Florida Restaurant & Lodging Magazine Winter 2018

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ONSHIP FRL A CARES: HELPING THE PANHANDLE RECOVER AND REBUILD SOCIAL STEM MEDIA SOCIAL MEDIA PROFILE

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O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E F LO R I DA R E S TA U R A N T & LO D G I N G A S S O C I AT I O N O F F I C I A L P U B L I C AT I O N O F T H E F LO R I DA R E S TA U R A N T & LO D G I N G A S S O C I AT I O N

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SPECIAL SECTION

VIRTUAL TECHNOLOGY CHECK-IN Keeping Up With New Innovations WINTER 2018 | FRLA.ORG


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contents W I N T E R 2 0 18 | F R L A .O R G

DEPARTMENTS

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4 Leadership Reports Path to Power David Burke, The Breakers Palm Beach 10 Chefs That Sizzle Sean Woods, The Ritz-Carlton 12 16 Alpha Foundations The Skinny on Sinking Concrete FRLA Cares FRLA Responds to Hurricane Michael 18 20 Connect Travel Marketplace Right People. Right Time. Right Format. Synergi Partners Synergi is Helping FRLA Members Obtain Federal Hurricane 26 Relief Tax Credits

The Lease Coach Parking Pitfalls for Restaurant Tenants 38 Marketing Tips The Basics of Loyalty Programs 39 Business Matters Transforming Your Bar or Restaurant into 40

a Temporary Coworking Space

2019 Legislative Preview 41 New Partnership Class Action Capital 42 Environment Healthy Coasts, Red Tide and Blue-Green Algae 48 RCS Training RCS Trainers Receive Coveted CHT Designation 51 A La Carte Industry Information You Need to Know 52 Pet Friendly Tourism The Changing Face of the Traveling Family 53 54 Recognition FRLA members were named to Florida Trend's 500 Support CORE 55 Movers and Shakers 56 Educational Foundation Grilled Cheese Competition at the 2018 Florida 57

Restaurant & Lodging Show

26

SPECIAL FEATURES

9

VISIT FLORIDA — FRLA’s Tourism Partner

Empowering Florida’s Hospitality Industry Through Free Online Training

2019 FRLA Executive Committee 14

Get to Know Your Leadership Team

24 Fall Corporate Events

29

57 FRL A .org

2018 Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration and Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

FRLA’s Special Technology Section

Keeping Up With Tech Innovations

Hospitality Workforce 43

Hiring Outside of the Box, 4 essential tips for recruiting Gen Z and MBA and Career Advancement

Want to advertise in FR&L Magazine? Contact Editor Susie McKinley at 850-508-1139 or editor@frla.org.

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LEADERSHIP REPORT

Challenges and New Tech Trends

FRLA members are looking forward to 2019 As we all know, Florida has been challenged over the last three years by natural disasters. From hurricanes and Zika to red tide and blue-green algae, we have been hard hit. After cleaning up and rebuilding, or in the case of the devastation left by Hurricane Michael, starting the rebuilding process, it is heartening to see the resiliency of our citizens and our hospitality industry. FRLA members were incredible in responding to the record-setting hurricane’s aftermath, and I’m proud of their service to their communities. In addition, this year, FRLA staff and friends assisted those impacted by Hurricane Michael through feeding citizens and delivering disaster supplies to both humans and animals. Despite these challenges, FRLA and our members continue to stay ahead of the curve regarding trends. Tech lounges, free

high-speed internet access, smart beds, mobile room keys, and in-room tablets: as technology becomes more integrated in our everyday lives, it’s only natural that tech would be integrated into our industry. The restaurant and lodging industry strives to incorporate new technology whenever possible to improve the experience of our guests. Take a deep dive into what this means for hospitality on Pages 29-36. Now that the elections are over and Floridians have made their choices, FRLA is turning our attention to the legislative session that begins in March 2019. See Page 41 for a preview and breakdown of the laws that FRLA is tracking closely. Before we go, however, I’d like to thank Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet for all they’ve done for our industry and our state. We truly cannot thank you

enough for your hard work on behalf of all that live, stay and play in the Sunshine State. I wish everyone a peaceful and joyous holiday season this December, and here’s to another record-breaking year in the New Year! Cheers!

Carol B. Dover

Carol B. Dover FRLA President & CEO

Season’s Greetings

Believe it or not, cooler temperatures are upon us, and the persistent summer heat is subsiding. Like me, I trust you are welcoming this weather pattern. Fall and winter are a fabulous time of year with annual homecoming festivities and the holidays. It is the season of hope: hope for peace, community and a better future for the next generation filled with opportunity and growth. This compels me to ask, how are we achieving that goal in 4  FA L L

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our industry? What are we doing to embrace the next generation of hospitality talent? During my year as chairman, I have been very fortunate to address a few of our FRLA chapters, providing leadership insight on how to cultivate a winning culture. I believe a top priority of leadership is to create an outstanding work culture that aligns inspiration with purpose, while also providing team members with a great opportunity for advancement and improving livelihoods. We know the hospitality industry is a gateway to amazing careers, and many of us have been blessed with a mentor: someone who inspired you toward continued education and career advancement. Identifying talent within your organizations and providing them the time and resources to grow is a core competency for us. Our future leaders are right there in your operation! So, go seek out the dishwasher who aspires to become a sous chef. Go find the salesperson who is very likely connecting with your guests while working as a part-time seasonal food server. There is an abundance of talent right under our noses. It is up to us to seek it out by connecting with these individuals on

a personal level and inspiring them to pursue a career in the rewarding tourism industry. There is no hospitality industry in the world like Florida’s. We have joined together to put forth the most dynamic experience available for our guests. We have also joined together to support our communities and our industry in times of adversity. Thanks so much to those who have worked very hard to help our friends in the Panhandle after Hurricane Michael. As this is my last message to you as Chairman. I extend a warm, heartfelt “thank you” for making my journey so rewarding and full of personal growth, expanded friendships and the opportunity to pay it forward to our next generation. Additionally, I thank the FRLA executive team for their amazing talents, all of our state board members for your dedication and, most of all, our members for representing such a wonderful industry. Sincerely,

Kevin Speidel Kevin Speidel 2018 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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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 quarterly. 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. 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.

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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id you know that VISIT FLORIDA offers free online training to empower front-line employees in the hospitality and tourism industry? The Online Hospitality Training Program, launched in partnership with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association in 2015, offers two course modules focused on employee tools needed to create memorable moments for the millions of visitors who travel to Florida to discover our world-renowned beaches, attractions, natural wonders and incredible dining, shopping and entertainment venues. The training curriculum strengthens and grows guest satisfaction across markets and drives repeat visits, ultimately creating more jobs and professional growth opportunities in the state. Front-line employees are instructed in industry-vetted topics designed to increase their knowledge of tourism in Florida and help them better understand the diversity of the Sunshine State’s visitors. The courses available are “The Power of One: Creating Memorable Guest Experiences in the Sunshine State” and “Resolving Guest Conflict.” Each contains training, activities and a demonstration of knowledge. FRL A .org

After successfully completing the training, participants take a 25-question multiple-choice final exam. Achieving a score of 80 percent or greater earns the participant a VISIT FLORIDA certificate of completion. Upon completion of the training, employees will be empowered to make lasting, positive impressions on visitors that will not only keep them talking for weeks about their exceptional experience during their visit to Florida, but also have them making plans for their next one. This hospitality training is free to VISIT FLORIDA Marketing Partners and engaged members of official Destination Marketing Organizations, with a promo code required to access each module. To request codes for front-line employees, email training@VISITFLORIDA.org. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA’s hospitality training program, check out VISITFLORIDA.org/training.

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

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PAT H T O P O W E R

David Burke EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF SALES AND MARKETING OFFICER, THE BREAKERS PALM BEACH

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avid Burke was Executive Vice President and Chief Sales & Marketing Officer for The Breakers Palm Beach. He wrote this piece for us prior to his unexpected passing this summer. Our hearts join his family, friends, co-workers and the countless people he inspired in grief. David was a valued member of the FRLA Board of Directors since 2014 and most recently served as Chair of the 2018 Government Relations Committee. He was President of the Palm Beach Chapter of FRLA. He spent 27 years at The Breakers Palm Beach with a total of more than 40 years in the industry. David led a 75-member division, managing sales, marketing, e-commerce, advertising and promotion, public relations, conference services and event sales. Originally from Bethlehem, Pensylvania, David Burke arrived at The Breakers Palm Beach in 1991 after 10 years with Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. His career began immediately after graduating from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Hospitality Management, when he took his first job at the Boca Raton Resort & Club. After two years, he joined Hyatt and worked for the chain at a variety of locations, including Maui, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe, and engaged in a second tour in Hawaii during which he oversaw marketing for five of the company’s resorts, totaling more than 5,000 rooms.

How did you get started in the hospitality industry? Growing up in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I found

myself working summers in the Poconos — busboy, waiter, bartender. After two years at Ohio University studying broadcasting, I got hurt playing ball and dropped out. When I went back to school, I enrolled at Florida International University and graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management.

Early in your career, what was the most valuable lesson you learned? Work hard and have a

great attitude every day with your fellow workers and the guests. I’ve always been a big sports guy and found the team-first approach to be most effective. It’s a win-win when everyone works toward the same goal.

Do you have any mentors who were instrumental in helping you achieve your goals? I have had an amazing career blessed with many mentors. It started with my time working for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts. It was the 80s; they were a dynamic, cutting-edge company. I spent most of my time in Hawaii surrounded by incredible talent. When I left Hyatt as Director of Sales and Marketing in 1991 to join The Breakers, we had five properties totaling over 5,000 rooms and dominated the market. It was a very special part of my career, and I still maintain many friendships. 10  W I N T ER

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Overall though, without question, my biggest role models have been the Kenan family and our Board of Directors at The Breakers. The leadership and compassion they have is unrivaled in any business. They are an amazing family, and it has been an honor to work with them for almost three decades. It is so cool to work for a company that does the right thing all the time. It's about serving our 2,200 team members, our community and our guests. There is no place quite like The Breakers. I still smile every morning driving over the bridge and onto our 140-acre paradise.

What is the single greatest factor in the success of your career? For me personally — golf. It’s always been a

passion of mine, and the game has helped forge countless business relationships. Plus, I’ve enjoyed some great times and good cigars. There is no doubt in my mind that I would not be where I am today if not for golf and the doors it has opened.

Is there anything you would like to share with Florida’s hospitality industry members? We need

to work together and deliver a consistent message to elected state and local officials on just how important the tourism industry is to Florida’s economy. While tourism continues to be the state’s No. 1 industry, it seems every year our tourist development tax is under attack for non-tourism intentions. 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


You asked for it, now you have it: Strength in numbers for small businesses. Learn about the new Association Health Plan brought to you by the National Restaurant Association and the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association.

When you’re seen as bigger, your options can get bigger too. This Association Health Plan — the Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust — is available exclusively to small restaurant and hotel employer members of the National Restaurant Association and its state partners, including the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association (FRLA). It’s insured and serviced by UnitedHealthcare — the only endorsed health carrier of the National Restaurant Association. Small employers with 2–99 full-time employees are treated as large employers for insurance rating purposes through this Association Health Plan. This means you can enjoy: • Cost savings. More pricing flexibility. • More health plan options. Access to a product suite usually reserved for large businesses, featuring more than 120 plan designs. • Dedicated service. Access to a dedicated UnitedHealthcare account service team with more than 20 years of experience with association health plans.

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Chefs That Sizzle

Sean Woods

EXECUTIVE CHEF, THE RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND

Sean Woods is the Executive Chef of The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. In this role, he is known as an acclaimed culinary artist celebrated for his creative cuisine and food artistry. Chef Woods leads the culinary inspirations throughout the luxury resort’s lounges, banquet events and restaurants, including the AAA Five Diamond restaurant, Salt. He joined The Amelia Island resort from Cherokee Town and Country Club, where he also served as Executive Chef. Chef Woods graduated with excellence from the esteemed Culinary Institute of America. Woods began his culinary career with The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island and excelled to become Executive Sous Chef. To further his career, Chef Woods moved to The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, where he assumed the position of Executive Chef. During this time, he was also the team leader of The Ritz-Carlton Culinary Management Training Program, where he assisted in opening 14 Ritz-Carltons all around the world. In 2003, Chef Woods joined The Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande Lakes’ staff, where he was part of the opening team and helped launch the first celebritychef endorsed restaurant, Norman’s. In 2011, Chef Woods was recognized with the Award of Culinary Excellence, a global award that honors his professional accomplishments, dedication and leadership within The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. “My philosophy with food has always been keep it simple, concentrate on real ingredients and try not to over manipulate them,” says Woods. Chef Woods was recently named the Chef of the Year at the FRLA's Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration. Describe your role as a chef with The Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island.

My role as the chef is to oversee the culinary brigade of approximately 100 ladies and gentlemen that are responsible for the cuisine of Salt, our fine dining room, Coast, our casual restaurant, Ocean Bar and Grill for poolside dining, Pub, our sports bar, Sushi in The Lobby bar, 24 hour in-room dining, as well as a large banquet facility. I also take pride in developing our culinary team’s professional development and encourage creativity in menu development and artful presentation. We need to spot trends that are relevant to our guests and add our own personal touch that represents our sense of place. What inspires your menus? We

work as a collaborative team and bring in opinions from front and back of

Hot Chef? Are You Considered Among Florida’s Hottest Chefs? 12  W I N T ER

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the house to keep the chefs creative and meet the needs of our changing customer. We focus on fresh local ingredients that are artfully prepared and presented. Your restaurants at the property have embraced the local food movement. Can you describe your efforts? We work with several

different companies from Halperns in Orlando for locally sourced seafood and meats. Our produce company also pairs with several small farms. We have our own bees on property that produce honey for us. Other local farms bring lettuces to us as well. Please describe some of your most popular menu items. Coast

has Mayport shrimp and grits on the menu, as well as a low country boil that are very popular. Chef Laughlin in the Salt restaurant features a tenderloin of

beef that the guest can finish tableside on an ancient Himalayan salt block. What is your “sizzle” — your signature items, unique food presentations, or new ideas that you are using? My favorite way to

cook is over the open fire. We use different styles of grills that work with oak wood, and it is a fun and relaxing way to cook. I enjoy the art of controlling the heat, and I find the flavors that build through flame and coal to be very satisfying.

