Page 1









WINTER 2017 |

page 12

LRA officers and chapter presidents start their terms

page 10

Greg Reggio assumes the position of LRA Chair in 2017

Leadership Edition

page 18

What’s Hot-

restaurant trends to know

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017



Now available in 48-ounce filter packs, our new Southern Sweet Tea is a breeze to make in one easy step. No sugar to add. No mixing. Simply brew and serve. So you can be sure every batch is consistently sweet and FDA compliant.

It’s our commitment to taste and quality that’s been bringing our customers back for four generations.

© 2016 Community Coffee Company





Louisiana Restaurant Association la carte | Winter 2017 SERVICE INFORMATION | 1-800-525-5583 | | aCOMMUNITYCOFFEE.COM/FORBUSINESS

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

A Letter From Our Chair Dear LRA Members, To serve as your chair of the Louisiana Restaurant Association is an honor and privilege, and certainly a responsibility I do not take lightly. For much of my career, I have witnessed and participated in the advocacy and activities of our association — and I am a better professional and person because of my involvement. If you’ve been a member for decades or days, know that we are a stronger industry because of your membership. The level of your participation likely depends on your needs — whether that is workers’ compensation insurance, food safety, sanitation and alcohol training, passes to our annual EXPO in August and/or legal and tax guidance. In the beginning of my service to the LRA, I became active in the Greater New Orleans Chapter. Our nine LRA chapters are located across the state and are designed to localize your member experience. It was at the chapter level, where I came to understand the importance of our committee structure and our fundraisers — which support the LRA Hospitality Political Action Committee and the LRA Education Foundation. Improving the image of our industry as one of opportunity is critical to our future. Attracting young people to rewarding careers in the restaurant industry is the mission of the LRA Education Foundation’s ProStart® Program, offered in high schools across Louisiana. I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering my time with my local ProStart Program and if that’s something that interests you, please consider becoming a mentor. The LRAEF also awards scholarships each year and the deadline is Jan. 31, 2017. Visit for more information. There is a rare and wonderful camaraderie that exists among Louisiana restaurateurs. I invite you to give just a little more of your time and talents to the association in 2017. What you’ll gain will far outweigh your investment. Thank you for your membership in the Louisiana Restaurant Association.


Greg Reggio 2017 LRA Chair Prostart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Letters to the Editor Dear Stan, On behalf of our entire team and franchises, thank you for helping make our 2016 Franchise Conference a success! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Rotolo’s Pizzeria Team


In Memoriam: Edgar “Dooky” Chase, Jr. Longtime LRA member, Dooky Chase, died at the age of 88 on November 22, 2016. Chase, with his wife, Leah, built his family restaurant, Dooky Chase’s, into a New Orleans landmark. The restaurant has earned a plethora of awards since its opening as a Treme sandwich shop in 1939, including a lifetime achievement award from the James Beard Foundation. Chase was also a musician, who established the Dooky Chase Orchestra in the 1940s. But it was his restaurant that was a cultural touchstone, serving as a meeting spot for local community organizers during the Civil Rights Movement.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

WINTER 2017 Volume 30, No. 1

The only magazine in Louisiana dedicated to the needs of the Foodservice Professional.

On the cover: 2017 LRA Chair Greg Reggio at his restaurant, Zea Rotisserie & Grill in Metairie.

Photo by Frank Aymami III

24 10 8

Not so fast…

17 30

Louisiana Restaurant Association 2700 N. Arnoult Rd. Metairie, LA 70002 Tel: (504) 454-2277 or (800) 256-4572 Fax: (504) 454-2299 Editor-In-Chief: Stan Harris Executive Editor: Wendy Waren Managing Editor and Advertising: Erica Burns

A Post-Election

Graphic Designer: Brian Rome


Eleventh hour delay of federal overtime regulation means what exactly? Find out more about what how this will impact your business.

for Employers


a la carteWorkers (USPS 1920) is How To Address Divided And Distracted

New year, new chair

Meet your 2017 LRA Chair, Greg Reggio. A genuine character, he’s well known for his good food, philanthropy and sense of humor.


Chapter Leadership Meet the nine volunteer leaders that will steer the statewide chapters in 2017.


the official publication of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Published quarterly by the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Advertising: Want to reach restaurants to use

Safety at your fingertips

your products or services? Inquire

New benefit for LRA SIF members—access to SAFETY SOURCE, an online, on-demand video library with more than 750 titles.

Erica Burns at (504) 454-2277.

about advertising in a la carte. Call



Post-Election Survival Guide

Rates are $25 per year.

Are your employees singing the blues since the election? Singing the new administration’s praises? Learn tips for a harmonious workplace when politics comes into play.

membership dues goes toward

LRA members: $25 of your your yearly subscription. Postmaster: Send address changes to a la

carte, 2700 N. Arnoult Road, Metairie, LA 70002 and additional entry offices. Periodical postage paid at Metairie, LA.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017





ONLINE ALCOHOL TRAINING Meets the standard for LA Responsible Vender Program. Discount for LRA member and their employees.

Louisiana Restaurant Association Members save 20%

JANUARY 2017 23 Shreveport | Podnuh’s Bar-B-Que 24 Monroe | Catfish Cabin 25 Alexandria | Courtyard by Marriott

Special Code: LAONLINE

FEBRUARY 2017 6 New Orleans | Café Reconcile 13 Baton Rouge | Juban’s Restaurant 20 Hammond | Alack Culinary Equipment & Supplies


MARCH 2017 6 7 8 13 14 20 21

Shreveport | Podnuh’s Bar-B-Que Monroe | Catfish Cabin Alexandria | Courtyard by Marriott Baton Rouge | Juban’s Restaurant Scott | Fezzo’s Metairie | Drago’s Seafood Restaurant Mandeville | Old Rail Brewing Company


APRIL 2017 3 10 11 18 19

Houma | Fairfield Inn & Suites Kenner | Zea Rotisserie & Grill Alexandria | Courtyard by Marriott New Orleans | Alack Culinary Equipment & Supplies Baton Rouge | Acme Oyster House


Approved by the Louisiana Office of Alcohol & Tobacco Control In-house Louisiana’s Best© classes available upon request

All classes are 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

LRA members, $120 | Non-members, $175 Register online at, (504) 454-2277


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


Your Catalyst to Candidates

is the right place to find top candidates in the hospitality field. • Entirely focused on Louisiana’s hospitality industry, is designed to attract top talent for new, rewarding positions. • Special member pricing, resume search capabilities and applicant tracking, messaging and screening questions are just a sample of the features to come. • SEO and Job Seeker campaign

Stay tuned for details! Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

LRA Past Chair Greg Hamer to serve as 2017 NRA Educational Foundation Chair LRA Past Chair Greg Hamer (2000), FMP will serve as Chair of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) in 2017. Hamer is the owner of B&G Food Enterprises, Inc. based in Morgan City, which includes B&G Food and affiliated companies that are responsible for operations of 94 Taco Bell, Taco Bell/KFC, and Taco Bell/Long John Silver franchise restaurants in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. Hamer’s family is involved in the operation, which employs a workforce of over 2,400. Hamer is a longtime LRA member and has served on the LRA Board of Directors for many years. He has given Louisiana national representation on the NRA and the NRAEF boards and has held leadership positions with the NRAEF, culminating in its highest office of Chair this year. Hamer is also an Emeritus Director of the NRA and was inducted into the LRA Hall of Fame in 2003. Hamer is a member of the Knights of Columbus, Legatus International and is a board member for the Mardi Gras Krewe of Hepheastus. He also serves on the Taco Bell Foundation Board and as Chairman of the Community Foundation of Acadiana’s St Mary Affiliate. A graduate of Louisiana State University, he is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Ourso College of Business and the LSU Alumni Association.

Honoring the

2017 LRAEF Scholarship Award Winners and LRAEF Diamond Annual Partners

Thursday, March 30, 2017

6 - 9 p.m.

