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2 017 Y E A R I N R E V I E W

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RESPONSE, RECOVERY & RELIEF EFFORTS WINTER 2017 | FRLA.ORG

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contents W I N T E R 2 0 17 | F R L A .O R G

DEPARTMENTS

4  Leadership Report Chapter Mergers Northeast Chapter and Three New Southwest 9  Florida Chapters

Path to Power Kevin Speidel, 2018 FRLA Chairman of the Board, 12 

Vice President of Resort Operations for Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV)

Chefs That Sizzle Tam Ha, Executive Chef, The Wellington Wanderers Club 14  20  Food Delivery UberEATS 24 Fall Corporate Events 2017 Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration 42 Business Matters How Much Sidework is Too Much Sidework? Engage Update 43  44  Legislative Preview 44  Connect Travel Marketplace Means Business 46  Movers and Shakers 47  Driving Growth Six Food Service Trends That Can Drive Growth 48  Be Friendlier Special Needs Friendly 49  ProStart Regional Workshops and ProStart Schools 52  Great Florida Events Don’t Miss Out on the Fun 53  Hospitality Happenings Glance at the Happenings Around the State 53  FRLA’s Corporate Events Calendar 56  Unemployment Insurance Services Paid Family Leave Proposal 57  Support CORE

18

49

SPECIAL FEATURES 10

VISIT FLORIDA — FRLA’s Tourism Partner

VISIT FLORIDA Response to Hurricane Irma Helps Industry Recover

2018 FRLA Executive Committee 16 

Get to Know Your Leadership Team

18  Year in Review

2017 Was a Successful Year for FRLA

22  Hurricane Irma

52 FRL A .org

Working Together Before, During and After the Storm

29

A La Carte 54 

FRLA’s Special Technology Section

Technology Is Driving the Industry to Levels That Were Dreams in Years Past

Industry Information You Need to Know

ON THE COVER: Governor Scott spent some time with linemen responding in the Florida Keys. Photo credit: Jesse Romimora

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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LEADERSHIP REPORT

Hospitality Gives Back and Inspires I am extremely proud of all we’ve accomplished this year and the strength of our industry. As I reflect on the achievements of the past year, I am inspired by the positive influence the hospitality industry impresses upon our communities. I am humbled and overwhelmed by our colleagues’ ability to band together during critical times. After several devastating hurricanes, Florida’s hospitality industry was a shining example of helping out your neighbor. Lodging properties welcomed evacuees, utility workers and first responders; restaurants fed thousands in shelters; businesses donated money and supplies; employees volunteered their time. While working diligently across the state to get the power back on, businesses open and employees back to work, FRLA joined Governor Rick Scott and VISIT FLORIDA to welcome visitors back to enjoy our beautiful state. Check out how the industry stepped up to assist in response, recovery and relief efforts (page 22). At the 2017 Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration, we celebrated the extraordinary employees of Florida’s hospitality industry. We

were honored to induct the following hospitality icons into our prestigious Hall of Fame: Don Seaton, Hotelier of the Year, Andrew Reiss, Restaurateur of the Year and UnitedHealthcare, Supplier of the Year and Special Honoree Randy Spicer. These distinguished leaders and industry all-stars are highlighted beginning on page 25. As we look forward to the upcoming year, we are proud that our 2018 Chairman of the Board shares a vision of continued success for the FRLA. Kevin Speidel, Vice President of Resort Operations for Hilton Grand Vacations, is a vibrant and energetic leader in the hotel industry. I encourage you to take a moment to learn more about our next Chairman on page 12. We’re grateful for the dedicated service Don Fox as our 2017 Chairman. Through his leadership, FRLA has navigated through numerous achievements and overcome diverse challenges. I am confident that Kevin and our talented 2018 Executive Committee will reinforce Don’s accomplishments. Learn more about our stellar incoming leadership on pages 16-17. Check out

our “Year in Review” on page 18-19 for highlights from this past year. As always, thank you for your continued engagement and efforts on behalf of our industry. I look forward to another successful year. Cheers!

Carol B. Dover FRLA President & CEO

Florida’s Hospitality Industry is Caring and Resilient As I prepare my final Chairman’s message for 2017, I am struck by how quickly this year has flown by. Twelve months ago, I could not have predicted the challenges the hospitality industry would face in 2017. Tourism, which is so vital to the health of the restaurant and lodging businesses, came under assault from both man and nature. Who could have imagined the threat of having VISIT FLORIDA’s funding reduced to $25 million? And after more than a decade of relatively calm wind and seas, who would have thought we would see a major hurricane strike our state literally from bottom to top, impacting virtually every operator in some form or fashion. But in both cases, whether the assault came from man or Mother Nature, our industry responded by displaying its resourcefulness and fleeing from harm’s way. And in the wake of the storm, our restaurant partners responded with vital meals for countless victims and first responders and opened their doors for commercial business as soon as possible, satisfying the needs of hungry Floridians yearning for a respite from their 4  W I N T ER

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powerless homes and the drone of generators. The role that the hospitality industry plays in our society was amplified like never before. When I assumed the role of FRLA Chairman for 2017, I dedicated this year to championing the condition of the people who make our industry work: our team members. During the year, I visited most of the chapters around the state (and I still have some visits remaining as I write this). My presentations focused on the culture of brands, the importance of your employees, and the role that leadership plays in forging great teams. I enjoyed meeting so many of you out on the road and learning more about your businesses. It was an awesome experience for me, and I hope I managed to give back to the members of FRLA more than what I received by virtue of having the privilege to serve.

Don Fox 2017 Chairman of the Board

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


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1932 MICCOSUKEE ROAD, TALLAHASSEE, FL 32308 Phone: 850-878-0554 Fax: 850-807-5037

MAGAZINE Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine is the official publication of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, Inc. (FRLA). FRLA reserves the right to accept, modify or reject any and all content submitted for publication, whether paid or otherwise, solely at its discretion. Unless otherwise expressly indicated, FRLA does not endorse or warrant any products or services contained herein. In addition, unless otherwise expressly noted, the opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and not necessarily those of FRLA, its directors, officers, members or staff. Content submissions may be made to the Publisher’s Office by regular mail or by email. Please note that submitted materials will not be returned. FRLA Headquarters 230 S. Adams St. Tallahassee, FL 32301 850/224-2250 Fax: 850/224-9213

Printer’s Address 13487 S. Preston Hwy. Lebanon Junction, KY 40150

Ad rates and submission guidelines at www.FRLA.org Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine (USPS 002-629; ISSN 1044-03640) is published bi-monthly. FRLA members receive this publication as part of their membership dues. Non-members receive it as a marketing and promotion effort to inform the Florida foodservice and lodging industry of efforts made on its behalf by FRLA. Printing and mailing services: Publisher’s Press, Inc., Lebanon Junction, KY.

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Address changes may be sent to: FRLA, 230 South Adams St., Tallahassee, FL 32301 or via email to susana@frla.org. Send subscription address changes to susana@frla.org.

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CHAPTER MERGERS

Northeast Chapter FRLA Announces NE Chapter Merger and Chapter Name Change

T

he merger of the First Coast Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA) with North Florida Hotel & Lodging Association (NFHLA) has been finalized. In addition, the First Coast Chapter has been renamed as the Northeast Chapter of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association. Nicole Chapman is the Northeast Florida Regional Director, and she is the membership point-of-contact for the chapter. If you want to know more, please contact Nicole at nchapman@frla.org and visit FRLA.org for chapter events.

Northeast Chapter

Lee County Chapter

FRLA Southwest Florida Welcomes Three New Chapters FRLA and Lee County Hotel Association Merge

F

RLA is pleased to announce the merger of FRLA and the Lee County Hotel Association. This merger results in FRLA’s Lee County Chapter, which will be a new venture for FRLA. Lois Croft is the Regional Director for the chapter, and she’ll be working to address the needs of the hospitality industry in this area. About this merger, Lois Croft noted, “I am very excited to be merging with the local Lee County Hotel Association. They have a strong local presence with legislators and our community. Together we will have a united voice to support our entire hospitality industry in Lee County.” The three new chapters include the Lee Chapter, Lee County, Paradise Coast Chapter, Collier County and Gulf Island Coast Chapter, Charlotte and Glades counties. For more information, Lois can be reached at lcroft@frla.org and visit FRLA.org for chapter events.

FRL A .org

Jason Christian, Heartland, Dean Gross, Heartland and Troy Connor, Symbiont attended the recent Lee Chapter mixer. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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VISIT FLORIDA Response to Hurricane Irma Helps Industry Recover

A

s the trusted source of travel information that informs and inspires travel to Florida, VISIT FLORIDA plays a vital role in the state’s crisis response and recovery efforts. From ensuring visitors have the information they need to make informed travel planning decisions that help keep them safe, to providing resources to tourism industry businesses looking to VISIT FLORIDA for leadership and assistance, to serving as a conduit for information between state officials and local businesses, VISIT FLORIDA staff are on the front lines of ensuring every visitor, partner and resident is safe. From the first day that Florida appeared in the five-day forecast cone for Hurricane Irma, VISIT FLORIDA activated and continually updated its homepage banner and Florida Now page on VISITFLORIDA.com to provide weather alerts, evacuation notices, curfews, traffic updates, power outages, gas availability and other timely resources travelers needed. Through partnerships with Expedia and Facebook, VISIT FLORIDA was able to share real-time accommodations, rental car and flight availability, as well as reach 280,000 domestic and international visitors who were currently in the state with a targeted message informing them about the storm and providing them with resources. In the days just after the storm, VISIT FLORIDA held conference calls with local

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“We are continuing to allow visitors to see for themselves that Florida is still the No. 1 global destination as we work toward our goal of 120 million visitors this year.” –Ken Lawson, VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO

destination marketing organizations to hear first-hand how they fared, what their immediate needs were, and to determine what level of marketing assistance they would need and how quickly. Based on this feedback, VISIT FLORIDA put together a host of complimentary and discounted marketing programs for tourism businesses in all 48 counties listed in Governor Scott’s emergency declaration, which can be found at VISITFLORIDA.org/ recovery. Working in concert with FRLA, the Florida Retail Federation and other organizations, VISIT FLORIDA also assisted the Business & Industry desk at the State Emergency Operations Center with response and recovery efforts tied to travel and tourism. To get the message out to potential visitors that Florida was indeed open for business, VISIT FLORIDA reached out to domestic and international tour operators and meeting professionals in core markets to manage any misperceptions of damage to destinations and encourage the continuation of bookings

to the state. VISIT FLORIDA also began an aggressive recovery marketing campaign, the first phase of which involved sending video crews to destinations around the state to live stream on its Facebook page from tourism businesses that were able to reopen quickly. Within weeks, those crews streamed from locations throughout the Florida Keys, showcasing the areas that were again welcoming visitors. These live feeds were promoted the same day via paid social media, with more than 4.9 million people having viewed the Facebook Live videos to date. The second phase of the campaign, now in full swing in 18 top feeder markets across the U.S., includes TV broadcast, print, transit and digital billboard ads. The content for these ads was all filmed post storm and encourages visitors to find their “moment of sunshine.” This phase will transition directly into VISIT FLORIDA’s winter campaign and take full advantage of those making travel decisions for the late fall and winter seasons. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


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PAT H T O P O W E R

FRLA 2018 Chairman of the Board

Kevin Speidel

VICE PRESIDENT OF RESORT OPERATIONS FOR HILTON GRAND VACATIONS (HGV)

How did you get started in the hospitality industry? After

reading 2017 Chairman Don Fox’s answer to this question, it truly resonates that the hospitality industry provides career opportunity. Like Don, I also started washing dishes in New Jersey, at the old Vittorio’s Clinton Point Inn in Clinton. “Diving for pearls” was a gateway opportunity, which lead me from pantry cook to brunch cook to working the grille and sauté stations.

Early in your career what was the most valuable lesson you learned? “Bosses” aren’t

effective. I am sure we all can think of

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many very smart people who have come and gone, but what the service industry requires are leaders who inspire, recognize diversity, create teamwork and have fun while accomplishing goals.

Do you have any mentors who were instrumental in helping you achieve your goals? My first professor, Wilfried

Iskat, still remains such an inspiration to me. He’s truly a selfless leader who challenged me to further my education and pursue excellence in hospitality. During my college years, I was presented with an opportunity to join the manager in development (MID) program with Marriott by starting as a housekeeping supervisor. Although I first thought housekeeping to be intimidating and a big jump from the warm surroundings of a kitchen, I grew to love the housekeeping department because it represents people from so many nationalities and cultures. To this day, it remains my favorite department for the simple reason of unity — celebrating and recognizing amazing people and cultures is empowering. The MID role also proved to be a gateway position, and after working in Times Square NYC, I was quickly presented the opportunity to move to the great state of Florida!

What is the single greatest factor in the success of your career? Create a plan and then work

the plan relentlessly. Whether it is a plan for a single department, a multi-unit business plan or your own career path, you must define values, establish goals and leverage strengths. Of course, being willing to relocate is important, and when opportunity knocks, answer it and go.