What do you attribute your success as a chef to? I attribute

my success to being a very passionate individual that attempts to maintain balance at work between guest satisfaction, employee satisfaction and owner satisfaction. You need to have everyone win every day to truly set yourself apart in this field.

Know a chef who is creating a buzz with innovative cuisine, exceptional presentation or fresh new ideas? FRLA wants to tell the state about your chef 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



LEADERSHIP

Meet Your 2019 FRLA Alan Palmieri

2019 Chairman of the Board Alan Palmieri, Chairman of the Board, FRLA 2019, is a co-owner and a partner in 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.

Sheldon Suga

Jim Shirley

John Horne

2019 Vice Chair of the Board

Secretary/Treasurer 2019 and Restaurant Director 2018–19

Restaurant Director 2018–19

Sheldon Suga, Vice Chairman of the Board, FRLA 2019, 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. 14  W I N T ER

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Jim Shirley, FRLA Secretary/Treasurer 2019/2018-19 Restaurant Director, is a chef and restaurateur in South Walton, Florida, owning Great Southern Café, the Meltdown on 30A and 45 Central Wine Bar in Seaside, Florida, as well as The Bay Restaurant in South Walton. He is also owner of the Baytowne Melt in Destin. He is also co-owner of Great Southern Restaurants operating The Fish House, The Atlas Oyster House, and The Fish House Deck Bar in Pensacola. 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 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 several times. He is author of the cookbook, “Good Grits! Southern Boy Cooks,” a compilation of his best recipes along with entertaining stories.

John Horne, FRLA Restaurant Director 2019-20, is the owner of four Anna Maria Oyster Bars located on Florida’s West coast. He has nearly 40 years of service in the industry starting as a busboy on Anna Maria Island. At Anna Maria Oyster Bar, John and his 325 co-workers have received many accolades over the years including Small Business of the Year awards from both the Manatee and Sarasota Chambers, over 70 People’s Choice Favorites as well as community, volunteer and tourism awards culminating in the 2018 Restaurant Neighbor Award presented by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. John is very passionate about education and helping his community and serves on numerous boards in many capacities. 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 Amelia Inn on Amelia Island. Through her leadership, the hotel has moved to the ranking of #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, 6 years in Food & Beverage and 11 years in law for Personal Injury and Worker’s Compensation.

Eduardo Fernandez Lodging Director 2019–20 Eduardo Fernandez, FRLA Lodging Director 2019-20, is the General Manager of Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach. He is a seasoned hospitality industry professional with more than 30 years of experience. Fernandez began his career at Le Centre Sheraton Hotel and Towers in Montreal and went on to manage numerous properties for Sheraton Hotels and Resorts in Boston, New York, Delaware and Miami. He then went on to work with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, where he served in various roles including senior director of operations for new builds and transitions, and managed various properties for W Hotels. He spent two years serving as General Manager of B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, where he played a key role in the successful turnaround of B Hotels & Resorts’ flagship hotel. After the sale of B Ocean, he was retained as General Manager, and has transitioned the property to the Sonesta Hotel & Resorts portfolio. Involved in the local business community, he is the Chairman of the Beach Business Improvement District for the City of Fort Lauderdale (4 years) and Chairman of the Beach Council for the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce.

Kevin Speidel 2019 Immediate Past Chair Kevin Speidel, Immediate Past Chairman of the Board, 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 fifteen-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. FRL A .org

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

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A L P H A F O U N D AT I O N S

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER

AFTER

LOOK FAMILIAR? This pool deck and walkway settled a couple of inches, creating a dangerous trip hazard for guests. After raising the slab, we were able to turn the sunken pool deck into a safe, level surface.

The Skinny on Sinking Concrete By ERIC SHARKEY, ALPHA FOUNDATIONS COMMERCIAL CONSULTANT

D

id you know? CONCRETE is the most widely used man-made product in the WORLD! And its use dates back to ancient Egypt. Concrete is pretty amazing stuff. It can be poured, shaped and made into just about anything you like. But even though it’s incredibly strong, it’s not indestructible. Think about all the concrete on your hotel or restaurant property — walkways, pool decks, sidewalks, patios and the list goes on. Over time, these areas are exposed to a lot of wear and tear due to foot traffic and extreme Florida weather conditions. When the soil supporting the concrete becomes weak, the concrete can sink or crack. Further, sunken concrete on your property means liability for you. These sunken slabs create trip hazards and can lead to falls or serious injury. Now, think about your company’s procedures when concrete begins to sink or crack. Do you currently … »» Grind the raised concrete back to level? »» Paint the trip hazard to alert your guests? »» Tear out and replace the concrete, then wait for it to cure? These common solutions are only temporary band aid fixes and don’t address the root of the problem — the soil supporting the

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concrete slabs! This means that the problem doesn’t go away, and you can find yourself fixing these issues over and over again. The good news? Alpha Foundations has a practical and affordable solution for sunken concrete repair. We address the problematic soils that are causing the concrete to sink — and we guarantee our work. In addition to taking less time and costing you less, concrete leveling is far less disruptive to your property than tearing out and repouring the concrete. So, reduce your liability without taking away from your guests’ experiences at your hotel or restaurant! Want more information or to discuss your sunken concrete woes? Contact me, Eric Sharkey, at 850-509-0540 or esharkey@ alphafoundations.com. ABOUT US: Alpha Foundations is a full-service foundation and concrete repair company established in Tallahassee, Florida. Since 2002, Alpha Foundations has served thousands of customers throughout Florida and Georgia. Visit AlphaFoundations.com to learn more about this award-winning company.

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


TM

Children of Restaurant Employees

G N I N R A W C OHOLI UR ALC TO YO OKED. LEAD V N CAN DED OR RE IO T N IOLA SUSPE TED V L RELA ENSE BEING C LCOHO ONE A EVERAGE LI B

Protect your license with alcohol compliance training! IMPORTANT! If you serve a minor, you can go to jail for up to 60 days and be fined $500! Remember your training! To protect your liquor license, and be in compliance with the Florida Responsible Vendor Act, make sure your staff: 1. Checks the ID of anyone who looks younger than 30 2. Ensures the birthday on the ID is on or before today’s date 1996 3. Asks a manager if they have any questions or concerns about an ID’s validity 4. Does not serve an empty seat or multiple drinks to one person 5. Understands they have the right to refuse service if they are not certain the person is at least 21

Granting support to children and families of food and beverage service employees navigating life-altering circumstances.

COREgives.org/donate FRL A .org

CONTACT FRLA’S RCS TRAINING TODAY FOR A FREE TRAINING CONSULTATION

rcstraining.com • 800-537-9863 • facebook.com/FRLARCSTraining F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

17


FRLA CARES

FRLA Responds to Hurricane Michael

I

n the weeks since Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle, the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association (FRLA) and its members have actively worked to provide for first responders, volunteers, evacuees and survivors of the record-setting storm. FRLA staff began organizing meals for first responders in Leon County before the storm hit, anticipating the needs of law enforcement, firefighters and other emergency personnel would be significant in the capital city. Once Hurricane Michael cleared Northwest Florida, member restaurants and hotels escalated their efforts, and within the span of one week, gave away more than 7,500 meals, provided emergency lodging to evacuees, survivors and first responders as well as donated critical items, like bedding for shelters and supplies in the hardest-hit areas. This sort of response — quick and selfless — is a hallmark of Florida hospitality, says Carol Dover, the trade association's President/CEO. “One of the best qualities of those in the hospitality industry is their commitment to service and community, and this effort is a prime example of that,” said Carol Dover, CEO/ President of FRLA. "Our members and staff truly have a heart and passion for service, and their generosity is being spread across the Panhandle in a variety of ways. Their actions are a wonderful testament to the power and spirit of hospitality." The outpouring of resources has come from members representing every segment of FRLA — large, corporate restaurants and small, family-owned businesses, as well as high-end resort properties and supply companies. Even members in Bay County, one of the most devastated areas in Hurricane Michael’s path, stepped up, including the Texas Roadhouse location in Panama City Beach. Paul Schreiner, Partner for the Panama City Beach location, suffered minimal damage from Hurricane Michael and realized there was a critical need in some of Northwest Florida’s rural counties. Schreiner connected with FRLA to see how he could best assist, noting he had the ability to feed around 2,000 people. After coordinating with emergency operations centers in the Panhandle, FRLA directed Schreiner to Blountstown in Calhoun County, located 40 miles inland and devastated by winds in the eyewall. After Schreiner and crew set up, in the span of approximately three hours, the Texas Roadhouse partners served 1,700 meals to survivors and first responders. “I was fortunate to have sustained little damage at my place, and I have an amazing staff who want to help,” said Schreiner. “These folks here were hit really hard, and they have no power. Their homes are destroyed. If I can come in and give them a good, hot meal and some water, I’m going to do it. And (Texas Roadhouse) corporate could not be better. They keep asking, ‘What else do you need?’ We’re all in this together.” FRLA lodging members have also stepped up to provide relief efforts to first responders, evacuees and survivors alike. Wyndham hotels donated 350 pillows, towels, sheets and blankets to one of the shelters in Panama City and also provided lodging to 13 Bay County law enforcement families who could not return to damaged/destroyed homes. Candlewood Suites in Tallahassee comped rooms for evacuees and housed nurses who traveled with their patients to Tallahassee after their Panama City hospital was damaged by the Category 4 hurricane. In addition to coordinating meals and helping connect resources with needs, FRLA staff have also focused on helping members recover by communicating critical information like re-entry requirements for evacuation zones, state and federal loan programs, business disaster recovery centers and reemployment assistance. FRLA is invested in expediting disaster relief to get member businesses back up and running after storms and other catastrophes.

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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


SUNKEN CONCRETE ON YOUR PROPERTY MEANS DANGEROUS TRIP HAZARDS FOR YOUR GUESTS

POOL DECK BEFORE

POOL DECK AFTER

WALKWAY BEFORE

WALKWAY AFTER

FL Lic. CBC1257350 | GA Lic. RLQA003805

Call today for your free estimate!

Chris Deason 850-766-2129

www.AlphaFoundations.com

Eric Sharkey 850-509-0540


C O N N E C T T R AV E L M A R K E T P L A C E

Connect Travel Marketplace 2019:

Right People. Right Time. Right Format

O

“Connect Marketplace is extremely important in promoting international travel. By bringing international buyers to the states and having an appointment-show format, it exposes even more people on why they should come to the U.S.” — Roger Dow, President, U.S. Travel Association

“Following our participation at the inaugural Connect Marketplace in Orlando in 2018, we are delighted to register early for the 2019 show. The 2018 event was a huge success for Thomas Cook, leading to excellent co-op marketing opportunities and many new hotel contracts agreed as a direct result of the show.” — Julian Stockdale, Head of USA Contracting, Thomas Cook UK & Ireland 20  W I N T ER

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ver 14 million international travelers from over 180 countries visited Florida last year, and these visitors spent significantly more than domestic and in-state visitors. Connect Travel Marketplace is designed to help North American destinations, resorts, hotels and attractions increase their international tourism business by connecting them with the decision makers at international tour operators in efficient and effective pre-scheduled, one-onone appointments that are proven to expedite the sales process. Connect Travel Marketplace is held in February, the right time of the year for international tour operators to develop new products for the marketplace. The inaugural 2018 event facilitated 11,773 individual business development meetings between suppliers and tour operators from 20 countries. The tour operators who are invited to attend Connect Travel Marketplace must meet strict criteria to ensure they are decision makers for businesses that are packaging and promoting international travel to North America on a year-round basis. In return for their active participation and interaction with suppliers, the tour operators are fully hosted by Connect Travel. Connect Travel Marketplace General Manager Shari Bailey reports that “Based on the feedback that we have received from buyers and suppliers alike, we anticipate that the show will grow significantly in 2019.” Connect Travel Marketplace 2019 will be held February 20-22, 2019 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Florida. “International visitation to our region is vital, and the inaugural Connect Travel Marketplace was extremely productive for Experience Kissimmee and for our partners," said DT Minich, president and CEO of Experience Kissimmee. “We are very excited to host Connect Travel Marketplace 2019 and to showcase Kissimmee to over 200 international tour operators from around the world.” In addition to 10 hours of pre-scheduled appointments and fun networking events and parties, Connect Travel Marketplace features a robust educational program. Confirmed speakers for 2019 include: »» Tom Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA, the Destination Marketing Organization for the USA »» Shaun MacGillivray, President, MacGillivray Freeman Films and Producer of America’s Musical Journey & National Parks Adventure in association with Brand USA and presented by Expedia Inc. »» Randy Garfield, President, Walt Disney Travel & EVP Worldwide Sales & Travel Operations Disney Destinations (Retired) »» Deana Ivey, CMO, Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation »» Carroll Rheem, Vice President Research & Analytics, Brand USA To take advantage of guaranteed appointments with top decision makers, inspirational and informative educational sessions and fun networking opportunities, please contact Shari Bailey, General Manager, at sbailey@ connecttravel.com or Brooke Chuprevich, Sales Manager at brooke@ connecttravel.com or register at connecttravel.com/events/marketplace. 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


HUMAN TRAFFICKING FRLA’s course will help you and your staff: • Recognize the signs of human trafficking • Learn best practices to protect victims and businesses • Promote anti-trafficking awareness

Order online at StopHumanTraffickingFL.com | Call today 888-524-2118

FO

R

SA L

Bayfront Restaurant St. George Island, FL

E

Simple Technology and Tools We offer an array of e-business tools—from online ordering and payment to inventory and recipe management—developed to make running your operation easier. Which means you can spend less time managing your orders, and get back to what’s important to you.