J Hall

Generations Hall 310 Andrew Higgins Drive New Orleans

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


Overtime Rule Delay On Nov. 22, 2016, Judge Amos Mazzant granted an emergency request to delay the Dec. 1, 2016 effective date for the new overtime rule. In his ruling, Mazzant declared that the plaintiffs — in this case, 21 state attorneys general challenging the lawfulness of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) final overtime rule — “demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success” on their case’s merits. He hasn’t ruled on the case itself but indicated he believes the DOL overstepped its authority. The court’s action stopped the rule nationwide. On Dec. 1, the DOL filed an appeal on his decision. The DOL said it strongly disagreed with the court’s decision to put a hold on the regulation. “The Department’s Overtime Final Rule is the result of a comprehensive, inclusive rulemaking process, and we remain confident in the legality of all aspects of the rule,” it stated. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) hosted a webinar after the ruling, moderated by Shannon Meade, the National Restaurant Association’s director of labor and workforce policy, and Angelo Amador, senior vice president and regulatory counsel, and addressed what the decision means, whether the regulation is dead or not, and how restaurants should respond. “The regulation is not dead yet,” Amador said. “The government filed quickly to appeal the preliminary injunction, and we’ll see where that leads. However, litigation does not always move fast and we have a new President and Administration coming in on Jan. 20. That could change things significantly.” Amador said the court of appeals could do several things – from upholding the stay to making the regulations effective as of Dec. 1, meaning they would be retroactive. But he said he didn’t think the latter would happen. He also said that if the court does not decide on the preliminary injunction appeal by Jan. 21, a new Secretary of Labor would then decide whether to pursue the appeal. Mazzant must still rule on a motion for summary judgement in a second case filed by more than 50 trade associations. The associations also argue the DOL exceeded its delegation of authority. That case was combined with the one in which the temporary stay was issued. The plaintiffs are awaiting the judge’s decision. Meade said that even though restaurateurs were no longer required to comply with the rule changes by Dec. 1, a number have already reclassified positions and are moving forward with their plans. Others are still struggling and putting theirs on hold. She offered three takeaways for restaurateurs: 1. Make sure you comply on the state level. All of this has been happening on the federal level, but it’s important to check state law for any overtime provisions. You must comply where you operate your businesses. Meade points out that federal law is a fl oor and employers must follow whichever regulations are most beneficial to employees. 2. Communicate with your employees about the latest information. Keeping them informed and updated on changes is critical.

2017 NRA Public Affairs Conference let your voice be heard

Last November, we headed to the polls with other voters and elected the nation’s 115th Congress and a new president. On March 28-29, 2017, the National Restaurant Association (NRA) invites LRA members to come to Washington, D.C. to meet with these new leaders in person, at the NRA Public Affairs Conference. The Conference is a great opportunity to introduce a brandnew Congress and Administration to the restaurant industry. Attendees will go to Capitol Hill to educate lawmakers about top public policy issues affecting restaurant businesses. The mission is to help the 115th Congress understand what it takes to run a restaurant business today. This year’s State Whip is LRA Past Chair and current NRA Board Member Tommy Cvitanovich. He will preside over two days of activity: Day One will include a keynote address, followed by breakout sessions and issue panels to get attendees up to speed on key issues facing the restaurant industry. That evening, a celebration of the industry’s great philanthropic efforts will commence at the gala recognizing the NRA’s Restaurant Public Affairs Conference Neighbor and Faces of Diversity Neighbor State Whip and Faces of Diversity award winners. Tommy Cvitanovich Day Two will feature a breakfast speaker and then it’s on to Capitol Hill for a day jam-packed with meetings with Louisiana’s Congressional Delegation. A dinner with all Louisiana conference attendees will wrap up the evening. Registration is now open! As of press time for this issue of , 24 LRA members have already registered for the conference, which represents a whopping 18 percent of the total registrants across the country!

Host Hotels JW Marriott Washington, D.C.

Renaissance Washington, D.C.

1331 Pennsylvania Ave.

Downtown Hotel

Washington, D.C. 20004

999 Ninth Street NW Washington, D.C. 20001

Deadline is March 1, 2017 for four or less rooms. Make your hotel reservations early! The host hotels sell out every year.

3. Stay focused on the outcome. The judge’s decision to put a hold on the rule was not a final one. Watch and wait for more information going forward. For the latest information on the overtime rule, visit Overtime.


Visit to register for the conference and to make your hotel reservations.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

For more than 40 years, Thompson Packers, Inc. has proudly catered to the food service industry. Hotels, restaurants and other institutions have continuously turned to Thompson for their “center-of-the-plate” meat products. They know Thompson has the knowledge and the capability to provide them with the right items to satisfy their customers.

Thompson’s professional yet customized service is like having a personal butcher at your disposal. What’s more, Thompson’s state of the art packaging affords consistency and “just cut” freshness on every item. Let us be your butcher. We’ve got the ideal cuts of beef, veal, lamb and pork — no matter what your needs might be.

Slidell, Louisiana


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Philanthropic restaurateur, businessman and comedian by Wendy Waren

Reggio puts the finishing touches on Zea’s famous Thai Ribs.

Observing Greg Reggio in action is hard to describe. When he puts his mind to something — a new restaurant, a fundraiser, emceeing an event or just participating in a committee meeting — his ability to look at any given situation from different perspectives is something by which we can all learn. When it’s time to work and get into the meat of a challenge, Reggio is all business. To see him in the kitchen or working with his staff in the restaurant reveals his true love of the culinary arts. He’s the first one to pitch in and make it (whatever it is) a huge spectacle of a success — and he possesses an amazing sense of humor, truly funny, really hilarious. His performance at past LRA Chair Tony Abadie’s retirement party is one that the attendees will not soon forget. And now Reggio takes the helm as the 2017 Louisiana Restaurant Association Chair — the organization’s highest volunteer position. In this role, Reggio will serve as the ambassador of Louisiana’s world-renowned restaurant industry. He will travel the state attending chapter meetings and philanthropic events throughout the year and foster


the engagement of one of the state’s largest business trade associations.

“I am truly honored by this opportunity,” said Reggio. “I’m excited to engage with as many of our LRA members across the state that I can and I consider it a privilege to further the restaurant industry’s position of importance in the culture and economy of our state.” Reggio, along with his partners Gary Darling and Hans Limburg, formed the Taste Buds after a cooking event brought them together in Hawaii in the late 1980s. They opened Semolina in 1990 and few years later, created the innovative and popular restaurant concept Zea Rotisserie &

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Bar. Their latest successful venture is Mizado Latin Kitchen, which opened in 2013. Taste Buds owns and operates 10 restaurants in south Louisiana and one in Mobile, Ala. “Greg was a student of mine when I was the president of the New Orleans Chef Association and head instructor and director of the association’s Apprentice Program,” said Darling. “Straight out of the gate he proved himself to be one of the brightest students I ever taught complete with personality and wit. He was the class clown that outperformed everyone and made it fun.” His involvement with the LRA started in the Greater New Orleans Chapter and Reggio was elected to the LRA state board in 2004. In 2007, he served as Chapter President. It was that year when at the chapter’s Taste of the Town event, Reggio could be found greeting guests upon arrival by standing on a folding chair selling raffl e tickets to the chapter’s second fundraiser Give a Little, Eat a Lot. He cracked jokes and turned the mundane task of selling raffl e tickets into a show (reminiscent of The Greatest Show on Earth) and the attendees ate it up. In service on the LRA state board, Reggio has chaired the Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO and Communications committees, and was appointed by Governor Jindal to the Louisiana Tourism Development Commission in 2008. He has attended the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference countless times and when asked to serve as State Whip to garner a delegation numbering in the top three among all state restaurant associations, he gladly accepted the challenge.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in Galveston, Texas and inundated the Jefferson Parish coastal town of Lafitte with water. Reggio and fellow members of the LRA Greater New Orleans Chapter served hot meals to more than 1,200 residents at the Lafitte Town Hall only three days after the community was re-opened to its citizens. With a team of support and volunteers, Reggio led a caravan to the tornado-ravaged town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 2010. His team was armed with fresh Louisiana seafood, musician Amanda Shaw and Louisiana warmth and hospitality. A similar event followed in Joplin, Missouri, which had also been hit by a tornado, leaving another path of destruction in its wake. Reggio made the national news for his efforts and those of the volunteers who joined him. “He’s always at the front lines rallying the troops for a charitable cause,” said Katy Casbarian, 2016 LRA Chair. “Greg gives his all in whatever he attempts as shown in his countless endeavors and we are lucky as LRA members to have someone as capable and dedicated as Chair.” His relief work earned him the 2011 LRA Active Member of the Year and also the LRA Restaurateur of the Year — the only member to receive dual awards in the same year. In the spring of 2012, the National Restaurant Association awarded Reggio and his partners Darling and Limburg, the National Restaurant Neighbor Award for their collective food relief efforts.

