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October 2011

Founded in 1933, the Indiana Restaurant represents over 1,600 member restaurant properties and industry-related services companies. It is these members that help make the foodservice industry the nation's largest private sector employer and one of the state’s most politically active and public service oriented industries. Our members are the cornerstone of the Indiana community and economy.

Legal reminder: Double-check your credit- and debit-card receipts Posted by NRA Staff on October 11, 2011 12:45 PM

We've heard that some businesses still are not complying with a federal law that prohibits businesses from showing expiration dates and more than the last five digits of a card number on electronically printed receipts. A quick refresh: The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 prohibits businesses from showing expiration dates and more than the last five digits of a credit card number. The law applies to electronically printed receipts provided to consumers at the point of sale. It does not apply to receipts that are handwritten or imprinted. The law has been in full effect since December 2006. In 2008, at the urging of the National Restaurant Association and other groups, Congress clarified that because of some confusion over the way the 2003 law was worded, merchants who before May 2008 had truncated card numbers but failed to delete expiration dates could not be sued for "willful noncompliance" with the law. However, from May 2008 forward, businesses who violate either part of the law -- i.e., failing to restrict card digits to five or fewer, or failing to remove expiration dates from electronically printed receipts -- are liable for full penalties.

ALCOHOL PERMIT AUCTION NOTICE The Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission (ATC) will hold a public auction Friday, November 18, 2011 beginning at 9:00 A.M. (Indianapolis Time). This auction will be held at the Indiana Government Center South, in Conference Center Room B, at 302 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana. Several types of permits, located in various counties throughout the State of Indiana will be sold to the highest bidders. Due to the 2010 census there are many 3-way licenses available. Please contact Debbie Scott in our office for information on specific permits. Bidders must submit a prequalification application to the ATC, on or before November 9, 2011. Prequalification applications may be obtained from the ATC website or by calling IRA at 800-678-1957. You must pre-qualify for each permit you wish to bid on. The pre-bid fee for type 210 permits is $1000 per application. Once you submit your application it is your responsibility to contact the ATC to see if you have been approved to bid. Only pre-approved bidders may participate in the auction and will be required to sign a non-collusion affidavit prior to the auction. IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR INDIANAPOLIS ALCOHOL PERMITS – new policy beginning November 18 The ATC has until recently considered only the area in the “old” fire district as incorporated area, this allowed for Type 209 permits (not under quota in un-incorporated areas) to be issued outside of the fire district (and the boundaries of any excluded city). With the recent consolidation of fire districts, the ATC has re-examined the policy and will no longer issue 209 (un-incorporated) permits in Marion County after November 18th. The ATC will make available 94 Beer, Wine & alcohol (3-way) permits available in Indianapolis at the Auction – after these permits have been issued, all permits in Marion County, will have to be purchased on the open market.

Endorsed Providers

Interns Wanted: Upperclassmen, recent graduates may pursue Statehouse opportunity, set resumes apart College upperclassmen and recent graduates can set their resumes apart by gaining Statehouse experiences offered through internships with the Indiana Intern_Podcast2 <http://image.> Senate Republicans. Applications for the full-time, spring semester, Senate internships - including legislative and communications opportunities - are available at < 8c26d698c5bb10b807872cb0883ee1c3448af 9d271726> . A resume, two reference letters, college transcripts and a writing sample are required submissions. All complete applications are due Oct. 31. Senate internships give college students and recent graduates a wide range of experiences they can find few other places. From actually participating in the legislative process to teaming with a public affairs expert or helping solve constituent issues, interns play integral roles in effective state government. Legislative interns work alongside senators and legislative assistants, responding to constituent calls, letters and e-mails, as well as staffing Senate committees and assisting with floor proceedings. Communications interns gain practical experience, helping press secretaries prepare and distribute news releases, guest columns, letters to the editor, direct mail, enewsletters, e-invitations, web updates, radio feeds, podcasts and video productions.

Selected applicants are invited to attend the General Assembly's ceremonial Organization Day on Nov. 22 and officially begin their internships with a mandatory orientation on Dec. 27. Senate internships last the duration of the legislative session, which by law is scheduled to end on or before March 14, 2012. College Credit College credit for the internship varies, depending on individual schools' internship policies. Interested students should meet with school academic advisors to determine academic credits available. To maintain full-time student status, interns frequently arrange correspondence or independent courses. A three-credithour state government course, conducted at the Statehouse throughout the internship, is also available. Scholarship Opportunities At the end of each year's legislative session, Verizon Communications offers a $3,000 scholarship to the top intern from each caucus - Republican and Democrat. Additionally, each caucus awards a $1,000 scholarship in memory of longtime Senate staffer Rick Gudal. More Information Interested college students should contact Jennifer Carlton, Senate Majority Intern Director, by email at, for more information about internships with the Indiana Senate Republicans.