The most beautiful sunset on the island!

Successfully operated since 1989 | Owners retiring Sale includes 8 lots on Bayfront, equipped restaurant and 30 years of fine food service and reputation Contact Don Pitman 904-591-5127 or don@pitmaninc.com FRL A .org

Connect with us at gfs.com

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

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THANK YOU SPONSORS

#FRLAGOLF

FRL A .org

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

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FALL

CORPORATE EVENTS

2018 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show and Hospitality Stars of the Industry Celebration

2019 Chairman designate Alan Palmieri enjoyed the Board Meeting.

Mixology was on the main stage at the Show.

The Human Trafficking Awareness Panel at the Trade Show answered some important questions and identified situations in which human trafficking was present.

ProStart students competed for glory in the grilled cheese competition at the Trade Show. 24  W I N T ER

2018

FRLA's Southwest Florida contingent was strong at the Fall Board Meeting.

The RCS Training team was looking good at the FR&L Show.

Educational opportunities for Trade Show attendees were excellent.

Amy Forseth, Fiberbuilt Umbrellas, Mitch Doran, MVD Consulting, Jordan Beckner, Fiberbuilt Umbrellas and Jessica BecknerRosenfeld, Fiberbuilt Umbrellas spent some time networking on the Trade Show floor.

John Horne of Anna Maria Oyster Bar was master of ceremonies at the Hosptiality Stars of the Industry Celebration.

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


Hospitality Stars of the Industry Hospitality Stars, Chef of the Year Sean Woods

Hospitality Stars, Restaurant GM of the Year Bobby Kuchinsky

Hospitality Stars, Restaurant Employee of the Year Cherise Sherwin

Hospitality Stars, Hotel GM of the Year Sheldon Suga

Hospitality Stars, Hotel Employee of the Year Walter Nick Dotson

2018 Hall of Fame Inductees

Bruce Craul, Hotelier of the Year

Supplier of the Year Zenith Insurance Company FRL A .org

FRLA Hall of Fame Winners and Hospitality Stars of the Industry 2018

Paul Avery, Restaurateur of the Year

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

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H U R R I C A N E TA X R E L I E F

Helping FRLA Members Obtain Federal Hurricane Relief Tax Credits

T

he Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association has teamed up with Synergi Partners and initiated a free program to assist members in finding available Federal Hurricane Relief Tax Credits. Every business located in a disaster area is eligible to receive the hurricane retention credit. The credit is up to $2,400 for every employee retained after the hurricane, according to The Disaster Relief Act of 2017 (H.R. 3823 Section 503) and covers nearly the entire State of Florida. The Hurricane Retention Credit is meant to compensate businesses for the unintended costs associated with the disaster. Since partnering, FRLA members have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax credits. Danielle Rosse, owner of Oceans 234 in Deerfield Beach, Florida, and the Broward Chapter President of FRLA, received over $135,000 in tax credits. Lindsey Norris, FRLA Regional Chapter Director for Broward County, introduced Karen Freeman, Synergi Partners Global Sales Manager, to Rosse this past summer at the FRLA board meeting in Key West. Rosse originally had her accountant calculate the hurricane tax credit, but the accountant returned with a small amount. At the FRLA Summit, Rosse and Freeman discussed how Synergi knows critical nuances of the disaster relief program and could most likely find a larger credit. Shortly after, Rosse’s accountant contacted Freeman and initiated Synergi’s no-cost evaluation. “Our membership and involvement with FRLA has generated a tremendous amount of value to our business here at Synergi Partners, but more importantly the relationships that I am building are just phenomenal,” states Freeman. “I am not only able to help companies by assisting with

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continued recovery from this terrible disaster, but I am also developing lifelong friendships along the way.” If you have already filed your 2017 taxes, don’t worry — it can be amended. Synergi will pay up to $300 toward your amendment fee. What could an additional $20K, $50K, $100K or more do for your business? Let Synergi Partners perform a

complimentary evaluation to find out how much credit you are eligible to receive! Synergi Partners, with over 30 years experience, is the leader in disaster relief tax credits and business incentives. We defend all work should it be audited and refund any fees should any of the credits be denied. There is zero risk, so what are you waiting for?

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


Or visit us at: www.WorksiteEmployee.com

THANK YOU TO OUR

Hospitality Stars of the Industry SPONSORS PLATINUM

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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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Cool

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Made of 100% Heavy-duty, Compostable Recycled Paper

It’s time for America to lead the way in global sustainability when it comes to singleuse plastic.

Paper straws by Green Planet Straws are an easy solution.

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Restaurant tech budget ranked #3 behind labor and food. It has now surpassed my lease budget.” — Restaurant Executive Taken from Fred LeFranc’s, Results Thru Strategy webinar, November 2018

TECH the

issue

A

PHOTO BY LDPROD / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

s our cover image depicts, there is a lot happening in the tech world. Much of this can assist our industry in all aspects of business, including service and communication to guests. While all of the information out there is very helpful, we know it can be overwhelming at times. We hope this compilation of articles will help filter some of that information for you. In this edition of FR&L you can read about how to increase customer engagement with the introduction of technology, retain guests by personalizing your hospitality, and keep guests happy. You’ll discover innovations in designing tablescapes, third-party delivery and an answer to lost sales, and website accessibility. Sit back, relax and explore new tech! 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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TECH

HEARTLAND

What to Expect When You Give Customers the Tech They Expect Increase engagement, loyalty and sales by introducing technology before, during and after engagement with customers By CHRISTOPHER SEBES, XENIAL

Pre-Visit

Your customers are exposed to hundreds of restaurant marketing images throughout their day. The way to gain an upper hand is by offering incentives to visit your restaurant that consumers are already searching for online. People have come to expect a modern restaurant to offer online ordering, a mobile app, online reservations, delivery and loyalty program rewards, etc. These are no longer perks in the eyes of most of your customers. In fact, many of today’s millennial consumers are only interested in restaurants that offer online ordering and delivery, so don’t miss this demographic right out of the gate.

Inside the Restaurant

Once customers enter your establishment, they’ll be looking for familiar technology. You can increase sales by showcasing an easyto-read digital menu board with customizable menu options, 30  W I N T ER

2018

providing free Wi-Fi and offering the option to place an order with a member of your staff or via quick-and-easy payment options, such as a mobile app or payment kiosk. Even when diners opt to eat in the restaurant instead of order online, they expect their experience to be fast and seamless. The more you can do to help customers order and pay quickly while also allowing them to customize their experience, the better.

At Home

Your engagement with your guests doesn’t stop when they walk out your door and return home. A great customer relationship management system automatically compiles the information you’ve gathered through reservations, online orders, gift card purchases, payment kiosk ordering, etc., and creates robust customer profiles. This information allows you to stay in touch with each guest, customize your marketing to each individual, reward frequent visits and more.

The Takeaway

Whether you’re opening your first location or you’ve been in business for decades, providing customers with the technology they’ve grown to expect is one of the most important steps you can take to ensure you’re engaging with your guests. Ideally, your technologies enable this engagement to occur at each point of contact with your restaurant. With ongoing engagement, you have an opportunity to increase their loyalty and, ultimately, boost your sales. In the end, your efforts will pay off when you obtain what you expect — a successful business. 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

PHOTO COURTESY OF HEARTLAND

I

n today’s connected world, there are certain technologies that consumers have come to expect from restaurants. It starts with an updated, easy-to-navigate website and regularly monitored social media accounts, but it doesn’t stop there. Whether you realize it or not, your customers are engaging with your brand long before they walk through your doors and well after they leave. Today’s technology — including customer relationship management software — is designed to help you interact with customers where and when they are ready to interact with you, so take advantage of the opportunity at the right times.


SEO MARKETING

TECH

SEO is Always on the Menu By JEREMY SPINKS, VP ONLINE DESIGN, BOWSTERN MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS

PHOTO BY URUPONG / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

S

earch Engine Optimization is a competitive and ever-changing landscape. Any article claiming to know the secrets can be out of date before it goes to print. There are, however, some trends you can’t ignore and some advice that seems increasingly evergreen. One trend that’s becoming a de facto norm is voice search. Voice search brings with it some new challenges. For example, a voice search tends to use different language than a typed search: we tend to construct proper sentences for Alexa and Siri instead of the two or three keywords we type in a browser. Fortunately, the things you can do to optimize for voice search are also the things you should be doing anyway.

Which restaurants are near me? Searches for food and voice searches have some things in common: they are often localized, immediate and mobile-based. It is imperative that you have both a Google My Business listing and a fast, mobile-optimized website. Page speed has been a factor in search rankings FRL A .org

for some time, but indications are it is even more important for voice searches. A quicker, secure (HTTPS), more mobile-centric website will rank higher in any situation.

Mark it up No, I don’t mean raise your prices. I mean use the restaurant-specific markup from Schema. org. What’s that? It’s a way to indicate to search engines which pieces of standardized content they are reading. For example: hasMenu lets you specify if you publish a menu, and if so, whether it is a document or text. (Please don’t make potential clients zoom in to a photo of your menu that you took with your phone.) It even lets you specify whether you have different menus for lunch or dinner. Other examples include opening hours, payments accepted, address and which languages are spoken. All of these could help differentiate your listing in a voice search for a “local eatery that is open now, serving lunch.” When the user gets served the right menu for the time of day, your conversion chances will rise. (see schema.org/Restaurant)

Curate Your Reputation

There is also schema mark up for customer reviews which, when implemented, can result in star ratings showing under your search listing. Imagine a search for ‘5-star restaurant near me.’’ If your site includes properlymarked review content, you’ll be in the running. (see schema.org/Review) Of course, in all these searches, you’ll be competing with services such as Yelp!, which is why reputation management is a critical part of SEO. You need to be monitoring those reviews. Intervene with the negative ones and foster the positive ones. Consider a service such as Yext for monitoring directories and external reviews. Manage them correctly, and you can let Yelp! do the SEO work for you. Jeremy Spinks is VP of Online Design at BowStern Marketing Communications. (BowStern.com) F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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TECH

MILES

How to Retain Your Guests by Personalizing Your Hospitality By CA CLARK AND EVGENI DIMITROV

R

ecognizing that 88 percent of adults prefer to book a hotel online rather than by any other means1, it’s time to get comfortable with the new information-centric way of communicating with your loyal and potential guests.

Know Your Guests

Your guests’ stay in your hotel begins before they arrive and continues long after they leave. To give both loyal and potential guests the hospitality they deserve, it’s time to anticipate their desires and give them what they want before they even ask for it. Does a long-time guest keep returning for the stellar piano lounge? Is a potential guest interested in the biggest swimming pool? How can you know without spending valuable time with each individual guest? Your business needs to engage digitally with a new customer platform, one that interacts with your guests and turns their raw data into information that can be used to take their lodging experience — and your hotel’s success — to the next level.

Automate Hospitality

Exceeding the expectations of your guests is key to your success. With a global world and a growing number of eyes rating your online presence, it can be overwhelming to try and present the most relevant messages to everyone. Breathe easier with a centralized customer platform that can easily manage your growing database of guests and their preferences, ensuring you are presenting personalized and enticing messages to each of your guests.

Top Five Benefits of Automating Your Hospitality

The following are five popular reasons to automate your hospitality with a digital customer platform. 1. Learn how your guests relate to your website. Understand what guests do on

your website. Do they click that banner, or ignore it? Do they hover for more information or move on quickly? This information is completely anonymous but is linked to a tracking code. If a guest decides to submit information

to you through your website, all those tracked events, via the tracking code, are paired with the submitted information, giving you a complete portrait of your next potential guest. 2. Automatically respond with personalized messages. Start

out on the right foot by offering your guests a warm reminder of their upcoming visit to your hotel. In other words, keep the hospitality going after their reservation and before they reach your hotel! Your guests will feel valued and all it takes for each guest to receive a personalized message is a one-time setup.

3. Tell your guests about what interests them. Segmenting guests into dynamic lists

allows you to send the right information to the right people at the right time. Dynamic lists are segmented by certain data points, including demographics and websitebrowsing habits. Some of your guests will want to know about your spring break special while others would prefer to hear about a relaxing spa package. Using key information provided digitally by your guests, you can automatically send communications and offers to the right people — and only the right people — limiting the chances of your emails being marked as spam.

4. Keep the conversation going. Maintain

your relationship with guests after their stay at your hotel by automatically sending a personalized message and survey asking about their experience. Receive automatic survey response reports, and easily export data for further analysis.

5. Give guests what they want. The

second-most common reason to subscribe to a website’s newsletter is to receive deals or special offers (the most common reason is being auto-subscribed2). What this means is that those who subscribe on your website are more than likely interested in your offers. Fulfill their need by sending them information about your current or upcoming offers automatically.

Sources: 1. statista.com/statistics/666643/preference-of-online-or-offline-hotel-booking-us/ 2. lab.getapp.com/new-research-getdata-why-do-people-subscribe-to-email-newsletters/ 32  W I N T ER

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Implementing new communication and technology strategies can help you deliver personalized hospitality without being overwhelmed which, ultimately, will attract and retain guest loyalty. ABOUT THE AUTHORS CA Clark is a 25-year veteran of online and an experienced designer, developer and marketer in the travel and tourism industry. Evgeni Dimitrov is the creator of Beetle Eye and developer with over 20 years experience. He is currently focused on growing Beetle Eye into an industry-leading platform.

