Is apprenticeship part of your organization’s workforce development plan? The benefits of apprenticeship for the restaurant industry are numerous and measurable. Apprenticeship programs are proven to reduce turnover costs, increase productivity, and create a more skilled, diverse and competitive workforce. It’s also an affordable alternative to a four-year degree without a six-figure loan. With an “earn while you learn” model, apprenticeships combine related instruction and paid on-the-job learning.
Nationally, a staggering 91 percent of apprentices remain employed after completing programs, with average annual wages of $50,000. Studies indicate that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers receive an average of $1.47 return in increased productivity. Since the launch of the Restaurant Management Apprentice program, the retention rate is over 97 percent.
This program has also promoted a diverse population of individuals, allowing restaurant and hospitality to once again lead as the industry of opportunity for all.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) built its apprenticeship program to help the industry grow its talent. The NRAEF’s mission is to enhance the industry’s training and education, career development, and community engagement efforts. They attract, empower and advance restaurant and foodservice workforce both for today and the future.
How to get started with the apprenticeship program:
The Louisiana Legislature passed Act 372, which adds additional requirements for restaurants who serve imported shrimp or crawfish. If your restaurant serves domestic shrimp or crawfish, you are not required to do anything differently than you do today.
If your restaurant serves imported shrimp or crawfish, you must disclose either the country of origin OR that the product is imported adjacent to the menu item or description on the menu. The disclosure must be adjacent to the menu item in similar font size. It can also be paper-clipped to the menu. If you don’t typically use a printed menu, you can post a notice sign near the main entrance noting that crawfish and/or shrimp served originate from a foreign country (18” x 18” at least 36 inches from the floor in English with minimum 1” letters) that is easily visible to patrons. Non-compliance is treated as a violation of the state’s sanitary code and the Louisiana Dept. of Health (LDH) is charged with the enforcement of the provisions of this statute.
The LDH is required to develop the rules that will govern their practices regarding this statute and while the law is in effect, we expect the enforcement to begin gradually and be fully in force once the rules are published. Remember, there are no fines associated with a sanitary code violation.
The LDH has provided us with a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs):
Q. Can I put the word “imported” before the crawfish or shrimp menu item, or does it have to go after?
A. The word imported or the country of origin for the crawfish or shrimp menu item can be before, after, above or below the crawfish or shrimp menu item.
Q. My menu item says Creole Pasta, but it does have shrimp in it. Do I have to label it?
A. If your menu denotes shrimp or crawfish as a menu item, or listed in the product description, it must meet all requirements of ACT 372 R.S. 40:5.5.4
Q. If there is a special entree that is not on the menu, will the food establishment be required to provide information regarding country of origin on any crawfish or shrimp special items?
A. If the special is not on the menu, the facility does not have to provide information on country of origin.
Q. Could the establishment staple the label instead of paperclip?
A. Yes, this would meet the intent of the law by affixing the label next to the menu item. It would have to meet all of the same standards for location, font size, and shade required on menu labeling.
Q. What about facilities that only serve drive-thru? Would the outside menu have to be updated?
A. When a facility only has a drive thru menu board, the establishment must provide required labeling in one of the following ways: 1.) Add the required labeling adjacent to the menu item, or 2.) apply the required labeling by affixing to the menu board. These labels must meet all requirements outlined in the law. Additionally, the signage requirements for facilities that do not provide printed menus can be used. The signage must be positioned adjacent to the menu board and state “certain crawfish and shrimp originate from a foreign country.” The sign must be at least 18 inches tall and 18 inches wide, written in the English language, 1 inch in size, and not less than 36 inches from the ground.
Q. If I purchase my gumbo pre-made and labeled from a manufacturing company, do I have to find out if the shrimp and crawfish in the packaging is from the U.S. or its country of origin?