How have your philanthropies and giving back to the community affected your business decisions? It has made

me even more humble and grateful to be in a position enabled to make a positive difference. Always remember the butterfly effect … today’s actions and decisions create ripple effects upon many for many years to come. Be sure your decisions reflect the Golden Rule, seize opportunity to lead within your communities, and develop your own protégés to further a positive, lasting legacy.

Is there anything you would like to share with Florida’s hospitality industry members? In this day of artificial intelligence,

technological automation, robotics and limited time, the true luxury of the future will be human interaction. Put down your devices. Spend time with your family and friends. Take more vacations and break bread more often. Invest our limited time interacting with family, friends and team members. Use your leadership skills to engage in the human spirit, the spirit of tourism, hospitality and service to one another. Technology evolves with capital investment; make sure you invest more into your human capital. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


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F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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Chefs That Sizzle

Tam Ha

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE WELLINGTON WANDERERS CLUB

Executive Chef Tam Ha hails from Southeast Asia, where he was introduced to cooking by his grandmother. This sparked an early interest in Asian cuisine. Since then, he has expanded his repertoire to include Caribbean, American Fusion and Continental French cuisines. His passion for food is echoed by his education and training. Executive Chef Tam Ha graduated from the State University of New York, second in his class. This earned him a prestigious Silver Medal in the Culinary Arts. As his nearly 20 year career has progressed, so have the chef’s responsibilities and job titles. His employers have included the Everglades Club, the Wianno Club, Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago, the City Club and the Resort at Singer Island, part of the Starwood Luxury Collection. While with Starwood, his restaurant, Solu, was rated No. 1 in the Palm Beaches area. Since joining the Wanderers Club team six years ago, Chef Tam has elevated the cuisine and been instrumental in the growth of the membership as well as building the reputation of the Club’s award-winning dining experience. The chef is also known for his beautiful, large-scale ice sculptures. His carving skills have been applied to fanciful vegetable and fruit compositions, while his eye for color and detail have yielded creative food displays — all with a careful attention to flavor. Executive Chef Tam Ha is married with two children. He enjoys entertaining with friends and family, often in his flourishing garden. The herbs and other plants highlight his commitment to fresh food in vibrant surroundings.

Describe your role with The Wellington Wanderers Club:

produce is mainly indigenous fruit and unique vegetables. Our plates are vibrantly colorful works of art featuring the finest ingredients. Please describe some of your most popular menu items.

The most popular is our prime rib. It is well seasoned and slow roasted. It’s an old-school technique with a modern twist that makes it a masterpiece. It is accompanied with freshly made Yorkshire pudding, creamy horseradish sauce, au jus, Yukon gold potatoes and seasonal market vegetables. We also have a demand for healthier fare. The trend of vegetarian and gluten free has captured the taste of fresh vegetables and fish. We offer simple grilled mahi and salmon with Asian-inspired field greens. What is your “sizzle” or cuisine and food that are your signature or “specialties,” unique food presentations or any new ideas that you are using? Our signature dish is

Curried Snapper. It is made up of many unique ingredients, which I bring to the club from my own personal repertoire. It takes me back home to Southeast Asia and reminds me of my family. The item that sets this dish apart from all others is the sauce. It is a very different plate: inviting, colorful and full of depth. Please tell readers about your ice sculptures. As a child in Vietnam, I did not have any toys. The only thing available to me was self-made clay from the Mekong River. I would create exotic animals and birds known to my culture. Many years later when I attended culinary school, I had a garde-manger class that required ice carving. Carving ice is not the same as molding clay, but the vision of objects is the same. Timing is everything. When you’re carving an object, you must look into the future and work quickly — especially in Florida!

My role as the Executive Chef at the Wanderers Club is to make sure everyone is following a path to success. I keep my team working together and make sure they have fun. I provide a great working experience in the kitchen, so it filters out to the members and they have a great dining experience. I believe in changing the menu to keep up with current trends, as well as listening to member feedback, and making adjustments as needed to accommodate the club’s diverse membership. What inspires your menus? My menu is a based on a com-

bination of member feedback, current industry trends, and my passion for classic flavors and food. I am inspired by my heritage. The menu is comprised of flavors spanning many cultures utilizing my classic culinary training and the diverse skills of our culinary team. Do you create menu items to complement local produce, meats and seafood? Our specials are based on the seasonal

availability of local farms and purveyors. Living in South Florida, our

Hot Chef? Are You Considered Among Florida’s Hottest Chefs? 14  W I N T ER

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Know a chef who is creating a buzz with innovative cuisine, exceptional presentation or fresh new ideas? FRLA wants to tell the state about them in a quarterly feature in FR&L Magazine. Submit your favorite chef du jour to editor@frla.org. Please include a brief explanation of why your submission should be considered one of the hottest chefs in Florida. Be sure to include restaurant and contact information. Submissions will be featured in FR&L Magazine as Chefs That Sizzle!

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


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MEET THE AUTHOR in person at one of The Lease Coach events in Tampa, Orlando, Miami, Jacksonville, or Tallahassee – or at the next Florida Restaurant Show. What The Lease Coach recommends: Q. How far in advance should I start the lease renewal process with my landlord? A. We recommend getting started on the lease renewal process at least 12 months in advance. But be careful as tenants often sabotage themselves by unnecessarily exercising their renewal option rights, saying the wrong thing, or indicating that they want to renew. As The Lease Coach, we make the landlord earn or re-earn your tenancy – which can mean negotiating for a lease renewal rent reduction, tenant allowance for renovations, free rent, etc. Getting your deposit back on renewals and removing personal guaranties are important to negotiate for as well … not just the rent. Q. How often does The Lease Coach get a rent reduction for Tenants? A. Approximately 80% of our lease consulting projects result in a significant rent reduction from what the restaurant tenant is currently paying or what rent the landlord wanted for the renewal Term. This typically saves the tenant more than 10 times our fee for this service (results vary). Q. My restaurant is struggling but I still have four years left on my lease Term – how can I get a rent reduction from my landlord right now? A. You probably can't – but for The Lease Coach negotiating mid-term rent reductions has become one of our most requested services. It's very expensive for the landlord to replace a tenant as they have to pay real estate commissions and tenant allowances plus there can be many months without income for the landlord while the space sits vacant. When we take on a restaurant client we often discover the Tenant is actually paying an above market rent – so no wonder they are struggling. So often we're not dropping the rent below market but re-aligning it with a true rental rate that no new tenant would pay more than anyway. So it can be much more cost-effective for the landlord to simply lower a Tenant's rent than replace the Tenant. The Lease Coach Florida Office:

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F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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LEADERSHIP

Meet Your 2018 FRLA Kevin Speidel

2018 Chairman of the Board Kevin Speidel, Chairman of the Board, FRLA 2018, is Vice President of Resort Operations for Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV). In this role, he is responsible for the operations function of all Hilton Grand Vacation locations located domestically and internationally. A 15-year employee of Hilton Worldwide, Kevin joined HGV in July 2016. Prior to working with Hilton, Speidel was General Manager of the Sheraton Miami and the Providence Marriott. Mr. Speidel serves on multiple boards and organizations including the State Executive Committee of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA), past president and board member of FRLA’s Broward, Dade and Monroe Chapters. He was installed as FRLA’s 2018 Chairman of the Board in fall 2017. He is a graduate of Lynn University with a Bachelor of Science degree majoring in hospitality management.

Alan Palmieri

Sheldon Suga

Jim Shirley

2018 Vice Chair of the Board

Secretary/Treasurer and Lodging Director 2017–18

Restaurant Director 2018–19

Alan Palmieri, Vice Chairman of the Board, FRLA 2018, is a co-owner and a partner of Marlow’s Tavern. With over 40 years in the restaurant industry, he is currently responsible for the growth, development and operations of the Marlow’s brand in Florida. Palmieri retired from Darden Restaurants after 13 years as Executive Vice President of Operations in the Specialty Restaurant Group. Prior to Darden, he worked with S & A Restaurant Corporation working for Steak & Ale, Bennigan’s and Bay Street Seafood Restaurants. He served as President and CEO of a 110-unit Boston Market franchise in Southern California. In addition, he spent three years at the Boston Chicken headquarters as one of eight founding officers holding several positions. 16  W I N T ER

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Sheldon Suga, FRLA Secretary/Treasurer 2018 and 2017-18 Lodging Director, is Vice President/Managing Director of Hawks Cay Resort located in the Florida Keys. Suga is a seasoned hospitality executive with over 35 years of industry experience. After graduation from college, Suga entered Sheraton’s General Management Training program. During his time with ITT Sheraton, he attained the ITT Ring of Quality Worldwide Team Award and served as general manager at properties in West Hartford, New York City, Halifax, LaJolla and Los Angeles. He also worked in Tokyo and was country manager for ITT Sheraton. Additionally he has worked for Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, the Gaylord Palms and the Gaylord National Resort. He received a degree in Hospitality Management from Ryerson University in Toronto.

Jim Shirley, FRLA 2018-19 Restaurant Director, is a chef and restaurateur in South Walton, Florida, owning Great Southern Café and 45 Central Wine Bar in Seaside, Florida, as well as The Bay Restaurant in South Walton. He is also co-owner of Meltdown on 30A in Seaside and grocerant Baytowne Provisions in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Jim was previously the president of the Northwest Florida FRLA chapter and president of the Escambia County chapter. He is currently the treasurer of FRLA’s Educational Foundation. Jim sits on the board of the Children’s Home Society and the Seaside Neighborhood School. Jim represented Florida in the 2015 Great American Seafood Cook-Off. In addition Jim has been invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York City four times. He is author of the cookbook, “Good Grits! Southern Boy Cooks,” a compilation of his best recipes along with entertaining stories. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


Executive Committee! Olivia Hoblit Lodging Director 2018–19 Olivia Hoblit, FRLA Lodging Director 2018-19, is the General Manager of Seaside Inn (Innisfree Hotels) on Amelia Island. Through her leadership, the hotel has moved to the ranking of No. 2 Best Hotel on Amelia Island by Trip Advisor. Prior to this position, she was general manager of the highly acclaimed Elizabeth Pointe Lodge. She has over 18 years of experience in hospitality, six years in Food & Beverage and 11 years in law for Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation.

Cathie Koch 2018 Restaurant Director Cathie Koch, FRLA 2018 Restaurant Director, is the Vice President of Corporate Communications and Government Relations for Bloomin’ Brands, Inc., the parent company for Outback Steakhouse, Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. She joined Bloomin’ Brands following an eight-year tenure with Arby’s Restaurant Group. Prior to Arby’s, she provided issues management, investor relations, media relations and crisis communications services to consumer and business-to-business clients through her consultancy. She began her restaurant career as the national spokesperson for The Olive Garden and Applebee’s. Outside of Bloomin’ Brands, Ms. Koch is a member of the University of South Florida Journalism and Media Studies Advisory Board, and the Tarpon Springs Area Historical Society Board of Directors. She served as PAC Chair for the Florida Restaurant Association in 2016. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Florida and an accreditation in public relations (APR) from the Public Relations Society of America. FRL A .org

Don Fox 2018 Immediate Past Chair

Don Fox, Immediate Past Chair, FRLA 2018, is the CEO of Firehouse of America, LLC. Don’s restaurant career started 42 years ago as an entry-level employee for an independent Italian restaurant in New Jersey. In 1980, he relocated to Florida with Burger King Corporation, which led to a 23-year career with the national chain. Don served in a variety of positions, from restaurant management and field operations, to R&D and new concept development. He joined Firehouse Subs in 2003 as director of franchise compliance. He was promoted to chief operating officer in 2005 and was named chief executive officer in 2009. Under his leadership, the brand has grown from 65 restaurants to more than 1,010 restaurants in 44 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and is consistently recognized as one of the best franchises in the country. Don was named Operator of the Year by Nation’s Restaurant News in 2011, and in 2013 he was ranked No. 1 on FastCasual.com’s 2013 Top 100 Movers & Shakers list and received the prestigious Silver Plate award from the International Food Manufacturers Association (IFMA). Fox gives back to the restaurant community through active participation on various boards of influence and is a member of the Board of Directors for the National Restaurant Association (NRA). In 2013, NRA awarded Don with its Advocacy Leadership Award. A published author, his most notable work is “Patton’s Vanguard – The United States Army Fourth Armored Division,” a history of General Patton’s most famed division. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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2017

FRLA YEAR IN REVIEW

2017 was a difficult yet successful year for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and Florida’s hospitality industry. Florida’s hospitality industry was tested both by Mother Nature and in the political arena. Recovery is still underway from the destruction levied by the year’s strong hurricanes, and challenges posed by the Florida Legislature were met and are still in progress. The business of the industry was booming prior to the summer’s storms, and it is getting back on track in the months afterwards. FRLA hosted more than 125 corporate and chapter events in 2017. The following “Year in Review” features many of these events that reflect FRLA’s leadership and engagement in Florida’s hospitality industry.