MILES

Travel promotion and the creation of traditional and digital marketing assets have been Miles Partnership’s passion since 1954. Roger Miles purchased the company in 1990, and since that time, Miles has worked within the travel and tourism industry, continuously staying ahead of the times to deliver forwardthinking, successful solutions that meet and exceed clients’ needs. Miles’ 200-plus employees currently work with more than 100 hospitality clients, destination marketing organizations and in-market attractions. We believe in true collaboration with clients and bring not only proven website design, development and digital marketing expertise, but also a thoughtful, holistic approach to all of the work that we do. To better serve the needs of their growing client list, Miles is now collaborating with Beetle Eye (beetleeye.com). Through this partnership, Miles can now track, collect, process and manage client requests and information using standard and custom client platform modules.

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


TIPS FOR HAPPY GUESTS

TECH

Keeping Guests Happy with the Simple Things By SUSIE MCKINLEY

A

s a frequent traveler staying in hotels most weekends of the year, I want to share what is important to me in a hotel with regards to technology.

PHOTO BY ANTONIO_DIAZ / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

You can never have too many electrical outlets

Traveling with a cell phone, an Apple watch, an iPad, an Apple Pencil and a laptop, I often find there just aren’t enough of these to go around, particularly if you are traveling with someone else. Do what you can to accommodate the traveler who uses many devices by providing several sets of electrical outlets. Electrical outlets should also be in good working order. Loose plugs that can’t hold a device charger are not effective. Take time to check hotel room outlets to ensure their effectiveness. It’s important to try not to connect electrical outlets to light switches if possible. FRL A .org

How many times have you woken up to your devices never having been charged to 100 percent? After plugging in, it appears that they are in working order, but after the light is turned off, the charging stops and the traveler is stuck the next day with a device that isn’t charged.

Wi-Fi Wi-Fi in many hotels is the connection to the outside world. It should be plentiful, free or low-cost and readily available throughout the hotel. Make sure meeting rooms, restaurants and other gathering areas — such as lobbies, pool areas, spas and especially hotel rooms — are outfitted with Wi-Fi that is a sufficient workable speed.

Well-lit desk and desk chair When on the road, travelers are a guest in your hotel, and, in many cases, they don’t have

anywhere to go until their meeting. Make it easy for the hotel guest to keep up with work. You can do that if you provide a well-lit desk and a comfortable, appropriately-sized desk chair. It’s tough to work in the dark, and it’s even harder to work at a desk with a chair that sits too low or too high. Take the time and spend the dollars to give your guests the option to get some work done while traveling. These are important amenities for guests who will be staying in your hotel. If you have few or non-working electrical outlet plugs, lousy or expensive Wi-Fi and a dark, uncomfortable desk or desk chair, your guests will remember and may make other choices when visiting your area in the future. Susie McKinley is the Managing Editor of FR&L Magazine and is a former Director of the Division of Hotels and Restaurants. Susie is a traveling baseball mom and a licensed horse show judge. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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TECH

ONEIDA

Digital Tabletop Design from Oneida New 3D Tool is a Breakthrough, Simplified Way to Turn a Restaurateur’s Vision into Reality

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neida, a leader in the tabletop industry and foodservice market, continues to bring world-class innovation with a new digital tabletop design and sampling experience that truly is the first of its kind to hit the foodservice industry. Plate Envy™ will forever change how operators design the dining experience, allowing operators to quickly and seamlessly set their vision on the table with a 3D visualizer. “We’ve talked to a lot of operators, and we understand how much blood, sweat and tears go into the unique guest experiences they’re creating,” says Jeff Jarrett, CMO of The Oneida Group. “Operators told us they need an easier, more updated, digital way to find products that match their vision. So, we put a lot of research and time into creating a quick, easy way to get that vision out of their heads and onto their tables.” Until now, operators were forced to spend countless grueling hours scouring tabletop catalogs for just the right pieces to bring their unique and specific vision to life. Plate Envy™ from Oneida allows operators to skip the antiquated hunting process, bringing their tabletop vision to life in three easy steps: Discover. Visualize. Sample. It starts with a few questions to discover your vision, moves to a 3D visualizer for you to see it on the table, and ends with an easy sample order so you can get your new tabletop onto the tables in your restaurant. “We created Plate Envy™ to recommend dinnerware, glassware, and flatware combinations tailored to each operator's unique vision,” Oneida’s Jarrett says. “As a leading manufacturer, innovation is front and center for us. We’re really excited about this new way to partner with operators in driving successful, memorable guest experiences.”

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HOW PLATE ENVY™ WORKS The tool works by walking users through a three-step process. 1. It starts by asking a handful of questions to discover your restaurant’s style, setting, and cuisine. 2. The tool responds with recommended place settings to match your restaurant’s aesthetic and your personal vision. Place settings come to life in 3D on a virtual table, so you can visualize and swap dinnerware, flatware and glassware to see how various combinations look together. Unlike flat photography, the 3D imagery puts contours in perspective, so you can tell how deep a soup bowl is or whether the lip of a dinner plate flares the way you want it to. 3. That makes it easier to narrow down your top choices, so you can request physical samples to try out — and have a high degree of confidence those products are likely to meet your needs. Additional information can be found at theoneidagroup.com, anchorhocking.com, anchorhockingbottles.com, oneida.com, and foodservice.oneida.com.

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


SUPERFI

TECH

Third-Party Delivery and the Hidden Dangers By RUSS FINNEY, SUPERFI

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hen ordering burgers for the team recently, I found our favorite third-party delivery platform, picked a nearby restaurant to order from and then was told the restaurant was closed. Closed? It’s 11:15 a.m. on a Wednesday, I thought. With all the team’s orders and credit cards in hand, I was frustrated. Why is this happening? I later found out that the tablet disconnected from the WiFi, and the restaurant did not know. This is one of the many hidden dangers for restaurant operators and third-party delivery services. Why do we call it a hidden danger? The effects of that event are proof of the potential destruction. 1. The restaurant missed out on a $100 order. Plus, many other orders were probably missed. 2. The customer leaves the experience frustrated at the restaurant for not being available. 3. A potential long-term customer is lost. Will that customer order next time? Maybe not. 4. The customer posts negative online reviews causing ranking algorithms to impact how you show up in search results.

PHOTO BY LDPROD (LEFT) AND DRAGONIMAGES (RIGHT) / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Grubhub, Bite Squad, Uber Eats, DoorDash and others all have one technology in common — a WiFi-enabled tablet to receive orders. WiFi connectivity and uptime play a huge part in online ordering success. Can you imagine having four different vendors running across multiple locations? Businesses could lose thousands of dollars in revenue in a single day. With customer loyalty getting tougher all the time, the future loss could be significant too. Are Uber tablets down for a week? Are other technology fails occurring at your restaurants? Do your restaurant leaders know? Far too often customers tell us about events such as these prior to partnering with SuperFi. SuperFi can help you achieve technological perfection with your online ordering via third-party delivery services business strategy. You may be thinking, “What about the WiFi? Does that really matter?” It certainly does. Improved WiFi and the proprietary SuperFi monitoring platform keeps tablets online and ready 100 percent of the time. SuperFi’s proprietary, state-of-the-art platform provides onsite technology, process consistency, awareness and accountability for the onsite team. SuperFi can help you mend old and identify new opportunities for significant revenue increases that are ready and waiting. SuperFi recently had the opportunity to deploy this technology and process to the largest Firehouse Subs franchise in many Florida-based locations, and the results were in the numbers: “In the first two months, we have seen a 43.3 percent gain in Uber Sales and a 7.1 percent increase in total sales at our SuperFi restaurants.” – Don Davey, Firehouse Subs franchisee If you are going to implement third-party delivery — do it right. The revenue gains are substantial, and SuperFi is ready to help. We offer delivery tablet monitoring, Wi-Fi marketing, analytics and more. You can learn more about this and our other services at getsuperfi.com or by calling 855-597-8737. FRL A .org

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

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TECH

DIGIPRO

Digital Accessibility is Not Only Nice, It is the Law Currently, one in four people in the United States has a disability2. Disability knows no race, ethnicity, gender, age, religious preference, or tax bracket. It can affect our neighbors, veterans, co-workers, friends, loved ones — anyone. People can be born with a disability or develop them along life’s journey. When a business ceases to think about and develop a plan for digital accessibility, not only are they leaving out nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, but also they are placing a bullseye on their business for ADA litigation. According to a recent report by the law firm Seyfarth & Shaw3, the number of federal ADA web lawsuits has surpassed 4,900 in just the first half of 2018, compared to 7,663 for the entire year of 2017. At the current rate, by the end of this year, there will be almost 10,000 ADA web lawsuits — a more than 30 percent increase from 2017. ADA web compliance standards benefit both the end-user and commerce, as they provide ease of use and comprehension for search engines, such as Google and Bing, as well as virtual personal assistants like Alexa

Sources: 1. Vu, Minh N. (2017, June 12), First Publix Accommodations Website Accessibility Case Goes to Trial in Florida, retrieved from adatitleiii.com/ tag/gil-v-winn-dixie-stores/ 2. Centers for Disease Control (2018, Aug. 16), CDC: 1 in 4 US Adults Live with a Disability, retrieved from cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0816disability.html 36  W I N T ER

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or Siri, which are projected to account for nearly 50 percent of all digital interactions within the next two years4. Fortunately, members of FRLA have access to a free website accessibility report to determine if there are any accessibility issues. Through a partnership with the National Restaurant Association and DigiPro Media, you can get quick feedback on over 600 data points, such as whether or not images on your website are “readable” by assistive technology and if there are spelling errors or acronyms that cause confusion for readers. Visit DigiProMedia.com/NatRest and claim your free report today. You may find that you’ll be able to fix many of the issues yourself. If not, DigiPro Media can consult with your own web development team to make your site functional and compliant. Members of FRLA receive a significant discount on DigiPro Media products and services. For more information contact Sales@DigiProMedia.com.

3. S eyfarth and Shaw (2018, July 17), Website Access and Other ADA Title III Lawsuits Hit Record Numbers, retrieved from adatitleiii.com/2018/07/ website-access-and-other-ada-title-iii-lawsuits-hit-record-numbers/ 4. B entahar, Amine, Forbes (2017, Nov. 27), Optimizing for Voice Search is More Important Than Ever, retrieved from forbes.com/sites/ forbesagencycouncil/2017/11/27/optimizing-for-voice-search-is-moreimportant-than-ever/#2dbbb2f94a7b 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

PHOTO BY ABDOUDZ / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

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here is a daily race for businesses to be found on the internet by potential customers. What most business owners don’t realize is that the key to winning this race begins with ensuring that their websites are accessible to as many people as possible. Accessibility means building the site in such a way that all users — no matter their ability — can read the presented information. Attaining digital accessibility in the United States starts by following web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG), the internationally-accepted standards for web accessibility, and complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA states that it is illegal for a business to discriminate against persons with disabilities, and with the 2017 ruling in the Gil vs. Winn-Dixie case1, it has been solidified that this includes a business’s website. Ensuring that everyone has equal access and opportunity to use a company’s goods or service is the primary objective of the ADA.


IS YOUR

RESTAURANT

AT RISK?

The National Fire Prevention Agency reports that each year there are over 10,000 calls made to 911 requesting help in extinguishing commercial kitchen fires. When fire reaches the roof like this, it is usually from a poorly maintained ducting system. USE A PROFESSIONAL COMPANY WITH CERTIFIED TECHNICIANS WHO KNOW THE FIRE CODE AND CLEAN TO IT. We clean over 10,000 commercial hood exhaust systems a year. We have never had to defend ourselves against a kitchen fire.

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Proud member of FRLA (Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association) Proud members of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce Work very close with the state of Florida’s Hospitality Insurance Industry as well as the state of Florida’s Fire Inspectors and are available to provide educational awareness seminars We offer many other related services such as equipment cleaning and reconditioning, kitchen air balancing, stainless steel hood filter exchange service and stainless wall installation, exhaust fan repairs and maintenance and oil absorbent products for roof protection Guaranteed service with competitive pricing

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THE LEASE COACH

Parking Pitfalls for Restaurant Tenants By JEFF GRANDFIELD AND DALE WILLERTON – THE LEASE COACH

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o you have enough parking spaces for your customers, you, and your staff? A lack of parking is a common problem The Lease Coach sees with both new and established restaurant tenants. Consider these factors: What is the availability of parking spaces for your use? Are there enough stalls for all? Where are these parking spaces — in front of, behind, or beside the building? Are the spaces “rush parking” (first-come, first-served) or assigned specifically for your use? Is your restaurant located near a major anchor store or another high parking user? If so, the best available parking spots may be taken by other shoppers. For many restaurant tenants and their staff, parking is free. Monthly parking charges, however, can cost several hundreds of dollars per month. Will sufficient parking be available? The property may have a pay-topark system for customers (or not — leaving your customers to resort to parking meters on the street). In either case, this cost can increase dramatically with extended visits and running outside to put more money in a parking meter can become inconvenient. We have seen many parking challenges. We recall visiting a couple of tenants 38  W I N T ER

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who had hired us to do a new lease. We arrived at the property around 10 a.m., and the parking lot was already packed with other cars. We pointed this out and questioned how busy would this same lot be after the vacant units were occupied with more tenants. We also remember a couple of tenants who had been in business for almost 18 years in the same property. Both tenants were very frustrated that their landlord had converted the property’s free parking into paid parking — thus further inconveniencing their customers. Never assume that your parking situation will always remain the same. Always assume that the only parking rights you will have are the rights you get in writing in your lease agreement. Also, remember that it’s best if your customers can park in the best stalls while you and your staff can park elsewhere. Determine whether the landlord has a designated area for staff to park and whether there’s a parking policy that the property manager polices or regulates. Smart landlords require both tenants and staff to provide their vehicle license plate numbers to the property manager. If the landlord or real estate agent tells you that all parking is first come, first serve, include a clause in the

lease agreement stating that if (in the future) the landlord gives special parking rights or privileges to other tenants that they will have to give those same privileges to you. Parking is often used as an incentive by a landlord trying to attract new tenants, and landlords have been known to unfairly divvy up the parking to suit themselves or to attract other tenants. Things can change without your knowledge or consent. If there aren’t enough parking spaces for your customers during the times of day and/or evening that you need them, your business can suffer accordingly. For a complimentary copy of our CD, Leasing Do’s & Don’ts for Commercial Tenants, please email JeffGrandfield@ TheLeaseCoach.com. Dale Willerton and Jeff Grandfield — The Lease Coach are Commercial Lease Consultants who work exclusively for tenants. Dale and Jeff are professional speakers and co-authors of Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES (Wiley, 2013). Got a leasing question? Need help with your new lease or renewal? Call 1-800-738-9202, email DaleWillerton@TheLeaseCoach.com or visit www.TheLeaseCoach.com. 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


MARKETING TIPS

4 Ways Your Loyalty Program Can Keep Customers Spending

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oyalty Programs, in their very nature, are designed to keep customers focused on your business. It’s literally in the name: loyalty. Loyalty programs have a lot of benefits. They’re a great way to reward and engage with your most active customers. However, the best programs leverage loyalty to encourage consistent, repeat customer spending. Here are four ways your loyalty program can keep your customers spending money on your business.

