The U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee has made significant strides by advancing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution aimed at countering the National Relations Labor Board’s (NLRB) joint employer rule. The committee's decision Dec. 12, which passed along party lines, reflects a concerted effort by the National Restaurant Association (NRA) to advocate for this resolution. Prior to the markup, the NRA collaborated with the Committee and issued a statement supporting the CRA, emphasizing their proactive involvement in opposing the rule's implementation. Politico highlighted the Association's active role in leading the business community's opposition efforts, showcasing a joint letter from state restaurant associations to Congress as a testament to their robust pushback against the new NLRB regulation.
There is also a Congressional hearing Dec. 13 seeking to impose the Congressional Review Act to cancel the joint employer standards proposed by the NLRB.
This development underscores the Association's strategic engagement with policymakers, leveraging their influence to oppose the NLRB's joint employer rule and rallying support for the CRA resolution among committee members.
Louisiana ProStart Program's recent Educator Training held at The University of New Orleans Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Program (UNO HRT) was a dynamic and enriching event. The day commenced with an opening session led by Jonathan Baynham, LRAEEF Executive Director, and Mistica Maples-Adams, LRAEF Program Manager, setting the tone for an engaging program. The training delved into diverse areas, including updates on apprenticeship programs presented by Baynham and David Emond, along with Mistica Maples-Adams sharing ProStart best practices.
Participants also benefited from Kelly Guilbeau's expertise from The Salad Station, gaining valuable insights into effective marketing strategies. The interactive sessions following lunch were a highlight, featuring hands-on experiences facilitated by Chef Mark Springfloat of University of New Orleans Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Program, where educators learned about meat fabrication, and Conrad Chura of Wakin' Bakin' guided them in creating their own distinctive spice blends.
Dr. Yvette Green, the Department Chair of UNO HRT, capped off the day by providing an overview of the university's program, offering a glimpse into the broader opportunities available within the field.
Overall, the training provided a rich tapestry of learning experiences and practical insights for educators to integrate into their curriculum.
As we head into the holidays, bookings for seasonal celebrations are robust, already approaching and even exceeding pre-pandemic levels in some areas. The last thing you need is a foodborne illness to ruin your customers’ holiday revelries, not to mention your restaurant’s sales and reputation. Whether a company cocktail party or a catered dinner, many of these festive events revolve around buffet service. Reminding your staff of proper food safety procedures for buffets and displays will help ensure that everyone has a happy holiday season.
“There are several holidays during the fall and winter months when folks come together—work parties, family gatherings, children’s events—and many of those involve food,” says Patrick Guzzle, vice president of Food Safety for the Association. “We all have probably experienced ‘food poisoning’ but what we might not realize is that many different microscopic pathogens can be found in our natural environment, and when conditions are just right (like leaving food out) those pathogens can multiply to levels that will make us sick.”
Foodborne pathogens aren’t the only causes of illness to watch out for, though, Guzzle says. Norovirus, a particularly nasty little bug that causes symptoms similar to “food poisoning,” is highly contagious and primarily spread through person-to-person contact. “This is especially true in closed settings,” Guzzle says, “where we all find ourselves during the colder months. Since those who are exposed can continue shedding virus particles for several days after their symptoms have resolved, norovirus can easily spread through the community even when there is no food involved.”
Here are some tips to remember to keep your patrons safe this holiday season.
Keep it clean
Time and temperature
Keep it fresh
Everything in its place
Consumers are choosing to let restaurants do the cooking to spend quality time with family and friends
Consumers are choosing restaurants this holiday season, according to a new National Restaurant Association survey showing two-thirds (63 percent) of adults plan to eat out during the next several weeks and half (48 percent) plan to order takeout or delivery.
This holiday season, consumers see value in letting restaurants help heighten their meals at home. Sixty-six percent of those choosing to order in from a restaurant will order the entire meal from a restaurant, while many are trusting restaurants with the main course (89 percent), sides (86 percent) or appetizers (74 percent) for their meal. Nearly 2 in 3 (63 percent) will purchase desserts from a restaurant.
“The holidays are a wonderful time for families and friends to gather, celebrate and share a delicious meal from a local restaurant,” said [name, title, Association name]. “This year’s research further confirms the restaurant industry’s important role in these special experiences by allowing people to spend more time with family and friends, and less time worrying about cooking, cleaning and shopping.”
