InRLA top ten Legislative Successes 1. The INRLA initiated and helped pass HB 1262 which will allow online alcohol server training using the National Restaurant Association online program, ServSafe Alcohol. We have met with the ATC and anticipate the program will be approved soon. 2. The InRLA initiated and helped passed HB 213 which will prohibit local government from mandating benefits, terms of employment or working conditions to private businesses 3. InRLA helped defeat HB 1071 (Municipal Food and Beverage Taxes) which would allow cities to pass a food and beverage tax to pay for non-tourism related expenses without prior legislative approval. 4. The Governor vetoed an omnibus tax bill, HB 1546 (Tax Administration) that contained a provision to raise the Vigo County Innkeepers Tax. The General Assembly has scheduled a veto override vote for June 12th. 5. The ability to enhance tourism infrastructure was expanded through additional funding to encourage capital improvements at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and racetracks throughout the state in HB 1544 (Motorsports). Main Street economic development throughout our state will benefit from changes in the historic tax credit program and additional funding in SB 4 (Historic Preservation). 6. Many legislators have softened their stance on some aspects of the immigration debate. Students who were denied in-state tuition rates because of their immigration status in legislation passed in 2011 will now be able to complete their education at in-state tuition rates with the passage of SB 207 (Resident Tuition Rate). 7. In Marion County, the Council attempted to take funds from the Capitol Improvement Board through Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). In SB 621 (Local Government) local government cannot take Payments in Lieu of Taxes in a special district taxing area. 8. Local government funds from gaming taxes were preserved while the gaming industry gets incentives from the state to remain competitive, provisions are in both HB 1001 (Budget) and SB 528 (Gaming). 9. HB 1001 (Budget) updates the references to the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) and specifically recouples Indiana to certain provisions of the IRC by eliminating various add-backs under the individual income tax, corporate income tax, and financial institutions tax statutes. The IRC reference update, generally, is effective beginning in tax year 2013; however, add-back eliminations are effective
beginning in tax year 2012. 10. Legislators met the Governor halfway and included a reduction in the gross income tax rate on non-corporate taxpayers in HB 1001 (Budget) to: (1) 3.3% for taxable years beginning after 2014 and before 2017; and (2) to 3.23% for taxable years beginning after 2016. The General Assembly adjourned two days before the deadline of April 29th. With the passing of bills InRLA strongly supported, investing in infrastructure and that the defeat of the Municipal Food and Beverage Tax bill we feel the General Assembly and the Governor were good to our industry. Several tax changes will help our industry as well. We hope they will continue to be reluctant to pass additional hospitality taxes. It should be noted the Governor vetoed the bill with the Vigo County innkeepers tax and he filed HB 1070 (Food and Beverage Taxes for Cloverdale and Fishers) without his signature. Tourism still a work in progress Unfortunately it appears that both the Governor and the General Assembly do not understand the power of tourism marketing to bring jobs and prosperity to Indiana communities. The budget for the Indiana Department of Tourism in HB 1001 is not on the list of accomplishments. We had a small victory with the House keeping the higher version of the Senate budget but the final amount allocated to tourism funding in Indiana was a disappointment as the funding for the Office of Tourism Development was not restored to pre-recession levels. We are grateful for AICVB and their efforts to increase the budget through their matching grant proposal that was included in the final budget. The bad news, we still have the lowest visitor promotion budget in the nation. This is a serious issue that raises many questions for our industry. Why do legislators ignore the potential of a competitive marketing program to increase employment and help small businesses? After the budget came out, Senator Richard Young, a strong proponent of a competitive visitor promotion budget, filed a resolution asking for a summer study committee to look at Indianaâ€™s marketing budget. His resolution passed the Senate on a voice vote in the closing hours of the session but the Legislative Council did not authorize the study. They could still do so next year before the next state budget is
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Legislative Wrap continued... Legislative Vote Analysis
