The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to name two new Restaurant Legends from Joe’s Café in Marrero. Ronald “Ronnie” Boutian and Joseph “Jo Jo” Harris were recognized at a special ceremony at Joe’s Café’s Barataria Boulevard store on Monday, July 9, 2018.
The Restaurant Legends Award recognizes the long-term dedication of employees of the restaurant industry, with 20 or more years of service at an establishment.
With over 60 years of combined service, these two employees exemplify the satisfaction of making their jobs a lifelong and rewarding career.
Boutian has been with Joe’s Café for the past 26 of the 30 years the business has been in operation.
“Ronnie is one of the last of a dying trade of donut cutters. He still takes pride in hand cutting our signature glazed treats,” said James Armand, owner of Joe’s Café. “Our customers, old and new, recognize Ronnie simply from Joe’s history or word-of-mouth. When you walk in the door, Ronnie makes you feel like family and makes you look forward to coming back again very soon.”
Harris has been a cook in the restaurant industry since 1978.
“Jo Jo works as a cook and is key in training future Louisiana legends, preparing the kitchen staff as Joe’s Café continues to open new locations,” said Armand. “He has been instrumental in creating recipes for many of Joe’s favorite dishes. When it gets hot in the kitchen, he is the one that keeps the staff motivated with his good sense of humor. Always on time, dedicated, and a strong work ethic, Jo Jo is an exemplary employee and more importantly a special member of our family.”
These recipients join the 261 individuals in our state recognized by the LRA through its Restaurant Legends program. Collectively, these industry professionals have nearly 5,000 years of service to Louisiana restaurants and suppliers.
The Louisiana Workforce Commission recently released a new Post-Hire Medical Questionnaire – also referred to as the Second Injury Fund* Medical Questionnaire.
If you have had your employees complete a new questionnaire within the last 12 months, you may retain those for your records through June 2019. However, if you haven’t had your employees complete a questionnaire within the last year, please do so immediately and use the form found at the button below.
If you have your workers’ compensation with the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund, completion of the questionnaire by your employees is one of the five criteria to be eligible for receiving a safety dividend.
Not with the LRA SIF? Let us give you a complimentary quote today! You could be missing out on premium savings, complimentary safety services and local claims handling. Request a complimentary quote here.
* The Second Injury Fund is designed to reduce an employer’s workers’ compensation costs when a worker with a preexisting condition has an injury on the job. It does this by keeping your workers’ compensation cost down to an acceptable level in the event a disabled worker is re-injured on-the-job by reimbursing you 100% of all indemnity payments after the first 104 weeks and 100 percent of all reasonable and necessary medical expenses paid which exceed $25,000.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is pleased to recognize the 2018 Class of the NextGen 30 & Under Louisiana Hospitality Awards. These LRA member-nominated young professionals were chosen for their talent, drive and service toward the restaurant and hospitality industry.
“Over the next 10 years, the restaurant industry in Louisiana is expected to add more than 15,000 jobs,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. “Young professionals who are entering the workforce bring a fresh and modern approach to their careers, with new and innovative ideas that will take us into the next generation of successful entrepreneurship. We applaud these young men and women for taking the initiative and making the most of their opportunities in our industry.”
Members of the NextGen 30 & Under Hospitality Awards 2018 Class are: Richard Brennan III of Dickie Brennan & Co, Ricky Castro of Acme Oyster House, Priscilla Medina of Taste Buds Management and Katie Ostrowski of Tujague’s Restaurant.
Richard Brennan III grew up in a restaurant family; at age 13, he first started washing dishes and food running at Palace Café. As he got older, he worked in the kitchen over the summer until he went to college. He pursued a hospitality degree at the College of Charleston and furthered his education at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone (CIA). After graduating, he traveled to Italy where he trained under world-famous butcher Dario Cecchini. Since December 2017, Brennan has been working at the Dickie Brennan Family of Restaurants. At age 26, His influence can be seen at the Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse menu, with the addition of some lesser known meat cuts, as well as in the charcuterie program at Palace Café.
Ricky Castro is a kitchen manager who considers himself to be a dedicated leader who has always believed in the importance of teamwork, communication and adaptability. His background as a college athlete—he walked on LSU’s football team—prepared him for his career in management. Growing up in a team environment, he believes that hard work, commitment, communication and leadership leads to success and prepares him for any challenges that come his way. Castro joined the Acme Oyster House team in Metairie three years ago and now, at age 28, is in charge of hiring and scheduling staff, controlling costs, back of the house organization and most importantly, ensuring that Acme customers get great service and high quality food.