Social Media’s Role and Generational Differences
Given the emergence of TikTok-driven trends at restaurants in the National Restaurant Association's 2024 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, owners, operators and chefs should look for social inspirations when putting together their holiday main courses this year. Chefs from across the U.S. found that consumers want to try new foods, but in a way that’s recognizable, comforting, and communal – which lends itself well to the holiday season. For millennials planning to order out this holiday season, the majority (91 percent) said they were most likely to purchase the main course from a restaurant.
Why and how consumers choose where to eat this season also differs by generation:
The National Restaurant Association conducted an online survey of 1,010 adults nationwide November 10-12, 2023.
A new federal proposal could upend restaurant pricing
Restaurant operators could be forced to scrap service fees and other surcharges under a new proposed rule from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Under this plan, operators of any size could face federal penalties for utilizing service charges to compensate waitstaff or a credit card surcharges to help with exorbitant swipe fees.
Tuesday, Dec. 19 at 1 p.m.
In this webinar, you will learn:
COMMENT PERIOD EXTENDED UNTIL FEBRUARY 7, 2024.
Instead, the proposed rule would force operators to overhaul menu prices so that the listed price is the total price a customer must pay. Higher menu prices will reduce customer traffic, reducing income for restaurant employees and operators.
The FTC admits its plan will cost restaurant operators $3.5 billion to implement.
Please take two minutes to help us fight this unaffordable
regulatory overreach by sharing your views here.
The National Restaurant Association will lead the industry effort here in Washington to change this rule, but the FTC needs to hear your voice and your perspective.
To learn more, see our new fact sheet on the FTC proposal.
We will stay focused on this issue and keep you updated as it develops. Again, you can add your voice by clicking here.
Thanks for your engagement and everything you do for your community.
Mestizo Louisiana Mexican Cuisine, the beloved culinary gem that has been serving delectable dishes and creating lasting memories for a quarter of a century, kicks off 2024 with a year-long 25th anniversary celebration showcasing its culinary uniqueness with a special anniversary menu paying homage to the restaurant's classic and beloved dishes. The grand celebration is also an expression of gratitude to Mestizo’s loyal patrons and the community.
Since opening its doors in 1999, Mestizo has been a prominent fixture in the local dining scene, offering an unforgettable dining experience. Over the years, the restaurant has become renowned for its commitment to quality, innovation and outstanding service.
Throughout the year, diners can take a delightful journey through the restaurant's rich history and the evolution of its cuisine via a series of unique events and promotions marking this significant occasion. All events will be ticketed and sold online starting Dec. 4. They include:
As part of the celebration, Mestizo encourages patrons to share their fondest memories at the restaurant on social media using the hashtag #Mestizo25. To stay updated on Mestizo’s 25th anniversary celebration events and promotions, visit www.mestizorestaurant.com.
The National Restaurant Association's Public Affairs Conference, scheduled for April 15-17, 2024, in Washington, D.C., stands as a pivotal moment for businesses in the foodservice world. This event opens its doors to a diverse spectrum of industry players, from quick-service establishments to upscale fine dining venues, encompassing both global giants and local independent operators. At its core, this conference is a powerhouse of advocacy, offering a platform for attendees to actively engage in shaping policies that directly impact their businesses.
Central to the conference's agenda is the opportunity for participants to delve into crucial advocacy issues currently affecting the restaurant landscape. Beyond mere discussions, attendees will meet with Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation, rallying their support for the restaurant industry's causes. This emphasis on grassroots advocacy underscores the significance of collective action in influencing policies and regulations that can make a tangible difference for businesses of all scales.
The roster of events promises an engaging and informative experience. From face-to-face meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to insightful sessions featuring esteemed political speakers, the conference weaves together educational opportunities and strategic networking. It's not solely about discussing policy; it's about mobilizing and making a meaningful impact.
For those pondering the value of attending, the conference stands as an unparalleled platform to effect change. It serves as the industry's largest grassroots advocacy event, empowering attendees to play an active role in shaping policies that affect their operations directly. The importance of participation is underscored by the diverse representation of segments within the restaurant industry, ensuring that voices from across the spectrum are heard and considered.
With an early bird registration fee of $200, becoming a part of this pivotal event holds the potential not just for networking or knowledge gathering, but for wielding influence and contributing to the future of the restaurant industry. It's an opportunity to be at the forefront of change, advocating for policies that could significantly impact the operational landscape for years to come.
Register today here.
Reserve your room at the host hotel here.
The National Restaurant Association and every state restaurant association brought a fresh wave of pressure on lawmakers to overturn the Biden administration’s new joint employer rule via the Congressional Review Act.
