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The

MAINE INGREDIENT

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45 Melville St. • Augusta, ME 04330

207. 623 . 2178

Fall 2O16

mainerestaurant . com

info @ mainerestaurant . com

November Ballot Poses Game Changing Scenario for Maine Restaurant Owners

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New Salary Threshold Takes Effect on December 1st

As of December 1, 2016, employers will be required to abide by the new salary criteria introduced by the Obama administration to pay salaried employees. The new salary threshold is a minimum of $47,476 annually or $913 per week. The previous minimum was $23,660 annually or $455 per week. Seasonal employers now must pay salaried employees a minimum of $913 per week for the number of weeks worked.

To be salary eligible, employees – whether seasonal or year-round - must pass the duties test as defined by one of six different federal classifications: ● ●

Executive Exemption Computer Employee Exemption

● ●

Administrative Exemption Outside Sales Exemption

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Professional Exemption Highly Compensated Employees

Most restaurant employees will not qualify for these exemptions. Typically, restaurants qualify for only two or three exempt employees. If you have questions, contact our office and we can provide you with the full definitions of these exemptions. If your employees make less than $47,476, you have the following options: • Increase their salary to meet the threshold • Place them on hourly pay • Classify them as salary non-exempt, which requires that you pay overtime for more than 40 hours worked • If you have seasonality to your business, consider the fluctuating work week option, but it does involve a fair amount of paperwork For information and guidance on these different approaches, contact our office at 207-623-2178. www

A coalition of business groups including the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine Innkeepers Association are immersed in an effort to defeat Question 4 on the November 8, 2016 ballot. Question 4, a citizen initiated referendum question, seeks to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over a four year period and eliminate the tip credit in favor of a tipped wage of $5 per hour on January 1, 2017 increasing by $1 per hour every year thereafter until the tipped wage equals the minimum wage around 2024. The wage would then increase every year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). “We do believe, as a coalition, that the minimum wage should be increased, but to a more reasonable level like $10 in a couple of steps,” according to Greg Dugal, the association’s Governmental Affairs Director. “So we are working hard to defeat this far-reaching proposal and if successful, will gladly support a reasonable increase to the minimum wage with no tip credit elimination or CPI factor in the next legislative session.” The proposed changes in minimum wage law would result in a 60% increase in that wage over a four year period or 15% per year and a 260% increase in the tipped wage going from $3.75 to $12.00 and higher or approximately 32.5% per

year. That could result in some restaurants seeing an overall labor cost increase of 24% per year for the first three years - hardly a sustainable increase in any cost. No small business can absorb any increases like these and, with tip credit elimination, it hits restaurants and lodging establishments with foodservice operations harder than other small businesses. “This will result in changes needing to be made that won’t be welcome and ones that will affect the industry for years to come,” Dugal remarked. “Restaurants may choose to go to a no-tipping model so as to create equity between front and back of the house employees. Even if these changes aren’t made, customers will tip less, eliminating the tradition of customer service determining the outcome of a server’s wages and their ability to make $20 to $40 an hour - a real disservice in our minds to the tipped employee staff.

Maine Restaurant Association Welcomes Steve Hewins as President & CEO The boards of directors of the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine Innkeepers Association have announced the appointment of travel industry veteran Steve Hewins to lead the organizations as the new President & CEO. Hewins brings with him a diversity of professional experiences including entrepreneurship, membership services, and economic development that, combined, make him uniquely qualified to lead the associations. Steve graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in history. Shortly after college, he founded Hewins Travel Consultants and over the next 25 years he and his employees built the travel agency to be Maine’s largest, with locations throughout the state. In 2007, Hewins sold the business to AAA Northern New England and became its Vice President of Travel and Branch Operations for the next six years.

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IN THIS ISSUE:

“As we saw in the Great Recession, advances in automation technology have reduced the need in most types of industries to have as many employees,” Dugal continued, noting that raising the wage so suddenly and drastically may potentially change the delivery mechanism in restaurants to reduce labor costs.