Keep the Carrot on the Stick

Effective loyalty programs work because they incentivize customers with rewards for consistent spending. There’s always the carrot-on-the-stick promise of “just one more reward.” You can accomplish this by having a wellthought out reward system that includes a series of consecutive rewards based on levels of spending. When the promise of an additional FRL A .org

reward is on the line, customers will find themselves buying more than they actually need or want, just because of the potential reward. Try Introducing Tiers

Customers love working towards a specific goal. There’s a sense of achievement that people just can’t get enough of. One of the top ways to utilize that within your loyalty program is to integrate a tier system. A tier system operates as a specific status that customers obtain after doing things like making a set number of purchases or gaining a specific number of points. Not only should the promise of an elevated tier alluring from a status perspective (these are your loyal customers after all), but it should also entice with a bigger set of rewards. When it comes to naming your tiers, they can be named after whatever you like. They can be themed after your business, or they can be generic titles as simple as Level 1, Level 2, Level 3, and so on.

Stay Consistent

Making sure customers become recurring spenders isn’t just tied into the quality of your loyalty program. It’s tied into how your loyalty program can reward on a consistent basis. For example, having a “Reward of the Week” can motivate loyalty members to make purchases from week-to-week. It should be especially effective because it introduces a limited time aspect to the reward. The customer has to spend now, rather than later, if the reward is something that they just have to have (or even just might want, because this is their final and only opportunity). Do It Digitally With CoGoBuzz

CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art digital marketing service, is built from the groundup to create loyal, repeat customers for your business. Check out CoGo.Buzz to learn more! F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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B U S I N E S S M AT T E R S

Table 16 is Now a Temporary Office Considerations for Transforming Your Bar or Restaurant into a Temporary Coworking Space

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hile “traditional” office coworking spaces have flourished for years, a new trend is emerging to transform restaurants, bars and lounges into coworking environments. Several companies are now focused on converting well-located but underused restaurants and bars into daytime pop-up offices complete with accessible electrical outlets, high-speed Wi-Fi and complimentary coffee. Bar and restaurant owners benefit by receiving a passive source of income during a period of the day their space would otherwise sit empty. In an industry known for fierce competition and razor-thin margins, transforming into a temporary coworking space can net a bar or restaurant 20 percent or more in additional revenue. That extra cash can be a lifesaver for fledgling eateries facing steep competition, increasing rents and labor costs. Since coworking operators do not need to spend significant funds reconstructing a restaurant, they are able to offer their customers lower membership fees than traditional office coworking operators. Working out of a high-end restaurant or lounge with soundproofing offers members a quiet respite from noisy, overcrowded coffee shops and offices. Meanwhile, coworking members offer restaurants and bars a built-in market for happy hour and dinner service. The temporary coworking model has proven successful, but like any new venture, 40  W I N T ER

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hospitality operators should consider the business and legal risks before agreeing to lease or sublease their space. Many new businesses fail, and coworking operations are no different. Prior to executing any agreement, restaurant and bar owners should perform their due diligence and consider the coworking operator’s experience, reputation and leadership. You want to work with reputable operators with successfully operating locations. Ask to speak with the owners of those locations. Check if complaints have been filed against the coworking company with the state or local department of consumer affairs or chamber of commerce. You should consider staffing requirements. While the coworking operator should have its employees onsite during operating hours, you may also want your own managers present. If your bar or restaurant leases its space, you should first review the lease prior to entering into any agreements. Most leases include language prohibiting subleasing without the landlord's prior written consent. Where the lease strictly forbids subleasing, you may consider approaching the landlord to discuss an accommodation. Many landlords understand the difficulty of operating a consistently profitable bar or restaurant and would rather work with you than deal with a default and the additional expenses of re-renting a space. Property owners can enter into a lease agreement with the coworking company or

opt for a non-traditional structure such as a joint venture or licensing. Your agreement can incorporate profit sharing but should also clearly delineate roles and responsibilities. Regardless of the business structure, your agreement should require proof of the coworking company's insurance coverage naming the bar or restaurant as an additional insured. The agreement should contain language indemnifying your bar or restaurant from liability arising from the acts of the coworking company and its customers. Restaurant and bar owners should also consider enhancing security and surveillance systems and ensure that any alterations to the space performed by the coworking company comply with applicable laws and regulations. With the continued rise of the gig economy, temporary coworking spaces are exploding in popularity. A carefully drafted agreement with a coworking operator can help ensure a successful and profitable relationship for years to come. Holland & Knight is a global law firm with more than 1,250 lawyers in 27 offices throughout the world. The firm was established in Florida and has eight offices in the state. Our lawyers provide representation in litigation, business, real estate and governmental law. For more information, visit hklaw.com. You can contact Mr. Lipkis at herman.lipkis@hklaw.com. 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

PHOTO BY MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

By HERMAN R. LIPKIS


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

2019 LEGISLATIVE PREVIEW The 2019 legislative session is fast approaching. These are the issues impacting our industry that we expect to address in the coming session.

SHORT TERM RENTALS Short Term Rentals have become an increasingly popular option for Florida’s visitors. It’s important that lodging establishments operate on a level playing field, providing a consistent and high-quality visitation experience for all guests. Safety, sanitation and collection of the proper taxes is incumbent upon all who provide lodging for Florida’s visitors. Appropriate regulation of hosting platforms will ensure that basic requirements are met, and appropriate taxes are collected and paid.

HUMAN TRAFFICKING Human trafficking is a deplorable and heinous crime, and Florida’s hospitality industry is uniquely positioned to be on the front lines of human trafficking prevention. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, along with other industry members, offers free high-quality training for hospitality workers that will teach them to recognize the warning signals of trafficking activity and report such activities promptly. We believe that training and increased criminal penalties can help turn the tide against human trafficking in Florida. FRL A .org

WATER QUALITY Florida’s tourism industry is feeling the effects of red tide and bluegreen algal blooms. These occurrences can discourage visitation to our state, jeopardize economic activity and pose potential health threats. The solutions are not simple, and the timeline is not short. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will play a key role in protecting our tourism industry and working towards long-term and meaningful solutions to Florida’s water quality challenges.

VISIT FLORIDA VISIT FLORIDA’s enabling legislation is set to expire in 2019. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association will work with industry partners to renew this legislation and establish the continued existence and operation of this successful and productive private public partnership.

more activities beyond marketing and promotion. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association does not support any further expansion of the use of these dollars.

ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE FOR ALGAL BLOOM IMPACTS Many tourism industry members experienced devastating losses as a result of the algal blooms. Executive branch personnel and emergency

management personnel worked effectively and tirelessly to bring all available resources and aid to impacted businesses. We feel additional solutions need to be evaluated and applied where appropriate. Whether it’s tax breaks, tax incentives, or other potential programs, we encourage the thorough consideration of all potential options that might seek to alleviate the considerable economic impact these algal blooms have had on tourism businesses.

SAVE THE DATE

FLORIDA TOURISM DAY MARCH 13, 2019

TOURIST DEVELOPMENT TAX The Tourist Development Tax was designed to ensure a consistent source of funding for marketing and promotion of tourism in the Sunshine State. The use of these dollars has been expanded over the years to include more and F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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N E W PA R T N E R S H I P

Class Action Capital

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RLA is excited to announce a new partnership with Class Action Capital, a market leader in class action settlement claims management. Class Action Capital specializes in the research, data collection and filing of complex class action settlement claims. Their goal is to maximize your recovery and limit the amount of time and internal resources you would spend if you handled this independently. By working with Class Action Capital, your organization does not need to sift through invoices or purchase history data. Class Action Capital is successfully working with many restaurants, hotels and lodging facilities helping to recover significant refunds from a number of class action settlements. Class Action Capital works on a contingency fee basis with no up-front costs or filing charges. By joining the claim process, your organization would not be entering litigation or legal proceedings but submitting a confidential claim to recover your pro-rata share of the settlement. Please visit: classactioncapital.com/cases/frla or contact Joshua Kerstein, josh@classactioncapital.com or 914-200-0066 with any questions.

PHOTO BY JIRAPONG MANUSTRONG (HANDSHAKE) / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

DISCLAIMER: Class Action Capital’s fee is a percentage of your financial recovery, as stated on the Service Agreement you sign. You do not have to hire a third-party claims consultant and are entitled to file your claim on your own without incurring any fee. Class Action Capital is not a law firm and does not give legal advice. Class Action Capital is not associated with the class administrator, the court, class counsel or any other official parties. For the Payment Card Settlement only: Plaintiffs in the Rule 23(b)(3) Class (Money Damages Class) have reached a proposed settlement in this action. Materials reflecting this proposed settlement were filed September 18, 2018 with the Court. No claim forms are available at this time, and no claims-filing deadline exists. If the settlement is approved, no-cost assistance will be available from the Class Administrator and Class Counsel during any claims-filing period. No one is required to sign up with any third-party service in order to participate in any settlement. For additional information regarding the status of the litigation, interested persons may visit paymentcardsettlement.com, the Court-approved website for this case.

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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


H O S P I TA L I T Y W O R K F O R C E

Give Opportunities, Receive Noteworthy Employees By JODI CROSS, FRLA Regional Director

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ith the unemployment rate tracking at 3.9 percent1, a 17-year low, the hospitality industry has been challenged with recruitment and retention issues like never before. As the economy improves, competition for quality employees will only become tighter. The travel industry is a primary driver of economic growth and job creation in the United States as a top-10 employer in the U.S. Since the Great Recession, the travel industry created 972,000 jobs through the middle of 2016 and expanded employment 18 percent faster than the rest of the economy. Travel industry wages and salaries also rose 10 percent faster than the overall private sector over the last five years2. Compression & Competition Create a Challenging Climate

Roughly three in 10 hospitality operators indicate they currently have job openings that are difficult to fill, another sign of staffing challenges as the economy throttles toward full employment. This compression has created a tightening labor market. Employers are getting creative in their search for quality labor. To deal with these challenges, employers can turn to reputable organizations dedicated to increasing employability and giving opportunities to individuals who are eager to enter the workforce.

PHOTO BY MONKEYBUSINESSIMAGES / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Nonprofit Job Training Programs

Nonprofits are a great place to look for employees. Els for Autism Foundation offers supported employment programs and onsite training geared specifically toward mentoring employees with Asperger’s and autism. Programs like these give employees a sense of independence and purpose, while providing a dedicated, hard-working staff members to employers willing to offer an opportunity. Goodwill Industries is another great example of a nonprofit with a wide degree of coaching and retraining programs. Goodwill helps educate and rehabilitate candidates by providing stipends for continuing education. These supported employment programs help FRL A .org

mentor hundreds of employees and teach them new skill sets. Reach out to these types of programs to receive loyal and long-term employees, and be a part of countless numerous success stories around individuals who are grateful for the chance to grow themselves and contribute to the industry. Veterans

A steady stream of veterans are entering the job market eagerly searching for good opportunities. Soft skills like work ethic and teamwork learned in the military can be incredible assets in the private sector. There is another major reason to hire veterans: companies can also receive a tax credit. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is available to certain tax-exempt organizations. The Tax Credit provides incentives of up to $5,600 for hiring unemployed veterans, and the Wounded Warriors Tax Credit doubles the existing Work Opportunity Tax Credit for long-term unemployed veterans with service-connected disabilities, for up to $9,600. Search for veteran job banks, career centers for wounded veterans and student organizations to help you locate qualified veterans in your area. Senior Comeback

According to PEW Research Center 19 percent of Americans age 65-plus are working today. Many baby boomers who were once set to retire have lost ground during the Great Recession and have re-entered the job market to shore up their golden years. Combine this fact with the age increase in social security benefits, shrinking company retirement plans and skyrocketing healthcare costs and you have the perfect storm for these individuals. Seniors’ wealth of experience can provide great value to any organization. Sources: 1 U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Local Area Unemployment Statistics Program, in cooperation with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Bureau of Labor Market Statistics. 2 U.S. Travel Association and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

NETWORKING FINDS TALENT Beyond traditional ads and recruiter services, there are other ways to snag good candidates. Social networking is increasingly important. Word of mouth still tops the list as one of the strongest methods of garnering new employees. “Our best new hires come from referrals. When your best associates feel they are a part of your values and culture, they refer friends,” states Stacy Pedersen, Director of Human Resources from the Eau Palm Beach. Look into these resources: »» Industry and trade associations often have free job boards and can be an excellent resource for networking. Use keywords (and hashtags if offered) for better SEO. »» Trade schools and universities have job boards and crosscampus intranets that readily post positions to the entire student population. »» Consider adopting a school. When you present to a class, you create a personal connection which drives interest in your business. »» Take advantage of both paid and free social networks. Fan out by having your key employees repost the job on their networks as well. »» LinkedIn allows you to search by keyword for the skill set you are looking for and post jobs, but you can also offer groups catering to particular fields or interests. Look for groups your ideal candidate would most likely be a part of to narrow your search.