Mother Nature doesn’t sleep and seemingly neither does Reggio. In 2012, he rallied LRA members again and took his relief program of food, music and volunteers, “Buds for Braithewaite,” to the community of Braithwaite after Hurricane Isaac. Leading up to the event, Reggio worked with the LRA staff to host a drive for Braithwaite families after Lynn Oaks School, where volunteers had organized donations, was burglarized of $15,000 in relief items like diapers, food and cleaning supplies. In a matter of days, the news had spread and supplies began arriving at the LRA Headquarters in Metairie. All told, nearly double the amount of needed items were donated by LRA members and the community.

“You can always count on Greg to put in the time, talent and creativity, whatever it takes to get the job done,” added Darling. Most recently, Reggio was at the front lines after the state’s devastating August 2016 fl ood and coordinated the “Doin’ It for Denham (Springs)” event, where 25 restaurants and suppliers provided a day of food, music and fellowship for those impacted. “It is a great blessing to the LRA to have someone with Greg’s background serve as our chair. He dedicates so much of his time to ensure that the restaurant industry thrives in Louisiana, be it through food relief or engagement with our

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Continued on page 34


2017 LRA Officers

Chair Greg Reggio Taste Buds Management Zea Rotisserie & Grill Semolina & Mizado Greater New Orleans Baton Rouge & Lafayette

Vice Chair Rob King Pitt Grill & Southern Kitchens Lake Charles

Treasurer Paul Rotner Acme Oyster House Greater New Orleans & Baton Rouge

Secretary Peter Sclafani Ruffino’s Restaurant, Ruffino’s on the River & Ruffino’s at De la Ronde Hall Baton Rouge & Lafayette

At Large Keith Bond Mel’s Diner Broussard & Lafayette


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Take advantage of exclusive health care pricing and solutions for Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) members Save with rate discounts up to*

Contact your insurance broker today and ask for your LRA member UnitedHealthcare quote. For more information, contact Amy Hathaway at (269) 792-1207 or

on Medical 5% 5 Plans Specialty 5% on Benefits *Some restrictions apply.

*Some restrictions apply. ©2016 United HealthCare Services, Inc. Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or its affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare of Louisiana, Inc. M55701 4/16

ATTENTION ALL ORLEANS PARISH BUSINESSES! Liquid Environmental Solutions, the largest grease trap service provider in Louisiana, specializes in: • • • • • •

Grease trap inspections Complete cleaning of grease traps and interceptors Used cooking oil collection services Compliance guarantee Exceptional customer service Commitment to the environment

Call Today! (866) 694-7327

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


2017 LRA Chapter Presidents

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you... Greater New Orleans Jim Besselman

Acadiana John O’Meara

General Manager/COO, Petroleum Club of Lafayette Family: wife, Sheryl, two children- Sarah and Robert, and two grandchildren What’s the most useful tool in your kitchen (excluding standard appliances)?

Rational combi-therm oven.

You’ve just won the Powerball. What’s the first thing you would buy? A small complex of

homes for local retiring priests and nuns. Once they retire, many have no place to live and find themselves in an area rectory or convent never do actually get to retire.

Bayou Linda Ayers

Owner, Ernst Café, Aprés and Gator Boys in New Orleans Family: wife, Nina, and four childrenMichael, Monte, Susie and Smith College: University of Mississippi What’s the best meal you’ve ever had? A lunch in Sicily that lasted six hours. What’s the most useful tool in your kitchen (excluding standard appliances)? Panini press

Northeast Glen Lewellyan

General Manager, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in West Monroe Family: Two children- Jeremy and Lauren What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Owner/Manager, Ground Pat’i in Houma College: University of New Orleans and Nicholls State University

What is the best meal you’ve ever had? In a restaurant, tied between meals at Jean-Georges and Del Posto. But my Italian mom’s cooking is the best!

What was your first car? 1971 Volkswagen Beetle

Cenla Scott Laliberte

Director of Operations and Food & Beverage Manager, The Diamond Grill, The Mirror Room and The Bentley Room Restaurant in Alexandria College: Bridgewater State College and LSU-Alexandria What’s the most useful tool in your kitchen (excluding standard appliances)? My culinary

team. I cannot cook to save my life. I rely upon my executive chef to be creative, challenge our team to constantly improve skills and execute each meal with the highest regard to quality and craftsmanship. What was your first car?

1986 Honda CRX

Greater Baton Rouge Jeremy Langlois

Culinary Director, White Oak Plantation/ Chef John Folse and Co. in Baton Rouge Family: wife, Theresa and two daughters- Piper and Parker College: Nicholls State University What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

Dinner at Daniel by Daniel Boulud with my wife in New York. You’ve just won the Powerball. What’s the first thing you would buy? I honestly have

Opah with caramelized Maui onion, Haiku tomato and a forbidden black rice cake at Mama’s Fish House in Maui, Hawaii. What was your first car? 1979 Chevrolet Custom Deluxe pickup truck

Northshore Craig Smith

Managing Partner, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers in Covington Family: Married, with three children What was your first car? Honda Accord You’ve just won the Powerball? What’s the first thing you would buy? Other businesses

Northwest Jason McKinney

Managing Partner, Texas Roadhouse in Bossier City Family: wife, Jamie and three children, Alex, Allie and Addison College: Texas A&M- Texarkana What’s the most useful tool in your kitchen (excluding standard appliances)? Knife What was your first car? 1982 Monte Carlo

Southwest Ben Ferguson

District Sales Manager, Sysco Foodservice in Lake Charles Family: wife, Abby and sons, Samuel and James College: Johnson & Wales University What’s the most useful tool in your kitchen (excluding standard appliances)? Chef’s knife What was your first car? An old Toyota Camry

everything I need. I would look into taking care of my daughters’ future and set up a charity.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017



TASTE of the


Louisiana Restaurant Association Greater New Orleans Chapter


presented by First NBC Bank

Thursday, October 13, 2016




per person


2nd Annu

Beau Chêne Country Club

602 North Beau Chêne Drive, Mandeville Platinum Sponsor - $3,000


Product distribution on four holes. Exclusive signage and recognition on all printed materials. Foursome is included.

Reserved Table of 8

Gold Sponsor - $1,600

Product distribution on two holes. Exclusive signage and recognition on all printed materials. Add a Foursome for an additional $800.

(wine & signage included)

Silver Sponsor - $1,100

Product distribution on one hole. Sponsor sign with company name on course. Exclusive signage and recognition on all printed materials. Add a Foursome for an additional $800.


REGISTRATION - 8 a.m. Shotgun Start - 10 a.m. Awards Presentation - 3 p.m.

Bob King


of Pitt Gril

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Foursome - $1,000

Live music by Cold Sweat!


