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  • 27 Jun 2014 11:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    (Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association (NRA), the leading business association for the restaurant and foodservice industry, today commended Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) for his leadership in introducing the “Auto Enroll Repeal Act” in the U.S. Senate. The bill eliminates the automatic enrollment requirement under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is redundant and unnecessary.

    “We thank Senator Isakson for addressing this challenging part of the health care law which could negatively impact both restaurant owners and their employees,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “The auto enrollment requirement could cause greater confusion for employees about their decision on coverage and create additional administrative burden for employers, without increasing employees access to coverage. Auto enrollment is unnecessary and redundant as it duplicates the requirement that larger employers offer coverage under the law’s employer mandate. In an industry where there are thousands of part-time, seasonal, and temporary workers, eliminating the auto enrollment provision will alleviate the potential negative financial impact on employees who inadvertently miss opt-out deadlines and free restaurant owners from additional unnecessary paperwork.”

    Currently, ACA requires employers with more than 200 full-time employees to automatically enroll all full-time employees in their lowest-cost coverage option unless the employee opts out within a certain time period.

    The NRA sent a letter to Senator Isakson supporting introduction and passage of this legislation which can be read here.

    Contact: Christin Fernandez (202) 331-5939

  • 26 Jun 2014 12:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: National Restaurant Association

    Recent moves by the National Labor Relations Board suggest the board wants to throw a wrench into the franchise business model by holding franchisors responsible for labor practices at stores solely operated by franchisees.

    At issue is the NLRB’s apparent desire to change its definition of “joint employer,” or how it determines whether an individual is employed by two independent companies. The current standard the NLRB uses requires that both employers are responsible for matters directly related to employment of an individual, such as hiring, firing, supervision and discipline, said Angelo Amador, National Restaurant Association vice president, labor and workforce policy.

    A redefinition could result in an erosion of the franchise business model by causing franchisors to exercise control over wages, hiring and other aspects of employment at franchisee-operated restaurants. This would limit the flexibility of franchisees in hiring and making other decisions regarding employment that are essential to operating a successful franchise, said Angelo Amador, National Restaurant Association vice president of labor and workforce policy.

    The NLRB is expected to issue internal guidance soon on whether it will consider McDonalds, USA, LLC as a joint employer in a group of current unfair labor practice complaints against individual franchisees, despite the fact that labor relations in the stores are solely the responsibility of the franchisees. While the memor refers to how the NLRB will proceed in this case,

    Unfair labor practice complaints are first considered by an administrative law judges. If the administrative law judge’s decision is appealed by either party, the complaint goes before the NLRB. If the NLRB’s decision is appealed, the complaint is sent to the court of appeals in the district in which it was filed.

    The NLRB has also made the joint employer standard a focus in a current unfair labor practice complaint the board is hearing against Browning Ferris Industries and has asked interested parties to submit briefs on whether the board should continue to adhere to its current standard or adopt a new standard, as well as what should be included in a new standard if one is adopted. The National Restaurant Association will join other industry groups and file a brief urging the NLRB not to change its joint employer standard.

    The NLRB’s push to change the joint employer definition was a focus of a hearing this week by a House subcommittee. Andrew Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, testified on the damage the change could inflict not only on franchisors, but also on entrepreneurship and the economy.

    “If franchisors are considered joint employers with their franchisees, the cost of increased staff and increased risk will most likely translate into franchisors charging higher royalty rates and fees, perhaps significantly higher,” Puzder testified. “Franchisor control over a franchisee’s labor force, and the risk and higher royalty fees associated with it, have the potential to chill the desire of franchisors to acquire a franchise or develop new units, at a time when the country desperately needs economic growth.”

