Tag Archives: National Restaurant Assn.


National Restaurant Association expresses concern over executive orders

WASHINGTON – The National Restaurant Association voiced concern this week about potential negative fallout to the economy and small business from restrictions placed by President Trump on tourism to the U.S.  Cicely Simpson, executive vice president, noted: “We must balance our safety and security with the importance of economic contributions of travel and tourism to our country, as we are already seeing negative effects the executive order is having on our economy.”The order restricts travel from six countries for 90 days.

IACP names annual cookbook award winners

Chef Vivian Howard, a chef in North Carolina where she owns two restaurants in Kinston, was a big winner in the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual competition for cookbook writers.Her Deep Run Roots: Stories and Recipes From My Corner of the South,  won in four separate competition categories including Cookbook of the Year and the Julia Child First Book award.


Vin Expo and Wine Spectator to present “A Taste of Spain”

NEW YORK – Vin Expo and Wine Spectator are teaming up to offer “A Taste of Spain” at Vinexpo in Bordeaux, France, June 19th. The exclusive party will take place at the Palais de la Bourse in Bordeaux’s historic city center on Monday, June 19, from 8 to 11 p.m. “A Taste of Spain is shaping up to be one of the most provocative and essential events of Vinexpo Bordeaux 2017,” says Vinexpo CEO Guillaume Deglise. “We’re proud to work with Wine Spectator to attract such a prestigious line-up of bodegas to the exhibition. Their presence will add a new dimension to Vinexpo parties and will offer great opportunities to international buyers throughout the show. The tasting itself will be a must for any Vinexpo attendee.” The event will shine a spotlight on the great wines of Spain, Vinexpo Bordeaux’s “Country of Honor” in 2017. More than 100 Spanish bodegas have been hand-selected by Wine Spectator to present their wines. These will be paired with food prepared by 10 of Spain’s most celebrated chefs, selected by culinary co-chairs Ferran Adrià and José Andrés.
Restaurant Law Center launched as industry advocate

WASHINGTON – The National Restaurant Association and others are joining together to provide legal advocacy for the industry on a local, state and federal level. “The restaurant industry has been participating in legal battles on behalf of restaurant owners and employees for years,” says Angelo Amador, executive  director of the Restaurant Law Center. “But as these fights become more and more prevalent, we must have the legal means and an apparatus to push back against outside groups that threaten the jobs and economic growth the restaurant industry creates, as well as to protect and advance the industry. The Restaurant Law Center will streamline the industry’s ability to engage in legal proceedings and to seek just outcomes.”

Restaurant industry faces continued challenges in 2016

CHICAGO – The National Restaurant Association projects that restaurants in 2016 will post sales of $782.7 billion and employ 14.4 million people in more than one million locations. NRA’s 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast reveals that the U.S. restaurant industry will remain the nation’s second-largest private sector employer, providing career opportunities for one in 10 working Americans.

“Though the overall economy is trending in the right direction, the operating environment isn’t without challenges going into 2016,” says Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of research for NRA. “With overall tightening in some labor markets, we’re seeing recruitment and retention making a comeback as a top challenge for restaurant operators.” Top restaurant industry trends for 2016 include:

* Not all smooth sailing. Restaurant operators will face a number of headwinds in the 2016 business environment. From legislative and regulatory pressures and moderate economic growth, to labor cost increases and cyber-security, both new and old issues will challenge profit margins and muddle operating procedures. * Labor pool is getting shallower. Recruitment and retention of employees will re-emerge as a top challenge for restaurant operators as a tighter national labor market means greater competition with other industries for employees. Workforce demographics are shifting to include a greater proportion of older workers while the younger labor pool is shrinking.

* Everybody’s business. The restaurant industry has always been one where people from all backgrounds have the opportunity to achieve the American dream of owning one’s own business. The restaurant industry is home to a growing number of women-owned and minority-owned businesses, where many current owners started their restaurant careers at entry level. Eating-and-drinking-place firms owned by women and minorities continue to grow at a faster rate than the overall industry.

* Moderate sales growth. The restaurant industry will see its seventh consecutive year of real sales growth in 2016. Substantial regional variations will continue, reflecting local business conditions. The long-term trend of quick-service sales growth outpacing table service sales growth will also maintain its momentum, along with strong growth of snack and nonalcoholic beverage bars.