777 Avenue L’Auberge

The Louisiana Restaurant Association’s (LRA) nine chapters are a vital component of the Association’s mission—advance and protect Louisiana restaurant and foodservice industry. The chapters localize the member experience, provide development opportunities and cultivated emerging leaders in the industry. Each chapter’s board of directors and committees, facilitate the delivery of knowledgeable guest speakers, the exchange of ideas and best practices and support the LRA’s advocacy efforts at the local level. Lake Charles


Company Address City





Please print the name of each golfer in your foursome.

Limited to 288 golfers. Scoring based on a four-person scramble format. All golf participants will receive a gift certificate to the onsite Nike store, which will be open from 8 - 10 a.m.

6 - 9 p.m.

Golfer 1 Golfer 2

Annual Meeting, 5:30 p.m.

Golfer 3 Golfer 4

Sponsorship: ❏ Platinum–$3,000 ❏ Gold–$1,600 ❏ Silver–$1,100 ❏ +Team–$800

To purchase tickets, visit (Upcoming Events).

Special L’Auberge Room Rate, $109 Call (337) 395-7777 Group Code #SLRA16

Fees: ❏ Foursome–$1,000

Total amount due $

For more information, contact Courtney Waguespack, or (225) 328-2163.

Please complete this form and e-mail to If you would like to pay by credit card, or if you need further information, call Jodi at (504) 636-6551 or e-mail

In 2016, the chapter presidents and vice presidents convene for the annual Leadership Conference and set their fundraising goals for the LRA Education Foundation and the Hospitality Political Action Committee. Collectively, the chapters contributed $134,245 to the LRAEF and $83,000 to the Hospitality PAC.

Acadiana Chapter

Cenla Chapter

To kick of the LRA Acadiana Chapter year of activities, it hosted an award’s dinner recognizing 25 Restaurant Legends — those employees that have dedicated 20 years or more to one establishment. This chapter effort helped the LRA reach its 70th Anniversary goal of recognizing 70 individuals as Restaurant Legends, who have made the restaurant industry their career choice. Guest speakers throughout the year addressed a number of topics relevant to the industry and included Ben Mitchell, Louisiana Seafood Certification Program; and Mayor-President Joel Robideaux of Lafayette Consolidated Government, who spoke about the economic impact of restaurants in the area. Other presentations included one about cyber security and the LRA Education Foundation’s area ProStart® programs. Its signature fundraiser, Death By Chocolate, in partnership with the Acadiana Symphony and in its third year, raised $12,000 for the LRAEF and $6,000 for Hospitality PAC. Finally, the chapter awarded its annual awards to: Active Member of the Year- Mark Alleman; Associate Member of the Year- Clay Fasnacht; Hall of Fame- Pat and Maugie Pastor; Distinguished Service- Rep. Stuart Bishop and Restaurateur of the Year- Richard Rivet.

Now in its 23rd year, the LRA Cenla Chapter hosts thousands at its Taste of Mardi Gras event each year, the Friday before Mardi Gras Day. As the longest running chapter fundraiser, this event serves as the Mardi Gras Ball for those area residents who are not members of a Mardi Gras krewe and features cuisine from LRA members. The success of this annual event allowed the Cenla Chapter to meet and exceed their LRAEF goal with $13,000 and Hospitality PAC goal with $15,000. This year, more than 36 restaurants will participate in the festivities and throngs of people are purchasing VIP tables and tickets well in advance.

Bayou Chapter Bayou members rallied to present 17 industry employees with Restaurant Legends awards at the chapter’s January meeting. These members collectively had nearly 500 years of service to their employers and further proved that rewarding careers abound in the industry. Guest speakers at their meetings in 2016 included: Ben Mitchell, who underscored benefits of the Louisiana Seafood Certification Program; a representative of the LRAEF and the LRA SIF; and the members participated in a tour of the Donner-Peltier Distillery. For three years now, the Bayou Chapter’s Culinary Showcase has become one of the area’s most popular events, open to LRA members and the public alike. It is so successful that is has allowed the Bayou Chapter to exceed its annual goals. In 2016, the chapter raised $7,500 for the LRAEF and $3,500 for the Hospitality PAC.

Baton Rouge Chapter The Greater Baton Rouge Chapter hosted several informative chapter meetings throughout the year. Ben Mitchell made a guest speaker appearance on behalf of the Louisiana Seafood Certification Program for the chapter’s April meeting and Hunter Territo with X Design spoke about social media and marketing at the chapter’s July meeting. The chapter held its awards night in November and recognized: Member of the Year- Lisa LeCoq; Leading Chef- Colt Patin and President’s Service Award- Marty Viator. The chapter also hosted two successful annual events in 2016—their annual golf tournament in the Spring and Taste of the South in the Fall. Both popular events saw the chapter shatter their fundraising goals. They raised $39,000 for the LRAEF and $25,000 for the Hospitality PAC.

Greater New Orleans Chapter The Greater New Orleans Chapter invited the LRAEF to present its two signature programs—ProStart and the Scholarship Fund—to members of the chapter in March and in May, Kim Priez of the New Orleans CVB gave members an overview of the IPW Conference of international travel writers and tour operators, which returned to the City for the first time since 2002. The chapter hosts the premiere golf tournament in the Southeast Louisiana region and the 200 spots sell out in record time each year. Last year, the chapter also organized the Feeding Frenzy raffl e in which the grand prize was 50 $100 restaurant gift cards to restaurants across the New Orleans metro area. The 2016 golf tournament and the raffl e helped the chapter raise $50,000 for the LRAEF and $25,000 for the Hospitality PAC. Continued on page 16

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


Office Depot Store Purchasing Card a great LRA benefit!

30% save up to

Continued from page 15

Northeast Chapter The lineup of events in the Northeast Chapter boasted Scott Green of the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) who spoke about the LDH’s efforts to improve the re-inspection process for foodservice establishments. Chef Shane Henderson from Ben E. Keith spoke about managing food costs in the spring and in the fall, the chapter held its October meeting at Landry Vineyards. For the second year in a row, the Northeast Chapter partnered with DeltaStyle Magazine to host the “Best of the Delta” event, which honors more than 150 winners in six categories, determined by the public, which casts more than 20,000 votes. This year’s partnership helped generated $5,000 for the LRA Education Foundation and $2,500 for the Hospitality PAC. 2017 LRA Chair Greg Reggio conducted the Northeast Chapter Board Installation in November in preparation for the new year.

on Office Depot products and services.

Northshore Chapter

DON’T HAVE A CARD? Contact the LRA office at (504) 454-2277

The Northshore Chapter hosted its spring meeting, which featured a representative of the LRAEF who provided members with news of the 10 ProStart programs in the area. Summer saw the return of the Northshore Chapter’s annual Serve It Up for Education co-ed volleyball tournament, now in its fourth year. The 2016 edition helped the chapter raise $6,500 for the LRAEF and $3,000 for the Hospitality PAC. In advance of the November presidential election, Dean Martin of Kushner LaGraize presented the chapter with the candidates’ tax positions and how each would impact their business.

Northwest Chapter

We know that

running a restaurant, is about more than just great food.

That’s why we are here to support you with great people, products and service! Get it right from us.

The chapter held its spring meeting at Red River Brewing, which included a tour and tasting and during its fall meeting, 2017 LRA Chair Greg Reggio attended and installed the chapter board of directors. The Northwest Chapter’s inaugural fundraiser, Rooftop Rendezvous, will take place March 6, 2017 at the Remington Suite Hotel & Spa in Downtown Shreveport. It will be a beautiful evening under the stars to raise money for the LRAEF and the Hospitality PAC.

Southwest Chapter In August, the Southwest Chapter invited Tammy SmithermanBreaux of Heartland Payment Systems to present on the topic of EMV chargebacks and the impact the new rules will impose on restaurants who have yet to install the EMV chip readers. In November, the chapter hosted its second annual Legacy Night which celebrated the industry, philanthropic and civic achievements of Bob King of Pitt Grill-Southern Kitchens in Lake Charles. The event helped the Southwest Chapter raise $5,000 for the LRA and $3,000 for the Hospitality PAC.