— In a letter to the Hill on Thursday, the restaurant associations complained that the new joint employer rule released last month, which could make it easier for companies to face liability for labor law violations involving franchisees or contractors, would have implications that “are profound and far-reaching for the restaurant industry.”
— “This change is not merely administrative; it redefines what it means to be an employer in our industry. Under this rule, the expanded criteria for joint employer status could result in numerous restaurant operators being inadvertently caught in complex legal and regulatory networks, particularly those in franchisor-franchisee relationships or those utilizing third-party vendors,” the groups wrote, warning that it “could limit entrepreneurship and dampen the dynamism essential for restaurants’ continued success and resilience in communities in every state.”
— The National Restaurant Association is at the forefront of the business community’s aggressive opposition push to block the new rule from going into effect. Its legal arm was part of the industry coalition that filed the first legal challenge to the rule last month, and signed on to a letter with more than sixty other trade associations urging Congress to roll back the rule.
The New Orleans Wine & Food Experience (NOWFE) has announced that the 2024 Ella Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award will be presented to chef and restaurateur Donald Link. The gala celebration will take place on January 25 at 7 p.m. at The Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, with a VIP reception beginning at 6 p.m.
"Chef Link will be honored for his long-standing stewardship of our culinary culture and heritage, his celebration and cultivation of the remarkable bounty of growers, farmers, and fishermen in Southern Louisiana, and his guiding inspiration of future generations of chefs," said Aimee Brown, NOWFE Executive Director.
Inspired by the Cajun and Southern cooking of his grandparents, Louisiana native Chef Donald Link began his professional cooking career at 15 years old. Chef Link has peppered the streets of the Warehouse District of New Orleans with a collection of award-winning restaurants for the past two decades, including Herbsaint, Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, Pêche Seafood Grill, La Boulangerie, Gianna, and Chemin in the Four Seasons Hotel. Herbsaint earned Chef Link a James Beard award in 2007 for Best Chef South. The same year, Cochon was nominated for Best New Restaurant. The James Beard Foundation has also nominated Chef Link for the prestigious award of Outstanding Chef for multiple years. Pêche Seafood Grill was awarded Best New Restaurant at the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. Gianna was honored to be named a James Beard Award Nominee for Best New Restaurant 2019. Gourmet Magazine listed Herbsaint as one of the top 50 restaurants in America and was inducted into the Nation’s Restaurant News Hall of Fame. Cochon was listed in The New York Times as “one of the top 3 restaurants that count” and named one of the 20 most important restaurants in America by Bon Appétit. For his commitment to the industry, the Louisiana Restaurant Association honored Link by naming him Restaurateur of the Year in 2012.
The James Beard Foundation also honored Link’s first cookbook – Real Cajun: Rustic Home Cooking from Donald Link’s Louisiana (Clarkson Potter) with its top award for Best American Cookbook. Released in 2009, Real Cajun is a collection of family recipes that Link has honed and perfected while honoring the authenticity of the Cajun people. In February 2014, Link celebrated the release of his second cookbook Down South: Bourbon, Pork, Gulf Shrimp & Second Helpings of Everything (Clarkson-Potter), which looks beyond New Orleans and Louisiana at dishes in nearby states.
The Ella Brennan Award recognizes one individual each year that has made a lifetime commitment to the hospitality industry through extraordinary leadership, personal and professional accomplishments, and philanthropic contributions to the community. The Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality Award is named for restaurateur legend Ella Brennan. Her deep passion and commitment have made a significant and longstanding impact on the New Orleans hospitality industry. The award's past recipients include Chef Paul Prudhomme, philanthropist Bill Goldring, Chef Leah Chase, restaurateurs Drago and Klara Cvitanovich, Audubon leader Ron Forman, local restaurateur Ralph Brennan, celebrity chef and philanthropist Emeril Lagasse, tourism industry icon Mark Romig, Chef Frank Brigtsen, and Chef Susan Spicer. In 2021, NOWFE presented the Ella Brennan “Stand Up for Your Hometown Award” to recipients who exhibited unwavering love and extended an extraordinary response to support the New Orleans community during the pandemic. Those recipients included Al Copeland, Jr., Phil Moseley and Ronnie Evans, Robert Peyton and Troy Gilbert, Zeid and Marv Ammari, Erich and Jennifer Weishaupt, Devin De Wulf, Donald Link and Stephen Stryjewski, Jennifer Kelley Killian, Lauren Darnell, Melvin Rodrigue, Zach Strief, Charles Armstrong, and Isaac and Amanda Toups.