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H O S P I TA L I T Y W O R K F O R C E

4 essential tips for recruiting Gen Z Source: SNAG’S EMPLOYER RESOURCE CENTER

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eneration Z (people born roughly between 1995 and 2010) is eager to work — and they want to do work they believe has a purpose and provides them with experience. Considering that one in five hourly workers come from Gen Z, it’s vital to make your brand attractive to this emerging workforce. These guys already outnumber millennials by a million — you definitely need to be ready to recruit this new breed of job seeker. To help you get started, we have four tips to remember when recruiting Gen Z and the different steps you can take to retain them:

1. Get personal during the recruiting process. Gen Z wants to feel a

connection with the work they do, so give them the opportunity to learn more about your brand and values

as you engage them throughout the recruiting process. Alongside pay and hours, speak to career opportunities, company culture and community involvement in the job description. Maintain the personal connections made during the recruiting process by communicating with your new Gen Z workers. Just over 80 percent of Gen Z workers want fast, in-person responses when it comes to feedback. Connect face to face whenever you can! 2. Factor in schedule flexibility.

Side hustles come naturally to Gen Z workers — they want more hours, and they’ll do what it takes to get them. They’re two times more willing to work multiple jobs, compared to the generations that have come before

GEN Z Meet the new hourly workforce

them. If you can’t provide the additional hours they need, you can always consider how to accommodate the flexible schedules of the workers who are always hustlin’. Whether you’re offering on-demand shifts or giving workers more control over how they trade shifts, there are different options to help your team make the most of their time. 3. Stay connected with mobile. To

say this generation is connected would be an understatement. Gen Z was born and raised with technology, so naturally they rely on it for the job search. Nearly 82 percent of Gen Z hourly workers rely on smartphones to look for work. If your job posts or website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on some prime real estate. And mobile is just the start — tech savviness should extend to other parts of your business as well to keep up with this modern workforce. Since 91 percent of Gen Z workers say their decisions to work somewhere is influenced by how tech-forward a company is, it might be time to see where you can make some upgrades.

4. If you create social impact, get your workers involved. A big

1 in 5

Born after

1995

are hourly workers

60M Americans make up this generation

WHAT GEN Z WANTS IN A JOB

PAY HOURS JOB LOCATION SCHEDULE FLEXIBILITY COMPANY CULTURE

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say pay is the #1 factor when looking and applying for jobs

67% are students

deciding factor for Gen Z when looking for work is social purpose, aka the positive impact one can have on their community and the world at large. This is important to Generation Z when they are on and off the clock. If you’re involved in sustainable practices, helping social causes or trying to improve your carbon footprint, get your staff involved in making a difference for the better. Better yet, ask your employees what causes they’re passionate about to see where you can lend a helping hand together.

Learn more about Gen Z and modern HR: Gen Z workers are just a small piece of today’s hourly recruiting landscape. Visit snag. co to download a free eBook, The Definitive Guide to Modern HR, and discover the other aspects of hiring that are evolving every day so you can step into the future and edge out the competition in today’s labor market. 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


FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY

MBA in HOSPITALITY and TOURISM MANAGEMENT

GOING BEYOND THE BUSINESS OF HOSPITALITY AND TOURISM PROGRAM INFORMATION One of the only MBAs with a concentration in hospitality and tourism management Ranked among the TOP 25 in the U.S. among Hospitality graduate programs One of the highest values and lowest costs in the country (approximately $18,000) Extensive employment opportunities Courses led by both hospitality industry leaders and top academics

The FAU College of Business is proud to be an accredited member of AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) International, the premier accreditation agency for Schools of Business worldwide.

www.fau.edu/mbahospitality FRL A .org

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H O S P I TA L I T Y W O R K F O R C E

Can An MBA Help With Career Advancement? By PETER RICCI, Ed.D.

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cannot tell you how many times during my lengthy hospitality career someone has asked me if my master’s degree was “worth it.” In the field of hospitality and tourism, that’s a loaded question. It wasn’t until recently that a bachelor’s degree was considered a necessity. My graduate education was very worthwhile in a number of ways. I encourage the pursuit of graduate education to anyone who is interested. Having a master’s degree has never been any source of regret for me, and the facts seem to back this up. Salary Data for Educational Attainment

There is evidence reflecting that the further education an individual pursues, the higher the lifelong earnings. Remember, this is in the aggregate. We all hear stories of college graduates who can’t find a job or someone who only has a sixth-grade education and is a multi-millionaire. In general, though, the facts speak for themselves. Further, the higher one’s level of formal education, the lower the likelihood for unemployment. This U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates it quite

clearly with its most recent 2016 infographic. Indeed, there is a national push for controlling student loan borrowing to focus students on degrees or professions where students will find jobs and earn a sufficient salary to pay for their student loans. In Florida, universities now require students to pay excess hour surcharges if they go beyond pre-set credit hour goals for their college degree. (Florida Statutes, Section 1009.286). The common thinking has become only study for a degree where jobs are available and only borrow the minimum needed so you have a lower loan debt. There seems to be no change on the horizon to this current mindset when it comes to college-level education. I am not writing to argue for or against this approach, but it is now part of the decision for would-be students. It is my intent to use this brief discussion above before discussing whether or not to pursue an MBA or master’s degree for a hospitality career. Historically, the hospitality industry was one with a vocational or trade reputation.

Individuals were mentored by the top chefs, groomed by outstanding general managers, and shadowed top sommeliers. Over time, formal education became more accepted, and now a bachelor’s degree is listed on most managerial job postings one will find for our industry. Yet is the MBA now becoming the next prerequisite for a C-suite or leadership role? Some say yes, and some say no. The MBA Versus Another Graduate Degree for Hospitality/Tourism

A Master of Science in hospitality and tourism management is an advanced level of the bachelor’s degree that has recently become popular. It is a higher-level look at our discipline. It is not an MBA. With that said, the MBA is designed for business leaders and, in many cases, it does not contain hospitality coursework. If one decides to pursue graduate education, I suggest the following: 1. Pursue only the area in which you desire to become an expert. If your goal is to manage the day-to-day business aspects of your hospitality venue and you have sufficient experience and possibly a bachelor’s degree outside of hospitality, but insufficient business skills then the MBA might be a correct choice for you. Do not pursue the MBA simply because you think it’s the next step. And, by no means pursue an MBA if you are not sure that the business world is where you’ll wind up. So if your goal is to become a travel writer, study English or journalism. If you are interested in hotel or restaurant design, study interior design, architecture or a related field. And, so on and so forth. If you want to be a controller, then pursue the master’s in accounting. Completing the MBA is not a quick fix for your career. If you are seeking a long-term career in the business of hospitality, then the MBA might be for you. 2. Do not expect an automatic return on investment. There is still suspicion about the value of any formal education within our industry, let alone the graduate level. What does happen in

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PHOTO BY ANTONIOGUILLEM / ISTOCK / GETTY IMAGES PLUS

many cases, is that the combination of critical thinking and enhanced writing skills instilled during a quality graduate education leads to a more productive employee, and, in turn, that person is more likely to earn a higher salary when he or she outperforms peers. The long-term earnings are indeed higher for those with the MBA degree; know this does not happen overnight. It’s likely that your attitude, perseverance and achievement orientation — the same make-up that pushed you to go for the MBA — is what you also bring to the workplace. Personally, I can say that by early 30s, my graduate degree assisted me in reaching more leadership roles as I presented an entire package of education, passion and leadership to employers. To recap, it is most likely your lifelong earnings will be considerably greater with formal education at the graduate level; however, it’s not a fast return as it is in some other fields, where students are promised a raise as soon as their master’s degree is completed. 3. I t is possible to pursue the MBA these days while continuing to perform well in your day job. Most every program has some combination of eLearning, video classes, hybrid classes and so forth. No matter what the combination, most MBA programs are designed for business professionals. This is not the case with as many master-level FRL A .org

programs outside colleges of business. So, do not let your busy hospitality career get in the way of the pursuit of the MBA. Do not let your fear of taking on an MBA or not having enough time stop you; if you want one, pursue it. 4. A s a personal note, I believe that your education should come from those highly qualified and trained in the respective discipline of the course. This is where I believe MBAs truly excel over other master’s programs specializing in hospitality. In an MBA program, you are likely to be taught finance from a finance PhD, marketing from a marketing PhD and so on. Make sure if you decide to add a hospitality specialization within your MBA that the hospitality-specific faculty members also have their degrees and experience in hospitality. There are many hospitality and tourism graduate programs where a faculty member who is teaching accounting has an insufficient accounting education or hotel and resort management is being taught by an individual who has not been a department head or general manager in a hotel. Make sure you ask detailed questions of each school you’re investigating. If schools are not forthcoming with information, this may be a red flag. All too often, in non-business-school environments, the faculty members teaching core business courses do not possess their doctoral degrees in those

areas. This often leads to a course lacking rigor and sufficient materialrelated background for the particular topic. As I like to say: “Learn baking from a baker and learn accounting from an accountant.” Summary

The MBA in Hospitality and Tourism Management is a new, growing and expanding degree for the rigors of today’s hospitality industry. No longer is it simply justifiable to have hospitality skills and innate talents. Instead, one needs to understand macro-level economics, have spreadsheet skills, interpret profit and loss statements in expert fashion and truly understand the business of hospitality. There are multiple programs across the country where the Hospitality and Tourism MBA is now offered. As I’ve noted earlier, complete your due diligence with questions of the program in advance of your application or attendance. Personally, I know I missed out by not getting an MBA in Hospitality and Tourism. It would have aided me greatly in my role as a General Manager. Dr. Peter Ricci is the director of the FAU Hospitality & Tourism Program, a Top 30 nationally ranked undergraduate and Top 25 nationally ranked MBA in Hospitality & Tourism program. He has served in various industry roles such as meeting & events planner, membership and visitor services at a large destination management organization (DMO), and general manager of full service hotels. You may reach him at peter.ricci@fau.edu F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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ENVIRONMENT

Healthy Coasts = Healthy Business By GRAHAM A.J. WORTHY, Ph.D.

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lorida attracted more than 116 million tourists in 2017, with many wanting to enjoy our historically healthy and beautiful coastline. But for weeks, potential visitors have seen national media coverage focused on the health impacts of red tides, brown tides and blue-green algae. Not every part of the state has been impacted equally. In some regions, visitors and residents have been exposed to thousands of dead fish, turtles, dolphins and manatees as well as toxic algae and signs on the beaches telling them to avoid contact with the water. Southwest Florida was impacted by a major hurricane in 2017, and while they still struggle to recover from that storm, they’re hammered with a red tide event. Southeast Florida had a bloom of a different color — bluegreen algae — but the economic impacts hurt just the same. Centraleast Florida has had multiple years of brown tide, and the Indian River Lagoon is receiving failing grades on its report card. Piles of dead fish have reached Pinellas County, and this will have significant economic impacts when the beaches of Tampa and Clearwater are affected. Years of inattention and avoidance of the issues are coming to a head all at the same time. The future of our tourism economy is intimately tied to how we manage our waterways, oceans and beaches. And we need to do a lot better than we’ve been doing. These problems won’t be solved easily, but it is imperative we begin developing smart solutions. The environmental and economic future of Florida will depend on the ability of scientists to work together with businesses, community leaders and government agencies to develop solutions. Unless we address the state’s environmental issues, the numbers of visitors that we’re enjoying now will not be sustainable as there are plenty of other beach destinations that visitors can choose from. Great hospitality is a team effort, which requires getting a million things right every day — from employees to facilities to marketing to maintenance. Get one of those things wrong, and your business will 48  W I N T ER

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suffer. The same is true for restoring our coastal systems — it requires juggling multiple approaches at the same time. Our problems are complex, and they won’t be solved using simple solutions. UCF Coastal takes a unique inter-disciplinary team approach, and we want to work with the FRLA to develop a path forward that will result in healthy coastal communities and stronger more resilient businesses. We have over 40 faculty, with expertise in biology, environmental chemistry, engineering and biomedical research as well as community vulnerability, policy development, community planning, emergency management and ecotourism economics, ready to work together with all stakeholders to enable smart, resilient development which will ensure the sustainability of Florida's coastal resources and economy for future generations. To learn more about UCF Coastal and ways we can partner to find solutions to the threats that Florida is facing, visit sciences.ucf.edu/ucfcoastal-booklet/#1. Dr. Worthy is a Department Chair and Pegasus Professor at The University of Central Florida and the Director, National Center For Integrated Coastal Research, Provost's Distinguished Research Professor Of Biology, and Hubbs-Sea World Endowed Professor Of Marine Mammalogy.