A. If the product is purchased from a food manufacturer fully prepared and only reheated, and/or served at the restaurant, the labeling requirements must meet the mandated Federal labeling laws. If the product is labeled as a product of the U.S., then menu labeling is not required.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association’s (LRA) Greater New Orleans Chapter, in partnership with New Orleans & Company, is excited to announce that its 9th Annual Restaurant Week New Orleans will be held September 9-15, 2019.
During this weeklong celebration of New Orleans cuisine, participating restaurants in the New Orleans metro area will offer special prix fixe menus. Restaurants will offer a two-course lunch for $20 or less and a three-course dinner for $39 or less. Some restaurants will also offer a three-course brunch for $39 or less.
Participating restaurants range from fine-dining establishments to neighborhood favorites. Discover new places and enjoy old favorites! To check out the restaurant list and menus, visit www.RestaurantWeekNewOrleans.com. Diners can make reservations through the restaurant directly or through the website. Seats fill fast! Share your Restaurant Week New Orleans experiences on social media with the hashtag, #RestaurantWeekNOLA.
Diners can dig in at more than 100 participating restaurants:
A special thanks to 2019 Restaurant Week New Orleans sponsors:
Restaurant Week New Orleans Partners:
Restaurant Week New Orleans Supporters:
The stereotype of the “stressed-out chef” exists for a reason. Professional kitchens are fast-paced, high-pressure environments. As a chef, It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, but your personal health and well-being is just as important as your business.
Our passions are undeniable, but they should not come at such a high cost as our mental and physical health. Look at your daily checklist. In between making sure orders are placed on time, covering the latest call-out, mitigating safety risks and keeping customers and staff happy, have you included time to take care of yourself?
This matters. It should be high up on that list. Because, how can you effectively take care of your staff and your operations if you don’t take care of #YouFirst?
Sometimes the most simple action can make all the difference to our well-being. We’ve asked several chefs, leaders in the industry, to share practical tips on how they encourage self-care.
“In my free time I have a switch off policy – I turn off all those polluting notifications that you receive on your mobile and allow myself max 15 minutes of screentime during the day. I always say, if it is urgent the person can call me! That allows me to focus only on my day whether it is with family or friends. For my chefs I apply the same: if they are off I will not disturb them!”- Chef Gilles Perrin, Culinary Director, Renaissance Downtown Hotel, Dubai
“Sometimes it just takes looking at things in a different light, or from a different perspective. Start small. Go to the gym. Do little things that make you feel good about yourself. Make sure you’re on a routine. Get your hair cut regularly. Buy yourself a pair of shoes. You know, those small things really trigger something to make you feel good and you try and use those to continually make better decisions on a regular basis.” - Chef Jamie Knott, Saddle River Inn
“I usually start my day at the gym or at my favorite coffee shop. It gives me an opportunity to focus on myself, reflect and start my day with a positive state of mind. A good leader is one that leads by example, I very much believe in work-life balance. And I make sure I take time to do things for myself, like practice Krav Maga, see the opera or meditate.”- Naama Tamir, Co-Owner, Lighthouse, Brooklyn
“Take one minute to be silent and still. No distractions. Do it at least once a day. See where your thoughts go. See what you feel emotionally and physically. No judgment just listen to what’s inside your skin. What that is, is who you are. Remember that.” - Chef Rachel Muse, private chef
How do you put #YouFirst? How do you encourage the same among your staff? We’d love to know – send your tips to email@example.com.
Help us to spread the word? Use the hashtag #FairKitchens to share your story.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Bayou Chapter’s 7th annual interactive tasting event, “Bayou Culinary Showcase,” will be Wednesday, August 21, 2019 at Cypress Columns, 157 Tourist Drive, 5:30-9 p.m.
Presented by title sponsor 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, “People’s Choice Award.”