JANUARY FRLA hosted its Chapter Presidents’ Retreat in Orlando. FRLA Chairman Don Fox presented to the Palm Beach FRLA Chapter, the Politics of Doing Business. Southwest Florida, Charlotte County (former) held their Engage & Education Breakfast. FRLA through Great Florida Events sponsored the NFL Pro Bowl Weekend, a Main Street Orlando event at Church Street Station. FRLA and VISIT FLORIDA sponsored Season 5 of 18  W I N T ER

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Emeril’s Florida! This show featured the Florida lifestyle, restaurants, hotels and resorts.

FEBRUARY Tourism Roundtables were held across the state with Governor Scott. FRLA members presented to the House Careers & Comp Subcommittee about VISIT FLORIDA funding. The FRLA Palm Beach Chapter held its Hospitality Networking Social. The Great Florida Events Program sponsored the

Food Network & Cooking Channel South Beach Wine & Food Festival.

MARCH The Florida Legislature convened in Tallahassee. Florida Tourism Day brought hundreds of industry leaders to Tallahassee to speak to lawmakers about the importance of Florida’s hospitality industry. FRLA Headquarters held its Grand Opening. The EscaRosa Chapter held an awesome networking social.

FRLA reps attended the NRA Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C. The FRLA Educational Foundation hosted the 17th annual ProStart Culinary Team Competition with Tarpon Springs High School winning. FRLA’s First Coast Chapter hosted their Legislative Luncheon in St. Augustine. FRLA’s Tallahassee Chapter held its Bust-A-Clay Shoot at Coon Bottom Gun Club. FRLA and NRA signed the UPA Agreement. Laudy Pop, Taste of the Sea/Sandy Shoes,

FoodStock Orlando, Gullah Geechee Bike Festival, Wellington Weekend and UNwineD were sponsored by FRLA’s Great Florida Events Program.

APRIL FRLA E.A.T.S. educational fundraiser was hosted by FRLA’s Palm Beach Chapter for hospitality industry students. The FRLA Broward Chapter held its 8th Annual Excellence in Education Gala. Engage meetings were hosted by the EscaRosa and Dade chapters.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


BRION PRICE

FRLA reps attended the Restaurant Leadership Conference. FRLA’s Great Florida Events program, in partnership with VISIT FLORIDA and Main Street Florida, sponsored Downtown Brew, Savor the EDGE, Dancing on the Drive, the Art of Brew and Vilano Beach Dish N Fish. The program also sponsored the FSU Spring Game, UF Spring Game and Spring Sports, Friday Night Sound Waves, Stetson Spring Sports, Pink & Swine, Sun ‘N Fun and SoWalWine.

MAY FRLA received the AAHOA Hotelier Award and attended the AH&LA Legislative Action Summit in Washington, D.C. The First Coast Chapter held its Bust-A-Clay. FRLA’s Summer Board Meeting was held in Sanibel, Florida at the beautiful Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa. FRLA’s Great Florida Events sponsored the Key West Songwriters Festival, Clearwater Beach Taste Fest, Nashville Songwriters Florida Sunshine Tour, FRL A .org

SunFest and the Salute to America’s Heroes.

JUNE FRLA participated in the Orlando United Day, Summer of Dreams event. ProStart held Teaching Training Institutes at several locations around the state. The Monroe Chapter held a motivational Jim Knight event in Key West.

JULY The Central Florida Chapter held its PAC Fundraiser.

AUGUST FRLA held its Marketing + Operations Summit at the Harbor Beach Marriott Resort & Spa in Fort Lauderdale. The Lee County Hotel Association and FRLA held their merger luncheon. The North Florida Hotel and Lodging Association and FRLA held their merger meeting and reception. FRLA’s Hillsborough and Pinellas Chapters held their The Future of Social Media event.

FRLA’s Suncoast Chapter held its 7th Annual Chairman’s Luncheon at the Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. The Space Coast Chapter held its annual Space Coast Bowling Tournament. FRLA through its Great Florida Events program sponsored the Annual Florida Main Street Conference in Fernandina Beach, Florida, and Orlando Restaurant Week.

SEPTEMBER FRLA Gives Back in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma with numerous events. Visit FRLA.org/frlagives-back for details. Northwest Florida Chapter hosted the Engage Okaloosa meeting. FRLA sponsored the Noles’ Friday Night Block Parties, the Island Hopper Songwriter Fest and CRAVE GFL, through the VISIT FLORIDA in-state marketing campaign, Great Florida Events.

OCTOBER FRLA held its Fall Board Meeting at the Orange County Convention Center.

FRLA held the NRA/FRLA Bob Leonard Golf Classic at the ChampionsGate Golf Club in honor of our dear friend, Bob Leonard.

Annual Coastal Boil in Destin. FRLA sponsored College Park JazzFest and Cows ‘n Cabs through the Great Florida Events program.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show was great this year with hundreds of booths and dozens of educational programs.

The Sporting Clay Shoot was held by the EscaRosa Chapter. Moon Over The Market was sponsored by FRLA’s Northeast Chapter.

The FRL Show Party for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show was sponsored by the Central Florida Chapter.

FRLA’s Broward Chapter held it 9th Annual Golf Invitational to support scholarships for ProStart and Hospitality Management Programs in local high schools.

FRLA celebrated industry stars at the Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration.

FRLA’s EscaRosa Chapter hosted Shoot the Clays with FRLA, a networking and team building event.

FRLA sponsored more Great Florida Events this month: Nashville Songwriters Florida Sunshine Tour, Blast on the Bay, Autos and Oysters, and the Florida Jazz & Blues Festival.

The Paradise Coast Chapter held its Hospitality Showcase.

ProStart held Regional Workshops. The Tallahassee Chapter held the Engage Breakfast Meeting.

NOVEMBER The 4th Annual FRLA Miami-Dade Golf Invitational was held at the iconic Biltmore Hotel. FRLA’s NW Florida Chapter held its 2nd

FRLA’s Tallahassee Chapter hosted the Tallahassee Strikes Back Bowling Tournament.

DECEMBER Many of FRLA’s chapters hosted holiday events and installed new leadership. FRLA’s Great Florida Events program sponsored the Restaurant Weeks in Southwest Florida.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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FOOD DELIVERY

UberEATS S

ince launching in Miami in the summer of 2015, UberEATS has rapidly expanded throughout Florida, now serving six markets including Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. So what has so many eaters and restaurants throughout the state excited about partnering with UberEATS? Convenience and reliability. UberEATS is an easy and reliable way for eaters to get the food they want, when they want it. The on-demand food delivery app and website connects restaurants with users at the push of a button — as easy as getting an Uber ride. For consumers, UberEATS offers a convenient way to make eating well effortless. Whether one is looking for a salad at lunch, cupcakes for an office party or a local pizza favorite for dinner, they can relax knowing that their food is being delivered wherever they are at Uber speed. For restaurant partners, UberEATS expands capacity and reach to be able to service a whole new network of potential customers and significant revenue stream. UberEATS makes it easy to share your food with more people and grow your business on your terms. 20  W I N T ER

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UberEATS is also extremely easy to use. It is its own app, which can be downloaded from the Apple app store or Google play store. From there, users input the delivery address and can browse local restaurants or cuisine types. They then place the order, the restaurant receives it on a tablet and an Uber courier partner is dispatched for delivery. Users can also track the progress of the delivery, receiving updates as the order is prepared and delivered to its destination. For restaurants, UberEATS is helping local Florida restaurant owners grow and expand their business. General Manager Rocco Truliano of Antonio’s Pizzeria in St. Petersburg has seen almost a 30 percent increase in business since partnering with UberEATS. “(We get) about 200 to 300 orders a week

just on Uber (Eats),” said Truliano in a recent interview with Tampa CBS-affiliate WTSP. The extra business has allowed Truliano to expand his pizza shop and hire additional employees to support the demand. Truliano still balances his in-house delivery staff with UberEATS support to expand his reach. “A lot of their (UberEATS) deliveries go to the outlying areas, so instead of us having to go out there and wasting all our time, UberEATS picks them up and we can concentrate locally,” detailed one of Truliano’s in-house drivers to WTSP. UberEATS is always looking to partner with restaurants that want to deliver great new dishes. If a restaurant is interested, they can visit uber.com/restaurants to learn how to work with UberEATS.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


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POST IRMA

Working Together By SUSIE MCKINLEY

S

ince 1992’s Hurricane Andrew made landfall in Homestead, the state of Florida’s local and state governments along with the Emergency Response Team have been preparing for the next “big one.” Hurricane Irma filled that position as a Category 4 storm hitting the lower Florida Keys and again as a Category 3 storm with landfall on Marco Island. Irma was relentless, causing havoc throughout the state from South Florida to Jacksonville and places in between. The story of Irma and its aftermath has been told and revisited in the weeks and months following the storm. Floridians are steadfast and determined. We are rebuilding with a vengeance in order to welcome visitors back. We are thankful for our first responders and for those who traveled to assist in our recovery. In addition, the building codes put into place in the years following Hurricane Andrew protected countless lives and property; there is still more to do. The emergency response and recovery approach utilized by Florida’s officials has been exercised and tested in the years since Hurricane Andrew. While it has been tough for those directly touched by Hurricane Irma, know that it could have been much worse without the measures put into place by our state’s leadership over the years. In so many cases all over the state, Hurricane Irma brought out the best in people. Lynne Hernandez, FRLA’s South Florida Regional Director. noted after visiting the Keys “the resiliency of our residents and the incredible spirit of heart” that she saw during Irma recovery. To learn more about people helping people, be certain to visit frla.org/frla-gives-back. Florida has reached out to potential domestic and international visitors through a new marketing campaign implemented by VISIT FLORIDA to highlight the Sunshine State following Irma. This campaign is in addition to VISIT FLORIDA’s traditional winter campaign. There are many other ways that the state is working to get those struck by Hurricane Irma back on their feet. For information about those efforts visit frla.org/news-release/storm-hurricane-irma-relief-efforts-underway. As the days after Irma pass and the impacted areas are back in business, consider taking a trip to those areas. Stay in a favorite hotel or resort, and dine at some of Florida’s fantastic eateries to help support the local economies. You’ll be glad you did. Susie McKinley is a former director of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants and is currently the Editor of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine and the Manager of FRLA’s Great Florida Events Program. 22  W I N T ER

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(Top Left) Carol B. Dover, FRLA President and CEO, Ken Lawson, VISIT FLORIDA President and CEO, and Governor Rick Scott at a Key West press conference. (Bottom) Half Shell Raw Bar HS Clean up crew. (Top Right) Half Shell Raw Bar kitchen staff. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


HURRICANE RELIEF

Restaurant and Lodging Inspections Before and After the Storm By MICHELLE HAYNES

T

he Atlantic hurricane season officially began on June 1. In the event of a disaster, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, Division of Hotels & Restaurants is responsible for performing emergency-related food service and lodging inspections and responding to foodborne illness and life-safety related complaints. The division uses a multi-faceted approach to prepare for this role and ensure safety of its personnel and the public. Each year, exercises like phone tree drills are conducted with staff to test response times and contact info accuracy. Hurricane kits — a special box of supplies for inspectors to use during disaster conditions — are checked and rechecked to ensure they are well-stocked. State vehicles are examined for suitability for road travel. And the division meets with its partners in food safety from other government agencies to discuss cooperative strategies. These agencies make up the Florida Integrated Rapid Response Team (FLIRRT). FLIRRT is a multiagency team that works in partnership to respond to disaster events involving food or animal feed utilizing the Incident Command Structure. FLIRRT is comprised of the following agencies: »»Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) »»Florida Department of Health (DOH) »»Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations (DBPR) »»Food and Drug Administration (FDA) »»United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) All the preparations for the season were tested when Hurricane Irma set its sights on Florida. Governor Scott declared a state of emergency for the entire state, as Hurricane Irma was predicted to be the largest and most powerful storm in the state’s history. Everyone kept a close watch on the forecasted path of the storm. Wary of suffering the same devastation that Houston residents endured from Hurricane Harvey, Floridians flooded stores and drained them of emergency supplies. Gas stations were depleted.

FRL A .org

After the hurricane, the division’s first priority was the safety and well-being of its staff. Information used previously during the phone tree drill was now put to real-life use as supervisors checked on their employees and their well-being. Some employees, especially in South Florida, had evacuated out of the state completely. Others sheltered in place to ride out the storm and protect their families and belongings as best they could. After ensuring the safety of its personnel, division inspectors conducted assessments and disaster inspections of public food service establishments in affected areas. These inspections examined key areas of the establishment’s operation that directly affect food safety: 1. Structural condition of the building 2. Potable water availability 3. Electricity availability 4. Power interruption 5. Food temperatures Immediate corrective actions for egregious violations were required. Food found to be unsafe for consumption was not permitted to be sold or served to the public. Establishments operating in unsanitary conditions were closed. In less than three weeks, the division conducted nearly 15,000 disaster inspections across the state. Many establishments that suffered damage are beginning repairs of their property and are remodeling or renovating in the process. The division encourages all operators interested in making changes to their establishments to first review our guidance on remodeling and plan review at myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/hr/licensing/planreviewindex.html, and to use licensed contractors when needed. Working together, we can all help get businesses back up and running at full capacity. Though much of Florida was spared from catastrophic damage, the road to full recovery lies ahead. Michelle Haynes is the Deputy Chief of Inspections, Division of Hotels and Restaurants, DBPR.