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


ENVIRONMENT

Decoding Red Tide “The Florida red tide was caused by the appearance in nearby coastal waters of extraordinary numbers of a microscopic sea creature. Although individually so small as to be invisible to the human eye, the concentration of billions of Gymnodinium caused the seawater to take on a reddish or amber color. … Mass destruction of fish and certain other aquatic animals which was caused by a deadly toxin, the chemical composition of which is still unknown, which Gymnodinium liberated into the water…” While this statement may seem to refer to the ongoing red tide that has impacted Florida’s Gulf Coast in 2018, it was excerpted from a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service report completed in December 1947. The report on a study directed by biologist Dr. Paul S. Galtsoff describes a particularly severe red tide that began in November 1946 and persisted for 11 months, causing massive fish kills and widespread respiratory irritation for beachgoers. The report also took great pains to debunk a commonly held theory at the time that the red tide was caused by munitions dumped into coastal waters at the end of World War II. While our understanding of red tide has advanced tremendously since 1946, challenges with predicting the formation, severity and duration of the blooms remain. The red tide FRL A .org

organism, first identified definitively in 1948, can produce a dozen or more types of toxins. Cutting-edge, scientific work using satellite monitoring, oceanographic modelling and autonomous underwater gliders have bolstered the theory that red tide begins offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. This comports well with Dr. Galtsoff’s observation that the first indications of a red tide in 1946 were reported by fishermen who observed large fish kills 10-14 miles offshore in November of that year. While the first scientifically documented red tide occurred in the Florida panhandle in 1844, they have undoubtedly been a feature of Florida’s coasts for centuries. In the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors documented oral histories from the Calusa native culture that speak of widespread fish kills and discolored water. Red tides occur nearly every

year off the Southwest Florida coastline. Severe blooms appear to be linked to a combination of east winds and southwesterly currents in the Gulf of Mexico that create upwelling conditions, bringing nutrients and red tide cells from the bottom to the surface. The site and stench of millions of dead fish on our beaches is disturbing and disconcerting, but it is an experience we share with Floridians of 1946 (when the state’s population was about a tenth of what it is today) and the native cultures that occupied our region for thousands of years. Our coastal ecosystems have evolved and adapted to red tides and have shown tremendous resilience after previous severe events. Just as they did following the severe red tide of 1946–47, our beautiful coastal ecosystems will recover and continue to inspire Floridians and our visitors for generations. F LO R I DA R ESTAU R A N T & LO D G I N G

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ENVIRONMENT

How Tourism Can Define Its Future BY LAURILEE THOMPSON

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rom the beleaguered springs of North Florida to the sickened rivers and coasts of South Florida, we have a crisis of water. Blue-green algae, brown algae and red tide are symptoms of our haphazard approach to water management. As we have reduced the resiliency of Florida’s waters, every small deviation from normalcy is amplified in a very bad way: naturally occurring blue-green algae, which are part of a healthy ecosystem, rage out of control. Florida tourism lurches from crisis to crisis, cowering in the background anxiously waiting to push SEND with this message, “The water is safe now. It’s OK to travel to this destination.” That is not the answer. The emergencies will only worsen if we don’t aggressively move to address the root cause

of the disasters: there are too many nutrients flowing into Florida’s waterways. A long time ago, Florida political leaders — Republicans and Democrats in common cause — understood there can be no healthy economy without a healthy environment. They wisely enacted laws and regulatory safeguards accordingly. Governor Reubin Askew said it best when he declared in 1971, “Ecological destruction is nothing less than economic suicide.” Florida needs a long-term approach to water sustainability. Florida’s cities, counties and research organizations need expanded and recurring annual state and federal funding for local cost-share infrastructure projects, for monitoring and for research. The future of water in Florida depends on

the ability of science and technology to guide effective community planning, policy making and natural resources stewardship. This is a historic opportunity for Florida’s tourism industry to take a private sector leadership role to ensure that the investment in cleaning up our waters is made. It is nothing less than a battle for the soul of Florida. Challenge your elected officials and find out where they stand: “Clean water is a foundation for Florida tourism. What is your plan to clean up Florida’s waters?” Don’t settle for short-term, on the cheap solutions that just shift funds around. We need a long-term, comprehensive approach. And that will cost money — but a helluva lot less than marching into an uncertain future of toxic blooms and ruined vacations.

Florida’s Summer of Slime – Déjà vu By LAURILEE THOMPSON Stuart is a glistening jewel born of water. It may well top the list of Florida cities in shoreline per capita. There’s simply water everywhere with two forks of the St. Lucie River, the Indian River Lagoon, canals and peninsulas and islands, and the Atlantic Ocean beyond. A devastating outbreak of toxic blue-green algae has once again hit the St. Lucie River and the Treasure Coast, fueled by the polluted waters of Lake Okeechobee and the Kissimmee River basin to the north. Damaging headlines trumpet the story to the nation and the world, and Governor Scott declares a state of emergency. History repeats itself all over again. Scientists refer to it as cyanobacteria. A growing body of medical research links exposure to cyanobacteria with neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s, ALS and Alzheimer’s. Google it. Conflicting communications are sent from officialdom. Martin County erected signs warning against contact with the water, but the Florida Dept. of Health website, under the heading How to Keep Your Family Safe While Enjoying Florida’s Water Ways, has this to say: “Cyanobacteria/ blue-green algae … are naturally occurring in Florida’s environment and are also found all over the world. They are part of a healthy ecosystem and help support a wide variety of aquatic life.” What message does that send to residents and visitors? What will become of the value of the Florida brand when the world fully understands what we have done to our waters? Excerpts from this article are from Florida photographer and springs advocate, John Moran. You can find his compelling photo essay on Stuart, Lake Okeechobee and the bluegreen algae here: jacquithurlowlippisch.com/?s=john+moran Laurilee Thompson is the co-owner of Dixie Crossroads, a Southern seafood restaurant in Titusville, Florida with international name recognition and a menu that features locally caught seafood. She serves on numerous boards and committees related to tourism, the environment and fishing. 50  W I N T ER

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RCS TRAINING

RCS Trainers Receive Coveted CHT Designation

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he Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association is proud to announce the achievement of three RCS Training staff members. Caitie Higginbotham, Lorena Moreno and Leslie Batista all recently earned the Certified Hospitality Trainer (CHT) credential from the Educational Institute of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. One of the highest distinctions awarded by the Educational Institute, the CHT designation affirms the knowledge, skills and abilities of those who earn it. To be named a Certified Hospitality Trainer, hospitality professionals must demonstrate their talent through academic achievement and industry experience. The program requires each candidate to complete a comprehensive exam that tests skills in hotel operations, financial management, human relations, human resource management and administrative skills. Successful completion of the program proves not only their dedication to the industry but their ability to do well within it. “I could not be more proud to have these three women on our team,” said Geoff

Luebkemann, Senior Vice President of Education and Training for FRLA. “They bring extraordinary value to our organization with their understanding of the hospitality industry and their commitment to it. This certification as Certified Hospitality Trainer is an incredible achievement and a nice way to formally acknowledge their talent.” All three honorees work for FRLA’s subsidiary, RCS Training. Higginbotham serves the Florida Panhandle as a Regional Manager, Moreno is a Regional Sales Manager

Leslie Batista

for Miami-Dade County and Batista is a Regional Training Manager in MiamiDade. Together, the have nearly 15 years of experience with FRLA and RCS. RCS Training is a subsidiary of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association and is the state’s leader in providing risk management and regulatory training for the hospitality industry in the Sunshine State. To learn more about RCS Training or to learn what courses trainers can offer, please visit RCStraining.com.

Caitie Higginbotham

Lorena Moreno

THANK YOU

TO OUR FALL BOARD MEETING SPONSORS PLATINUM

GOLD

SILVER

BRONZE

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A LA CARTE

TOP TRENDS Trends Heating Up • Doughnuts with non-traditional filling • Ethnic-inspired kids’ dishes • Farm/estate-branded items • Heritage-breed meats • Peruvian cuisine • Thai-rolled ice cream • Uncommon herbs • Vegetable carb substitutes • Veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine *Source: National Restaurant Association ~ Restaurant.org/FoodTrends

Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach Attains AAA’s Four Diamond Rating The music-inspired oceanfront Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach has officially received the coveted Four Diamond Rating from AAA. This rating is awarded to less than 6 percent of the more than 27,000 properties inspected and approved by AAA on an annual basis. The property opened in March 2018. For more information about Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach, visit hardrockhoteldaytonabeach.com.

Inspiration. Creativity. Passion. flrestaurantandlodgingshow.com

SAVE THE DATE SEPTEMBER 15 & 16, 2019

Graphic from Jodi Cross

ORANGE COUNTY CONVENTION CENTER

Imagining Freedom Don't miss "Imagining Freedom" Culinary Tasting and Fundraiser on March 28, 2019 in Tallahassee. This will be an event to hosted by Survive and Thrive Advocacy Center (STAC) to raise awareness about both labor and sex trafficking in Florida's Big Bend. 52  W I N T ER

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healthyfoodexpos.com PRODUCED & MANAGED BY

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A LA CARTE

Disney Springs Hotels Offer Benefits to Guests

Time to Celebrate!

FRLA President/CEO Carol Dover and her husband, Walt, celebrated their 40th anniversary while at the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show in Orlando. This year they wanted to enjoy dinner and celebrate their 40th at the restaurant where they started their life journey together. They ate dinner at Red Lobster on International Drive, the same restaurant Walt proposed to Carol at in 1977. They were married a year later. Carol and Walt have spent more than half of their anniversaries at the Trade Show over the years, and this was no exception. Congratulations to Carol and Walt, and may you enjoy 40 more together!

Disney Springs Resort area hotels located in the Walt Disney World Resort are offering Extra Magic Hours and 60-Day FastPass+ benefits, with valid theme park admission, throughout 2019. The Disney Springs Resort area hotels include the B Resort & Spa, Best Western Lake Buena Vista, DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Orlando, Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace, Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, Holiday Inn Orlando and the Wyndham Lake Buena Vista. With valid theme park admission, the Extra Magic Hours benefit enables guests to experience extra time in at least one of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks each day, either before it opens or after it closes. These guests can also utilize a 60-day booking window for FastPass+ selections. Included at no extra charge with theme park admission tickets, this service allows guests to reserve access to select attractions, shows and more up to 60 days before arrival.

Pet-Friendly Tourism

The Changing Face of the Traveling Family

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he new traveling family has fur. Eighty-five million households own pets. Millennials have officially tipped the scales on Baby Boomers and are now 38 percent of all pet owners. Millennials and Baby Boomers alike consider themselves pet parents, and they are taking their furry children with them everywhere. Pet parents are eager to find places to eat, stay and visit where they are more than just welcomed but where they can share amazing experiences with their furry loved ones. According to the 2017 Trip Advisor Annual Traveling with Pets survey: »» 56 percent of American travelers are more likely to travel with their pets. »» 52 percent of pet owners will only stay at accommodations that are pet friendly. »» 35 percent of pet owners take shorter vacations, 25 percent take fewer vacations because of their pawed pals and 7 percent will only travel

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to destinations where they can bring their pets. »» 50 percent of dog owners would pay more to stay at pet-friendly accommodations. »» 48 percent of all travelers still feel hotels should be more accommodating to pets. A break-out session at a recent tourism event discussed the “Bleisure” segment and connecting with business travelers for extended stays. I contend that the “Pawsure” segment (pet friendly/pet safe travel) has the power to make an even greater impact on filling room nights, driving a higher ADR, and result in longer stays and more return visits. Furry families can also become the best brand ambassadors. When properties make pet friendly accommodations a memorable experience, pet parents light up social media. They snap, post and share with family and friends, all potential future guests. A study from Purdue University’s School of

Hospitality and Tourism Management1 states that the emotional connections made with traveling pet families cannot be overestimated. That is the power of pets — they are the future of family travel. Are you ready? Karen Bartoszek is a Pet Friendly advocate, speaker and consultant helping hospitality and travel businesses embrace pet friendliness for fun and profit while enabling pet parents to spend more quality time with their furry loved ones. Karen can be reached at info@ petslivingthedream. Ksenia Kirillova, Sena Lee & Xinran Lehto (2015) Willingness to Travel With Pets: A U.S. Consumer Perspective, Journal of Quality Assurance in Hospitality & Tourism

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RECOGNITION

Increase Your Industry Influence and #JoinFRLA Congratulations to these FRLA members who were named to Florida Trend's 500! George Aguel, Visit Orlando Jim Allen, Hard Rock International Marcellus Osceola Jr., Seminole Tribe of Florida Bob Basham, PDQ Heiko Dobrikow, Las Olas Co. Maryann Ferenc, Mise en Place Don Fox, Firehouse Subs Tim Gannon, Outback Steakhouse Carlos Gazitua, Sergio’s Restaurants Richard Gonzmart, Columbia Restaurant Group George Kalogridis, Walt Disney World Emeril Lagasse, Emeril’s Restaurants Ken Lawson, VISIT FLORIDA Gene Lee, Darden Restaurants Paul Leon, Breakers Palm Beach Kim Lopdrup, Red Lobster Seafood Alice Norsworthy, Universal Parks & Resorts James Petrakis, Ravenous Pig Julie Petrakis, Ravenous Pig Gene Prescott, Biltmore Hotel Mary Rogers, Fountainebleau Miami Beach Daniel Schwartz, Restaurant Brands International Liz Smith, Bloomin’ Brands Michael Walsh, Ocean Properties Hotels Tom Williams, Universal Parks & Resorts Stephen Sawitz, Joe’s Stone Crab Norman Van Aken, Norman’s Orlando IN THE ENERGY INDUSTRY:

Rich Blaser, Infinite Energy Darin Cook, Infinite Energy IN REAL ESTATE:

Peter Bos, Legendary IN RETAIL/WHOLESALE:

Harvey Chaplin, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Lee Brian Schrager, Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits Troy Taylor, Coca-Cola Beverages of Florida 54  W I N T ER

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Carol Dover Earns ‘Triple Crown’ of Influence

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arol Dover, President and CEO of the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Association, has spent the past 23 years advocating for the hospitality industry in Florida. She has an incredible ability to connect with everyone she encounters, and her warm but direct personality has helped her forge relationships with state leadership on both sides of the political aisle. Along with her steadfast belief that there is always a solution to any problem, her passion for advocacy has established her as a formidable opponent of those who aim to curtail the state’s largest industry. Carol’s tenacity within the Florida political arena has earned her a spot on three separate influencer lists this year: »» Miami Herald’s The Influencer Series. For the 2018 election year, the Herald put together a panel of the 50 most influential Floridians to share their views on issues facing the state. This list of experts and thought leaders provides insight and commentary on everything from the labor force and immigration to gun safety and hurricanes. »» INFLUENCE 100. Florida Politics names the 100 most

influential men and women and, by design, excludes those elected to office. INFLUENCE Magazine publisher Peter Schorsch instead focuses on categories including players, thought leaders, lobbyists, titans, counselors, media, industry leaders, advocates and legends.