Guests will observe live cooking demos from Chef Logan Boudreaux of Cinclare Southern Bistro in Thibodaux, Chef Marshall Welsh of Chef John Folse Culinary Institute, and students from the local Lafourche Parish Career Center ProStart Program. Dishes will be served from numerous LRA member restaurants, including Malt ‘N Burger, Flanagan’s, Cavan, The Ground Pat’i, Cinclare Southern Bistro, Dominique’s Wine Boutique & Bistro, Alumni Grill, Big Mike’s BBQ Smokehouse, Golden Dragon, and more!
The evening will also include a live auction of coveted items, such as dinner for four at Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans and an airboat tour with dinner for two at Spahr’s Seafood in Des Allemands. Guests will enjoy live music from the band, Jazmine.
“In Louisiana, good food is a way of life, and we’re fortunate to live in an area that is populated with so many authentic and tasty restaurants. We are grateful to continue this tradition of showcasing the best of the Bayou with our 7th annual family-friendly culinary showcase.”
A portion of the proceeds from the 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 55 high schools statewide, and three in the Bayou area. 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 Sponsors—Title Sponsors: Taco Bell, Gold Sponsors: Ben E. Keith Company, Sysco and Doerle Food Services, Silver Sponsors: Spahr’s Seafood, 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 Britney Ford at firstname.lastname@example.org or (225) 240-7189.
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) is excited to partner with Republic National Distributing Company, Sazerac Rye and Wheatley Vodka for the inaugural cocktail competition, “Twist on a Classic.” The competition will be held Monday, August 5 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center, Hall J, in conjunction with the LRA EXPO. Emceed by Greg Reggio of Taste Buds Management Group, the kick-off will begin at 11 a.m.
Ten bartenders from LRA Member restaurants were selected based on their recipe or “twist” on a classic cocktail. There are five competitors in the Sazerac Rye category and five in the Wheatley Vodka category.
The winner of each category will each receive $1,000 and prizes. The competitors in the Sazerac Rye category are:
The competitors in the Wheatley Vodka category are:
Bartenders will have ten minutes to concoct their unique drinks. The drink must contain a maximum of seven ingredients that are easily accessible and able to be purchased in the United States. Competitors must batch their cocktails for sample tastings by attendees and present it to a judging panel of three industry professionals.
This event is not open to the public. Attendees of the LRA EXPO can attend Twist on a Classic. To register for the EXPO, visit www.LRAEXPO.org.
Thank you to the Twist on a Classic sponsors: Republic National Distributing Company, Sazerac Rye and Wheatley Vodka.
For more information about the event, please contact Elizabeth Hover at email@example.com or (504) 636-6571.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local partners, are investigating a multistate outbreak of Cyclospora illnesses potentially linked to fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.
Although the investigation is ongoing, CDC’s analysis of epidemiologic information indicates that contaminated fresh basil is the likely cause of the illnesses. FDA’s traceback investigation indicates that the fresh basil available at points of sale where consumers became ill was exported to the United States by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. FDA has requested a voluntary recall and the firm has agreed. FDA has increased import screening on basil and will continue to investigate the cause and source of the outbreak as well as the distribution of products.
FDA is working with the firm to facilitate a recall. As this outbreak investigation continues, the FDA will work with our Mexican food safety regulatory counterparts to better define the cause and source of this outbreak. Additionally, the FDA will update this advisory as more information becomes available.
Consumers should not to buy, eat, or serve any fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico.
Do not consume or serve uncooked items like pesto or salad, that may include fresh basil from Mexico, unless you are certain that the fresh basil was not exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV.
However, if consumers cannot determine if the basil is from this company, they should avoid basil from Mexico. If they do not know what country the basil is from, they should avoid it.
For Restaurants, Retailers, Distributors, Importers and Suppliers:
The FDA strongly advises importers, suppliers, and distributors, as well as restaurants, retailers, and other food service providers to not sell, serve or distribute fresh basil exported by Siga Logistics de RL de CV located in Morelos, Mexico. If you are uncertain of the source, do not sell, serve or distribute the fresh imported basil.