Chairman’s Message

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President’s Report

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Golf Tournament Review

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...continued on page 11

In Memoriam

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Annual Award Nominations

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Hot Tip: New Salary Threshold

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Maine Restaurant Association

Chairman’s Message: By Tina Hewett-Gordon: The Nonantum Resort - Kennebunkport

The Only Constant is Change There’s something about living and working in Maine that keeps us in tune with the transition of the seasons. And there’s something about the change of seasons that causes us to take stock. As I reflect on the tourist season we just experienced, it is with a sense of awe. What a season it was! The summer of 2016 will go down as a stellar one for Maine’s food service and lodging industry. According to Maine Revenue Services, restaurant sales were up 4.7% and lodging sales were up 7.4% and the remainder of the year is projected to be a record breaker. We can only hope that those industry members whose “season” is winter enjoy such numbers. This is a very exciting yet uncertain time to be in the tourism industry here in vacationland. While sales have been up this year, we’re in the midst of an election cycle where the results will have distinct and dramatic effects on the livelihood of restaurateurs across the state. As November 8th approaches and tension mounts, we are faced with the prospect of a transitioning industry. Question 4: will the minimum wage being raised to $12 per hour along with the elimination of the tip credit and how will this affect our businesses? The presidential election: will it be Clinton or Trump and how will the outcome affect our country? Combine the election results with escalating healthcare costs, the continuing labor shortage, the doubling of overtime exception and we’re faced with undeniable challenges. As daunting as this all seems, our mission – as an association and an industry – will be to try to look for the opportunities in whatever cards we’re dealt. In every change, we’re challenged to find opportunity and growth for our businesses. As for the association, we have concluded the long awaited transition in leadership.

I’m thrilled to welcome Steve Hewins as our new president & CEO. He brings with him a vast knowledge of our industry and is well suited for his new role. I’m certain that Steve is uniquely positioned to steer the organization through these transitional times, but more than that, I feel confident that he’s the right person to blaze a new path for the association as we seek to meet the needs of today’s restaurant professionals. And all the while, we’ll continue to have Greg Dugal as our voice in Augusta as our Director of Governmental Affairs. As for me, I’ll be transitioning out of my twoyear term as Chairman of the Board of the Maine Restaurant Association at the end of this year. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience and it has been my privilege to have served this organization during an exciting time of change. I couldn’t be more pleased to have been a part of recruiting Steve Hewins to lead the association. In the coming two years, he’ll benefit greatly from the assistance and counsel of Michelle Corry - owner of the Portland restaurants Five Fifty-Five, Petite Jacqueline, and Portland Patisserie & Grand Café - as she takes the reigns as our new Chairman of the Board. www

Minimum Wage Referendum...

The

Maine Ingredient This newsletter is published by the the Maine Restaurant Association. 2016 © All Rights Reserved 45 Melville Street Augusta, Maine · 04330 Tel: 207.623.2178 · Fax: 866.711.5408 mainerestaurant.com info@mainerestaurant.com ../mainerestaurantassociation @mainerestaurant MAINE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Tina Hewett-Gordon

Chairman of the Board The Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport

Michelle Corry

Vice Chair Five Fifty-Five· Petite Jacqueline· Portland Patisserie & Grand Café Portland

Laurie Palmer

Second Vice Chair Burger King Waterville

Bruce Woodard, CPA, CFP

Treasurer Woodard & Associates, CPA’s Auburn, Portland

Steve DiMillo

Secretary DiMillo’s On the Water Portland

John Kyle

Senior Advisor Pat’s Pizza Yarmouth

STAFF Steve Hewins

President & CEO steve@mainerestaurant.com

Greg Dugal

Proudly servicing Maine’s restaurants.

Director of Governmental Affairs greg@mainerestaurant.com

Call today for a free evaluation.