* Technology growing pains. The availability of technology options is starting to move from novelty to expectation among many consumers. In the race to be tech-forward, new systems are popping up in more places as guests say they want to use them. However, two in five consumers say that technology makes restaurant visits and ordering more complicated, indicating that perhaps not all these new systems are as user-friendly as they could be. Restaurants will be focusing on closing that divide in the year ahead.

* Mobile payment gaining acceptance. Few technologies are advancing faster than payment platforms. Security and convenience are converging in mobile payment systems, with a number of wallet apps and devices entering the market. Although a majority of consumers remain on the fence about paying for meals via smartphone, a growing number say they would use – or are already using – that option when available, and the trend is expected to keep its trajectory through 2016.

* American foodie 2.0. The typical restaurant guest today is not the same as the typical restaurant guest 20 years ago. Having essentially grown up in restaurants, younger generations have a sophisticated world-view when it comes to food. Restaurant operators say guests have higher expectations of their dining experience and pay more attention to everything from diet-specific food, to sustainability, food sourcing and production than even as recently as two years ago. Operators will carefully balance how to cater to these precise tastes without becoming too niche or alienating more mature guests. For more information on the 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast, including graphics and video, visit http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/Restaurant-industry-to-navigate-continued-challeng

Do good in two ways by donating food

This is a time of year when we think about doing good and helping those less fortunate. Donating food to feed the hungry can also do good by diverting waste from landfills, the National Restaurant points out. It helps feed the hungry, offers tax credits to restaurateurs who donate to nonprofit organizations and protects the environment, says Laura Abshire, director of sustainability and government policy, National Restaurant Association.
“By reducing food waste, restaurateurs can save on their operating costs,” she says. “Companies participating in food donation programs are eligible to receive tax credits. That makes food donation a financially sound business decision. Reducing food waste is not only good business, but also helps the environment and the communities we serve.”
Jim Larson, founder and director of the Food Donation Connection, an NRA partner that acts as a liaison between restaurants and social agencies to arrange food deliveries to people in need, offers five tips for food donation:

*Follow safe food handling practices. Develop a process for your restaurant. FDC has some time and temperature standards, but it customizes them for each donor and works with them to see what makes the most sense. “We only accept food that’s never been served,” he says. If it’s left the kitchen, don’t donate it. Usually, that food was a mistake or was hot-held beyond the hold time. That doesn’t mean the food is bad, but it probably doesn’t meet the standards for your customers.
*Familiarize yourself with your food surplus. Most operators think they don’t have enough volume, but it doesn’t take a lot to make a big difference, Larson says. That’s what leaders at Chipotle thought when the company began working with FDC in 2007. When FDC representatives toured four Chipotle stores, they explained the company could donate small quantities of meat, beans and rice from multiple locations, rather than large quantities from one site.
*Develop a pilot test. Chains looking to donate food should test their donation program in a handful of stores before rolling it out system-wide. After developing your process, test it for about 60 days, Larson advises.
Connect with a local nonprofit to take your donation.
*If you’re going to take the tax credit, you must partner with non-profit organizations registered as 501(c) 3. If you’re working with FDC, it can find a nearby organization that can pick up your food. Consider donating to local schools or fire departments, as well, Larson suggests. “That’s great community relations work, but typically you would not be able to take an enhanced tax deduction for those donations.”
*Track your donations. FDC sends monthly reports to donors so they can see what was donated by item, location and region. They can look at it in terms of pounds of food, fair market value or cost. Tracking is also important in case of a product recall, especially for retailers. “By tracking the products, we’re able to see if they’ve been donated and from what store to what charity,” Larson says. “This gives us better control to make sure [potentially tainted product] is not consumed by anyone.”
*Make donation part of your company culture.
Donating surplus food is good for employee morale, says Larson, whose organization has helped facilitate the collection of more than 210 million pounds of food to nonprofit hunger-relief charities. “Someone, like a chef, who has a passion for creating food for people, hates throwing food away,” he says. “You don’t want to create something to just throw it out. So much was invested in it. It was planted, harvested and transported – only to be thrown away. It’s kind of a crime.”