The FRLA Gives Back program highlights numer-

ous charitable initiatives led by compassionate tourism and hospitality members across the state that embrace the spirit of hospitality by giving back to their local communities. The purpose of this initiative is to inspire involvement at all levels of Florida’s hospitality industry, including business owners, employees and our guests, as well as encourage our membership to embrace charitable causes, become civically engaged and invest in future generations. Whether it’s feeding people in need, supporting our neighbors, volunteering, mentoring or fundraising, restaurateurs and hoteliers are making a positive impact here in Florida. In September 2017, Hurricane Irma came through the state of Florida, affecting millions. Florida’s hospitality industry was a shining example of helping out your neighbor during this time. Lodging properties welcomed evacuees and their pets, utility workers and first responders; restaurants fed thousands in shelters; businesses donated money and supplies; and employees volunteered their time. Florida’s hospitality industry must continue to answer the call to help those in need. Reach out to help@frla.org to share your #FRLAGivesBack stories of kindness before, during and after Hurricane Irma. To read more about our generous and amazing FRLA members who provided assistance to disaster victims, responders and evacuees visit frla.org/frla-gives-back.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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FALL

CORPORATE EVENTS

Fall 2017 was busy for the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association. Our corporate events included the NRA/FRLA Bob Leonard Golf Classic, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Show, the FRLA Fall Board Meeting and the Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration.

John Shermetaro, RCS, and Matt Donovan, txtsignal, enjoyed the FR&L Show Party. Photo by Brion Price.

The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Trade Show provided an opportunity for restaurateurs and hoteliers to see the latest in industry trends. 24  W I N T ER

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The FR&L Show Party was fun with food, music and fun! Photo by Brion Price.

The FRLA Fall Board Meeting was well-attended and was a great networking opportunity.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


2017 Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration 2017 FRLA Chairman Don Fox, Firehouse of America, was presented an award for his service to the Association at the Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration.

Evelyn Wilson, Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach, was the 2017 Hotel Employee of the Year.

UnitedHealthcare was named the recipient of the 2017 Hall of Fame Supplier of the Year award.

Randy Spicer was the Special Honoree at the Gala awarded posthumously for his work in creating affordable health insurance for restaurant employees. His family received the award in his honor.

The FRLA Hall of Fame Hotelier of the Year was presented to the family of Don Seaton. FRL A .org

James McManemon, Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, was awarded the 2017 Hotel General Manager of the Year at the Gala.

The 2017 Educational Foundation Garrett M. Hughes Student of the Year was Juana Pascual.

Andrew Reiss was named as the Hall of Fame Restaurateur of the Year.

Dan Dunn, Hilton Pensacola Beach, was nominated as the 2017 Chef of the Year.

Kelita Williams, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cocoa Beach Oceanfront, won the 2017 Restaurant Employee award.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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WE RAISED OVER $100K FOR THE NRA AND FRLA PACS

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CLO SE ST TO TH E PIN International Course: Chris Thurman National Course: Gordon LeBlanc

LONG E ST DRIVE International Course: Paul Cumbie National Course: Brent Ellis & Angela Borthwick


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TECH the

issue

FR&L’s Technology Issue features the latest innovations in our industry as it relates to the tech world. Technology is driving the industry to levels that were dreams in years past. If you want to attract customers and keep them, you better find out what your customers are looking for and utilize technology to your advantage. Secure payments, customer engagement, accessibility and tech-driven awesome resort amenities and guest experiences are some of what you’ll read when perusing this special edition of FR&L. Enjoy!

FRL A .org

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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Are Your O Payments Secure?

ctober marks the two-year anniversary of the U.S. migration to EMV smart-chip enabled payment technology. Despite the fact that the migration was accompanied by a card-present fraud liability shift to the party using the least secure technology, Visa reports that only about 2 million U.S. merchants have transitioned to this new level of technology. This leaves nearly 67 percent of U.S. merchants vulnerable, as fraudsters turn their focus to non-EMV enabled businesses. EMV, which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa, is the global standard for cards equipped with computer chips and the technology used to authenticate chip-card transactions. EMV cards are embedded with a smart chip that creates a unique transaction code that cannot be used again, improving the payment security for consumers.

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F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


SECURITY

EMV-enabled terminal, the terminal can detect that the card being used has EMV capabilities and the system will prompt the fraudster to “dip” the card instead of swiping. Attempts to process the transaction without “dipping” the EMV-enabled card will be declined. Some fraudsters have been scamming your businesses for years without you knowing about it because, previous to the liability shift, the issuing bank was taking the loss. All the scammer has to do now is call the credit card company after their card is swiped at an old terminal and claim the charges on their chip-enabled card weren’t accurate, leaving you to empty your pockets. While the chargeback amount may not be big, it wouldn’t take many of these false chargebacks to really cut into your profits. Without the ability to accept EMV transactions, business owners are seeing liability shift chargebacks for which there is no defense. If upgrading to EMV simply isn’t an option for your business, here are a few tips you can use to protect yourself from fraudsters. »» Verify that the last four digits of the card number match the last four digits on the printed receipt »» Compare the signatures on the card and receipt »» Check cards for legitimate features like holograms, logos, CVV/CID/CVV2 and AVS verification, etc.

How Criminals Take Advantage According to the Verizon 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report, Accommodation and Food Services was “the top industry for Point of Sale intrusions.” While this isn’t a new problem — hotels and restaurants have been plagued by counterfeit, stolen and cloned credit card activity for years — the liability shift has further highlighted the issue. Criminals prefer magnetic strip cards. When criminals purchase credit card numbers, the data — regardless if it is magstripe only or EMV technology — is loaded on a standard magstripe counterfeit card. If they attempt to use the counterfeit card at an FRL A .org

»» Never rerun a card if it declines — for any reason

Comprehensive Coverage EMV chip technology improves security by providing card authentication. However, the most advanced credit card thieves can rewrite the magstripe, tricking even new EMV chip-reading machines to think the card is chipless when swiped. If you have purchased the EMV card-reading equipment, but are not encrypting transactions as part of your upgrade, your business may still be at risk. While EMV-enabled terminals offer increased security and reduces credit card

TECH

fraud, you need to employ a comprehensive approach for the best security. »» Tokenization — Replacing card data with a “token” protects card data while at rest in your POS system. This is particularly imperative in a hotel environment, where customer data is typically stored for days, weeks or even years. Even if your system is hacked, tokenization makes the data stored in it unusable to cybercriminals. »» End-to-end Encryption — This powerful technology removes card data from the merchant’s network, protecting the data in transit so it cannot be intercepted or monetized. »» Incident Management Program — According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, nearly 50 percent of small businesses fall victim to fraud at some point in their business life cycle. Every business should have a plan in place for how they will handle an incident, should one occur. Containing the breach, responding quickly and communicating appropriately is the best way to prevent reputation damage and stem losses. Heartland Secure combines EMV, tokenization and end-to-end encryption together to give your business the most comprehensive security solution on the market. We are so confident in our ability to protect credit card data the moment it is used, we offer an unprecedented breach warranty to all merchants who are Heartland Secure and employ Heartland Secure-certified devices for as long as they are processing with Heartland, at no additional cost. To learn how Heartland Secure could help your business protect against fraud, contact Angela Ihry, Senior Director Business Development Management, angela.ihry@e-hps.com or 605.940.9861, Heartland Payment Systems. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Google My Business Listing? By KIM PALMER, DIRECTOR OF SEO & INSIGHT, MILES PARTNERSHIP

W

hile Google typically supplies more than half of the traffic to a business’ website, it is estimated that at least 40% of the billions of annual searches on Google don’t result in a website visit at all. In these cases, people are finding their answers directly on Google without visiting a website. These answers are often coming from the free listing Google provides to businesses. Google My Business listings are the core element of numerous products — Google Maps, Google Hotel Finder and Google Travel Guides to name a few. Yet in recent 32  W I N T ER

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research, Miles has found that 35%-45% of the Google My Business listings in a destination are incomplete.

Don’t Miss Out on These Insights Making the most of this free service can provide incredible value to your business — value you can track and measure. Within Google My Business Insights, you can learn how frequently your business has been shown in search results, in Google Maps results and how frequently your listing images are viewed. It will also let you know what kind of customer interaction you receive, including website

clicks, click to call and requests for directions. This is often hundreds or even thousands of customer touchpoints and these numbers will help you understand how Google is influencing your business as well as how your marketing may be influencing the frequency with which people are searching for you.

Get Started If you have not already, the first step to managing your Google My Business listing is to claim your business with Google. While the process is designed to protect your business from being claimed by someone who does not F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


S E A R C H E N G I N E O P T I M I Z AT I O N

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represent you, this can be a cumbersome endeavor. Most verification takes place through requesting a postcard from Google that arrives with a unique verification code several weeks later. Some businesses have the option to verify via phone call (assuming you can get the right person to answer the phone when Google calls). Miles is currently working with several Convention and Visitor Bureaus to allow them to offer Google’s “Instant Verifier” app, which would allow you to verify your business directly with a representative of the CVB.

Work It Once you have claimed your Google My Business listing, these are our top tips for what to do next to get the most out of your listing. »» Update the Basics — Make sure your critical contact information is current, including address, phone number, website and hours. Using consistent name/address/phone information across other major directory sites is optimal local SEO. »» Add Quality Images — Google’s research indicates that business listings with good photos are twice as likely to be engaged by consumers. 360-degree images and video are also appealing formats to showcase your business. »» Encourage Reviews — Listings with a higher quantity of good reviews seem to be favored in the order of search results. Encourage happy customers to go to Google and submit a review. »» Engage With Customers — Two new features encourage interaction between you and your customers. You can now respond to your Google reviews, which can go a long way to boost customer satisfaction. There is also a new Q&A feature that lets customers post questions directly into Google that you can respond to via your GMB account. FRL A .org

»» Be on the Lookout for Local Guides — Google Local Guides are everyday folks in your area who frequently contribute to Google by submitting photos, reviews and verifying data of the businesses they frequent in the community. Their contributions can help grow and enhance your listing. »» Take Advantage of Posts — Posts are a new feature of Google business listings that let you give people a reason to stop by through text, photos and video. Provide a current update about your business such as special events, offers or featured items. It is also helpful to keep customers informed in out-of-the-ordinary circumstances such as storms or power outages. Being actively engaged with your Google My Business listing will maximize your exposure to the tremendous audience that the search giant provides. In addition, the Insights data from your listing will help you better understand your audience, your visibility on Google and the impact of your marketing. Be sure to check with your local CVB to see if they are working with Miles on the Google DMO Content Program to enhance how your destination appears on Google — including businesses like you. For more information visit google.com/business and support.google.com/business.

KIM PALMER Kim leads Miles’ evolution of the products and services surrounding organic search and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). She is part of the Miles team who is currently helping to align destination marketing organizations with Google via Miles Google DMO Content Program. Over her 22 years at Miles she’s had her hands in every aspect of digital marketing since launching Miles’ first destination websites in the late ‘90s. Kim is a thought leader and frequent speaker on topics surrounding SEO, content marketing and Google’s evolving role in travel.

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TECH

ADOT PRO

Accessible Websites

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accessibility under the American Disabilities Act. Shortly after, Florida Bill HB 727 was signed into law, which requires that businesses have a remediation plan in place for their online property. The good news is that Adot™ Pro is here to help. With plans starting at just $9.99 a month, Adot™ Pro will provide you an accessible-ready solution for your existing website. You can't be sued if you have a remediation plan in place, so it's like insurance for your business. Use promo code FRLA-MEMBER and receive 50% off the Adot™ Pro service. It's time to think about making your website ADA compliant if it isn’t already. It's now the law in Florida, and businesses need to protect themselves. Hindsight is always 20/20. Make the right decision today to protect your business tomorrow.

Put our expertise to work for you. As a member of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, clients new to H&R Block are eligible for $25 off in-office tax preparation. Present this coupon at the H&R Block office of your choosing in Florida.