Operations Manager becky@mainerestaurant.com

1-800-323-7378 MODERNPEST.COM

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Fall 2016

Becky Jacobson

Rebecca Dill

Marketing & Events Director rebeccad@mainerestaurant.com

Quick service restaurants may likely install ordering kiosks to replace humans who currently take customer orders. Tablet ordering devices like iPads are appearing more frequently in family casual dining establishments and counter pickup as an alternative to table service is becoming the norm in some locations. “Could your restaurant be next?,” is a question Dugal suggests restaurant operators ask themselves. “The elimination of the tip credit and tipped wage in Maine will fundamentally change the restaurant industry here forever and it will take years for the industry to recover. There is good reason why 42 other states in our country also have some form of tip credit,” he observed. Those negatively affected by these proposed increases besides the restaurateur and their employees are consumers and prospective employees. People on fixed incomes will not benefit from this wage increase, but will suffer the negative consequences should this referendum pass. In rural areas where menu price increases are not feasible, restaurants will be faced with difficult business decisions. Young people will also be negatively affected as first time jobs will be hard to come by. The Maine Restaurant Association successfully defeated a minimum wage referendum in the City of Portland in November 2015 billing the wage increase as going Too Far Too Fast. The coalition believes the same slogan applies to this statewide minimum wage increase referendum which, if passed, would establish Maine’s minimum wage as the third highest in the country at the end of the proposed wage increase cycle on January 1, 2020. Yet Maine is only 44th in gross state product. Here’s how Maine would stack up against some of the most populous and prosperous areas of the country: • • • •

New York City - $15 Long Island & NYC Suburbs - $13 California - $13 Maine (if Question 4 passes) - $12

Combine the prospect of Question 4 passing along with the prospect of Questions 2 – a referendum that seeks to add a 3% tax on individual Maine taxable income for those earning more than $200,000 per

Steve Hewins... ...continued from page 1

...continued from page 1

year in an effort to increase funding for K-12 education – and add to the mix the recent ruling from the Secretary of the US Department of Labor that more than doubled the overtime exemption salary threshold to $47,000 and you have a trifecta of devastation for Maine restaurant operators.

Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Portland Downtown, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build and promote downtown Portland as a vibrant business, residential and tourism destination. During his time there, Portland Downtown implemented a new strategic plan, contemporized its branding and websites, and expanded city-wide events including the iconic Old Port Festival.

Cities like Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, DC are struggling with a rapid increase to their wage base. Seattle has lost nearly 11,000 jobs and the number of unemployed has risen by nearly 5,000. The city’s jobless rate has increased by more than 1% and a major hardship for employees is a significant reduction in hours worked. Seattle has seen many restaurants close since the beginning of the implementation of the $15 minimum wage last April and they have not even reached $15 per hour yet. They are at $10.50 and $13.00 depending on the size of the employer and whether or not they offer health insurance. We encourage you to vote no on Question 4 and educate your employees on the topic. Given the current political climate, defeating Question 4 will take every available resource this association and its members have at their disposal. Please consider a monetary contribution to assist in purchasing advertisements in opposition to Question 4 – an exorbitant expense during a presidential election year. No amount is too small. Please visit mainerestaurant. com and click “Donate to our PAC” to contribute online or call us at 207-623-2178 to donate via telephone. We’ll be eagerly accepting donations up to the last minute. Additionally, and while it is a deeply personal choice that each restaurant operator will need to make for themselves, the association has developed materials such as door signs, table tents, and fact sheets for use in communicating with your dining customers about the vast changes that will take place in your restaurant should Question 4 pass. Question 4 is the biggest game-changer Maine restaurants have ever collectively faced. It will take a concerted effort not only from the association but its members to defeat it. Please give what you can and contact us for any additional details you may need. www

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“I’ve been in the hospitality and visitor industry for my entire career and I truly love it!” Hewins remarked. “I also believe that it’s a key component of Maine’s economy and crucial to its future. I’m excited to be leading the restaurant and the innkeepers associations, whose members represent exceptional food and lodging establishments that produce a major slice of Maine’s economy and tax revenues, while remaining one of the state’s biggest employers. “I’m looking forward to applying the experiences I’ve learned to focus on enhancing benefits for our existing members, but also to attract new members. The larger and more diverse we become, the greater value we are able to provide our members, visitors, and the general public,” Hewins observed. In addition to his professional pursuits, Hewins is currently chair of the University of Southern Maine Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board, and serves on the boards of University of Maine Alumni Association, the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Maine Convention Center Collaborative. He is an avid golfer, skier, traveler and self-described amateur chef. In speaking of Hewins’ appointment, Chair of the Maine Innkeepers Association Board of Directors and owner of The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport Jean Ginn Marvin shared that “We are thrilled and excited that after an exhaustive national search, we found the perfect candidate right here in Maine. Steve is well known in the tourism industry,” she continued adding that “he’ll be a great compliment to our existing team." Tina Hewett Gordon, Chairman of Maine Restaurant Association Board of Directors as well as the general manager of The Nonantum Resort shared similar sentiments stating that "Steve is the perfect fit for our organizations as we go through a healthy transition. I have had the pleasure to work with Steve in prior efforts and have found him to be a dedicated team player." www