    The NRA endorsed Puzder’s testimony in a letter to subcommittee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), reaffirming its position that holding franchisors accountable for franchisees’ labor practices would “extinguish the joint employer standard that has helped this economy create millions of restaurant jobs through the franchisor/franchisee model.”
  • 26 Jun 2014 9:57 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Source: Roll Call

    By Dawn Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Restaurant Association

    Griselda Barajas’ first work experience was in a Houston restaurant. After immigrating to the United States from Mexico when she was 12 years old, Griselda spent many hours at her self-proclaimed home away from home, Ninfa’s, a legendary Tex-Mex chain where her mother and father waited tables. It’s where she honed the skills that would inspire her to start her own catering business and café at age 21 in Sacramento, creating jobs and opportunities for hundreds of people. Griselda is just one of the restaurateurs who was honored this year at the National Restaurant Association’s annual Public Affairs Conference in Washington.

    Women like Griselda have undeniably helped to shape the recovery and economic growth of this nation. Success stories like hers are not uncommon in the restaurant industry, and we are incredibly proud of the leadership role that women play in our industry, making it a field where women succeed more quickly and in larger numbers than most others.

    Our industry provides opportunities to women of all ages and at all stages of their career, from high school and college students getting their start to managers and owners. The restaurant industry has more women in management and ownership positions than virtually any other industry. Forty-five percent of managers are women compared to (an average of) 38 percent in other industries. A majority of restaurant businesses are owned or co-owned by women.

    There are scores of women who have grown within the restaurant industry – moving through jobs from high school or college and transitioning from part-time jobs into successful careers. Take, for example, Jackie Trujillo, who started her 50-year career in the restaurant business as a “car hop.” Jackie has spent her entire career with franchise corporation Harman Management, holding virtually every restaurant job possible, and today is the company’s Chairman Emeritus. Along the way, she helped establish the Women’s Foodservice Forum, an organization created in 1988 to help advance and empower women leaders.

    Women-owned businesses are thriving in our industry, growing at a faster rate than the overall restaurant industry. Between 1997 and 2007 (the most current figures available), the number of women-owned restaurants jumped 50 percent. During the same 10-year period, the total number of restaurant businesses in the U.S. rose by 36 percent.

    The restaurant and foodservice industry is the nation’s second-largest private sector employerundefinedproviding jobs to nearly 10 percent of our workforceundefinedand women hold a majority of these jobs. According to our research, 61 percent of adult women say they have worked in the restaurant industry at some point during their life, while 37 percent say the first job they ever had was in a restaurant.

    Ninety-two percent of women who have worked in a restaurant say that the restaurant industry is a good place to get a first job and learn basic working skills, while 75 percent say they would recommend that a family member or friend get a job in the restaurant industry.

    That’s because workers recognize the opportunities for advancement to help them get ahead and the stability to secure fulfilling careers. We are proud of our role in providing good-paying jobs and opportunities for women to advance their careers, while also providing all of our workers with flexible schedules that allow them to balance their family or education priorities with their work.

    As a result of these flexible schedules and opportunities for growth, the restaurant industry spawns more than successful careers for women; it also gives many the chance to give back while working at the same time. At Passport Pizza in Michigan, Sue LaTour started a program that turns out 3,000 meals weekly for food pantries, veterans and those in need. Her restaurant company employs 75 people just north of Detroit and has become a force of good. Today, Sue is running out of space and hopes to turn the program, currently run out of her restaurant, into a not-for-profit.

    Like Passport Pizza, so many of our restaurants have an important impact on the community, and many of the small business owners are recognized as leaders in their communities. Take restaurateur Lesley Cohn, for example. Lesley co-founded the Garfield High School Foundation and culinary arts program, featuring a $2 million state-of-the-art kitchen, serving line and lecture center. It’s where teenage students that are considered high risk for dropping out of school have an opportunity to learn culinary skills that prepare them for future careers in the restaurant industry, where they can build on classroom experience and become community role models themselves. To date, the program has graduated more than 2,000 students in San Diego.