R E I N H A RT N E W OR LE A N S D I V I SI ON 918 Edwards Ave., Harahan, LA 70123 | 800-488-3988 |

ReinhartAd_122016.indd 1


12/22/16 10:40 AM

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017



Provided by the National Restaurant Association Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Each year, the National Restaurant Association surveys nearly 1,300 professional chefs – members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) – to explore food and beverage trends at restaurants in the coming year. The annual “What’s Hot” list gives a peak into which food, beverages and culinary themes will be the new items on restaurant menus that everyone is talking about in 2017.

Top 20 Food Trends 1. New cuts of meat (e.g. shoulder tender, oyster steak, Vegas Strip Steak, Merlot cut) 2. Street food-inspired dishes (e.g. tempura, kabobs, dumplings, pupusas)

According to the survey, menu trends that will be heating up in 2017 include poke, house-made charcuterie, street food, food halls and ramen. Trends that are cooling down include quinoa, black rice, and vegetarian and vegan cuisines.

3. Healthful kids’ meals

“Menu trends today are beginning to shift from ingredientbased items to concept-based ideas, mirroring how consumers tend to adapt their activities to their overall lifestyle philosophies, such as environmental sustainability and nutrition,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research for the National Restaurant Association. “Also among the top trends for 2017, we’re seeing several examples of house-made food items and various global fl avors, indicating that chefs and restaurateurs are further experimenting with from-scratch preparation and a broad base of f lavors.”

6. Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g., chorizo scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes)

“Chefs are on an endless quest to redefine how consumers eat,” commented ACF National President Thomas Macrina, CEC, CCA, AAC. “By masterfully transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary, culinary professionals are at the forefront of changing the culinary landscape.”

13. House-made pickles

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,298 American Culinary Federation members in October 2016, asking them to rate 169 items as a “hot trend,” “yesterday’s news,” or “perennial favorite” on menus in 2017.

17. Protein-rich grains/seeds (e.g., hemp, chia, quinoa, fl ax)

4. House-made charcuterie 5. Sustainable seafood

7. House-made condiments 8. Authentic ethnic cuisine 9. Heirloom fruit and vegetables 10. African fl avors 11. Ethnic spices (e.g. harissa, curry, peri peri, ras el hanout, shichimi) 12. House-made sausage 14. Ancient grains (e.g. kamut, spelt, amaranth, lupin) 15. House-made/artisan ice cream 16. Whole grain items in kids’ meals 18. Artisan cheeses 19. Savory desserts 20. Gourmet items in kids’ meals

Top 10 Concept Trends 1. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g. restaurant gardens, onsite beer brewing, house-made items) 2. Chef-driven fast-casual concepts 3. Natural ingredients/clean menus 4. Environmental sustainability 5. Locally sourced produce 6. Locally sourced meat and seafood 7. Food waste reduction 8. Meal kits (e.g. pre-measured/prepped raw ingredients for home preparation) 9. Simplicity/back to basics 10. Nutrition

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017



Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

We know hospitality.

In Louisiana, hospitality is a way of life. The LRA SIF: Protects your business Offers best-in-class service Serving restaurants and other hospitality-related businesses since 1982 Call (504) 454-2277 or contact Debbie Cuccia at or Babs Schultz at for a quote today.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

LRA SIF Trustees declare $2.8 million dividend The Trustees of the Louisiana Restaurant Association Self Insurer’s Fund for Workers’ Compensation (LRA SIF) recently declared a dividend of $2.8 million to eligible plan participants. The LRA SIF provides an industry-specific workers’ compensation solution for LRA members. Its Board of Trustees is comprised of fund participants who provide oversight as to the funds management and financial controls. It is a premier benefit of being a member of the LRA. For the 29th consecutive year, the LRA SIF has returned to members almost $109 million in fund surplus and safety dividends to eligible members. This year’s dividend will include eligible participants from the fund years 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 to be paid in April 2017. “Delivering the best possible workers’ compensation program for our members and their employees while keeping our focus on how to manage outcomes effectively is our number one priority,” said Stan Harris, President and CEO of the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund. “Over the past few years, our competitive rates have allowed our payroll value covered to increase by 60 percent. Our overarching goal remains to get our injured workers treated properly and back to work as quickly as possible.” The LRA Self Insurer’s Fund was created in 1982 to provide a focused solution for the workers’ compensation needs of Louisiana’s hospitality industry and has remained the best option for LRA member’s since its inception. To be eligible for this year’s dividend, the member must be in good standing with the LRA and the LRA SIF, and have a loss ratio that is equal to or less than 70 percent of premium for the years declared as of March 2, 2017. “We are pleased to announce a dividend for the 29th consecutive year,” added Harris. “Our members’ commitment to workplace safety paired with our fund staff’s providing best in class service with responsive and timely claims handling has resulted in this year’s dividend declaration.” To learn more about how the LRA SIF can help you reduce your workers’ compensation costs and to obtain a quote, contact Babs Schultz at (504) 454-2277, or your independent insurance agent today.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

New SIF Member Benefit! Video On-Demand Library The Louisiana Restaurant Association Self Insurer’s Fund (LRA SIF) is pleased to announce a new safety service for our members in association with our partner Midlands Management. This new service provides members access to the SAFETY SOURCE Video On-Demand library. This valuable resource, consisting of more than 750 titles, is available to our members at no charge, as part of your workers’ compensation coverage through the LRA SIF. This online library will assist our members in developing effective safety programs, hazard recognition and compliance with safety regulations and standards in their workplace. Statistics prove that employers who implement effective safety and health programs can reduce workplace injuries and illnesses resulting in significantly lower workers’ compensation costs. In this online resource, you will find a diverse listing of videos to help with your loss prevention efforts and increase safety awareness for your staff. You are welcome to utilize the appropriate titles as frequently as required, and you can preview the videos before use in the ONLINE PREVIEW section of the website. To access the videos, visit LRA SIF members will receive an email with a username and password. Viewing Tips :: Viewing the videos only requires the designated username and password. :: Once you begin a video, you can pause or rewind as long as you remain on the same screen. :: For documentation purposes, each video has an accompanying quiz which can be downloaded and printed for convenience. Please feel free to contact the Loss Prevention Department with any workplace safety needs or questions you might have at (504) 454-2277.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


It’s Audit Time 2016 Final LRA SIF Premium Audit Information It’s audit time! Because your workers’ compensation premium is based on your payroll, each and every policyholder must partake in an annual premium audit as stated in your Indemnity Agreement. The annual premium audit is simply a review of your records to ensure that you pay only the premium necessary for your business’ exposure. The Louisiana Restaurant Association Self Insurer’s Fund (LRA SIF) would like to make the premium audit process as easy as possible for everyone involved. Preparing in advance and having the proper documentation available at the time of the audit will help ensure that the audit is completed quickly and accurately.

To keep the audit process simple and speedy, have your journals, ledgers, check stubs, 941s, 940, state unemployment records, cash disbursements, W2s, 1099s and certificates of insurance ready before the auditor contacts you. The auditor will review these records and will request copies of your 940, 941s and state unemployment wage reports to submit to the LRA SIF along with your audit for verification purposes. If you have any questions, please contact our Premium Audit Department at (504) 454-2277, (504) 636-6529 or (800) 256-4572.

You will be contacted during the first quarter of 2017 by our audit service company, McGuffey and Associates or via mail-in form from the LRA SIF. The audit service will contact you by mail or phone to set an appointment. This correspondence will provide you with a name and phone number of the auditor to reschedule if the appointed date is not convenient for you.