Read the full update here.
Leading up to #LRAEXPO19, we will highlight new exhibitors every Friday.
Join us for the 2019 LRA EXPO August 3-5 at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center. Visit LRAExpo.org and contact Jodi Williams, director of sales and sponsorship at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Get Pikl’ed LLC (Booth #1302)
Gotze (Booth #805)
Great Southern Industries, Inc. (Booth #1317)
Hayden Valley Foods (Booth #1326)
HST Business Solutions (Booth #828)
New Orleans Culinary and Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) (Booth #1137)
OkStraw Paper Straws (Booth #1107)
Ovation Up, Inc (Booth #1608)
Pak-Sher (Booth #1608)
The Association is sharing this information across multiple platforms to ensure it is communicated to the widest possible industry audience.
You may have heard that there is a potential settlement of class action litigation that could provide restaurants with payment for prior swipe fees incurred. Many of our Members have been receiving notices from vendors offering to assist in securing such funds. Although the case is not yet settled, we wanted to alert our Members and other stakeholders of their ability to file a claim, and the possibility of obtaining reimbursement payment if such litigation is fully and finally settled.
Several years ago, the National Restaurant Association joined the merchant community in litigation against Visa and MasterCard and several large banks challenging their interchange fees as well as prohibitive card network rules, such as the inability to offer discounts for different forms of electronic payments (In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, MDL 1720).
The National Restaurant Association was actively involved as a class representative in this litigation from 2005 until 2013, and the Restaurant Law Center has been involved in the litigation since 2015. Although a prior settlement was proposed in 2013 (the “2013 Settlement”), this settlement was never fully approved because of differences in viewpoints of the litigant classes, and the fact that the proposed settlement did not address the ability of Visa, Mastercard, and the banks to set and charge such swipe fees.
Today, there are two types of class actions currently pending in Federal Court regarding interchange fees charged by Defendant Banks to merchants: 1) A damages class action; and, 2) An injunctive relief class action seeking changes in bank rules.
Restaurants and other parties may have or be receiving court-approved notices concerning a settlement in the damages class action. The injunctive relief class action is expected to be contested and continue, and therefore will not be affected by the proposed settlement. Click here to learn more.
In 2018, a new settlement agreement was proposed in the damages class action litigation only (the “2018 Damages Settlement”). Similar to the 2013 Settlement, the 2018 Damages Settlement proposes monetary damages, but does not address or cease the ability of the credit cards and banks to charge such swipe fees. Under the 2018 Damages Settlement, the defendant would pay over $5 billion to merchants in the class, which includes any merchants who accepted Visa or MasterCard (and therefore paid swipe fees) between January 1, 2004 and January 25, 2019. Under the 2018 Damages Settlement, the defendant credit card companies do not have to make any changes to their rules or business practices.
On Thursday, January 24, 2019, the court granted preliminary approval of the class settlement in the damages class action litigation only. You might receive formal notices from court-appointed class counsel in the coming weeks if you participated in the original actions.
There is no cost to you to participate in the 2018 Damages Settlement, and you do not need to retain a lawyer or claims-filing firm in order to participate. Claim forms will be available after the settlement is finally approved. The court will hold a hearing on final approval on November 7, 2019.
Merchants do have the right to object to or opt-out of the settlement by sending a notice to class counsel by July 23, 2019. Between now and July 23, we recommend that each Member makes a business decision about whether to participate in the settlement or opt out. We also want to note that while the release is broad, unlike the last settlement in 2013 – to which National Restaurant Association objected – the new class settlement release is limited to five years.
Lastly, please note that there has been no settlement of a separate class action seeking changes to card network rules (the ability of the credit cards and banks to charge such swipe fees). If a rules class settlement is announced, we will share that information so you can make a decision whether to object to that settlement or not.
More information is available on the official case website here.
Please contact Restaurant Law Center Executive Director Angelo Amador with any questions.