    Griselda Barajas, Jackie Trujillo, Sue LaTour and Lesley Cohn are just four of the millions of women across the country who demonstrate the impact restaurants have made on their local communities. We are proud of our industry - one that gives employees the chances and the skills they need to build successful careers to support themselves, their families and our communities.

    This is sponsored content written by the National Restaurant Association. It does not reflect Roll Call's editorial view.
  • 26 Jun 2014 8:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    CNBC's new show, RESTAURANT STARTUP, is on a quest to discover, develop, and invest in America's next generation of culinary superstars.

    Restaurant moguls Joe Bastianich and Tim Love vie against each other to invest their own money in concepts they think can make big profits. Waylynn Lucas serves as their cuinary consultant.

    Casting Tip: Seeking unique food or restaurant concepts with 2 or more owners. Some "skin in the game" proves to our investors that you are serious about your concept. Whether you're looking to open your first restaurant or hoping to expand into a second or third location, you may be considered. Must to 18 years or older.

    To apply, visit

  • 25 Jun 2014 4:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Flowers Foods

    THOMASVILLE, Ga., June 23, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) is voluntarily recalling the following brands of Bar-B-Q bread because they may contain undeclared milk. People who have allergies to dairy products run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products. No illnesses have been reported to date.

    Sunbeam Bar-B-Q Bread, UPC 0 77633 05303 1, code date of JUL 3 180 172
    Bunny Bar-B-Q Bread, UPC 0 71025 01500 3, code date of JUL 3 180 172
    Flowers Deli Bar-B-Q Bread, UPC 0 72250 01866 1, code date of JUL 3 180 172
    Ingles Pull-Apart Bar-B-Q Bread, UPC 0 86854 01543 8, code date of JUL 3 180 172

    The recalled product involves the following distribution:

    To retail stores in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee

    The recall was initiated after Flowers discovered that product containing milk was distributed in packaging that did not reveal the presence of milk.

    Less than 3,000 loaves of bread are involved in the recall. Much of the product involved has been contained within Flowers' distribution system. Out of an abundance of caution, Flowers issued the voluntary recall and is advising its trade customers to withdraw this product from sale. The company is in the process of recovering the product involved and is in contact with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to ensure the continued safety of those consumers who may be impacted by this issue. The company also has reported the recall to FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education).

    Consumers who have purchased Sunbeam, Bunny, Flowers Deli, and Ingles Pull-Apart Bar-B-Q bread with the UPC and date code noted are urged to return it to the place of purchase for product replacement or refund. No other Sunbeam, Bunny, Flowers Deli, or Ingles breads are included in this recall.

    Consumers with questions may call Flowers' Consumer Relations Center at 1-866-245-8921. The center is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern. Consumers also may contact the center via e-mail by visiting the Contact Us page at

    SOURCE Flowers Foods

    Mary Krier, 229-227-2333
  • 25 Jun 2014 10:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Taquerias & Tequila launches at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival this year. This all-inclusive ticketed event features a South of the Border take on fare from some of Atlanta's favorite restaurants and chefs. Guests will enjoy tequila and beer sampling, mild to picante bites and get the chance to smack a piñata. Ole!

    This ticketed event will be held under the Pavilions at Grant Park, overlooking the main festival stage. The event will take place on Saturday & Sunday and feature some of the area’s favorite restaurants providing their interpretation or version of a taco. It will also include beer, wine and tequila tasting, private restrooms and more! The attendees of this event will include those that have purchased tickets, key sponsors and invited media.

    Event date: Saturday, August 23 and Sunday, August 24, 2014
    Time: 1 – 5 p.m.

    The event will be publicized over a broad spectrum of media including: television, radio, print, online and email blasts. As a participating restaurant, you and/or your logo will be included on the Summer Shade Festival’s website, email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter, program guide (100,000 copies!), press releases and more! We are also working with the Georgia Restaurant Association as a promotional partner of the event.