Senate interns should plan to live in or near Indianapolis during the internship due to the varied work schedule during the legislative session. Intern_Computer2 < lib/fef81375756003/m/1/Intern_Computer2.gif> Interns earn a $700 bi-weekly stipend to assist with living expenses.

Please help welcome the newest Members of the IRA family! We are proud to announce our newest members. Please extend a warm welcome to them! Welcome New Members!

Welcome New Associate Members!

Mi Amigos Mike Fiddler Indianapolis Twenty Tap Tracy Kurker Indianapolis

Action Pest Control Keith Holder Indianapolis iTech Digital Steve Spiech Indianapolis

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Administrative Law Judge finds New York nonprofit unlawfully discharged employees following Facebook posts In the first ruling of its kind, a National Labor Relations Board Administrative Law Judge has found that a Buffalo nonprofit organization unlawfully discharged five employees after they posted comments on Facebook concerning working conditions, including work load and staffing issues. The NLRB has received an increasing number of charges related to social media in the past year, as that means of communication grows in popularity. The Office of General Counsel issued a report last month outlining some of the cases. This is the first case involving Facebook to have resulted in an ALJ decision following a hearing. The case involves an employee of Hispanics United of Buffalo, which provides social services to low-income clients. After hearing a coworker criticize other employees for not doing enough to help the organization’s clients, the employee posted those allegations to her Facebook page. The initial post generated responses from other employees who defended their job performance and criticized working conditions, including work load and staffing issues. Hispanics United later discharged the five employees who participated, claiming that their comments constituted harassment of the employee originally mentioned in the post.

The case was heard by Administrative Law Judge Arthur Amchan on July 13-15, 2011, based on a complaint that issued May 9 by Rhonda Ley, NLRB Regional Director in Buffalo, New York. Judge Amchan issued his decision on September 2, finding that the employees’ Facebook discussion was protected concerted activity within the meaning of Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act, because it involved a conversation among coworkers about their terms and conditions of employment, including their job performance and staffing levels. The judge also found that the employees did not engage in any conduct that forfeited their protection under the Act. Judge Amchan orderedthat Hispanics United reinstate the five employees and awarded the employees backpay because they were unlawfully discharged. The judge’s decision also requires that Hispanics United post a notice at its Buffalo facility concerning employee rights under the Act and the violations found. Hispanics United has the right to appeal the decision to the Board in Washington.

NLRB Delays Poster Requirement until January 31, 2012 The National Labor Relations Board announced that it is pushing back the date by which employers are required to post the new notice - January 31, 2012 is the new effective date. The NLRB finalized its notice-posting rule over the summer with an original final rule implementation date of November 14, 2011. Under the rule, NLRB requires all employers subject to the National Labor Relations Act to post a notice outlining employees’ rights to organize and bargain collectively. However, from the beginning there have been questions as to whether the NLRB even has the authority to require such a posting. Following the issuance of the Final Rule this summer, several lawsuits were filed against the NLRB to stop the implementation of this requirement. The National Restaurant Association is party to NAM v. NLRB as a member of the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which joined the suit September 23rd. The lawsuits likely influenced NLRB’s action today. However, NLRB claims the purpose of the delay is “to allow for enhanced education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.” See today’s NLRB press release. You may remember that the National Restaurant Association and 31 State Restaurant Associations filed comments objecting to the proposed rule February 22, 2011 stating that the proposal “would mandate the posting of both misleading information to employees and lead to miscommunication between workers and managers.” The legal arguments were made through the comments filed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace, which were also incorporated by reference into our comments.

State cracks down on new online gambling machines FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Indiana officials have decided to clamp down on new electronic gambling machines that let users connect to online games and are giving the state excise police authority to remove them and cite businesses that have them. The so-called “sweepstakes machines” allow players to buy Internet time for video poker and slots and bet digital credit or time, with winners receiving a receipt that they can cash out at the businesses. The machines recently began appearing in Indiana bars, restaurants, convenience stores and other businesses, Journal Gazette reported. Unlike slot machines, prizes are paid to winners based on predetermined sweepstakes systems, not by chance. The Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission said Monday that it notified retail alcohol permit holders that the machines are illegal and must be removed. Violation notices, which can lead to fines or suspension of alcohol permits, can be issued starting Oct. 15. The agency's notice said the only form of gambling allowed in these businesses includes pull tabs, punch boards or tip board games.