enacted in 2015. Hopefully we can change some minds and explore some different avenues for funding over the summer. School Start Date Stalls In the same vein we are disappointed with the lack of movement with the school start issue. Legislators filed three bills to extend summer vacations but none received a hearing in either the House or the Senate. When school starts or ends should not affect education but it would clearly affect the hospitality industry in Indiana. It appears that this is an issue that will only be won at home with your local school superintendent for now. We need a change in the mind-set of many legislators who clearly do not value the economic development potential of increased visitor spending. Farm Video Bill Derails Fraud Bill One important bill we were following did not make it through the conference committee process. Senators dissented on the House changes to SB 373 (Criminal Trespass and Application Fraud) in an attempt to include the prohibition of video taping on farms. InRLA joined many business groups in lobbying to keep the protections afforded in this bill applicable to all business. The final conference committee report protected the private property rights of all business owners. It was very controversial with many believing it went too far in preventing the press or whistleblowers from exposing injustices. One Legislator said this bill went from being an “Ag gag bill to the gag all bill.” Conference committee members were unable to come to an agreement before final adjournment. This bill was promoted by the Farm Bureau and supported by Legislators with an interest in agriculture. We followed the bill originally because of the effects of anti-meat videos going viral. We stepped up our interest when discussions surrounding the bill included references to restaurants and hotels. This issue will return again next year. One law has already resulted in a new rule SB 457 (Food Establishment Exemption) was on our billwatch because it was about food. A late amendment to this bill requires the Indiana Department of Health (ISDH) to review applicable laws and rules governing exceptions to the requirements for certified food handlers and food establishments. The ISDH has wasted no time. This week they announced that all produce producers must be registered with the state and that wholesale produce farms must be registered to be considered as an “approved source” for retail food establishments.
CASABURO NOMINATED FOR SPIRIT AWARD Jim Casaburo, owner of Casa Restaurant Group, was nominated for the 2012 Spirit Award for the Children's Oncology Camping Association International (COCA-I), in recognition of his contributions to Camp Watcha Wanna Do, Ltd. Camp Watcha Wanna Do serves children and families affected by childhood cancers in Northern Indiana. Carmen DeBruce, Board President of Camp Watcha Wanna Do and Outreach Director for Lutheran Children's Hospital, nominated Jim for the award. "There are not enough words to describe how Jim Casaburo embodies the spirit of our camp," said DeBruce. Jim has volunteered for camp for ten years, spending the entire week participating along with the children, sharing his energy and enthusiasm. Among his many contributions, Jim arranges for equipment and supply deliveries to camp and provides meals throughout the week, coordinating additional help from other locally owned restaurants. Outside of camp, Jim serves as Vice President on the Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do Board of Directors. DeBruce adds, "Jim truly has a heart for our children." He has visited children undergoing treatments while in the hospital and assisted with transporting children to cancer treatments, when parents had difficulty missing work. Under Casaburo's direction, in celebration of Casa Restaurant Group's thirty-fifth anniversary in October, patrons redeemed five-dollar coupons, while the camp received one dollar from each coupon redeemed. The total contribution was $2000 to Camp Watcha-Wanna-Do. COCA-I's mission is to strengthen the international community of camps for children with cancer and their families, through networking, advocacy and education. The spirit award recognizes individuals who exemplify the values of the organization in providing meaningful camping and program experiences for children affected by childhood cancers. A member of COCA-I, Camp Watch Wanna Do began in 1992 as a one-week resident camp for 38 children surviving cancer. In June of 2012, 110 children attended the camp and enjoyed the opportunity to hike, swim, and play away from the hospital environment, under the watchful direction of pediatric oncology staff from Lutheran Children's Hospital. Casa Restaurant Group has also been a two time recipient of the Indiana Restaurant Good Neighbor Award.