This year, the LRA SIF will use five types of final premium audits: 1. A physical audit, during which the auditor will meet with you or your representative to review your records and submit the audit report and supporting documentation to the LRA SIF. 2. A phone audit, wherein the auditor will contact you to discuss and receive fax or email payroll records that will be submitted to the LRA SIF. 3. A virtual audit, consisting of telephone and in depth email correspondences. 4. A mail-in audit which consists of an audit form that must be completed and mailed back to the audit service or the LRA SIF with supporting documentation for processing. 5. A cyber audit, wherein members will log into a secure website and provide the payroll information, eliminating the task of completing audit forms by hand.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

WE’RE JUST TAKING OFF. US Foods is set to re-launch as an even stronger force in the foodservice industry. And we’ll continue to revolutionize. In the last three years, we’ve released more than 300 new and innovative products, created the first-ever integrated industry mobile app, pioneered e-commerce and much, much more. Get on board, it’s going to be a great ride. ©2015 US Foods, Inc. All rights reserved.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


We’re pretty proud of our way of life in Louisiana, and improving our well-being doesn’t have to mean giving up our favorite things like good food, great music and legendary festivals. Rather, it means making smart choices so we can enjoy them longer. Small choices towards wellness, enabled by the environments we’re in every day, allow us the opportunity for balance. The 2015 America’s Health Rankings lists Louisiana as 50th in overall health; 39th in diabetes; 46th in smoking; and 47th in obesity. Well-Ahead Louisiana is an initiative started by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) aimed at improving the health and wellness of Louisiana citizens. Well-Ahead Louisiana promotes and recognizes healthy choices in the spaces and places where we live and work every day that make it easier for us all to live healthier, happier lives—from going tobacco-free and ensuring healthy lunch options, to supporting workplace fitness programs. Well-Ahead promotes voluntary changes towards health in communities throughout the state. This is about Louisiana’s people, leaders, businesses and organizations taking action because it is the right - and healthy - thing to do.

Restaurant WellSpots Because so many Louisianans enjoy spending time with family and friends while eating a meal, restaurants have a great opportunity to impact the health of their communities. By doing things like adopting a comprehensive smoke-free policy, offering and promoting healthy menu options, and offering healthier preparations at no upcharge, you are helping to make the healthy choice the easy choice for Louisiana residents. The WellSpot designation process begins with an online assessment. The assessments help compare what you are currently doing in your organization with Well-Ahead’s benchmark standards. From there, you will receive an action plan that will lead you to take action on the benchmark areas you can improve. Once you have taken action, the Well-Ahead team will review your documentation and will designate you as a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 WellSpot. After designation, Well-Ahead will assist you in celebrating your success and will arm you with resources to continue to make healthy decisions for yourself and your organization. Visit to get started!

A key part of the Well-Ahead Louisiana initiative is recognizing places and organizations that are working to make it easier for Louisiana citizens to live well. Upon meeting certain wellness benchmarks, these environments are designated as “WellSpots.” LDH staff works closely with worksites, hospitals, schools, child care centers, colleges/universities and restaurants to help them identify and meet the wellness benchmarks. Once LDH staff verifies an organization has met enough benchmarks, it will be identified as a Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 WellSpot. Level 1 is the highest level of designation.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Know Better. Eat Better. Domestic seafood is always the best choice when it comes to health, sustainability and freshness—and when it’s from Louisiana, you know the flavor will be unbeatable. So choose domestic seafood from Louisiana. Because now, you know better.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

CHARITABLE Donations for Food Inventory

By Jennifer McGinnis CPA, Bourgeois Bennett The Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015 made permanent the Section 170(e)(3)(c) enhanced deduction associated with qualified contributions of food inventory to qualified organizations. The PATH Act also made it easier for taxpayers who are not required to maintain inventories to take the deduction.

In order to qualify for the enhanced deduction, the following conditions must be met:

The amount of the deduction varies based on different factors, such as whether the food is inventory or not, whether the taxpayer is cash basis or accrual basis, etc. In any case, the deduction is meant to exceed the amount you would be able to deduct simply by writing off the food. This tax policy provides a nice benefit to philanthropic taxpayers by allowing them an enhanced deduction on their charitable donations of food inventory. Please contact us if you need more information in regards to this tax deduction. On another tax note, are you wondering what your income taxes will look like in 2017? So do we. Given the fact that the Presidency and control of the House and Senate are held by the same party, the odds

1. The contribution must be from your trade or business and must be apparently wholesome food. This is further defined as food intended for human consumption that meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions. 2. The food is to be used only for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants. 3. The use of the food is related to the charitable organization’s exempt purpose or function. 4. The organization doesn’t transfer the food for money, other property, or services. 5. You receive a written statement from the exempt organization stating it will comply with requirements (2), (3), and (4). 6. The charitable organization isn’t a private nonoperating foundation. 7. The food satisfies any applicable requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and regulations on the date of transfer and for the previous 180 days.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

of tax legislation in 2017 are high. In addition, Mr. Trump and the House Republicans are promising major changes. Both Mr. Trump and House Republicans have issued proposals for tax reform, but a lot can change between now and the enactment of any legislation. The President, the House and the Senate may develop rival proposals during consideration of tax legislation. Further, unless the legislation becomes part of the Budget Resolution, passage would require 60 votes in the Senate. If part of the Budget Resolution, only a majority vote is needed, but provisions that lose revenue can only last for ten years (remember the Bush tax cuts). We anticipate that individual tax rates will decline, but individual itemized deductions may be limited. Business tax rates should also decline, but some business credits could be eliminated. Bonus depreciation will likely survive (in fact, Congress is considering complete expensing of assets). One topic in focus is whether to change passthrough entities such as partnerships or S corporations to tax-paying entities. What can you do? Keep your eye on developments. Some provisions could be effective before the date of enactment. In addition, if you anticipate the expensing/depreciation rules will be more favorable under the new legislation, you may want to delay acquisition of fixed assets until you are comfortable that the date placed in service will be after the effective date of the legislation. Keep in mind that some of the more favorable proposals may have to be weakened to meet budget considerations.

By following the progress of the legislation through Congress, you (or your tax advisor) can anticipate steps to take to minimize your taxes.


OF SUCCESS Since 1923 solutions and results have been our specialty. We serve the restaurant and hospitality industry by catering to their specific needs. Choose one of our house specialties like accounting services, business valuation, tax planning, employee benefit planning, succession planning and many other items from our menu of services. Everything is made to order - and with so many years of experience, we can probably offer a little lagniappe too. New Orleans 504.831.4949 | North Shore 985.246.3022 Houma 985.868.0139 | Thibodaux 985.447.5243

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


A Post-Election

SURVIVAL GUIDE for Employers

How To Address Divided And Distracted Workers By Lariza Hebert and Janet Hendrick, Fisher & Phillips

In the three months since the culmination of what many call the most bitterly contested presidential election in American history, employers are already reporting the confl ict among employees is unlike any other in modern times. The 2016 election brought out the good, the bad, and the ugly in many Americans and, in turn, many American workplaces. Unfortunately, the divisiveness did not end on November 8. Time Magazine recently referred to our nation as “The Divided States of America,” and within the past few months we have seen several high-profile examples of dissension between corporate leaders and their employees over the election results. Some confl icts have resulted in employees leaving – or being invited to leave – over differences in opinion with their chief executives. In anticipation of the inauguration on January 20, 2017, and the months and years to follow, employers can take steps to address continuing issues that result from political discussions at work. The Perils of Politics at Work Employers often prioritize positive attitudes and teamwork among employees. Yet the election has provided a fresh topic for disagreements – some vociferous – between coworkers. These types of disagreements tend to keep workers from devoting their best efforts to their appointed tasks. So how should an employer respond when an employee expresses particularly enthusiastic support for, or demonizes, the president-elect? Or what if employees voice their strong opinions to coworkers with differing views? You must first understand the risks involved with such political discussions in the workplace before figuring out how best to address them. Risks of political discourse at work include loss of productivity, decreased morale and distraction. Time spent at the watercooler discussing the election eats into the workday. What may begin as a polite expression of views can quickly turn into a heated debate, leaving employees