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Puut P utour r exp e ex xpe errttiisee to wo wor wo or rk for oryou u and recceei an ivve dissccoou d unt unt nts ts on on ta ax xx pre ep epar par arrat a iion. onn

f your website isn’t built for accessibility, it’s a corporate liability. As everyone's life continues to become more dependent on the Internet, so will the need to make them accessible to all. As of April 2017, over 2,600 ADA (American Disability Act) Title III lawsuits have been filed for websites that don’t meet accessibility compliance. Florida, which has more than double the number of ADA lawsuits when compared to any other state, is at the forefront of the Web Accessibility movement. As you are likely aware, in June, a Florida Federal Judge ruled that retailer Winn-Dixie’s website was inaccessible to those that are visually impaired and; therefore, violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. This decision was a landmark ruling in what many experts believe to be the first case to go to trial regarding a website’s

2017

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RUMBERGER KIRK & CALDWELL

TECH

Clickwraps and Browsewraps, Oh My! Terms of Online Vendor Agreements — Are They Enforceable? By JUSTIN GUIDO, JACEY KAPS AND STEVE BERLIN

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ftentimes, in seeking to enforce a term or condition of an online transaction, such as an arbitration clause, an online vendor will discover that (in the eyes of the law) the consumer never agreed to the transaction’s terms and conditions. As a result, the terms and conditions are not legally enforceable. Enforceability of an online vendor’s terms and conditions agreement (“T&C Agreement”) will often turn on whether it appears that the consumer has in fact agreed to the terms and conditions. State and federal courts across the country have weighed in on enforceability. Recurring throughout the courts’ decisions is the question of whether the consumer, in completing the online transaction, assented to its terms and conditions. Not surprisingly, courts consistently assert that a consumer cannot assent to terms and conditions that he did not know about or could not have known about through reasonable inquiry. Indicia of assent are therefore critical to enforceability. BROWSEWRAPS VS. CLICKWRAPS The most compelling indication of assent is assent itself. For this reason, many online vendors rely on the generally enforceable “clickwrap” T&C Agreement. The “clickwrap” not only directs the consumer to the terms and conditions of the transaction, but FRL A .org

also requires that the consumer click a box to expressly acknowledge that he has read the terms and conditions before completing the transaction. The consumer is left hard-pressed to argue that he did not agree to terms and conditions which he expressly affirmed. Enforceability becomes more elusive, however, when an online vendor implements a “browsewrap” T&C Agreement. A “browsewrap” merely provides a link to the terms and conditions of the transaction but does not require the consumer to click in acknowledgement of them. Courts generally subject this type of T&C Agreement to greater scrutiny with the question of enforceability often turning on the Agreement’s conspicuity. Following are some pointers that may help to modify your “browsewrap” T&C Agreement to pass enforceability muster: »» Do not “bury the lead.” T&C Agreements positioned as front and center of a web page as possible enable the consumer to avoid scrolling through seemingly infinite web text to find them. »» Assent is not up for negotiation. Unequivocal language regarding the consumer’s agreement to the transaction’s terms will convey to the consumer that his or her assent to the terms is a mandatory component of the transaction.

»» The aphorism “everything in moderation” does not apply. The following features may help to make hyperlinks to a T&C Agreement abundant and obvious throughout the consumer’s interaction with the website: • A conspicuous T&C hyperlink, with unique font and vibrant colors that is easily discernible from text featured throughout the remainder of the web page; • References to the T&C Agreement throughout the integral stages of the online transaction (e.g., in creating a user account, at checkout); • Notice at checkout that the transaction is subject to the vendor’s T&C Agreement with a readily available hyperlink to the Agreement for easy access by the consumer. For more information or to contact the authors, please see our website at rumberger.com or email jguido@rumberger.com, jkaps@rumberger.com or sberlin@rumberger.com.

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Top 10 Hotel Technology Trends to Watch By BEN PRICE

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otels are exploring innovative technologies to better serve guests throughout their stay and help them remain top of mind with consumers. Chains, in particular, are making large-scale technology investments to enhance their own competitive advantage. With the promise of creating a more digital, efficient, and customized guest experience, hotels are testing or rolling out these technologies across properties in hopes of enhancing value for both hoteliers and guests. Below are 10 popular technology trends rising in hotels today.

1 Guest tracking and security These systems track whereabouts of guests and provide real-time information, direction, roll call, and communication in the case of an emergency. These systems could help owners keep people safe and give travelers peace of mind during their stay.

2 Keyless technology Room key technology is evolving to digital— near field and keyless entry is not limited to magnetic control of locks but allows guests or hoteliers to open a door via an app from any location. This technology allows guests to open doors for other guests, room service, deliveries, or others without having to leave their couch or bed. Digital keys also allow front desk staff to time doors to open upon a guest's arrival and track who has accessed a room at what time, providing additional 36  W I N T ER

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insights into a guest's stay and habits. Hotel chains like Marriott, Hilton, and Wyndham are deploying this across their portfolios.

3 Next Generation Entertainment System (ES) Given the proliferation of streaming TV, guests now want access to that content when traveling. Modern entertainment systems sync the room's TV with a guest's devices, remembering the connections later. That means a guest can access their Netflix, cable service, or pictures from their phone, tablet, or laptop automatically on the room's TV screen. As consumers’ entertainment demands shift, hotels will need to support them. It is safe to assume that guests will become frustrated with the inability to watch their normal entertainment content when traveling. Changing consumer preferences at home will translate to entertainment demands during travel. Marriott and Hyatt are two big brands rolling out in-room streaming across properties.

4 BYOD Telephony With this technology, guests can use their own devices rather than the hotel phone to call airlines from the pool or text family members, for example. This is especially useful for international travelers who typically would pay international fees for phone service. Now, guests can connect to the hotel's WiFi to communicate without tapping into their own roaming cellular service. More

boutique luxury hotels have adopted this capability and while many chain hotels have not explicitly marketed BYOD Telephony capabilities, they have rolled out the ability for guests to use it to communicate with front desk or other hotel staff.

5 Digital Room Control This smart room technology enables guests to customize their experience by controlling lights, temperature, entertainment, room service, requests, and other settings from a tablet or the guests’ own device. While this functionality may be seen as a gimmick to some, the greater value stems from pairing this hardware and software with smart room technology to store guests' preferences and provide data for insights. Many hotels in popular leisure and resort destinations like Las Vegas are making this technology available to guests.

6 Automated Lost and Found Return Technology Automating and digitizing lost and found can provide guests with peace of mind and make returning lost items easier for hotel staff. Guests can be notified automatically of items left in the room and items can be sent to guests’ home or pre-specified address. Automating this process is an opportunity for the hotel to create goodwill in the mind of the guest. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


TOP TECHNOLOGY TRENDS

7 Beacon Tracking and Pushing Notifications Based on Location and Preferences This technology tracks guests throughout a property and sends direct offers, activity updates, and recommendations to the guest customized to fit the time of day, location on property, and a guest's preferences. For example, a guest leaving the gym may be offered a deal on a protein shake, or a guest sitting at the pool may be recommended a pina colada and notified of an upcoming music performance nearby. Hilton is one company on the forefront of rolling this out at locations including Hilton Waikiki and Hilton Dallas resorts. In the cruise ship industry, Carnival has found success using beacon tracking through bracelets rather than smart phones. Disney Resorts is another example of a company using bracelets to track guests and enable payment across the resort.

8 Digital Menus Digital menus represent an opportunity to streamline processes, to engage, and to provide information for guests. At hotels, there is the added ability to track guests’ orders digitally for future order recommendations across properties, saving their preferences on a profile. For example, a guest who orders local fare in one city may be recommended local fare in another.

9 Housekeeping Tracking Technology These capabilities enable flexible check-in and check-out. The systems track cleaning staff, monitor room turnover progress, and notify front desk staff the moment a room is prepared for check-in. The systems analyze requested arrival and departure times and completion of cleaning to allow hotels to accept as many early check-in requests as possible.

10 Smart Room and Smart Hotel Technology This technology enables all options and settings to be controlled, manipulated and stored for guests’ current and future stays. For example, a morning alarm can be set to a play specific song, turn on the T.V. to a certain channel, slowly brighten the lights, draw the shades, or even turn on the shower. Rooms can be automated to adjust the temperature based on guests' locations and areas can be heated or cooled depending on the number of occupying guests. In addition to personalizing a guest experience and cutting energy costs, this technology can help make a building more environmentally friendly. Not all technology innovations may be worth the investment. However, as guests become familiar and rely more on these kinds of technologies in their personal or work lives, hotels will also need to push their technological capabilities to keep up. This article originally appeared on lodgingmagazine.com. Ben Price is a senior consultant, diversified, at FULD + COMPANY. FRL A .org

TECH

Text Messaging? The best connection to customers By MATT DONOVAN, FRLA MARKETING COUNCIL & FOUNDER, TXTSIGNAL

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imply put, texting is the most read medium available to anyone in marketing and communications. No other medium is more direct. No other medium is as real-time. In fact, text messaging is the only time-specific marketing option that guarantees that the message will be seen and at exactly the desired time. How is that possible? Research over the last five years shows that 98% of text messages are read within three minutes of being received. There are dozens of different ways to use text messaging for marketing. But, there are two, very achievable goals that every operator should have as an objective. One is to build an audience using the medium; this is easily done from the phone using a keyword and a short code (e.g., To join our VIP list, text KEYWORD to 43506). And, second, is to transmit winning marketing messages at exactly the times that have the biggest impact for you. But, for any operator, you get a bonus use. A well-run operation is a critical element to providing an excellent customer experience — the end goal for any hospitality endeavor. And, communication is the most important thing to keeping the operation running smooth. Whether it's filling in for absent shifts, keeping the team focused with a quick morning message, or using for queue management, a text message (just 160 short characters!) fits the bill.

However, many operators have discovered that using text messaging can be tricky. It's true that the FCC now closely monitors text message communication and a mistake in sending out unwanted or unsolicited messages can be very costly. This element of compliance, however, is not challenging at all ... IF you are working with an established service that has a history in the space. The take-away is: only work with a service that has earned a Top Provider rating by the regulators. Text messaging is the most direct connection you can make with your customers (or employees). Text messaging, per spend, can be one of the most valuable marketing investments you can make. And, if you work with an established firm, you eliminate any compliance risk. txtsignal is a Florida-based company that provides operators with text messaging technology and services that are 100%-compliant with FCC rules. Matt Donovan, the founder of txtsignal, is an FRLA member, event sponsor, and a member of the Marketing Council. Matt also maintains a seat on advisory committees to the FCC regulating arm, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), and the Media Rating Council (MRC).

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I PA D S

iPads for Florida’s Inspection Team By MICHELLE HAYNES

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n late 2012, the State of Florida’s Division of Hotels & Restaurants provided iPads to all field inspection staff. This rollout followed years of testing various devices to determine which tool would be the best option for replacing the aging fleet of Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs). During testing, it became clear that the iPad’s portability, combined with its reliability and ease of use, made it ideally suited for the Division’s needs. A custom inspection app was created for the iPad that communicates with software already in use by the Division. This communication happens in real time, so the information the inspector sees in the iPad (an establishment’s inspection history, whether the business license has been renewed, etc.), can be refreshed at the push of a button. The inspection app also uploads completed inspection reports instantly, which benefits businesses and consumers alike. In Florida’s ultra-competitive, tourism-driven economy, providing instant

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inspection results motivates businesses to perform their best and allows consumers the ability to make informed decisions. Using an iPad for completing inspections has some other advantages. iBooks, an Apple app found on every iPad and iPhone, allows an inspector to store PDF documents, such as hand washing signs, temperature charts, and other educational resources. Having forms readily available can empower business owners to be more successful, or help them achieve corrective action for an issue noted during an inspection. Inspectors can also use resources on the Internet like Google Translate, which can help to bridge communication barriers with non-English speaking employees. Another app, Apple Maps, negates the need for a separate GPS and helps inspectors find establishments in unfamiliar areas. There is even a PDF-editing app that allows inspectors to log their daily travels electronically, which reduces the use of paper and saves the state money. And, business owners now have

the option to receive their inspection report via email (directly from the iPad). This convenient feature has been especially popular with store managers, many of whom are required to forward inspection reports to owners or corporate offices. Operators who still opt for a paper copy of the report can receive it immediately from a small, battery powered thermal printer carried by the inspector. The Division’s technology team is constantly making improvements to the inspection app, using feedback provided by inspectors and business operators. The iPad and the inspection app have been such a tremendous success that other divisions within DBPR have taken notice and are also now using these technologies to improve the quality of service for inspectors, businesses, and residents and guests of the great state of Florida. Michelle Haynes is the Deputy Chief of Inspections, Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


Payment Solutions and Services to Drive Your Restaurant’s Growth

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TRADE SHOW

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his year’s Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show, held at the Orange County Convention brought together the foodservice and hospitality industry after being delayed due to the impact of Hurricane Irma. Despite a rescheduled show, restaurant owners and operators, chefs, foodservice professionals and others gathered to take advantage of all the great product launches and networking opportunities the show had to offer. “The show featured the presentation of