In Memoriam The InRLA was saddened to learn of the loss of two industry leaders. Carl L. Huckaby, CEC, CEPC, CCG, AAC, 70 of Indianapolis, passed away on June 3, 2013. His obit said he was a profession chef for over 50 years, however that doesn’t convey the contributions Carl made to Indianapolis restaurant community. From the credentials after his name you may know that he was active in the American Culinary Federation, (He was a certified executive chef, a certified executive pastry chef, a certified culinary educator, a food manager professional, a member of the Chef’s Honor Society, and the American Academy of Chefs). He was instrumental in revitalizing the local ACF chapter to the culmination of Chapter of the Year and was named Chef of the Year in 1996. He participated in the World Hunger Tour, and served as Chairman of the Chef & Child Foundation for six years. As president of the Indianapolis Chapter of the ACF, he built the bridge between the Chef Association and the Restaurant Association. Chef Carl was an inspiration for culinary students throughout central Indiana, through teaching classes over the years at Arsenal Technical High School, Providence Junior/Senior High School, Ivy Tech State College and as a visiting Chef at Purdue University. He also helped to develop the Junior Chef’s Association and assisted with ProStart programs. His desire to preserve the fabric of the restaurant scene in Indianapolis inspired him to revitalize the venerable French restaurant, Chez Jean. When he opened a small café downtown, he revived the nostalgia in all of the community by bringing back the famous Weiss’ Cafeteria ham sandwich, along with his legendary pastries; and we will always remember him for his whole hog roasts. His vision and drive has provided a strong foundation for the restaurant industry here in Indiana. Gary Miller was the assistant director of state parks of the State of Indiana Department of Natural Resources. He served on the Board of Directors and was a past president of the Indiana Hotel & Lodging Association. Through his leadership everyone who loves our parks, reservoirs, and the inns and lodges benefited. He lead by example and with compassion. He was a wealth of knowledge of all aspects of the hotel and restaurant business and much more about the DNR and all the properties. He was respected by the whole Park and Inn system. It was his passion for the hotel industry that under his direction Indiana’s state park inns have been recognized around the country, making the Inns the best in the nation. Page 3
HEALTH CARE PCORI FEE Employers who offer health plans could feel the impact of a new annual fee as soon as next month. Depending on when your plan year ends, the first annual fee to support the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute under the 2010 health care law is due July 31. The fee will be in place for seven years. Insurers and plan sponsors will pay $1 per covered individual under a health plan in the first year, $2 in the second year, and indexed amounts in years three through seven. Health insurers will pay for fully insured plans, but likely will pass along costs to employers. For self-insured plans, sponsors—likely employers—will pay. Information and link to revised IRS Form is at http://www.irs.gov/uac/Patient-Centered-Outcomes-Research-Trust-Fund-Fee:Questions-and-Answers
Health care law: Does the employer mandate apply to you? Contact Denise Roach, email@example.com, or Michelle Neblett, firstname.lastname@example.org, if any questions. The 2010 health care law’s employer mandate is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2014. The mandate will require employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to either offer full-time employees (and their dependents) health benefits or face possible penalties. The law requires employers to look at employment levels during the previous calendar year to figure out whether they’re covered by the mandate in the current calendar year. Transition year: Since time is running short, to determine who is covered by the mandate in 2014 the IRS agreed to let employers measure their workforce for any six consecutive months in 2013 --- rather than the full 12 months -- to determine if they had 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees during that period. For example, employers could measure employment from Jan. 1, 2013, through June 30, 2013, to figure out if they’re covered by the mandate in 2014. Employers would then have six months to analyze the results, determine whether they need to offer a plan, and, choose and establish a plan if required. “Common control”: If you’re part of a business that has multiple entities and/or multiple partners, you may need to combine your employees into one group. This could push you over the 50-FTE threshold. The IRS will apply its longstanding “common control” standard -- found at Internal Revenue Code § 414(b), (c), (m) and (o) – in these situations. Under this standard, companies that have a common owner or are otherwise related sometimes must be considered as one employer for purposes of determining whether or not they employ at least 50 full-time-equivalent employees. If the combined total meets the 50-FTE threshold, then each separate company is subject to the law’s employer mandate, even those companies that individually do not employ enough employees to meet the threshold. Businesses should consult with their tax advisors about specific circumstances. Calculation: Calculating whether your business is above or below the 50-FTE threshold involves using a very specific calculation to average monthly employment in your business over the 12 months in the previous calendar year (or as short as six consecutive months in 2013, to determine who is covered by the employer mandate in 2014). Employers must calculate the following: • Step 1: For each of the 12 calendar months (or six months, to determine coverage in 2014) an employer must look back and determine how many employees (including seasonal employees) averaged 130 hours or more in a calendar month. That will be the number of full-time employees you employed during that month. • Step 2: Next, the employer must add together the hours of all other employees (including part-time and seasonal employees), but not count more than 120 hours per person. The total hours worked by all others is then divided by 120. That determines a full-time-equivalent number for your non-full-time employees. • Step 3: Next, the employer must add the number of full-time employees to the number of equivalents, to get the total number of full-time-equivalent employees for that calendar month. Finally, the employer must: • Repeat the process for each of the remaining 11 months • Add each of the 12 numbers together • Divide by 12 for the average annual full-time-employee-equivalent number. That is the number that employers must use to determine whether an employer is considered an applicable large employer. If the total number of full-time-equivalent employees is 50 or higher, the employer is subject to the mandate and additional reporting requirements. If the number is below 50, the employer is not considered a large employer subject to the mandate, but is subject to other provisions of the law. Seasonal employer exemption: If your workforce exceeded 50 FTEs for less than 120 days or four calendar months, and if the employees in excess of 50 during those months were seasonal employees, you may qualify for a “seasonal employee exception” from the employer mandate. The National Restaurant Association offers ongoing information on the health care law at Restaurant.org/Healthcare. Page 4
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Endorsed Provider Spotlight!
