ASSOCIATION UPDATE

January 28, 2015- ​The LRAEF is pleased to announce that it has distributed $50,000 to ProStart programs around the state through its ProStart Program Support Fund. The funds were awarded to eligible ProStart programs in 36 Louisiana high schools. The first check was presented to ProStart Instructor Emile Meydrich and his students at Alfred Bonnabel Magnet Academy in Metairie, Jan. 22, 2015. Read more.

January 27, 2015- ​The restaurant industry will reach some landmark numbers in 2015-- more than $709 billion in sales, one million locations and 14 million employees. Louisiana is projected to reach restaurant sales of $7.3 billion, up 3.6% over 2014. Read more.

January 26, 2015- ​The Gulf Seafood Institute's second annual "Walk on the Hill" took place in Washington, D.C. last week, to meet with the entire Gulf Congressional Delegation to educate them on the needs and concerns of the Gulf's diverse seafood communities. LRA President & CEO Stan Harris was one of the participants, representing the restaurant industry. Read more.

January 22, 2015- ​The LRA is pleased to name 10 Restaurant Legends from Chris' Poboys in Lafayette. The recipients, with 282 years of combined service, were recognized at the LRA Acadiana Chapter Restaurant Legends Banquet at the Petroleum Club on January 19, 2015. Read more.

January 21, 2015- ​Do you have your tickets? The LRA Cenla Chapter "Taste of Mardi Gras" is Feb. 6 at the Alexandria Riverfront Center. Don't miss out on the biggest Carnival party in central Louisiana. For more info and tickets, click here.

January 20, 2015- ​Restaurant sales continued to trend higher in December, as consumers took their savings at the pump and reallocated spending toward restaurants. According to preliminary figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, eating-and-drinking-place sales totaled $49.6 billion on a seasonally-adjusted basis in December, the eighth consecutive monthly increase and strongest volume on record. Read more.

January 19, 2015- ​The LRAEF is now accepting scholarship applications through April 10, 2015. The LRAEF Scholarship Fund was created in 2009 to support the continuing education of individuals pursuing a career in the culinary and/or hospitality industry. Click here for more information and to apply.

January 16, 2015- ​Buying used commercial foodservice equipment can save you a bundle in the short term. But is it a good investment? Tackle these 10 questions before deciding whether to buy new or used. Read more.

January 15, 2015- ​The NRA Public Affairs Conference is set for April 14-15 in Washington, DC. This year, our State Whip is LRA DIrector Jim Besselman and he will lead our Louisiana delegation to advocate our Congressional representation on issues that affect the restaurant industry. We hope that you will consider joining us, as your attendance at this event will have a powerful impact. Read more

January 13, 2015- ​Agents with the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control (ATC) hit the streets across the state during the 2015 New Year celebrations, working to keep alcohol and tobacco products out of the hands of minors. As a result, the ATC saw a drop in alcohol sales to minors. Stay vigilant and educate your employees about checking IDs. The LRA offers ServSafe Alcohol- a vital, practical and current responsible alcohol service training program. Read more.

January 12, 2015- ​The U.S. House of Representatives passed bipartisan legislation to change the health care law's definition of "full time" from 30 hours to 40 hours a week. Passing the bill in the Senate is expected to be more of a challenge, as 60 votes are required to bring it to a vote. Read more.


IMPORTANT NEWS

ATTENTION MEMBERS: Click here to view the most recent addendum to the recently published 2014 LRA Membership Directory and Buyer's Guide. The members listed on the document have reported changes to their contact information. If you need to update your information, please notify the LRA Membership Department at (504) 454-2277.

Important reminder: Any foodservice establishment having food and/or beverage sales in Orleans Parish and the New Orleans International Airport and has $200,000 or more in taxable food and/or beverage sales in the preceding year MUST COLLECT the New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority tax. For sales $200,000 to $499,999, the rate of tax is 0.5 percent and for sales $500,000 or more, the rate of tax is 0.75 percent. Monthly returns must be filed on the 20th day of the month following the month being reported. Click here for more info.

The Obama Administration recently announced that employers with 50-99 employees will receive Affordable Care Act transition relief. These employers have until 2016 to comply with the employer-mandate rule.
Read more.

Effective January 1, 2014, the IRS will classify an automatic gratuity as a service charge, not a tip. The IRS regards service charges as regular wages, which must be reported for payroll tax withholding. This rule was issued in June 2012, but implementation has been delayed until now. Read this informative article about what is defined as a tip, what to tell your staff and why you may opt to eliminate automatic gratuities in the future.
                                                             



Calendar

JAN
29
CALENDAR

Feb 2 2015 ServSafe Seminar- New Orleans - Cafe Reconcile in New Orleans

Feb 6 2015 LRA Cenla Chapter "Taste of Mardi Gras" - Alexandria Riverfront Center in Alexandria

Feb 9 2015 LRA Northeast Chapter Board & General Membership Meeting - Waterfront Grill in Monroe

Feb 9 2015 LRA Southwest Chapter Board & General Membership Meeting - Casa Manana in Lake Charles