    There is not a fee to participate in this event. We simply ask that you provide food samples that showcase your restaurant and that you staff your station throughout the event (we will also have volunteer support). We will let you know the week of the event the number of samples required. We are estimating 500-600 attendees per day. We also ask that you promote Taquerias & Tequila internally via in-house promos, email blasts, Facebook, etc. We require that all restaurants stay the duration of the event with samples in order to provide the best experience for the attendees. As a 501-c3, the Grant Park Conservancy uses this event as one of its major fundraisers. All of the proceeds of the event support the Grant Park Conservancy.

    You can submit an application by visiting look forward to working with you to make this a great event! Please feel free to contact us with any questions.

    Launch Atlanta
    678.560.2466 Ext. 4
  • 24 Jun 2014 9:20 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Community Farmers Markets

    That means Georgia peaches are ripe and ready! We are celebrating at each of the markets with four exciting culinary competitions where you can taste the creativity and talent of Atlanta's cooks and vote for the best peach recipes! There will be music, lovely people, special peachy treats and samples from your favorite vendors and of course many many peaches!!! Peach Jam is open to the public and free to attend.

    You can still register to compete for one of the prizes and the honorable title of Peach Jam Champion! We welcome participants from all different backgrounds, whether you hold a secret recipe passed down through generations or have crafted a signature recipe of your own, sign up and put it to the taste!

    Decatur BBQ Sauce Competition
    We will celebrate opening day of Peach Jam with pulled pork BBQ, cooked and donated by Burnt Fork BBQ, Revolution Doughnut's Peach Iced Tea, Live music, and, of course, the Peach BBQ sauce competition!

    Click here for more info
    Sign up to compete here
    or here to volunteer!

    Jam and Jelly Competition
    Think you have the best jam or jelly recipe to showcase the delicious GA peaches? Then join us for the inaugural season of the Peach Jam/Jelly contest at DFM. Patrons will enjoy Ratio Bakeshop biscuits to pair with their favorite jam before they vote with their spoon! Also included is Peach Iced Tea from Revolution Doughnuts, Peach Beer from Terrapin, and more!

    Click here for more info
    Sign up to compete here
    or here to volunteer!

    EAV Cocktail Competition
    EAVFM will move across the street along side of the Midway Pub to join with the best mixologists from around Atlanta. Come sample the cunningly creative drinks concocted with Pearson Peaches and your favorite market ingredients, as well as Peach Beer from Terrapin and other tasty beverages from last year's cocktail competition winner.

    Click here for more info
    Sign up to compete here
    or here to volunteer!

    Cobbler Competition
    Sample traditional and new takes on this mouth watering dessert beginning at 11:30am. Witness the coronation of the best cobbler in town by celebrity judges and experience all things peachy from your favorite vendors!

    Click here for more info
    Sign up to compete here
    or here to volunteer!

    Each competition comes with the grand prize of:
    • A $100 gift certificate
    • An article featuring you and your recipe in Creative Loafing
    • A handmade Peach Jam 2014 trophy &
    • A coveted Peach Jam hat!
    Think you've got what it takes to be a winner? Sign up!

    Wanna volunteer? Sign Up!
  • 23 Jun 2014 9:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    GRA members ONE. midtown kitchen and Six Feet Under were featured on this past weekend's episode of Atlanta Eats.

    ONE. midtown kitchen - ONE delivers the kind of experience we’ve come to expect form a Concentrics restaurant undefined great space, interesting decor that provides its own talking points, and a high standard of training for the serving staff. Whether you’re looking for a romantic hideaway or a place to meet co-workers, ONE Midtown Kitchen is the perfect place. Click here to watch the recap.

    Six Feet Under - A Grant Park staple since 2002, this pub and fish house is set directly across from the Oakland Cemetery. Hence the name. And hence menu items such as Spicy Rat Toes. But if you think this menu is full of graveyard gimmicks, you’re dead wrong. Click here to watch the recap.