I N D I A N A R E S T A U R A N T & LODGING ASSOCIATION
ATTENTION RESTAURANT OWNERS
Stop overpaying sales tax on electricity and natural gas purchases at your restaurant Visit WWW.ENGUARD.NET to learn how to lower your electric and gas bills by as much as 7% Endorsed Provider of the InRLA Discounts to InRLA Members Serving Indiana Restaurants Since 1986 Hundreds of Satisfied Restaurant Clients No Risk Opportunity â€“ Results Based Fees
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Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest As Indiana Humanities talked to newcomers and old-timers across the state they were all in agreement: Food has never been better in the Hoosier state. Why? It’s thanks to people like Greg Gunthorp, whose grass-fed pork and poultry are served by some of the best chefs in the country; Lisa Sparks, who says she hates pie, but keeps winning prizes for the best ones in America; Jesús Alvarez, the Mexican immigrant known as the Pierogi King of Whiting, Indiana; Aster Bekele, who has turned an urban farm into a lifeline for kids in need; and many more – 80 of whom are featured in a coffee table book called Food for Thought: An Indiana Harvest, published by Indiana Humanities last August. The book retails for $24.95 and is available at www.IndianaHarvest.com.
Deadline extended for NRA’s 2013 Restaurant Industry Operations Survey
ATTENTION RESTAURANT OWNERS
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NRA is updating its best-selling Restaurant Industry Operations Report and encouraging restaurant operators to participate in a survey of restaurant operating costs. The deadline has been extended into June to allow for greater participation. Operators who complete the survey will receive a free copy of the 2013 edition of the Restaurant Industry Operations Report, data specific to their state or region (sample size permitting), and a chance to win one of three $500 gift cards.
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Please spread the word on the deadline extension and urge your members to take the survey. Use the promotional materials posted on the state extranet (under the Communications tab, under Editorial Content) in your member communications, and direct operators to take the survey at http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research.
National Restaurant Association Launches ServSafe Home Food Safety Website (Chicago) The National Restaurant Association (NRA) this week launched HomeFoodSafety. com – a website developed uniquely for consumers by leading restaurant- industry experts. The information on the site brings the same high food safety standards of the NRA’s ServSafe program for foodservice professionals to home kitchens. The site’s resources are designed to be easy for the whole family to use and understand, and help prevent foodborne illness and food allergic reactions at home. The ServSafe Home Food Safety website includes information, videos and downloadable resources with important information on food allergies and how to avoid cross-contact in the kitchen. The site also includes tips for teaching children about basic food safety – including proper hand washing – and a blog where the Home Food Safety Team (a group of parents, singles and industry experts) share tips and best practices. “The trust and expertise our ServSafe Food Safety program brings to the foodservice workplace is now available for families across America,” said Paul Hineman, executive vice president of the National Restaurant Association. The restaurant industry leader for nearly 40 years, ServSafe continues to evolve with innovative changes that make food safety easier to learn and retain. Because the ServSafe program is developed by the National Restaurant Association rather than a private enterprise, proceeds go toward helping improve the foodservice industry through research and education. For more information, please contact: Annika Stensson (202) 973-3677or Rachel Salabes (202) 3315997.