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several prestigious awards including the Torch Award and the Beacon Award. Wednesday’s presentation of the Beacon Award, which recognizes a woman leader who has truly served as a beacon to the industry through their leadership, contributions and inspiration was presented to Carol Dover, President and CEO of the FRLA. The Torch Award was presented on Thursday afternoon to Chef Michelle Bernstein, Owner of Crumb on Parchment and Michelle Bernstein Catering. The winners of the People’s Choice Awards for the Innovative New Product Showcase were announced. The Overall Winner was PayMyTab for their mobile app and devices. The 1st Place Runner Up was Oumph! a 100% plant based product that comes in a variety of shapes and consistencies and is extremely rich in protein and fibers and a perfect source of folic acid and iron; and the 2nd Place Runner Up was Betson Enterprise for coin operated arcade games, vending machine and game room equipment including pool tables, pinball machines and touch screen video games. The winner of the Best New Product in the Food Trends Experience was Oceana Coffee for their award-winning coffees. The best new product in the Pitch the Press program was presented to Elaine’s Gluten Free for their gluten free pizza crust, tortillas and bread products. Industry professionals took advantage of the 30+ education sessions, and attendees watched as rising star chefs competed in the Rapid Fire Challenge: Key

BRION PRICE

2017 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show Lime Edition. Salvador Soberanis, Executive Chef, Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort was named the champ of the competition for his Paradise Ceviche recipe. There were plenty of culinary experiences to be explored on the show floor from the Food Trends Experience, a tasting adventure providing direct access to products, flavors and ingredients driving the most recent trends in the market, to the Beer, Wine & Spirits Pavilion which brought three days of tasting, learning, sourcing and exposure to the show. As part of the FRLA Gives Back initiative, the FRLA collected donations throughout the show and also at the Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration for the Florida Disaster Fund and CORE charities. The Florida Disaster Fund helps provide financial support to Florida’s communities in times of disasters, like Hurricane Irma. CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) grants support to children of food and beverage service employees navigating life-altering circumstances. FRLA also coordinated a hospitality hour encouraging the industry to support Feeding Children Everywhere’s “Orlando Cares: Hope for Puerto Rico” event held at the Orange County Convention Center. Industry participants gathered to help package 4.4 million meals to send to FEMA to distribute to residents in Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria. At the close of the show, the exhibitors of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show donated thousands of pounds of food to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orlando. The 2018 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show is scheduled for Thursday, September 6–Saturday, September 8, 2018 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The Show is produced and managed by Urban Expositions (urban-expo.com) and sponsored by the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (frla.org). F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


TOURISM

Register Today!

January 17, 2018

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WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17 Register at frla.org/event/2018-florida-tourism-day.

Florida’s tourism industry is a critical economic driver and job creator for the state. Tourism Day is the time to let lawmakers know the positive economic impact of tourism to Florida and its residents, and how crucial it is for them to support Florida’s No. 1 industry.

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Contact Susie McKinley Editor at Editor@frla.org or 850.508.1139

F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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How Much Sidework is Too Much Sidework? By KEVIN JOHNSON AND CHRIS JOHNSON

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ver the last two years, restaurant owners and operators in Florida are finding themselves defending lawsuits from tipped employees who argue that the sidework they perform means they should be paid the full minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act rather than the subminimum tip-credit wage. These lawsuits typically raise the same two claims: (1) that the sidework is completely unrelated to the primary tipped occupation and therefore qualifies as a second or “dual” job which must be paid the full minimum wage, and (2) that the employee spends more than twenty percent of her workweek performing “non-tip-producing” sidework in violation of the Department of Labor’s so-called “20% Rule,” and therefore must be paid the full minimum wage for all of her working time. The Department of Labor has a long-standing regulation that holds that “when an employee is engaged in two occupations, one of which is tipped and one of which is not, the employer may not take a tip credit for the hours the employee worked in the nontipped occupation.” 29 C.F.R. § 531.56(e). According to the regulation, if an employee works as a server at a hotel and also works as a maintenance employee, the employer cannot pay the employee at the tip-credit rate for the time spent performing the maintenance job. The regulation distinguishes this “dual jobs” example from a situation where a server spends part of her time performing sidework tasks related to the tipped occupation such as setting tables, toasting bread, or making coffee. In that situation, the regulation allows an employer to claim the tip credit for the time the server spends performing that sidework tasks because it is related to her tipped occupation. While the regulation itself is straightforward, plaintiffs’ attorneys have begun to advance a much different interpretation based on an obscure provision found in the Department of Labor’s Field Operations Handbook.

The Handbook, which is an internal DOL guide rather than a formal regulation, includes a provision that has become known as the “20% rule.” Under the 20% rule, DOL wants employers to divide the duties of tipped employees into three categories: tip-producing, related but not tip-producing, and unrelated. DOL says that any unrelated duties must be considered part of a second job and paid at the full minimum wage. As for duties that are “related” but “not tip-producing,” DOL says that they cannot exceed 20% of the employee’s job. If they do, the DOL says that the employer cannot take the tip credit against its minimum wage obligation to that employee during that workweek. There are several problems with the so-called “20% rule.” Unlike the regulation, which focused on the job as a whole, the rule in the Handbook changes the focus to the specific duties that a tipped employee is performing at a given moment. The DOL has not provided any description of what duties can be considered tip-producing. Nor has DOL explained how it expects employers to accurately track, on a minute-by-minute basis, the amount of time that their tipped employees spend cutting lemons or making tea without the flow of business grinding to a halt. A recent decision in the federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit offers some hope. According to the Ninth Circuit, the 20% rule is unenforceable because it adds an arbitrary requirement to the FLSA that is inconsistent with the regulation it is supposed to interpret. The Ninth Circuit faulted the DOL for attempting to back-door this rule through an informal handbook rather than developing it through the formal process of notice-and-comment rulemaking. Because the Eighth Circuit had reached a different conclusion in an earlier case, this conflict will likely head to the Supreme Court. In the meantime, should one of your

Kevin Johnson, Shareholder kjohnson@johnsonjackson.com

Chris Johnson, Associate cjohnson@johnsonjackson.com

current or former employees initiate an action against you raising these claims, it is important to seek counsel quickly. You may also want to consider structuring your operations to minimize the risk of future claims raising the same issues. Kevin Johnson is a shareholder at Johnson Jackson LLC in Tampa, Florida. Kevin is Board Certified in Labor & Employment Law by the Florida Bar. Chris Johnson is an associate at Johnson Jackson. Kevin and Chris represent both national chains and independent local restaurant operators in a wide variety of employment-related issues. Kevin and Chris can be reached at (813) 580-8400.

100 N. Tampa Street, Suite 2310 Tampa, FL 33602

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F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


ENGAGE

FRLA Engage Program Update

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(Left): The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association’s Central Florida Chapter sponsored the Florida Abolotionist’s reception (FA). FA is the region’s leading agency in the fight to end human trafficking. (Right): FRLA Central Florida Chapter members raised funds for the Summer of Dreams Summer Camp Program. FRL A .org

he Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association Engage initiative has spread from Central Florida to Tampa, Miami, Broward County, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Southwest Florida, the Panhandle and the Palm Beaches. While some markets are just beginning the implementation of this program, many of our markets that have been established over the last year are extremely engaged at the local level. In each market, Engage has made substantial steps at the local level, continuing to build relationships and get more involved. With new FRLA Regional Directors in Broward and in Jacksonville, we are looking forward to revamping the Engage program in these areas and reintroducing the FRLA to local community leaders and elected officials. In August, the Hillsborough Engage group had the opportunity to sit down for lunch with Mayor Bob Buckhorn to discuss the hospitality community and issues that are affecting the industry and tourism in the state of Florida. Throughout September and October, multiple markets celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by highlighting the impact the Hispanic community has on the hospitality industry. FRLA Gives Back will be the reputation initiative highlighted during the November and December months throughout the holiday season, and we look forward to giving back to our communities. In multiple markets, we have noticed that local community leaders and elected officials have a better understanding of the FRLA and what we represent. We plan to keep growing and improving and will have an even larger presence across the state in 2018! F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E

Legislative Preview

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his upcoming Legislative Session looks like it will be addressing many of the same issues it did in 2017. Soon we will be hearing about bills that focus on tourism marketing, transparency and accountability issues, short-term rentals, tourist development taxes, human trafficking and beach renourishment. As Florida’s voice of the hospitality industry, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will continue to advocate for fair, reasonable, and balanced legislation that encourages continued growth for our industry and the state. Below are some topics that (as of this writing) we think you will see in the 2018 Legislative Session: SHORT-TERM RENTALS/ VACATION RENTALS/AIRBNB:

In 2011, Florida preempted vacation rental regulation to the state preventing local governments from enacting any new law that restricted the use of vacation rentals, prohibited vacation rental, or regulated vacation rentals based on their classification, use or occupancy. In 2014, the Legislature revised the preemption of 2011 so that local governments can regulate vacation rentals, provided the regulations do not control the duration or frequency of vacation rentals. Launched in 2008, Airbnb is an online hosting platform that allows people to list, find and book rental accommodations. Other hosting platforms have now joined in the market place. These hosting platforms do not always abide by the same rules and regulations as traditional public lodging establishments, including licensure with the state, and the way they collect, report or pay taxes. It should be made clear that the traditional public lodging industry is not worried about competition. The lodging industry competes every single day for their market share. What does concern the lodging industry is that everyone should be subject to the same rules.

And let us also make this clear. The lodging industry as a whole is much less concerned with folks occasionally renting out a room in their home, than they are of the creation of “shadow hotels” that are really commercial operations in every aspect. Commercial operators listing multiple units in the same area without adhering to state registration, regulations or tax obligations are a problem. This unregulated commercial activity creates an unfair competitive advantage of one lodging player over another. QUICK EVICTIONS UNDER 509:

An unfortunate trend that has recently emerged in Florida is the difficulty hoteliers are experiencing when attempting to evict transient tenants under Chapter 509. The situation evolves when “transient tenants” for a variety of reasons list the hotel address as their home or register their children for school falsely creating the appearance of a landlord/tenant relationship. Due to these activities, the sheriff or other law enforcement agencies are often confused as to which statute applies, Chapter 83 – Landlord Tenant Law, or Chapter 509, when determining the right to evict someone from the establishment.

Connect Travel Marketplace

Coming Feb. 18–20, 2018

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on’t miss the new Connect Travel Marketplace coming to Florida at the Hyatt Regency Orlando, February 18-20, 2018. The Connect Travel Marketplace brings top international tour operators together with suppliers in a reverse-style trade show format. Guaranteed appointments with top decision makers are offered to provide a more efficient and effective way to expedite the sales process and close business. The Marketplace hosts great networking events along with inspirational and informative educational sessions to round out this travel industry event.

Increasingly we read stories from around the nation about “squatters” and the inability of the law to distinguish between a “transient tenant” and a landlord tenant situation. In addition to incurring huge legal bills, in some states, it takes years to remove a savvy individual. HUMAN TRAFFICKING:

Estimates show that thousands of men, women and children are trafficked in the United States each year. These traffickers often rely on legitimate businesses to sustain their operations and infrastructure. Hotels are one of the venues that traffickers use to exploit their victims, capitalizing on the lack of awareness around this issue within the hotel industry. This criminal activity presents a great risk for the safety and security of hotel businesses, as well as legitimate customers. We encourage the aggressive prosecution of this crime. VISIT FLORIDA FUNDING:

VISIT FLORIDA, acting as the state’s official tourism marketing corporation, is the catalyst that brings the public and private sectors together to create programs that promote the Sunshine State to travelers around the globe. After a session-long battle in 2017, that ultimately required a special session to resolve, VISIT FLORIDA received full funding. While marketing efforts can be difficult to quantify, the absence of or a severe reduction in VISIT FLORIDA funding puts our state at a disadvantage in the highly competitive world of destination and tourism marketing.

MARKETPLACE MEANS BUSINESS » FRLA Members receive special discount with promo code FRLA2017 » 1-on-1, preset, reverse-style appointments » 300+ international tour operators ready to make decisions » Optimal contract finalization time frame for 2018-19

To register visit: connecttravel.com/events/marketplace 44  W I N T ER

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L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E

are: minimum wage, worker’s compensation, employee benefits, overtime regulations and predictive scheduling.

the protection, preservation and restoration of the coastal sandy beach resources of the state. Senator Jack Latvala has introduced SB 174 which addresses coastal management and beach renourishment.

EXPANSION OF GAMBLING:

HOSPITALITY EDUCATION PROGRAM:

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX (TDT):

LABOR ISSUES:

Each year, local governments are requesting or authorizing the use of bed tax dollars for purposes beyond the scope of promoting and marketing tourism. In 2016, there was an assault on the Tourist Development Tax by three northwest counties wanting to use TDT dollars to fund public safety services. We anticipate (as of this writing) there will be new attempts to broaden the scope of those activities and projects that can be supported by Tourist Development Taxes. Senator Brandes has filed SB 658 which greatly expands the permitted use of Tourist Development Taxes. Bed taxes were originally created to be used by local Tourist Development Councils, reporting to their County Commission, to promote their county and attract more visitors.

Some of the issues FRLA continues to monitor

CHANGES TO ALCOHOL RULES AND REGULATIONS:

Alcoholic beverages are regulated by Florida’s Beverage Law. As in past years, we anticipate several bills to be introduced. The topics will vary from the size container a particular beverage can be sold in to how the delivery of alcoholic beverages will be regulated.

