Listen to the program.
GRA CEO Karen Bremer and Restaurateur Federico Castellucci III talk minimum wage on "Closer Look" with Rose Scott
Today’s special edition of “Closer Look” focuses on the minimum wage in Georgia and across the country, as part of our “Paycheck to Paycheck” series.
Listen to the program.
The Georgia Restaurant Association is asking its members to voluntarily post signs in restrooms to help victims of human trafficking.
Georgia law requires such signs to be posted in bars, bus stops, hotels, urgent care centers and other locations, but not in restaurants. The signs are to include a hotline for the National Human Trafficking Resource Center: 1-888-373-7888.
Because of a law that was passed last year by the Board of Commissioners, some restaurants in Fulton County are required to post signage.
The problem is that the law can only be enforced within a small area of Fulton County, Chairman Robb Pitts said at a news conference Monday, which was broadcast live on Facebook.
Source: FOX5 Atlanta
Atlanta is now one of the biggest transportation hubs for sex trafficking in the nation.
Monday, Georgia's restaurants teamed up with Fulton County Commission Chairman Rob Pitts to fight back against this growing problem.
The Georgia Restaurant Association, which serves as the voice for more than 18,000 in Georgia, will post potentially life-saving information about what sex trafficking is and information for victims in restaurant restrooms.
Chairman Pitts said one reason for this new push against sex trafficking is because the Super Bowl coming to Atlanta in February and that the event is one of the number one attractions for sex trafficking in the world.
The Georgia Restaurant Association, which serves as the voice for more than 18,000 restaurants in the state, is joining efforts to fight sex trafficking by posting potentially life-saving information in restaurant restrooms.
The signs raise visibility of the issue of sex trafficking, and include the National Trafficking Hotline, providing potentially life-saving information for sex trafficking victims.
Leaders of the association joined with Fulton County Commission Chairman Robb Pitts Monday at Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead to make the announcement.
Among those in attendance was well-known Atlanta attorney BJ Bernstein who has represented many sex trafficking victims over the years. Those victims, she said, come from all backgrounds.
Souce: East Cobb News
Your November election ballot will include a Cobb brunch bill referendum that would expand Sunday alcoholic beverage service at restaurants and hotels.
The Cobb Board of Commissioners voted 4-0 on Tuesday on its consent agenda to put the referendum on the ballot. The question, if approved by voters, would allow service from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Sundays (here’s resolution information).
Here’s the language that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Currently restaurants and hotels in Georgia cannot serve alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays. Cobb has allowed Sunday restaurant and hotel alcohol sales since 1982.
The Georgia legislature this year approved SB 17, the so-called “brunch bill,” that was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal (here’s the legislation). It allows local governments to hold referendums to give the final say to voters on whether restaurants, hotels and wineries can serve alcohol on premises as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays.
Source: Marietta Daily Journal
Marietta residents may soon be able to sip mimosas with their eggs Benedict when eating out on Sunday mornings.
The city is set to join a growing list of municipalities across Cobb County and Georgia asking voters this November whether to approve earlier Sunday alcohol sales at restaurants and bars.
State law prohibits restaurants from serving alcohol before 12:30 p.m. on Sundays now, but the “Brunch Bill” that passed the General Assembly this year allows the residents of Georgia’s cities and counties to decide whether they should be able to dive into their bloody Marys as soon as 11 a.m.
Source: Atlanta Business Chronicle
Michael Benoit has fond memories of growing up in California where family barbecues were a regular feature.
“Our dad loved cooking big burgers over an open flame,” he said. “We always loved that.”
A year after Benoit and his siblings arrived in Atlanta in 1991, they opened The Vortex, a funky bar in the basement of the Residence Inn on West Peachtree where food wasn’t the focus.
“But we didn’t want patrons to get too drunk and didn’t want them to leave if they got hungry,” Benoit said. “We thought burgers would be simple. In fact, in 1992, finding a high-quality burger in Atlanta was pretty difficult.”
Source: Savannah Now
The 2018 Georgia General Assembly proved to be an overall successful one for the state’s tourism and hospitality sector, according to industry experts who recapped the legislative session on Tuesday during a panel discussion at the Georgia Hotel & Lodging Association’s Legislative Update luncheon.
Expected to have a large positive impact by providing an estimated $100 million on the food and beverage industry is Senate Bill 17, which was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal last week.
“This is a big economic driver,” Karen Bremer, CEO, Georgia Restaurant Association said of the bill, better known as ‘the brunch bill.
Source: Savannah Now
Mimosa lovers could be enjoying their drinks a little earlier on Sundays now that Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed Senate Bill 17.
Known as the Brunch Bill, the new law signed Tuesday gives local municipalities that already have Sunday alcohol sales the option to decide through a ballot referendum if they would like to roll back Sunday on-premise consumption sale hours from 12:30 p.m. to 11 a.m.
Communities who do not currently allow Sunday alcohol sales will be required to have two ballot referendums. One to vote Yes or No to implement Sunday sales and another to decide if their local time will be 11 a.m. or remain 12:30 p.m.
In order for the referendum to appear on the November ballot a resolution or ordinance needs to be passed by city and or county governments by July 31. Reached for comment after the signing, Savannah Mayor Eddie DeLoach’s Chief of Staff Martin Sullivan said the mayor is in support of giving the citizens the option to vote and looks forward to having discussions with council in the coming weeks.
Karen Bremer, CEO of the Georgia Restaurant Association, said the passage of SB 17 will help level the playing field with state-owned facilities and private clubs who are already allowed to serve before 12:30 p.m. as well as increase the state’s economic competitive advantage with other states that can already sell before 12:30 p.m.
“Passing a brunch bill would have a huge economic impact on the restaurant industry and the state of Georgia,” she said.
“More food and beverage sales equal more tax revenue for the state of Georgia and more jobs.”
Brian Huskey with the Gaslight Group, which owns several spots around Savannah, including b. Matthews’s eatery, The 5 Spot, Blowin’ Smoke and East End Provisions, said the changes would be significant to his restaurant group.
“Three out of five of our locations will be directly impacted and we’re excited about it,” Huskey said.
While it’s a little early to know exactly how much extra revenue this could bring to restaurants, the GRA estimates it would generate an extra $25,000 a year, which is an extra $480.77 on Sundays.
“Multiply (the Sunday amount) by three or four and it’s really significant. Especially in times when we’re trying to scrape and strive for extra revenue,” Huskey said.
Bremer said there are about 4,000 restaurants in Georgia that could benefit, which could yield a total of $100 million extra in revenue and at 11 percent total taxes, $11 million more in taxes.
“By having the world’s busiest airport and hosting large-scale events including the 2019 Super Bowl and potentially the World Cup, we are now on par with other cities to host and provide social opportunities for out-of-town guests,” she said.
Aside from monetary benefits Huskey said the changes will also help out his staff in other ways on Sundays.
“A lot of people, especially downtown with bachelorette parties, girl’s weekends and just visitors in general, come to town and might have brunch or breakfast on Saturday and are able to get a mimosa or screwdriver, but then they come in on Sunday and they can’t. They sometimes get upset with us, but this is the law, so it’ll take a little pressure off the staff, too,” he said.
Source: WTVM Columbus
The city of Savannah expects to have a new set of liquor laws by summer. For local bars and restaurants, the hope is that means fewer hassles and lower fees.
Right now, that debate includes two public feedback sessions at the Savannah Civic Center. It's a new way of thinking that could cut down on much time spent trying to resolve alcohol license issues for business owners. Tuesday, the city continued with its public feedback sessions as officials wind down the time to finalize revisions to the alcohol ordinance.