“Any other type of gaming, especially electronic gaming devices, are strictly and specifically prohibited,” the notice said.

Steve Carnes, a company official, said he expected the company will review the state agency's decision.

The website for Promo Games Sweepstakes, the company that distributed the machines in northeastern Indiana, includes a discussion of why it doesn't consider the machines illegal gambling, comparing them with the sweepstakes Monopoly game that McDonald's offers.

“I guess they did what they felt was necessary and we go from there,” Carnes said. “I presume there is a possibility of challenging it.”

“When you play the McDonald's Monopoly game, which is a sweepstakes, you don't buy game pieces. You buy a Big Mac with fries or an order of chicken McNuggets. When you buy the food, you get a free entry. This is exactly how sweepstakes gaming works,” the website says. “... The customers don't actually purchase entries into the sweepstakes. They purchase time on the computer.”

Private Dining Improvements: What investments make sense? by Crystal Grave; founder, president & CEO of

Perhaps your venue’s private dining area or banquet facility is slightly tucked away from the public eye—but the food is delicious, the facilities are pristine and you just renovated! Where’s the business? There’s certainly no shortage of consumers looking to host weddings, birthday parties, holiday parties or corporate meetings. In a time when consumers are practically glued to their mobile phones, the answer shouldn’t shock you. Reeling in the group business is all about your Indianapolis-area restaurant venue’s website and online presence. While practically all dining venues now have some form of online presence, many are still withering away in a past age of static, brochure-esque websites. Here is some food for thought. The following questions used to only travel via word of mouth: “What kind of food is on the menu? How many people can be seated in the private dining area? How much does it cost? Have past diners enjoyed their experience?” Now? It’s a quick Google search. And then diners make their decision. Would it surprise you to know that a full 70 percent of Americans now say they look at product reviews before making a purchase? Or that 79 percent of consumers now say they use a smart¬phone to help with shopping? Or that 83 percent of moms say they do online research after seeing TV commercials for products that interest them? That quick but infinitely important decision-making moment—what Google refers to as the Zero Moment of Truth—is what’s singlehandedly changing the marketing rule¬book. It’s a busy mom doing a quick search on her phone for restaurant review before deciding where to host the team party or a busy professional reading a quick review before booking a private dining room for the next offsite meeting. Marketing today is all about the impression your business makes on consumers who are constantly pluggedin and always “pre-shopping”—a process that can take all of five seconds. To get things rolling for your Indianapolis venue’s private dining area, consider a few small investments that will maximize your online presence: Social Media Twitter alone handles over 1.6 billion search queries per day and

searches for the latest Indianapolis dining scoop would be no exception. It’s absolutely vital that your restaurant venue create accounts across all social media platforms—Twitter and Facebook at the very least—and prominently display account links on the restaurant homepage. Consider displaying a live “feed” of your social media on your website, too (streaming your Twitter updates, for example). Humanizing the restaurant and giving your patrons something they can connect to or around (like a special club or program) adds incredible value in today’s tech-centric market. Real-time Reviews With websites and apps like Facebook check-in, Yelp, Foursquare and BiteHunter, people can leave reviews in real time from within the restaurant while eating. Anyone who has ever done a Google search for a restaurant knows the deal. In addition to the restaurant venue’s website, if it has one, Google's list will include sites with customer reviews along with information about the restaurant. Consistently track who’s talking and about what. Trust us, Joe Shmoe’s review matters—chances are he has far more followers than you think. You can now review Indianapolis restaurant venues and their private dining offerings on Snappening, too, making it easy for Indianapolis consumers to share their favorites with the rest of the Circle City. Mobile Compliancy As there are now more mobile phone users in the world than PC users surfing the Internet, it has become vital that a restaurant’s menu be clearly viewable from all popular mobile browsers. For instance, many websites still use Adobe Flash – which isn’t supported by many Apple devices, including iPhones. Go one step further by making it easy to email a direct link to the menu. And, don’t forget the restaurant phone number which should be easy to access from the homepage. Even if a million dollars or more was spent on the beautiful new renovation to your private dining area, a large majority of restaurants customers are still making their decision based on Joe Shmoe’s brutally honest online review. Don’t let pesky technical difficulties turn your ideal customer base away! Win them over in the Zero Moment of Truth—a true make-it-or-break-it moment for your Indianapolis restaurant venue’s bottom line.

IRA At Your Service: October 2011  

IRA's Monthly Membership Newsletter