with lingering resentment and an inability to work together productively. And those who believe politics have no place in the workplace may become increasingly despondent when their coworkers continue to discuss these issues. Another risk is that an expression of views on some of the election’s hotly contested issues – such as immigration and women’s rights – can result in a complaint of unlawful harassment or discrimination. Although federal antidiscrimination laws, such as Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, do not include protections for employees who engage in political expression, they do prohibit discrimination based on race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age and disability. Moreover, some state laws provide additional protected classes. Discussion concerning a political candidate, or his or her stance on a protected class, can increase the risk of a discrimination or retaliation claim under federal or state law. For example, imagine one of your managers says something like, “Trump is too old to be president” or “a woman should never be president” or “I can’t wait until they build that wall.” An older employee who is later terminated may point to the Trump remark as evidence of age discrimination, a woman passed over for promotion may bolster a gender discrimination claim with the thinly veiled Clinton comment, while the wall-building comment could support a national origin lawsuit. These examples illustrate how the line can quickly blur between politics and possible discriminatory views that make an employer vulnerable to a discrimination or harassment claim. As President-Elect Trump Used to Say, “You’re Fired!” Can employers discipline or fire employees for expressing support for, or disparaging, President-elect Trump? In most states, employment is “at will,” meaning employees can be fired for any lawful reason, or for no reason at all. Although a small number of states offer some protection to employees involved in politics, most employers have the legal right to fire or discipline employees for engaging in political activity or expression at work. Continued on page 32


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Fisher Phillips

A National Labor and Employment Law Firm Serving Louisiana Restaurants The attorneys at Fisher Phillips are ready to help you with all of your labor and employment legal issues. We help prevent legal problems by auditing payroll and personnel records to assure compliance with applicable laws, reviewing I-9 forms and procedures to assure compliance before a surprise government inspection, training managers on effective techniques for hiring and firing employees, and avoiding harassment claims. In addition, we draft and review effective employee handbooks and provide day-to-day advice and consultation to hospitality employers on every aspect of labor and employment laws. Fisher Phillips is a national labor and employment law firm representing employers in labor, employment, civil rights, employee benefits, and immigration matters. Our New Orleans lawyers are joined by 360 attorneys in 33 offices and we are continuing to expand. Our range of experience enables us to bring efficient and practical solutions to today’s labor and employment problems.

Michelle I. Anderson, Associate

Keith M. Pyburn Jr., Partner

Labor and Employment Counsels to the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

201 St. Charles Avenue • Suite 3710 • New Orleans, Louisiana 70170 Phone: (504) 522-3303 • Fax: (504) 529-3850 • Atlanta Baltimore Boston Charlotte Chicago Cleveland Columbia Columbus Dallas Denver Fort Lauderdale Gulfport Houston Irvine Kansas City Las Vegas Los Angeles Louisville Memphis New Jersey New Orleans New York Orlando Philadelphia Phoenix Portland Sacramento San Antonio San Diego San Francisco Seattle Tampa Washington, DC Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


Continued from page 30

But what happens when that one boisterous employee makes a grand gesture, stands up on a chair and shouts to his colleagues that his employer’s rules barring political speech are illegally inhibiting their freedom of speech? Former Supreme Court Justice Holmes explained it best when he wrote “[an employee] may have a constitutional right to talk politics, but he has no constitutional right [to be employed].” It is pure myth that employees have a constitutional right to free speech while at work. With few exceptions, the First Amendment does not protect private sector employees who engage in political activity or expression at work from adverse action. Private sector employers may lawfully terminate or discipline employees for expressing their political beliefs. You must keep in mind, however, that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) protects employees who engage in “concerted activities” for their “mutual aid or protection,” whether or not your workplace is unionized. If a group of employees (and under some circumstances, a single employee) discusses politics in relation to wages or workplace conditions, you should be mindful of their rights under the NLRA and assess the risks before imposing discipline. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), which enforces the NLRA, has repeatedly ruled in favor of employees fired for protesting workplace terms and conditions on social media, even when the employee uses profane language or posts derogatory comments about the employer or managers. Can’t We All Just Get Along? About a quarter of American businesses have implemented some policy governing politics in the workplace. If you have not already done so, you can implement a policy that addresses the propriety of political expression, office decorations and apparel in the workplace, spelling out the consequences for failure to comply. A clear and consistently applied policy is the key to keeping your workforce productive and minimizing distracting discourse. Should you choose to allow political speech in the workplace, review your company’s policies and codes that address discrimination, harassment and bullying. Remind your employees that your code of conduct mandates mutual respect among employees, and failure to abide by the code will result in disciplinary action. If you do not have a code of conduct, now is a good time to implement one. Refer to your social media policy and remind your employees that what they do on the internet is never private. Reiterate that attacking a colleague’s belief, political or not, can constitute harassment. Also remind employees of your open door policy, and encourage those who feel that they have been subjected to harassment or discrimination to utilize the policy. Be sure to promptly investigate all complaints and concerns.


A simple step you can take right away is to prepare and distribute a one-page summary of relevant policies. This will remind employees of your code of conduct, anti-harassment rules, nondiscrimination policies and any other guidelines that govern politics in your workplace. You should emphasize that, regardless of political views, employees are expected to treat each other with respect and professionalism. This one-pager can state that your company has a zero tolerance policy for name-calling or bullying because of someone’s political ideologies. You can thus turn the election into an opportunity to educate employees about mutual respect, perhaps bridging the divide between groups at work. Action Steps In conclusion, here is a helpful summary of action steps you can take to minimize risks and ensure post-election harmony in your workplace. 1. Be aware of all applicable laws in the states where your company does business. Some states have laws protecting employees from adverse action because of political affiliation, while some have laws that protect employees based on their off-work activities. 2. Review and, if necessary, strengthen policies governing workplace behavior including political expression. Ensure that prohibited conduct and consequences are clear. 3. Consistently enforce your policies. Inconsistent enforcement is a surefire way to increase the risk of a discrimination or harassment claim. 4. Create a plan to address possible heated political discussions among workers. You can even draft scripts for managers. They can be geared toward emphasizing employees’ worth, teamwork, and shared goals. 5. Train frontline managers and supervisors to be aware of discussions and conduct that could be considered bullying or harassment. Managers and supervisors should know not to ignore such behavior, and to take prompt steps to diffuse these situations. 6. Remind employees of available resources, including human resources professionals, employee assistance programs, educational opportunities and any other avenues where they can raise concerns. 7. Finally, remain fl exible. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and even the best-laid plans may not prepare you for every possible situation. However, clear expectations and well-trained leaders should go a long way to address most scenarios.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

You never compromise on


So why compromise on your payment processor?

With Heartland, you get the solutions you need to help your business improve and grow. Discover the peace of mind that comes with knowledgeable resources, industry-leading security and clear communication from a company that cares as much about the success of your business as you do.

Payment Processing Gift & Loyalty Payroll Solutions

To learn more, contact Tammy Smitherman 225.610.4995 or

Endorsed provider for

46 State Restaurant Associations Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017 Š 2014 Heartland Payment Systems, Inc.


Continued from page 11

members. When I encouraged him to consider submitting his name to join our executive committee he was at first reluctant believing he might lack something. I told him that he was exactly what we needed in a leader — passionate, knowledgeable, visionary — all with the ability to share a laugh, a joke or a kind word. We look forward to Greg guiding the LRA this year as we all expect it to have its share of memorable moments,” said LRA President & CEO Stan Harris. Reggio is a past board member and remains actively involved in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. In addition, Reggio is the past President of the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. Currently, he also serves as a board member of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. “He’s the real deal…all of the above,” said Darling. “The LRA and the restaurant industry is fortunate to have him in this role.” Reggio and his chef partners were also honored as regional finalists in the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Awards, sponsored by Inc. Magazine and Merrill Lynch, and published in the April 2006 national publication Chain Leader for growth and rebounding from Hurricane Katrina.

Reggio mentors ProStart students.

New I-9 form now in use Restaurant and other employers are now required to use a revised version of the government’s I-9 form when hiring new employees.