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FRLA will continue to monitor gambling issues in both the legislature and any ballot initiatives that may appear. COASTAL MANAGEMENT:

Florida’s 825 miles of sandy coastline is one of the state’s most valuable resources. Recognizing the importance of the state’s beaches, the Florida Legislature in 1986 adopted a posture of protecting and restoring the state’s beaches through a comprehensive beach management planning program. Under the program, the Department of Environment Protection’s Division of Water Restoration Assistance evaluates beach erosion problems throughout the state seeking viable solutions. The primary vehicle for implementing the beach management planning recommendations is the Florida Beach Management Funding Assistance Program. This is a program established for the purpose of working in concert with local, state and federal government entities to achieve

HEP provides important workforce-related training and transition programs through Florida’s public school system to students interested in pursuing careers in the hospitality industry. The money in the Division of Hotels and Restaurants’ Trust Fund is derived from a $10 license surcharge paid exclusively by Florida’s restaurant and lodging establishments for the sole purpose of funding this important program. Approximately 25,000 students and more than 240 high schools participate in HEP. This program helps the hospitality industry grow its future workforce by producing a pool of certified and immediately employable workers with the proper skill set to be an asset to the industry. Stay informed at FRLA.org/government-relations. See you on Florida Tourism Day, January 17, 2018.

Richard Turner is FRLA’s General Counsel and Vice President of Government Relations.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Movers & Shakers Lindsey Norris, New FRLA Broward Chapter Director Welcome to Lindsey Norris, FRLA’s new Broward Chapter Director. In this role, she will be responsible for managing the local Broward Chapter, selling and retaining memberships, and raising chapter funds. Lindsey is an experienced tourism industry professional, most recently serving as the Regional Partnership Manager for VISIT FLORIDA. In this role, she was responsible for partnership retention, service and sales across 12 counties in South Florida. Lindsey is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and a native Floridian who is passionate about all things Florida, namely the beautiful beaches.

Kailin Alfred Joins Government Relations Team Kailin Alfred is FRLA’s newest employee in our Government Relations Department. Kailin attended the University of Central Florida, but ultimately graduated from FSU with a degree in Recreation and Leisure Services. She comes to FRLA with a strong business background with experience with event planning and as an underwriting manager at a financial and insurance firm, and also worked in local government with the City of Tallahassee’s Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Affairs. Welcome to FRLA Kailin!

(continued from page 14)

Chefs That Sizzle Do you enjoy creating great meals for the equestrian elite showing and living in Wellington? I love creating incredible meals

for everyone. It is exciting to be put to the challenge when a party is booked and they require an upscale menu. Each private party requires a different approach and taste whether it is a wine dinner, cocktail party, Asado or a simple poolside gathering. I enjoy working with each client. I listen to their needs and deliver above and beyond their expectations. What do you attribute your success as a chef to? My success is based on the staff that I’ve

built. I’m not afraid to share my knowledge with my team. I have embraced their differences, and I’m willing to listen them and work with their suggestions and differences. Each staff member has a voice. There is always a solution to every challenge, and sometimes it takes a team to find the solution. I’ve learned from all of my previous executive chefs and their methods of leadership. I chose to become a leader that respects everyone, knowing I could create a strong, hardworking and successful team.

Glover Law New Hospitality-Focused Law Firm Opens in Florida

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arlier this year, Tony Glover left his comfortable government job to fulfill a longtime dream of starting his own law firm. “I work with larger and smaller clients, but I can really relate to the entrepreneur trying to open their doors and keep them open,” Glover said. Glover Law, a boutique firm based in Tallahassee, now works with members of the hospitality industry across the state. The firm helps bars, restaurants and hotels understand state regulations, locate buyers and sellers of liquor licenses and defend against potential agency discipline. Prior to founding the firm, Glover was a senior alcoholic beverage and gambling official with the state of Florida. The firm also works with startup businesses and licensed professionals in other fields. “We manage a diverse set of projects, but my passion is helping members of the hospitality industry with their tricky issues,” Glover said. 46  W I N T ER

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6

DRIVING GROWTH

Foodservice Trends that can drive growth: Harry Price, Area Director of Sales - Florida, Coca-Cola North America, put some very relevant "Food for Thought" together for a recent meeting of FRLA, and we wanted to share it with FR&L readers.

Value Plus

» 58% of consumers say it matters as to where they go and what they order 1

Evolution of Healthy Choices

» Transparency and Options Flexibility and Discovery

» Breakfast all day, Snacking, New Flavor Options

Hyper Convenience

» Delivery growing 8% annually since 2013 2 » 33% of consumer believe takeout is imperative to their lives 3

Digitization

» 34% of consumers are making dining choices based on social media content 4

» 61% of consumers are willing to use a digital ordering kiosk 5

Authenticity

» A clear, authentic brand story is

important to one out of 3 guests 6

Source: 1Datassential/IFMA CPP, 2015, 2The NPD Group/CREST annual delivery traffic Total Restaurants excluding QSR Retail, QSR Pizza – year-end April 2013 – year-end April 2016, 3,4,5National Restaurant Association 2016 Restaurant Industry Forecast, 6Datassential/IFMA CPP, 2015 FRL A .org

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SPECIAL NEEDS COMMUNITY

Be Friendlier

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hen you think of things that people take for granted, does a vacation cross your mind? Probably not, but for millions of families who have an individual with special needs such as autism, Down syndrome or cerebral palsy, vacations are rare, and not for reasons that you might think. Aimee Allenback, owner of Be Friendlier, has set out to change that for the special needs community. “Those who have an affected family member are faced with the challenges of feeling misunderstood and unwelcome when traveling,” Allenback says. “And in the hospitality industry where these experiences should be fun for everyone, we are lacking.” Be Friendlier is the first standardized special needs friendly designation available to hotels and resorts across the country. It is achieved through staff training and simple resources designed to make families feel welcome. Safety kits, which include items such as door alarms, stop sign visual prompts and outlet covers are provided for families to add Aimee Allenback Owner of Be Friendlier an extra measure of safety to their room. Also available are temporary tattoos that caregivers can write phone numbers on should an individual become lost or need assistance. Be Friendlier also produces a unique video social story for each designated resort which is made available via the Be Friendlier website for families to watch together in preparation for their visit. These social stories are known to reduce anxiety for people traveling to a new environment. Hotels and resorts are asked to provide upon request waterproof mattress pads to ease parents’ minds, gluten free menu items in outlets and accommodate quick check ins. Allenback believes this is a social responsibility issue that the hospitality industry needs to take seriously. “We have government regulations in place for those with physical impairments, but we have nothing that addresses the 5.4 million Americans with a developmental disability,” she said. Wendy Fournier, mother to Aly, a 17-year-old with non-verbal autism supports the Be Friendlier program. “Traveling is always a challenge for us. Most of the difficulties we’ve had have been due to interactions with airport or hotel staff who simply don’t understand how overwhelming certain situations can be for someone with autism,” says Fournier. “With Be Friendlier, families will know that when they travel to a designated property, there will be helpful resources and trained staff to welcome them.” Be Friendlier is also making a direct impact on the special needs community through their offering. They partner with Wake Enterprises in Raleigh, North Carolina, which employs 240 individuals with developmental disabilities, providing vocational opportunities to help them lead a more fulfilling life. Participants from Wake Enterprises assemble and ship Be Friendlier’s safety kits to designated properties. For more information on becoming a Be Friendlier property, please visit befriendlier.org.

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E D U C AT I O N

Mini Grant Program

ProStart Regional Workshops

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ver 700 ProStart students participated in at least one ProStart Regional Workshop during fall 2017. Regional Workshops provide the opportunity for students to work with post-secondary instructors. This type of exposure helps students learn more about the post-secondary institution, while also allowing the chef instructors to reinforce what the students are learning in their ProStart classes. Keiser University hosted three Regional Workshops with a focus on French Cuisine. The students spent their entire day working in the kitchens mastering classical French dishes. Johnson & Wales University (JWU) also hosted three Regional Workshops. At the JWU events, the students rotated through Plate Presentation and Food Styling, Baking and Pastry Techniques, Molecular Gastronomy and a Mystery Basket Competition. JWU hosted over 300 students at the workshop held on the JWU campus in North Miami!

UNIVERSAL SPONSOR

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The FRLA Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) once again awarded mini grants to Florida’s ProStart and HTMP programs. For the first time ever, the FRLAEF awarded over $94,000 in mini grant funding. The mini grant program was created to provide the equipment and supplies necessary to teach the industry-driving program. All ProStart and HTMP schools had the opportunity to apply. Every program that applied received some level of funding. ProStart schools across the state received funding for items ranging from ice machines and induction ranges to panini grills and spatulas. HTMP schools predominantly received funding for blazers, polo shirts and program T-shirts. The FRLAEF is proud to be able to help supply the programs with the essential items needed to train high school students for careers in the foodservice and lodging industry.

GLOBAL SPONSORS

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2017–18 ProStart Alachua County Eastside High School Gainesville High School - HTMP Newberry High School Bay County Arnold High School Bay High School Mosley High School Rutherford High School Brevard County Bayside High School Cocoa High School Melbourne High School Palm Bay High School Rockledge High School - HTMP Titusville High School

Columbia County Columbia High School Ft. White High School Dade County Alonzo and Tracy Mourning High – HTMP Barbara Goleman High - HTMP Booker T. Washington Senior High Coral Gables Senior High Felix Varela High - HTMP G. Holmes Braddock Senior High Hialeah Gardens Senior High School Hialeah Senior High School John A. Ferguson High School MAST Academy Miami Beach High School - HTMP Miami Central Senior High Miami Coral Park Miami Edison Senior High Miami Killian Senior Miami Lakes Educational Center Miami Norland Senior High - HTMP Miami Senior High School Miami Southridge Miami Springs High - HTMP Miami Sunset Senior - HTMP North Miami Beach Senior North Miami Senior High School Robert Morgan Education Center - HTMP Ronald Reagan/Doral Senior High South Dade Senior High South Miami Senior

Calhoun County Altha High School Blountstown High School

Duval County First Coast High School Frank H. Peterson Academy of Technology Raines High School Sandalwood High School Terry Parker High School

Clay County Bannerman Learning Center

2017

Collier County Golden Gate High School Gulf Coast High School Immokalee Technical Center Lorenzo Walker Institute of Technology Palmetto Ridge High School The Village School

Broward County Atlantic Technical High School Blanche Ely High School – ProStart and HTMP Boyd Anderson High School Cooper City High School - HTMP Coral Glades High School Coral Springs High School C.W. Flanagan High School - HTMP Deerfield Beach High School Dillard High School Fort Lauderdale High – ProStart and HTMP Hollywood Hills High School J. P. Taravella High School McFatter Technical High School Miramar High School – ProStart and HTMP Monarch High School - HTMP Nova High School – ProStart and HTMP Plantation High School Piper High School - HTMP South Broward High School – ProStart and HTMP South Plantation High School Stoneman Douglas High – ProStart and HTMP Stranahan High School – ProStart and HTMP West Broward High School

Charlotte County Lemon Bay High School Port Charlotte High School Citrus County Citrus High School Crystal River High School Withlacoochee Technical College

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Clay High School Keystone Heights High School Middleburg High School Orange Park High School Ridgeview High School

Escambia County Escambia High School Northview High School Pine Forest High School Washington High School

Flagler County Flagler Palm Coast High School Matanzas High School Franklin County Franklin County High School Gadsden County Gadsden County High School Hamilton County Hamilton County High School Hardee County Hardee Senior High Hernando County Central High School Hernando High School Nature Coast Technical High School Highlands County Avon Park High School Lake Placid High School Sebring High School Hillsborough County Armwood High School Blake High School Bloomingdale High School Bowers Whitley Career Center Chamberlain High School Columbus Academy Durant High School East Bay High School Freedom High School Hillsborough High School Jefferson High School King High School Leto High School Riverview High School Robinson High School Sickles High School Simmons Career Center South County Career Center Steinbrenner High School Strawberry Crest High School Tampa Bay Technical Wharton High School Holmes County Bethlehem School Holmes County High School Ponce de Leon High School Jackson County Marianna High School Lafayette County Lafayette High School

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Schools Lake County East Ridge High School Eustis High School Lake Minneola High School Leesburg High School Mt. Dora High School South Lake High School Tavares High School Umatilla High School Lee County Estero High School Riverdale High School Leon County Lawton Chiles High School Leon High School Lincoln High School Madison County Madison County High School Manatee County Manatee High School Southeast High School Marion County Belleview High School Dunnellon High School Forest High School Lake Weir High School Marion Technical Institute Martin County Martin County High School Monroe County Coral Shores High School Key West High School Marathon High School Nassau County Fernandina Beach High School Nassau County Schools Career Ed Okaloosa County Crestview High School Niceville High School Okaloosa Technical College Orange County Colonial High School – ProStart and HTMP Cypress Creek High School Dr. Phillips High - HTMP Evans High School Freedom High School Gateway School Mid Florida Technical – ProStart and HTMP Oak Ridge High - HTMP Ocoee High School Orlando Technical Wekiva High School