Green Named Omni Severin GM IRVING, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Omni Hotels & Resorts announced today the appointment of Terry Green as general manager for the Omni Severin Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. In this role, Green will be charged with managing sales, marketing, food and beverage and operational efforts for the city’s longest running and beautifully restored luxury hotel. Green has been with Omni for 10 years and previously served as general manager for the Omni Austin Hotel at Southpark. Prior to that, he served as the director of sales and marketing for the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, as well as the area director of sales and marketing for the south Texas region of the luxury hotel brand. Under his leadership, the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown sales team was awarded Omni’s prestigious Sales Team of the Year award in 2004. “Terry has been a tremendous associate for Omni Hotels & Resorts over the last decade,” said Andrew Casperson, area managing director at Omni Hotels & Resorts. “He is a sound leader who is well-respected by associates and guests alike.” With more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, departments under his supervision have met or exceeded goals and objectives including increased sales, bookings and employee training. Before joining Omni, Green worked as the director of sales and marketing at the Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills. He reached that position after a 14-year stint working for the Hilton Wichita Airport Executive Conference Center. Green has been recognized with numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including the 2008 Volunteer of the Year for the Austin Chamber’s Communication Council. He earned a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Wichita State University. For more information, guests may visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni. Travelers or media can also follow Omni at Facebook.com/OmniHotels and Twitter.com/OmniHotels. About Omni Hotels & Resorts Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences that take guests on “A Total Departure” to 50 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. From exceptional golf and spa retreats to dynamic business settings, each Omni showcases the local flavor of the destination while featuring four-diamond services, signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique wellness options. Known for its award-winning, personalized service, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every customer interaction, with a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program and the company’s “Power of One” associate empowerment program. The brand is frequently recognized by top consumer research organizations and travel publications. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.
Mark Your Calendars!
Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Gala celebrating John Livengood's 24 years’ service to the association and retirement Make sure to mark your calendars for this special event coming up in September! The InRLA will be celebrating John Livengood's 24 years’ service to the association and retirement. The Gala will be held at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown on September 24, 2013. Reception is at 6pm followed by dinner at 7pm. More information will be coming soon! We hope to see you there! Page 8
Restaurant Performance Index Hits 10-Month High as Operators’ Business Expectations Improve Same-store sales and customer traffic levels remained mixed; Restaurant operators’ outlook for sales growth and the economy improved (Washington, D.C.) Driven by higher same-store sales and an improving outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) hit a 10-month high in April. The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 101.0 in April, up 0.4 percent from a level of 100.6 in March. In addition, April represented the third time in the last four months that the RPI topped the 100 level, which signifies expansion in the index of key industry indicators.
Restaurant operators reported stronger same-store sales results in April. Forty-nine percent of restaurant operators reported a same-store sales gain between April 2012 and April 2013, up from 44 percent who reported higher sales in March. Meanwhile, 33 percent of operators reported a drop in samestore sales in April, down from 37 percent in March. While overall sales were positive in April, restaurant operators reported a net decline in customer traffic for the fifth consecutive month. Thirty-six percent of restaurant operators reported higher customer traffic levels between April 2012 and April 2013, while 40 percent of operators said their traffic declined. In March, 34 percent of operators reported an increase in customer traffic, while 42 percent reported lower traffic levels. Restaurant operators reported a slight dip in capital spending activity from recent months. Forty-seven percent of operators saying they made a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling during the last three months, down from 51 percent who reported similarly last month.
“Growth in the Restaurant Performance Index was due largely to restaurant operators’ healthier outlook for the business environment in the coming months,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the Association. “In particular, there was a dropoff in the proportion of operators who expect conditions to worsen in the months ahead, which suggests a broadening of the perspective that the expansion is firmly entrenched.” Watch a video of Riehle summarizing the April RPI and other economic indicators by going to http://www.restaurant.org/ News-Research/Research/Restaurants-The-Economy/RPI. The RPI is constructed so that the health of the restaurant industry is measured in relation to a steady-state level of 100. Index values above 100 indicate that key industry indicators are in a period of expansion, while index values below 100 represent a period of contraction for key industry indicators. The Index consists of two components – the Current Situation Index and the Expectations Index. The Current Situation Index, which measures current trends in four industry indicators (same-store sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures), stood at 100.1 in April – up 0.3 percent from a level of 99.8 in March. April represented the first time in eight months that the Current Situation Index rose above 100, which signifies expansion in the current situation indicators.