Other enhancements include:

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, published its new version of the form Nov. 14, 2016. As of Jan. 22, 2017, all U.S. employers must start using it. Employers can use the current version, dated March 8, 2013, until Jan. 21. After that, they must use the form dated Nov. 14, 2016.

:: Embedded instructions that pop up when the cursor hovers over each field.

I-9 forms are used to verify an employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States. The USCIS said the revised three-page form will be easier to complete on a computer. It also is designed to reduce confusion and will help employers avoid technical errors that could result in hefty fines. The changes include: :: Prompts to ensure information is entered correctly. It will notify the user of any missing fields, dates inputted incorrectly and social security numbers that are missing a digit.

:: Drop-down lists and calendars.

:: Instructions separate from the form. Employers are still required to present the instructions to employees completing the form. :: Buttons that allow users to access instructions electronically, print the form and clear the form to start over. :: A QR code that’s generated once the form gets printed. This can streamline and facilitate auditor reviews. The USCIS said employers must remember that the revised I-9 form must still be printed out so employees and/or their preparers can sign them. They can be stored on- or offsite in a single format or combination of formats, such as paper, microfilm or microfiche or electronically. The new I-9 form can be downloaded at or by emailing to request a copy.

:: Improved naming convention. Employees now only need to provide “other last names used” rather than “all other names” used. This is expected to avoid possible discrimination issues and protect privacy of transgender and other individuals who have changed their first names. :: A dedicated area for additional information. Employers currently provide this in the margins of the form.


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Are you taking full advantage of your membership? The LRA and the NRA offer a number of benefits designed to save you time and money. Members who are actively involved in the programs offered by both organizations get the most for their membership dollar. We’re committed to making your membership work for you! For more information about these programs, contact the person listed below, visit or call Pam St. Pierre, VP of Member Services at (800) 256-4572.

Exclusive Programs, Discounts & Service for LRA Members NA TIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION AFFORDABLE CARE ACT Get the facts and how the federal healthcare law will affect you. GROUP INSURANCE Contact your insurance broker and ask for your LRA member UnitedHealthcare quote. For more information, contact Amy Hathaway, (269) 792-1207 or ADA TOOLKIT Free to Members Call the LRA Communications Department, (504) 454-2277 CONSERVE/SUSTAINABILITY EDUCATION PROGRAM Utilizing ‘green’ building principles can reduce operating costs by up to 9 percent PAYMENT & PAYROLL PROCESSING, LOYALTY PROGRAMS Heartland Payment Systems Tammy Smitherman-Breaux (225) 610-4995

FEED AMERICA’S CHILDREN HEALTHFULLY Kids LiveWell (202) 331-5900 MUSIC LICENSING DISCOUNTS BMI Rob Conrad (615) 401-2908 Save 20% off licensing fees by paying online.

MANAGE MY RESTAURANT LOUISIANA RESTAURANT ASSOCIA TION BEST-IN-CLASS WORKERS’ COMPENSATION PROGRAM LRA SELF INSURER’S FUND Debbie Cuccia (800) 256-4572 WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIMS HOTLINE LRA SELF INSURER’S FUND (877) 257-2743 FOOD SAFETY CERTIFICATION ServSafe®, 8-hour food safety and sanitation course to register (504) 454-2277 SERVSAFE ALCOHOL ONLINE TRAINING (504) 454-2277 OFFICE SUPPLIES DISCOUNT Save with Office Depot on supplies, copies for take-out menus, cleaning products & more! Call the LRA and start saving! (504) 454-2277

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW QUESTIONS Fisher & Phillips, LLP Keith Pyburn or Michelle Anderson (504) 522-3303 LRA.ORG MEMBERS ONLY SECTION Features your required posters, searchable membership directory and buyer’s guide and Legal Problem Solver for Restaurant Operators! Call the LRA for log in help, (504) 454-2277. GENERAL BUSINESS INSURANCE QUESTIONS LRA Office (504) 454-2277 ACCOUNTING & TAX QUESTIONS Bourgeois Bennett, LLC Eric Fullmer (504) 831-4949 WELL-AHEAD LA Participate in Well-Ahead LA and take advantage of resources to help you become a recognized WellSpot.

a la carte Winter 2017, Volume 30, No. 1

For advertising information please contac Erica Burns, Director of Communications, at (504) 636-6516, Email: Fax: (504) 454-2299 Online: Ben E. Keith............................................. p. 1 BMI..............................................................p. 12 Bourgeois Bennett................................ p. 29 Community Coffee...............................IFC Fisher & Phillips LLP............................. p. 31 Heartland Payment Systems........... p. 33 Hollis Companies..................................p. 12 Johnson, Yacoubian & Paysse........................................................OBC Liquid Environmental Solutions..................................................p. 13 Louisiana Seafood................................p. 27

LRA SIF......................................................p. 21 Office Depot Store Purchasing Card....................................p. 16 New Orleans Roast Coffee & Tea...IBC

Performance Foodservice-Caro..... p. 20 Reinhart Food Service........................p. 16 SYSCO Foodservice.............................p. 5

Coming Soon!

Thompson Packers...............................p. 9

LRA BLOGS For up-to-date industry info and stories of philanthropy, awards and mentoring opportunities. BUSINESS LEGAL QUESTIONS Johnson, Yacoubian & Paysse Alan Yacoubian (504) 528-3001

United Healthcare................................p. 13 U.S. Foods............................................... p. 25 LaRestaurantAssoc LaRestAssoc


Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017


Association Happenings

Acadiana Chapter Hall of Fame inductees Pat and Maugie Pastor of T’Frere’s Bed & Breakfast (center), with their children at the chapter’s Awards Night at City Club at River Ranch in Lafayette, December 5, 2016.

Robert Williams, Dwayne Falks and Jon Ramos of Venture Marketing at the Cenla Chapter Membership Meeting at Jena Choctaw Pines Casino in Dry Prong, October 6, 2016.

David and Donna Massey of Massey’s Meat Market and Ashley and Bob Wilson of Tummy Yummy Creations at the Northeast Chapter’s Board Installation at Warehouse No. 1 in Monroe, November 28, 2016.

Tina Jiles of Blue Southern Smokehouse and Sharon Windham of Coca-Cola at the Northwest Chapter Board Installation at Chianti Restaurant in Shreveport, November 29, 2016.


Theresa Langlois of Bonanno’s Catering, Kerrie Kikendall of L’Auberge, Brian Edwards of Raising Cane’s, and Ryan Nizzo and Shawn Hayes of Reinhart at the Greater Baton Rouge Chapter Awards Night at Ruffino’s at De La Ronde Hall in Baton Rouge, November 28, 2016.

Monica Henderson of Cintas and Alex Selico Dunn of Entergy at the Greater New Orleans Chapter Annual Meeting at Palace Café in New Orleans, November 29, 2016.

LRA Director Brian Girardot of Community Coffee, Northshore Chapter President Craig Smith of Raising Cane’s and LRA Director Alan Guilbeau of PJ’s Coffee at the Northshore Chapter Holiday Party at Annadele’s Plantation Restaurant, December 8, 2016.

Southwest Chapter Legacy Dinner honoree Bob King, his son, LRA Vice Chair Rob King and LRA President & CEO Stan Harris at L’Auberge du Lac in Lake Charles, November 6, 2016.

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

Johnson, Yacoubian & Paysse Proudly Serves the Louisiana Restaurant Association

Business Transactions Corporate and Governmental Affairs Employers’ Liability Insurance Matters Liquor Liability and Licensing Workers’ Compensation

701 Poydras Street, Suite 4700, New Orleans, Louisiana 70139-7701 Phone: 504.528.3001 | Fax: 504.528.3030 |

Contact Alan J. Yacoubian, Partner | 504.589.9669 | Louisiana Restaurant Association | a la carte | Winter 2017

A la carte winter 2017 lssuu