»» Florida Trend 500. Recognizing the 500 most influential

Floridians, this list was chosen by the Florida Trend staff and reflects leaders with a love for the Sunshine State, concern for its future and a clear understanding of the issues that define the state.

Carol’s passion for hospitality is rivaled only by her passion for equestrian sports, and she spent a free evening of the Summer Board Meeting watching Justify win the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stakes. FR&L Magazine wishes Carol the heartiest of congratulations for winning the triple crown of Florida influence in 2018. Justify is in great company! 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


GIVING BACK

CORE: Supporting Food & Beverage Service Industry Families in Need

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atural disasters like hurricanes inevitably bring lingering financial and emotional strain. Hurricane damage and the subsequent impact on tourism can paralyze restaurants and bars. Employees whose homes were lost or damaged are then hit with a second wave of stress and trauma by not being able to earn a paycheck to provide for their families. That’s where Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE) comes into play. “CORE grants support to children of food and beverage service industry employees navigating life-altering circumstances,” said Lauren LaViola from CORE’s leadership team. “After a natural disaster, grants from CORE cover gift cards right away to purchase crucial necessities like food, clothing, gas, formula, diapers and more.” Through the support of FRLA and its member organizations, CORE was able to grant support to more than 50 families affected by the Florida hurricanes last year. “We are tremendously grateful to our partners in Florida and the fundraising efforts that allowed us to issue grants for those affected in a timely manner,” said LaViola. “It was amazing to see folks come together to support CORE.” “CORE is an important program bridging the gap for both the parents who may be experiencing difficulties in their personal life and for their kids,” said Carol B. Dover, President/CEO of FRLA, which held a golf tournament in 2017 in support of CORE’s disaster relief efforts. Funky Buddha Brewery brewed a beer called Florida Rebuilds Key Lime Blonde Ale, brewed with Key lime juice, and donated all sales to CORE. Its distributor, West Palm Beach’s Brown Distributing, also donated all of its sales of Florida Rebuilds to CORE. Constellation Brands (Funky Buddha’s owner) pledged to match up to $50,000. Restaurants like Dave’s Last Resort & Raw Bar and Igot's Martiki Bar also participated. “Hurricane Irma left so much devastation in its wake, including affecting the livelihood of service industry workers and their families in the Florida Keys,” said John Linn of Funky Buddha Brewery. “We were able to assist those families still reeling from the loss of tourism and revenue on the islands and offer them a helping hand through the rebuilding process." FRL A .org

“Recovering from loss of possessions and perhaps loved ones as a result of last year’s hurricanes was made more difficult for restaurant workers by the interruption of earnings. CORE was nimble enough to provide emergency assistance to families as they awaited help from FEMA and other agencies.”

— BARRY GUTIN, principal and co-founder at GuestCounts Hospitality In September and October 2017, Cuba Libre Restaurant & Rum Bar and Tito’s Vodka joined together in a special effort to help those impacted. Cuba Libre (a GuestCounts Hospitality brand) donated $1 for every Tito’s Vodka cocktail sold, and the team at Tito’s matched this with an additional $1 donation. Together they donated over $18,000 to CORE’s disaster relief program. Funds raised also supported families affected by Hurricane Maria. “Recovering from loss of possessions and perhaps loved ones as a result of last year’s hurricanes was made more difficult for restaurant workers by the interruption of earnings,” said Barry Gutin, principal and cofounder at GuestCounts Hospitality. “CORE was nimble enough to provide emergency assistance to families as they awaited help from FEMA and other agencies.” Many other organizations also got involved, including Uber Eats. “Uber Eats is proud to have worked alongside community organizations to help

Jacksonville restaurants rebuild following Hurricane Irma,” said J.P. Restrepo, general manager of Uber Eats, which donated $10,000 for CORE disaster relief grants. Since 2004, CORE has raised more than $4 million and granted support to more than 400 families from across the industry and the country. CORE supports food and beverage service industry families in over 35 states and Puerto Rico and has Board Members, Advisory Council Members and Ambassadors across the country that help spread the word and raise awareness of CORE's mission. Learn more about CORE and how you can get involved at COREgives.org.

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MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Tommy Toth Hired as E & T Director of Operations Welcome Tommy Toth! He has recently been hired as FRLA’s Director of Operations for Education and Training. Tommy is a 17-year hospitality veteran, including over five years with Ritz-Carlton. Tommy’s experience in lodging operations includes leading several departments, supervisory responsibility for large teams, managing million dollarplus budgets and inventories, and developing people and teams. He has enjoyed some exceptional postings, including positions in Scottsdale, Arizona, St. Thomas, USVI, and most recently Aspen, Colorado. Tommy is a returning Tallahasseean, having graduated from Lincoln High School and holding a BS in Business Administration from Colorado Mountain College. We are excited to welcome Tommy’s depth of experience and professionalism, and look forward to great things!

Lugar Departs AHLA Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), has accepted the leadership role for the American Beverage Association, representing a fulfillment of her career growth objectives. She will continue to lead the AHLA through the end of 2018. Katherine has been a champion of the hotel and lodging industry as AHLA’s leader. Her leadership has been instrumental in focusing strengths and building a cohesive, effective and engaged association that is making a significant impact alongside national and state partners. We look forward to continuing our strong partnership with AHLA with Lugar’s replacement, working together for the collective advancement of the hospitality industry.

FRLA Press Secretary Wins Prestigious PR Awards

Shirley Named Best Chef Chef Jim Shirley, FRLA Executive Committee member, has been voted as Best Chef on the Emerald Coast by the readers of Emerald Coast Magazine. Congratulations, Chef! 56  W I N T ER

2018

FRLA Press Secretary, Amanda Handley, APR, won top honors at the Florida Public Relations Association (FPRA) Annual Conference on Aug. 7. She received a total of six awards for two public relations projects and made FPRA history by being the first person ever to win two best-in-state awards in one night. Amanda earned the Grand Golden Image Award in the Printed Tools of Public Relations Division as well as the coveted Dick Pope All Florida Golden Image Award in the Public Relations Program Division. The Dick Pope award is presented to the top public relations program in the state and is named after the founder of Cypress Gardens. In addition to being honored at the Image Awards ceremony, Amanda was named the Joe Curley Rising Leader for the FPRA Capital Chapter and was recognized as a graduate of LeadershipFPRA Class II. 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


E D U C AT I O N A L F O U N D AT I O N

EF Grant Program

Grilled Cheese Competition at the 2018 Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show

F

ifteen Florida ProStart schools competed for cash and glory at the ACF Grilled Cheese Competition on September 6, 2018, during the Florida Restaurant & Lodging Show. Show attendees sampled grilled cheeses such as “The Figgy Goat” (gruyere, fresh mozzarella and goat cheese, with prosciutto, basil and fig preserves on artisan bread); “Yellow Sting Classic Crave” (white organic bread with a variety of four cheeses and a smoked gruyere crispy with a basil pesto side); and “Hola from Wisconsin” (creamy Wisconsin brick cheese, Gouda, smoked ham, jalapeno pepper jelly, cream cheese and fresh jalapenos on Texas toast). Each ticket holder placed one vote for their favorite sandwich, which resulted in a People’s Choice winner. A group of five ACF chefs then scored the teams separately for the Judge’s Choice award. The winners of the Judge’s Choice category received $500 and a trophy for first place; $250 and a trophy for second place; and $100 and a trophy for third place.

The FRLA Educational Foundation (FRLAEF) celebrated 18 years of mini-grant awards by once again awarding over $80,000 in mini grants to Florida’s ProStart and HTMP programs. The FRLAEF also awarded a new type of award — the Extreme Kitchen Makeover Grant. This grant will provide a much-needed $50,000 kitchen update to J.P. Taravella High School’s ProStart program in Coral Springs, Florida. Look for before and after pictures in an upcoming issue. The mini-grant program began in 2000 to meet the needs of ProStart programs that were created to prepare students for careers in the foodservice industry but didn’t have the industry equipment students should be familiar with. Over the years, the items awarded have ranged from ice machines to three-compartment sinks, panini grills to induction ranges and everything in between. With long-standing programs training students on aging equipment and new schools signing on, the need is still great. The FRLAEF is proud to help supply the programs with the essential items needed to train high school students for careers in the foodservice and lodging industries.

ProStart Regional Workshops

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNERS First Place: Lake Wales High School, “Hola from Wisconsin”

Second Place: Ridgeview High School, “Ridgeview Classic” (sourdough bread, mustard, butterkase cheese, caramelized onion, tomato and bacon bits) Third Place: South Lake High School, (artisan white bread with layers of creamy mascarpone cheese and raspberry jam. Spread with butter sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Grilled to a beautiful golden brown. Topped with a drizzle of Nutella.) FRL A .org

JUDGE’S CHOICE WINNERS First Place: JP Taravella High School, “The Spicy Pig & Peach” (sourdough bread grilled with maple bacon, sliced fresh peaches, baby Swiss, picked jalapenos and peach preserves) Second Place: Martin County High School, (grilled four-cheese sandwich with havarti, cheddar, fontina and gruyere on herbed-sourdough with caramelized onion, date and bacon jam) Third Place: South Lake High School (see above)

More than 500 ProStart students participated in at least one ProStart Regional Workshop in 2018. Regional Workshops provide the opportunity for students to work with post-secondary instructors to enhance the students’ culinary skills and knowledge of the foodservice industry. Keiser University hosted Regional Workshops at their Tallahassee, Melbourne and Sarasota campuses. Each Keiser workshop had a focus on traditional New Orleans dishes and desserts. Johnson & Wales University (JWU) also hosted three Regional Workshops with one taking place on their campus and the other two taking place at Eastside High School (Gainesville) and East Bay High School (Tampa). At the JWU events, students spent two hours competing in a Mystery Basket Competition and another two hours in Baking & Pastry.

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CITY

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

E D U C AT I O N A N D T R A I N I N G

LOCATION

ALTAMONTE SPRINGS

5

17

14

14

Hampton Inn

BOCA RATON

3

17

21

21

Hilton Garden Inn

DAYTONA BEACH

12

15

18

18

TBD

FORT LAUDERDALE

18

9

20

6

Hyatt Place

FORT MYERS

6

8

14

1

Hilton Garden Inn

FORT PIERCE

13

24

14

14

UF Indian River Research

FORT WALTON

4

15

5

5

Wyndham Garden

GAINESVILLE

6

8

7

7

Best Western Gateway Grand

ISLAMORADA

-

-

-

-

Islander Resort

JACKSONVILLE

13

23

20

20

Lexington Jacksonville Riverwalk

JACKSONVILLE BEACH

11

15

5

12

Four Points by Sheraton

KEY WEST

-

16

-

-

KISSIMMEE

-

23

13

20

Holiday Inn

LAKELAND

17

14

11

18

Courtyard by Marriott

MELBOURNE

4

15

12

12

Holiday Inn Hotel & Conference Center

MIAMI

18

22

19

26

Homewood Suites by Hilton Miami

MIAMI SPANISH

4

8

5

5

Homewood Suites by Hilton Miami

NAPLES

13

24

21

22

DoubleTree Suites

OCALA

18

-

19

19

Homewood Suites Ocala Heathbrooke

ORLANDO

4

14

7

5

Embassy Suites

ORLANDO - FRLA SHOW

-

-

-

-

Orange Country Convention Center

PANAMA CITY

19

23

27

27

PENSACOLA

18

-

-

-

PENSACOLA

-

22

19

19

Hilton Garden Inn Pensacola Airport

PORT RICHEY

4

8

12

5

TBD

SARASOTA

6

3

6

6

Holiday Inn Lakewood Ranch

ST AUGUSTINE

5

9

13

13

Holiday Inn Express & Suites

ST PETERSBURG

6

10

7

7

Holiday Inn Express

TALLAHASSEE

13

10

7

3

Lively Technical Center

TAMPA

10

8

11

11

Holiday Inn Tampa Westshore

VENICE

-

-

-

-

10

22

11

11

WEST PALM BEACH

* Dates are tentative

58  W I N T ER

2018

DoubleTree Grand Key Resort

Gulf Coast State College Hampton Inn Pensacola Airport

Hotel Venezia

Dates subject to change without notice. Please see SafeStaff.org for current schedule.

Food Manager Training & Testing Schedule To register, call toll-free (866) 372-SAFE (7233) or visit safestaff.org. DEADLINE FOR REGISTRATION: Register for training at least three business days prior to exam date or 10 business days prior for Test With Confidence Packages.

Get ServSafe® Results Immediately ServSafe® offers eCertificates! All ServSafe Food Protection Managers Exam results include ServSafe® eCertificates. No need to wait for certificates in the mail. Log in and download your certificate as soon as your exam is graded! You can even share it electronically with your company via an email share link. Find out more: ServSafe.com.

Holiday Inn West Palm Beach Airport

safestaff.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


REGIONAL DIRECTOR & CHAPTER MAP

GULF ISLAND COAST LEE PARADISE COAST

VACANT GUI CUNHA

407-613-9350 | gcunha@frla.org

F RL A . O R G/MEMBER SH IP


Attract More Visitors with a VISIT FLORIDA Marketing Partnership Learn more by contacting the Industry Relations Team at (877) 435-2872 or Partner@VISITFLORIDA.org.