The Expectations Index, which measures restaurant operators’ six-month outlook for four industry indicators (same-store sales, employees, capital expenditures and business conditions), stood at 101.9 in April – up 0.5 percent from March and the highest level in 11 months. Each of the four expectations indicators stood above 100 for the fourth consecutive month, which indicates a firming of optimism for business conditions in the months ahead. Restaurant operators remain generally optimistic that their sales will improve in the coming months. Forty-one percent of restaurant operators expect to have higher sales in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), down slightly from 44 percent last month. However, only 10 percent of restaurant operators expect their sales volume in six months to be lower than it was during the same period in the previous year, down from 15 percent last month and the lowest level in 11 months. Similarly, a smaller proportion of restaurant operators are bearish about the economy in the months ahead. Only 13 percent of operators said they expect economic conditions to worsen in the next six months, down from 20 percent last month and the lowest level in 12 months. Meanwhile, 28 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in six months, down from 32 percent who reported similarly last month.
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Performance Index Continued...
Restaurant operators reported an uptick in plans for capital spending in the months ahead. Fifty-nine percent of restaurant operators plan to make a capital expenditure for equipment, expansion or remodeling in the next six months, up from 55 percent who reported similarly last month.
Restaurant operators are also somewhat more optimistic about staffing growth in the months ahead. Twenty-two percent of operators plan to increase staffing levels in six months (compared to the same period in the previous year), while just 10 percent said they plan to cut positions. The RPI is based on the responses to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, which is fielded monthly among restaurant operators nationwide on a variety of indicators including sales, traffic, labor and capital expenditures. The full report and video summary are available online at http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/Research/ Restaurants-The-Economy/RPI. The RPI is released on the last business day of each month, and a more detailed data and analysis can be found on Restaurant TrendMapper, the Association’s subscription-based web site that provides detailed analysis of restaurant industry trends by going to http://cf.restaurant.org/trendmapper/
Summer Travel Predictions "Ask Tamika," from the AH&LA Information Center, offers some basic info in preparation for the summer season. Smith Travel Research (STR) classifies the summer travel season as June, July, and August, and increases are forecasted for the three key performance metrics this summer: revenue per available room (RevPAR) to grow by 5.4% to $78.50; average daily rate (ADR) to increase by 4.4% to $112.21; and occupancy to rise by one percent, to 70%. Demand for hotel rooms is expected to increase by 2.0% this summer. According to TripAdvisor's Travel Survey, 86% of travelers polled are planning a leisure trip this summer, and 70 percent will stay in hotels. And finally, one more piece of good news from AAA's Monthly Gas Price Report states that gas prices this summer should drop, as long as there aren't any refinery problems or significant international news events. Alabama is one of the five states with the lowest gas prices in the country.
Towne Park Welcomes New Vice President & General Manager Chris Carsten ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Towne Park, America’s premier provider of hospitality, healthcare and commercial parking services, is pleased to announce the appointment of Chris Carsten as Vice President & General Manager. In this new role, Mr. Carsten will oversee financial performance, guest satisfaction, client retention, employment practices and business development objectives in the Midwest Region. Prior to joining Towne Park, Mr. Carsten spent 19 years in sales, marketing and operations in a well-rounded career at Cintas Corporation (Nasdaq: CTAS). During that time, he was a key leader in managing projects that have helped fuel Cintas’s growth in recent years. “We are thrilled to have a proven leader of Chris’s caliber join Towne Park at this critical point in our company’s growth,” said Executive Vice President Chuck Heskett. “Having served in several leadership roles with Cintas, he is a natural fit to seamlessly integrate into Towne Park’s service culture and lead our Midwest team going forward.” “My diverse leadership experience has well-positioned me for this new role at Towne Park,” Mr. Carsten said. “The determination and tireless effort I’ve witnessed in my first few weeks with Towne Park is contagious and I look forward to doing my part to ensure we continue to achieve our aggressive growth objectives in the Midwest.” About Towne Park
Towne Park is America’s Leader in Specialized Hospitality Services. On behalf of our 425 hotel, casino and healthcare clients in 50 markets nationwide, we welcome thousands of guests and patients every day from coast to coast. Serving people is our passion and we are Driven To Serve® with excellence in all we do. Visit us online at townepark.com today. Follow us on Twitter @TownePark and like us on Facebook.