  • 20 Jun 2014 11:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Poised for New Growth, Managing Director and General Manager Take the Helm

    Atlanta (Friday, June 20, 2014) - Affairs to Remember Caterers, Atlanta's first Zero Waste Zones caterer and one of the largest privately held off-premise luxury caterers in the United States, today announced that Patrick Cuccaro, formerly General Manager, and Rich Wilner, formerly Director of Sales, are taking on expanded roles in a strategic shift.

    "We have spent the last 36 years burnishing our brand", said Cuccaro, "and now we will focus the next 10 years on leveraging our brand to its fullest." To accomplish that, Mr. Cuccaro and Mr. Wilner, Affairs to Remember's top two executives, have been promoted to Managing Director and General Manager, respectively.

    Wilner is assuming the role played for the preceding 10 years by Cuccaro, heading up the management team that includes the culinary, sales, operations, service, stewarding, linen and warehouse departments.

    Cuccaro's role focuses on expanding the reach of the company, forging strategic relationships regionally that include contracts with the Southeast's top event facilities and expansion of services.

    The two executives have worked closely for the last 16 years to help create the catering company that was recently awarded the coveted title of "Best Caterer in the South" by Catersource. They have also brought the distinction to the company of being Atlanta's first Zero Waste Zones caterer, a core commitment to sustainability that led to the company last year celebrating having diverted more than 300 tons of recoverable materials away from Georgia's landfills.

    Affairs to Remember's leaders have active lives outside of work, as well. Cuccaro is a published playwright whose productions have appeared across the Southeast, the most recent being his musical comedy slammergirls that was produced by Footlight Players at Charleston's world-renowned Piccolo Spoleto Festival. Wilner spends most of his spare time with his family and working with nonprofits.

    Affairs to Remember Caterers, over the decades, has earned dozens of prestigious awards and top slots on numerous 'Best Of' lists in Atlanta and nationwide. Wilner said, "I'm honored and proud to lead one of the country's largest and most popular catering companies. I look forward to creatively and strategically using my years of hospitality industry experience and expertise to lead an incredible team to the next evolution in luxury catering."

    About Affairs to Remember Caterers
    Affairs to Remember Caterers is one of the largest privately held, full-service luxury catering companies in the United States. Our award-winning services include expertise in off-premise catering, site selection, décor, music, entertainment, tent rental, lighting, linens, ice carvings and photography. Our 36 years of success can be attributed to the company’s innovative menus, impeccable service, attention to detail, and reliability. Clients count on us to guide them through an exciting, memorable experience. For more information, please call (404) 872-7859 or visit

    Travis S. Taylor
    Director of Communications
    (404) 872-7859 x22

    # # #
  • 18 Jun 2014 10:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Leading Economist Finds State Wage Increase Would Cost Taxpayers $164 Million Annually

    Restaurant Industry Workers and Women Singled Out

    A new study released today shows that proposed legislation to increase the minimum wage would eliminate 21,460 jobs – nearly half of which are held by women. According to data from the Census Bureau, the wages of approximately 60,562 state and local employees would be affected by an increase to $10.10 in Georgia, for a combined cost to taxpayers of over $164 million annually.

    “As our state’s economy begins stabilizing and adding jobs, now is not the time to prevent hiring and squeeze business owners already razor-thin bottom lines,” said Karen Bremer, executive director of the Georgia Restaurant Association. “We should focus on commonsense solutions that create jobs and promote opportunities for workers of all experience levels. Across the board wage increases will hurt those who need help the most.”

    The study, authored by Dr. David Macpherson of Trinity University, outlined the negative impact on employment and local budgets due to an increase in the minimum wage – specifically the high loss of employment and the unwanted cost to taxpayers.

    According to the study, while many industries would be impacted negatively if the wage were increased, three sectors would be hit the hardest: retail trade; arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodations and food services; and education services. The restaurant industryundefined particularly tipped workers undefined would be especially affected.

    Full text of the Georgia study can be found HERE.

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