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Westside Tech Winter Park High School – ProStart and HTMP Winter Park Tech – ProStart and HTMP University High Osceola County Osceola High School – ProStart and HTMP Poinciana High School Zenith School Palm Beach County Atlantic High School Boca Raton High School Boynton Beach High School Forest Hill High School - HTMP Forest Hill Community High School Indian Ridge School Inlet Grove Community High School John I. Leonard High School Jupiter High School Lake Worth High School Olympic Heights High – ProStart and HTMP Palm Beach Central High School Palm Beach Gardens High – ProStart and HTMP Palm Beach Lakes High School Santaluces High School South Tech Academy Wellington High School West Boca High School William T. Dwyer High School Pasco County Anclote High School Fivay High School Land O’Lakes High School Marchman Technical Center Wiregrass Ranch High School Pinellas County Dixie Hollins High School Lealman Innovation Academy Northeast High School Osceola High School Tarpon Springs High School Polk County Auburndale High School Bartow Senior High School Fort Meade Junior-Senior High Frostproof Middle-Senior High Gause Academy George Jenkins High School Kathleen Senior High Lake Gibson High School Lake Region High School Lake Wales Senior High Lakeland High School Ridge Community High School Ridge Vocational Tech Center

Tenoroc High School Traviss Career Center Winter Haven High – ProStart and HTMP Putnam County Interlachen High School Palatka High School Santa Rosa County Central High School Jay High School Locklin Tech Center Milton High School Pace High School Sarasota County North Port High School Sarasota High School Venice High School Seminole County Hagerty High School Lake Howell High School Oviedo High School Winter Springs High School St. John’s County St. John’s Technical High School St. Lucie County Fort Pierce Central High School Fort Pierce Westwood High School Port St. Lucie High School St. Lucie West Centennial High School Treasure Coast High School Suwannee County Branford High School Riveroak Technical College Suwannee High School Volusia County DeLand High School Deltona High School Mainland High School New Smyrna Beach High School Pine Ridge High School Seabreeze High School Spruce Creek High School University High School Wakulla County Wakulla High School Walton County Walton High School Washington County Chipley High School

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Check frla.org/great-florida-events for more information about our upcoming events! Don't miss any of our Great Florida Events coming up in 2018!

Orlando Main Streets Restaurant Week was a big success this year, offering unique meals and deals to restaurant-goers in a typically slow time in the area.

The Island Hopper Songwriter Fest held in the Fort Myers area maintained their schedule, and the show went on bringing vital tourists to the area despite the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Blast on the Bay brought a crowd to the Indian Pass Raw Bar in Port St. Joe. 52  W I N T ER

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The Florida Jazz & Blues Festival brought jazz greats to Tallahassee. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


H O S P I TA L I T Y H A P P E N I N G S

Don Fox at the sold out the Suncoast Chapter’s Chairman’s Luncheon.

The Central Florida Chapter of the FRLA is in full swing this year with monthly networking events and opportunities to raise money for educational and political outreach.

The Hillsborough Chapter met with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the day before evacuations for Hurricane Irma began.

FRL A .org

Space Coast Chapter’s Bowling Tournament was a lot of fun.

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A LA CARTE

TOP 10 CONCEPT TRENDS* 1. Hyper-local sourcing 2. Chef-driven concepts 3. Natural ingredients/clean menus 4. Environmental sustainability 5. Locally sourced produce 6. Locally sourced meat and seafood 7. Food waste reduction 8. Meal kits 9. Simplicity/back to basics 10. Nutrition *SOURCE: National Restaurant Association | Restaurant.org/FoodTrends

ADVERTORIAL

Don’t Miss This!

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he RAM National Circuit Finals Rodeo will ride into Osceola Heritage Park April 5–8, 2018. This PRCA-sanctioned competition will feature the top 200+ circuit champion rodeo cowboys and cowgirls in seven heart-pounding events over four action-packed days. Contestants will compete for more than $1 million in cash and prizes. In addition, to live rodeo action, attendees will have the chance to experience the RNCFR Tailgate Party featuring live music, a Kids Zone, vendors, food, and more! For more information please visit, RNCFR.com! 54  W I N T ER

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Did You You Know? Know? Did Did Did You You Know? Know?

    

Florida Restaurant and Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association Florida Restaurant Lodging Association members can receive aandand Florida Restaurant Lodging Association members can receive a discount on their ServSafe Lodging Association members can receive a discount on their ServSafe Food Manager Certification members can receive a discount on their ServSafe Food Manager Certification registration packages. discount on Certification their ServSafe Food Manager registration packages. Food Manager Certification registration packages. registration packages.

ServSafe®® Food Protection Manager Certification ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification ® ServSafe ®Food Protection Manager Certification ServSafe Protection Manager Certification 33 ServSafe classes offered Food each month throughout Florida.

33 ServSafe classes Certification valid foroffered 5 years.each month throughout Florida. FRLA members Certification valid for 5  33 ServSafe classes offeredrequirement. each month throughout Florida. Satisfies the “person inyears. charge” FRLA members can save up to $20 33 the ServSafe classes each month with throughout Florida.  Certification 5 offered years. Satisfies in for charge” requirement. You can test“person withvalid confidence when you register your trade FRLA can save upmembers to $20 off cer�ca�on Certification valid forin 5charge” years. You test with when you register your trade  can Satisfies the confidence “person requirement. Association. The one you have trusted for over with 65 years. FRLA members can save up to $20 off cer�ca�on SAVINGS packages. The one you have trusted for over 65 in years. Satisfies the “person in charge” requirement.  You can test with confidence when you register with food your service trade  Association. Learn food safety best practices that you will use your SAVINGS packages. off cer�ca�on can save up to $20 The one you have trusted for over 65 with years.  Learn foodevery safety best practices that when you will use in your foodyour service  Association. You can test with confidence you register trade operation day. SAVINGS packages. off cer�ca�on operation every  Learn food day. safety you for will over use in food service Association. Thebest one practices you havethat trusted 65your years. SAVINGS packages. every day.best practices that you will use in your food service  operation Learn food safety operation every day.

     

$$

$

$

Additional Training Courses Additional Training Courses Additional Training Courses DBPR’s contracted SafeStaff® Employee Foodhandler Training Program. Additional Training Courses DBPR’s contracted SafeStaff® Employee Foodhandler Training Program.

Regulatory Compliance Services Florida Alcohol Compliance Training. Regulatory Compliance Florida AlcoholFoodhandler ComplianceTraining Training.Program.  DBPR’s contractedServices SafeStaff® Employee Professional Development Training. Training’s Alcohol Compliance Training  RCS Regulatory Compliance Services Florida Alcohol Compliance Training. Professional Development Training. Bilingual trainers to Florida offer you classes in English orFoodhandler Spanish. DBPR’s contracted SafeStaff® Employee Training Program. Bilingual trainers to offer you classes in English or Spanish.  Professional Development Training. Register or find out more onlineServices at www.SafeStaff.org  Regulatory Compliance Florida Alcohol Compliance Training. Register or findtrainers out more online at Training. www.SafeStaff.org  Bilingual to offer you classes in English or Spanish. Professional Development  Register or find out more online at www.SafeStaff.org  Bilingual trainers to offer you classes in English or Spanish.  Register or find out more online at www.SafeStaff.org

Register Today! Register Today! 866.372.7233 Register Today! 866.372.7233 Register Today! 866.372.7233 866.372.7233 Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association 230 South Adams Street, FL 32301 Florida Restaurant and Tallahassee, Lodging Association

866.372.7233 Fax 850.224.2871 230 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association www.SafeStaff.org 866.372.7233 Fax 850.224.2871 230 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 SafeStaff@frla.org www.SafeStaff.org 866.372.7233 Fax 850.224.2871 SafeStaff@frla.org Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association www.SafeStaff.org 230 South Adams Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301 FRL A .org SafeStaff@frla.org 866.372.7233 Fax 850.224.2871 www.SafeStaff.org

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F A M I LY L E A V E P R O P O S A L

What Could the Trump Paid Family Leave Proposal Mean for Employers? By JEFF OSWALD, PRESIDENT/CEO OF UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE SERVICES (UIS)

T

he Trump administration’s 2018 budget proposal calls for a sixweek paid parental leave policy, to be run through state unemployment insurance (UI) programs. This has naturally left employers with many questions and concerns. While the proposal doesn’t contain many specifics, here’s what we know so far. The budget gives a projected cost of $18.5 billion over 10 years, though many analysts believe the cost could be far higher. Where would the financing come from? Would employer unemployment insurance (UI) tax rates go up? It’s unclear, but the proposal is “fully offset” at the federal level through state UI system reforms, including fraud reduction and getting unemployed workers back to work quicker. Reforming the outdated and inefficient UI system could certainly make life easier for employers, and everyone wants fewer unemployed people. However, there are major challenges in relying on these reforms to fund a new program: »» UI infrastructure in many states is antiquated. Some still use paper-only systems and outdated computer programs. Adding a new family leave program would require massive and expensive overhauls. »» Most state UI programs took a hit during the Great Recession and haven’t fully recovered. It’s unlikely they could support an additional benefit. »» Reforms of the system could free up more dollars in the short term, but are unlikely to produce a steady and reliable source of income long-term.

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This proposal would add thousands of employed people to overburdened UI programs, which will require more resources to handle the influx. Another huge question is where would the money come from? Under the proposal, the individual states will determine the funding mechanism. States may need to raise UI tax rates to fund the family leave program. It could lead to employer UI tax rates increasing. Beyond stating that the paid leave is for parents who have a new child, the proposal doesn’t specify who is eligible. It appears to rely on states to establish eligibility standards to determine who could access the paid leave benefit. UI eligibility varies by state but is largely based on how much and how long the employee worked. Would paid family leave eligibility be based on the same standards, or would states have to come up with new ones? UI tax rate calculations for employers would certainly need to change. Employer tax rates vary depending on their claim experience. The system rewards employers who have fewer employees go on unemployment. Adding family leave turns this on its head. If the tax rate system is not reconfigured, employers could pay more

because their employees had more children. The proposal doesn’t specify how much money a family would receive during their paid leave period. There is no mandatory minimum established. The method used to determine the benefit amount would be left to the states. It is unknown if claiming parental leave would change the amount of unemployment insurance a person would receive should they claim later. One big question is whether the paid leave benefit amount would be enough to make a difference for new parents. The budget’s cost estimate of $18.5 billion over 10 years suggests an average weekly benefit of less than $240. It’s difficult to imagine that many states would be able to provide a larger amount without tax increases or spending cuts. There could be little real benefit after so much overhaul, effort and expense. This plan is only a proposal. Congress would have to pass legislation for the paid leave plan to go into effect. It is likely to garner opposition from both parties. Should it pass, it’s likely to spark legal challenges from states. This proposal is worth keeping an eye on, but there probably won’t be much movement on it in the immediate future. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G A S SO CI AT I O N


SUPPORT CORE

CORE Surpasses Goal in 2017 Nashville-based organization sees growth this year, helping even more families

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ashville-based nonprofit organization with nationwide reach, Children of Restaurant Families (CORE), has already exceeded their goal of support for 2017, helping more than 100 families across the country this year thus far. CORE, which grants support to the children and families of food and beverage industry employees experiencing difficult times, has cared for recipients in 28 states, raised more than $2.5 million and supported more than 225 families since their inception in 2004. Most recently the organization has jumped in to offer support to the restaurant industry families affected by the hurricanes, raising funds to help with the devastating aftermath they have been left to navigate. Comprised of past and present food and beverage service industry members, CORE and their team are dedicated to bringing support, joy and a sense of caring to their fellow hospitality industry families during times of emotional and financial strain caused by a death in the family, injury, medical condition diagnosis, loss of home or other sudden or extreme circumstance. “We are so thrilled to have been able to make a difference in the lives of more than 100 families this year through the help of our partners and supporters,” said Lauren LaViola, executive director of CORE. “We are committed to serving this community and giving back to our own by doing whatever we can to aid restaurant industry families navigating life-altering circumstances.” CORE aims to help even more families get through difficult times through the rest of 2017 and beyond. Through their corporate partnerships, monthly Bear-a-Factor donor program and volunteer ambassadors across the country, the organization seeks to make a true difference in the lives of this underserved community, bettering their circumstances one industry family at a time. For more information on the organization, visit coregives.org. FRL A .org

About CORE Nashville-based nonprofit CORE was founded in 2004. Made up of restaurant industry experts, the organization’s team is dedicated to helping food and beverage service industry families get through the most difficult times. Through the support of an active board, experienced leadership team and CORE ambassadors sprinkled across the country, the nonprofit has been able to actualize their mission and support these families during the worst moments of their lives. More than 225 families in 28 states have been helped to date, with over $2.5 million raised by the organization. To connect with CORE and stay up-to-date on happenings, follow them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Visit coregives.org for more information on CORE.

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Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine Winter 2017  
Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine Winter 2017  

The Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine is the official publication of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

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