For more information, please contact Michael Beckerman at 800-291-6111 or email@example.com Page 10
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The Taste of Homegrown Goodness At its Best by Crystal Grave ; founder, president and CEO of Snappening.com Consumers worldwide are rediscovering the benefits of buying locally grown food. Not only is it fresher, tastier and more nutritious; it’s also good for the environment and the local economy. Learn about the advantages to buying homegrown produce and sustainably raised meats, and how your private dining business can benefit from this growing trend. Locally sourced meat Most consumers agree that sustainably raised meats and seafood are much more flavorful than factory farmed varieties. Taste is probably the most easily recognized—and most dramatic—difference in the varieties, and one of the primary reasons the industry’s leading restaurants and chefs serve sustainable meat and seafood. Not only is the taste superior, but animals raised on pastures are healthier and enjoy a much higher quality of life than those confined on factory farms. Pasture-raised animals get their nutrients from grass and other plants. Factory-raised animals are fed grain to help fatten the animals quickly and cheaply, and this lifestyle may also contribute to number of health problems for animals, including death. And let’s not overlook the human health benefits of farmraised animals. According to Sustainable Table , the leading sustainable food source for consumers, free-range chickens have 21% less total fat, 30% less saturated fat and 28% fewer calories than their factory-raised counterparts. Eggs from farm-raised poultry have 10% less fat, 40% more vitamin A and 400% more omega-3’s. Locally grown produce Buying local ensures you receive the freshest possible produce, picked just hours before delivery. Once harvested, produce quickly loses its vitality and flavor. So imagine the delicious flavor your restaurant’s produce loses when it travels across several states in a truck to reach your kitchen. Local food preserves genetic diversity, while large commercial farms grow a relatively small number of hybrid fruits and vegetables. Family farms grow a large variety of fruits and vegetables to extend their growing season, provide eyecatching colors and great flavor. Local farms are appealing to the request for crops needed for the preparation ethnic cuisine, a demand that commercial farms cannot fulfill. The health benefits of consuming fresh fruits and vegetables are endless, from cancer prevention to lowering the risk for cardiovascular disease. Produce contains its highest concentration of nutrients at peak ripeness. However, most fruits and vegetables are harvested from commercial farms before their prime and then transported long distances to major markets. Minimizing the distance between farm and the table reduces the loss of nutrition, and maximizes the produce’s great flavor.
Produce stands that sell only locally grown foods may have been gathered within a matter of hours, unlike supermarket produce which is typically days to weeks old. Small farms tend to be less aggressive when using fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides than commercial farms. You can feel good knowing that your private dining business is serving produce that uses little or no pesticides. Your customers will thank you. “Hyper”-local sourcing via restaurant gardens One of the hottest trends in local sourcing is restaurant gardens and its wide appeal to the staff and diners alike. Restaurant gardens allow chefs to serve the freshest herbs, fruits and vegetables available. Your dining menu can be changed to reflect the season’s vegetables and fruits. A cool summer salad is a fantastic way to showcase your crispy green spinach and delectable strawberries. Autumn is a great time of year to dazzle your diners with grilled squash. Restaurant gardening gives the staff a better appreciation of the fresh ingredients, particularly if they help with the garden care. The gardens can provide an opportunity for agricultural education programs, including internships. It’s a resourceful way to reduce costs, as well. Some restaurants are creating a garden dining experience, allowing customers to dine within the gardens where their fresh vegetables and herbs are grown. This unique opportunity highlights and encourages the farm-to-table philosophy of sustainable food. It provides another chance to set your restaurant apart from the competition! Impact on marketing, green positioning and financial advantages Buying and serving sustainable food in your restaurant can create a heavy impact on marketing. To begin, it can significantly set you apart from the competition by appealing to customers who are interested in dining on local meals. For consumers who support local farms, your choice to buy locally just might be the decision that makes them a repeat customer as well. And they’re bound to tell their family, friends and neighbors about your restaurant’s access to nourishing, flavorful food. Local food supports our environment and the future. It promotes energy conservation by reducing the amount of petroleum used for transporting food by air and truck. Buying local reduces the use of fossil fuels and helps protect the environment from harmful exhaust fumes.