Priscilla Medina was a recent high school graduate when she started as a hostess at the Zea Rotisserie & Bar in Kenner. While working, she attended the University of New Orleans and studied marketing, where she became the first person in her family to earn a college degree. In 2013, Medina made the switch to another Taste Buds Management concept, Semolina, where she quickly assumed more responsibility and eventually was chosen as a brand ambassador for the restaurant. With all this experience under her belt, she was seen as a perfect fit for a job available in the Taste Buds Marketing Department. She is 27 years old and is currently the Digital Marketing and Promotions Manager and feels that the key to success is organization and working “smarter, not harder.”
Katie Ostrowski joined Tujague’s Restaurant in 2013, jumping into the various roles needed within the restaurant. In each position she mastered, she has proven to be an invaluable team member, bringing needed change, efficiency and improvements. Ostrowski, age 28, takes each new role head on and exceeds expectations with grace and true compassion and an inherent drive to succeed. Supervisors attest that the restaurant’s team members look up to her, admiring her drive and positive attitude. Currently, she is primarily focused on private dining sales at Tujague’s and is also an active member in Meeting Planners International.
The 2018 Class of NextGen 30 & Under Hospitality Award recipients will be recognized at the Opening Ceremony of the LRA EXPO Saturday, August 4 at 10:45 a.m. in the lobby of Hall I at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Bayou Chapter’s 6th annual interactive tasting event, “Bayou Culinary Showcase,” will be Wednesday, August 22, 2018 at Cypress Columns, 157 Tourist Drive, 5:30-9 p.m.
Presented by title sponsors The Ground Pat’i and Taco Bell, the Bayou Culinary Showcase is an event not to be missed. The public is invited to sample dishes from various LRA member restaurants and vote on their favorite to see who will receive the honor of the night, the “People’s Choice Award.”
Guests will observe live cooking demos from Chef Meg Bickford of Café Adelaide in New Orleans and students from the local Lafourche Parish Career Center ProStart® Program, as they enjoy dishes from LRA member restaurants such as The Ground Pat’i, Spahr’s Seafood, Nicholas Catering, Alumni Grill, Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse, Griffin’s Poboys & Grille, Flangan’s, Osaka Japanese Cuisine and more!
The evening will also include a live auction of coveted items, such as dinner for four at Chef John Folse’s Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and an airboat tour with dinner for two at Spahr’s Seafood in Des Allemands.
“We love being able to offer the Bayou Culinary Showcase to local residents,” said LRA Bayou Chapter President Linda Ayers. “Our community may be quaint, but we have great restaurants that are eager to share their most creative dishes and we encourage those who attend to seek out new favorite places to dine!”
A portion of the proceeds from Bayou Culinary Showcase will benefit the LRA Education Foundation (LRAEF). The LRAEF, in turn, will use monies raised to further promote the restaurant industry as a career choice through its restaurant management and culinary arts program, ProStart, offered at 58 high schools statewide, and three in the Bayou area: Lafourche Parish Career Center, Morgan City High School and Terrebonne Career & Technical High School. It will also enhance the restaurant community through expanded educational and career opportunities, including culinary and hospitality scholarships.
Thank you to our Bayou Culinary Showcase Gold Sponsors: Ben E. Keith Company and Sysco and our Silver Sponsors: Ecolab, Performance Foodservice—Caro and Reinhart Foodservice.
The Bayou Culinary Showcase is open to the public. Partygoers can purchase a VIP Table of 10 (wine included) for $500. General admission tickets are $25 per person in advance and $35 at the door the night of the event. Tickets and VIP Tables can be purchased at www.LRA.org (Upcoming Events).
For more information, contact LRA Chapter Member Services Coordinator Dana Gresham at email@example.com, or Linda Ayers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The LRA General Membership Annual Meeting will be held Sunday, August 5, 2018 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Rooms 294-296. It will begin at the adjournment of the LRA Board of Directors Meeting, approximately 11 a.m.
The IRS quietly began sending penalty assessments under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) last November. The agency began by penalizing applicable large employers who failed to offer minimum essential coverage to 70% of their full-time employees in 2015. Now, they are sending penalty letters to employers who offered coverage in 2015, but had at least one employee who went to the Marketplace and received a subsidy. In this case, if the IRS believes the employee was not offered coverage, or the coverage offered was unaffordable, it will assess a penalty. Insiders also warn that 2016 penalty assessments are coming soon. If you receive a Letter 226J penalty assessment, we recommend reaching out to an attorney or another benefits specialist to help you respond. To contact the Fisher Phillips Benefits Group, please contact Tabatha George at 504-529-3845 or email@example.com.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF) is pleased to announce that the Emeril Lagasse Foundation has contributed $15,000 to enhance the 2018-2019 LRAEF School Support Fund.
