a Ranney Day and more.
    • Unsukay Community of Businesses – Unsukay Community of Businesses is involved with numerous nonprofits and causes throughout Atlanta. In 2014 alone, Unsukay has participated in over 130 various nonprofit or charity events via direct involvement or in-kind donations of food and beverage. Most of Unsukay’s focus on giving back to the community is through The Giving Kitchen, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit cofounded by Ryan Turner, Chris Hall and Todd Mussman, whose mission is to provide crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s hospitality community facing unanticipated hardship.
    • Zaxby's – While each of the 650 Zaxby’s franchise locations contributes to their local community a little differently – volunteering, hosting fundraiser nights, or sponsoring local teams – youth have always been at the center. In 2011, Zaxby’s partnered with the Make-A-Wish Foundation to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical illnesses. Additionally, Zaxby’s has partnered with Always Play 4 Each Other (APIVEO) as well as Downtown Academy in Athens, Ga.
    “Each year, the Georgia Restaurant Association, in partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, recognizes people and businesses who exemplify the good work and great achievements that are possible in the restaurant industry,” said GRA Executive Director Karen Bremer. “This year’s winners showcase the philanthropic and entrepreneurial spirit unique to Georgia’s robust restaurant community – one that gives back in communities each and every day.”

    One Restaurant Neighbor Award winner will be named the coveted Cornerstone Humanitarian for exemplary philanthropic commitment. The NRAEF awards program also includes the Faces of Diversity American Dream Award, sponsored by PepsiCo Foodservice, and the Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award.

    “The NRAEF’s awards program honors the many ways restaurants support and enrich America’s communities,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president strategic operations and philanthropy, National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. “From the unlimited opportunity for people of all backgrounds to find success, to the countless ways in which restaurants invest in their communities, the awards help elevate the stories of impact that define our industry.”

    For a complete list of the 2014 state and national winners, please visit www.nraef.org/awards.

    For media inquiries, contact GRA Manager of Marketing and Communications Rachel Bell at (404) 467-9000 or rachel@garestaurants.org.

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

    About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation:
    As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the NRAEF exists to enhance the restaurant industry’s service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. The NRAEF works to attract, develop and retain a career-oriented professional workforce for the restaurant industry. The restaurant and foodservice industry comprises 980,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13 million employees, making it one of the nation's largest employers. For more information on the NRAEF, visit NRAEF.org.
    # # #

  • 04 Feb 2015 8:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Source: PR Newswire

    ATLANTA, Feb. 4, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Restaurant technology company Siftit announced today the launch of its new brand, Orderly. The announcement aligns with the release of Orderly's new entry-level product aimed at helping independent restaurants take control of their operations.

    "Orderly is more than a name, it's a movement," said Mark Haidet, founder and CEO of Orderly. "The name change represents our focus on helping independent restaurants get control of their operations so they can thrive. Just as a well prepped kitchen allows the chef to consistently deliver great meals, a well prepped business allows them to deliver consistently great results."

    Orderly's initial product, released in 2013, simplifies the process of ordering food from suppliers. Restaurants have since placed more than 26,000 orders through the mobile platform and currently purchase more than $2 million a month through the tool.

    "The result is more time, better decision making, and reduced costs," Haidet said.

    Building on this success, Orderly is introducing its new "Cost Control" app, an entry-level tool that allows restaurants to capture invoice data and create detail cost tracking reports without updating cumbersome spreadsheets. Later this year, Orderly plans to introduce its mobile inventory app for quick and simple inventory tracking.

    "We've spent the last two years inside hundreds of restaurants evolving our solution," Haidet said. "Restaurants that have managed the basics well have thrived, creating better customer satisfaction, higher employee retention, and a stronger profit stream. In today's chain-dominated, competitive market, independents can't get by with creativity alone. They must also be strong operators to survive. That's where we come in."

    Orderly's Cost Control, Ordering, and Inventory apps work independently or combined to provide a full management system. All solutions allow operators to simply capture data and export it into other back office or accounting systems they already use.

    "To thrive, restaurants need to build operational habits for success," Haidet said. "We make this possible by putting in their hands powerful tools that are simple to use, tools that chains have had for years but have been impractical for independents, until now. In our view, it was about damn time somebody invested in the success of independent restaurants."

    Orderly's latest products are available through its website www.getorderly.com.

    Media Contact
    Brennan Robison
    404-702-2206
    brennan@jbrpr.com
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