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Local food supports local farmers—a vanishing population in America. Sustainable Table says that fewer than 1,000,000 people (less than 1%) of Americans claim farming as a primary occupation. It’s difficult to make a living when you earn less than 10 cents of every retail food dollar. By buying locally, the middleman disappears and the farmer has an opportunity to reap retail prices.
Buying local certainly has its financial advantages, too. Local food uses less packaging, so you’re not paying for additions like plastic boxes, colorful labels and other unnecessary elements that drive up prices. It also help keeps taxes in check. According to Sustainable Table , for every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments spend $1.17 on services, which increases taxes. For every $1 in revenue raised by a farm, governments spend $0.34 cents on services.
That’s interesting math. Lastly, local food builds community between your farmers, neighbors and the environment. It’s a chance to bring food education and appreciation to the table where everyone eats. It’s important to know not only what your customers are eating, but where it came from and how it got there. Snappening.com is an online event planning database that contains central Indiana's most comprehensive list of meeting and event venues—including restaurants. Since its 2011 launch, the site has provided over 115,000 consumers, venues and professional planners with an online tool that makes event venue and event planner searches quick and easy, as well as provides highly localized event planning inspiration, tips and advice. Feel free to poke around on the site to see for yourself how helpful we are and perform your own searches. We estimate we'll save you anywhere from 4-8 hours of your own time by bringing all your options together in one wellappointed location.
North American LED to Offer Operators Energy-Efficient Lighting Options to Members (Washington, D.C.) In its continuing effort to educate operators about sustainability and how best to reduce operating costs in restaurants, the National Restaurant Association has teamed up with North American LED, an energy-efficient lighting products supplier, to offer light emitting diode, or LED lighting solutions, to the restaurant industry at discounted prices. “The National Restaurant Association is pleased to partner with North American LED to offer our members an opportunity to purchase highly energy efficient lighting at a reduced price,” said David Matthews, Executive Vice President, Innovation & Membership Advancement, National Restaurant Association. “Through our Conserve Sustainability Education Program, the Association has been working diligently to help restaurateurs better understand the financial and environmental advantages of implemented good practices. By working with North American LED, we are moving one step closer toward helping restaurateurs be more energy efficient in a cost-effective way.” “We are very excited to work with the National Restaurant Association to offer these sustainable, energy efficient products to members of the restaurant industry,” said Lamon Elrod, president and CEO of North American LED. “The overall value of using LED lighting is clear and simple: it is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. With utility rebates available in many states and energy cost savings that can amount to thousands of dollars a year, the value is built in. By installing LED lighting at their restaurants, we think operators can save between 50 percent and 75 percent in annual energy costs for lighting while reducing emissions from power plants too.” According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, lighting accounts for 13 percent of an average fullservice restaurant’s energy bill. Switching out old incandescent bulbs for LEDs can significantly cut into this energy cost, saving a restaurant more than $400 a year by switching ten bulbs to LEDs. EPA research also indicates that not only do Energy Star qualified bulbs use 75 percent less energy than incandescents, qualified lighting lasts 10 to 50 times longer than traditional bulbs. Fewer bulb replacements mean fewer bulbs going to the landfill, less time replacing bulbs, and more time and money that can be spent on running the restaurant business. In addition to offering the lighting products at a special rate to NRA members, North American LED is offering all operators a 12+1 program on all LED Lighting in their catalog (Phillips, InVision LED or Viribright); purchase 12 LED Light Bulbs and receive one free. The 12+1 offer is valid through May 31, 2013. Interested operators attending the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago May 18-21 should visit the Viribright booth to learn more. North American LED also has a savings calculator that restaurant operators can use to not only calculate annual energy-cost savings, but an estimated state rebate amount and three-year outlook analysis as well. For more information, visit the Conserve Sustainability Education Program web site at http://www.restaurant.org/Manage-MyRestaurant/Operations/Conserve or North American LED web site at http://www.northamericanled.com/. Page 14
News stories about restaurant and lodging industries.