After listening to the needs of ProStart® educators, the LRAEF School Support Fund was created to bridge the gap between traditional state funding and educator needs for successful ProStart program implementation. The LRAEF is able to gain insight into the individual needs of Louisiana ProStart schools through this annual funding program, and award decisions are tailored to the greatest areas of need for the schools that apply. These funds are often used to create more diverse, hands-on, learning opportunities within culinary labs by giving students greater access to new equipment and a more extensive selection of perishables. Students are also provided access to unique learning opportunities through field trips, as well as practicing for and attending the annual Louisiana ProStart Student Invitational.
ProStart is a two-year program for students in more than 1,800 high schools nationwide that develops the best and brightest talent into tomorrow’s industry leaders. From culinary techniques to management skills, ProStart’s industry-driven curriculum provides real-world educational opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation that will last a lifetime. In Louisiana, the ProStart program reaches more than 1,800 students in 55 high schools.
“The Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s generous gift will allow us to continue to provide the tools for unique educational experiences for our ProStart students,” said LRAEF Chair Paul Rotner. “We are very fortunate to have such a committed partner in Chef Emeril and his foundation to promote the culinary and restaurant industries as a viable and successful career path.”
This contribution brings the total funds donated to the LRAEF by the Emeril Lagasse Foundation since 2015 to $45,000.
The next round of ProStart School Support Fund awards will be distributed to eligible schools that apply in January 2019. Since 2014, the LRAEF has awarded $224,000 in school support funding to Louisiana ProStart programs.
“As the Emeril Lagasse Foundation’s footprint continues to grow, we’re proud to invest those funds back into the New Orleans community,” said Brian Kish, president of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation. “The Foundation’s ultimate goal is for the betterment of our youth, and the grants awarded to incredible organizations like LRAEF take us steps further each year.”
The LRAEF is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that was founded in 1995 and is governed by a board of directors made up of restaurants, industry experts and educators in the hospitality industry. The LRAEF exists to enhance the industry's service to the public through education, community engagement and promotion of career opportunities. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Rachel Bolotte, firstname.lastname@example.org or (504) 636-6691.
2018 LRAEF Annual Partners: Five Diamond- Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor System, Emeril Lagasse Foundation, Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers; Four Diamond- Performance Foodservice- Caro; Three Diamond- Atmos Energy and Baton Rouge Epicurean Society; Two Diamond- Louisiana Gas Association; One Diamond- Katie Restaurant and Patrick J. Gros, CPA. The LRAEF would also like to thank the nine chapters of the LRA for their support throughout the year.
It's National Insurance Awareness Day! Do you think you don’t need workers’ compensation for your business? Think again.
The truth is…
Additional penalties and fines impact those employers found not in compliance with the state mandate:
Why choose the LRA SIF?
The Louisiana Legislature has enacted a sales tax bill in response to the state's budget crisis. Act 1 of the 2018 Third Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature is effective Sunday, July 1, 2018. The new state sales tax rate will be 4.45%, down from the current 5% state sales tax rate. In addition, they have continued to suspend many exemptions from the sales tax, but have aligned and expanded the exemptions that will remain effective as of July 1. Now, rather than having five different tax rates related to various exemptions, we will just have two rates, zero or 4.45% for most purchases.
State sales tax exemptions of note include the following, effective July 1, 2018:
The .45% sales tax imposed at La. R.S. §47:321.1 and the suspension of various sales tax exemptions will sunset on June 30, 2025.
504HealthNet, an association comprised of 23 non-profit and governmental organizations in the Greater New Orleans area, helps connect the community to affordable, quality health care. Its program, 504HealthConnect, helps residents navigate health insurance coverage, and also links residents with Community Health Centers where they see a primary care and/ or behavioral health care provider. Community Health Centers will treat everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. They take all types of insurance and use a sliding scale fee for the uninsured.
A health insurance program for every person:
In the Greater New Orleans region, there is a health insurance program for everyone, depending on your family size and income. 504HealthNet works to ensure residents are aware of their options, and assists people in signing up for Medicaid and the Health Insurance Marketplace through the Affordable Care Act.
The following programs are available in the 504HealthNet Community:
Learn more about 504HealthNet, including a map of 60+ participating New Orleans Health Centers by clicking the box below.