The

Maine

Maine Restaurant Association

In Memoriam

Upcoming Events

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INGREDIENT

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that the Maine Restaurant Association recognizes the passing of longtime members who spent their careers as food service professionals in Maine. Leo Berg

Lena Dennis

December 27, 1933 - September 13, 2016 Rebecca's Place Restaurant & Catering

April 26, 1919 - October 11, 2016 Dennis Paper & Food Service

Late this summer, we lost longtime member Leo Berg. Leo opened Rebecca’s Place Restaurant and Catering in Augusta with his wife Nancy in 1976 and soon thereafter joined the Maine Restaurant Association making him one of this organization’s longest standing members at the time of his passing.

At the remarkable age of 97, Lena Dennis, died in Bangor. A lifelong Mainer and matriarch of the Dennis family, Lena helped build the family business of Dennis Paper & Food Service alongside her husband Lawrence. Over the years she witnessed her children take the reins of the company and eventually, ownership be transferred to its employees.

Berg was a US Navy veteran, serving during the Korean War on the USS Atka and the USS Whitley. Leo requested a brief obituary asking to simply state, “I’m gone.” Gone but not forgotten Mr. Berg.

Lena’s son Ron is a former member of the Maine Restaurant Association Board of Directors and Rick Robertson, the company’s Chief Operating Officer is a current member of the board.

Chris Caprara

Chef Richard Hanson

April 21, 1966 – October 10, 2016 C. Caprara Foodservice Equipment

1955 - October 11, 2016 Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro (formerly)

Chris Caprara passed unexpectedly in early October following surgery. Chris, together with his brother Carl, spent his career building the family business started by his parents in 1978. Over the years, Chris worked with generations of restaurant and food service professionals to meet their equipment needs.

The talented Chef Rich Hanson lost his battle with a heart illness several weeks ago. A two-time James Beard Award nominee, Chef Hanson opened Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth with his wife and business partner Cary in 2002.

Under Chris’s leadership, C. Caprara Foodservice Equipment has been a 30year member of the Maine Restaurant Association, a perennial exhibitor at the Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo and, in 2006, was named Allied Member of the Year by this organization.

President’s Report: By Steve Hewins: President & CEO, Maine Restaurant Association

Jumping on a Fast Moving Train

Classroom and Online Course Options Available $119 per person (member rate) $170 per person (non-member rate)

Visit mainerestaurant.com for Class Schedule & Registration For More Information or to Sign Up for Online Training

The Hansons were active members in the Maine Restaurant Association during their twelve years as restaurant owners. It was during this time, in 2008 and again in 2009, that Chef Hanson was a semi-finalist for a James Beard Awards in the Best Chef Northeast category. www

call: 207. 623 . 2178 or email: becky@mainerestaurant.com

Election Day Nationwide Tuesday, February 7, 2017 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Legislative Reception Senator Inn & Spa, Augusta Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:00 am - 1:00 pm 6th Annual Maine

ProStart Championship Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland (See pg. 10 for nomination process) Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo Cross Insurance Arena, Portland (Exhibitor registration now open) www.Sysconne.com 1-800-632-4446

We're accepting nominations for the Association’s annual awards in each of the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year, Chef of the Year, Allied Member of the Year, Rising Star, and Lifetime Achievement. Do you know of a gifted chef, a restaurateur who has mastered the art of hospitality, a supplier that goes the extra mile, or an up-and-coming restaurateur or chef who's really making their mark? Nominate them for an award at mainerestaurant.com, events@mainerestaurant.com or 207-623-2178! Think of someone who gives back to the community, serves as a mentor, goes above and beyond the call of duty, and makes a positive contribution to the restaurant industry - then, tell us about them! We’re anxious to accept your nomination by November 13th. Winners will be celbrated at our Awards Banquet on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

I am honored to have been appointed president & CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association! I’ve been on board for nearly two months now and have quickly been immersed in the association’s operations and culture.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Maine Restaurant Assoc. Annual Awards Banquet

It's Nomination Time!

6

Fall 2016

It’s been a bit like jumping onto a fast moving train here at MERA with our annual golf tournament occurring my second week on the job and the Minimum Wage referendum on November’s ballot being as big an issue as Maine restaurateurs have ever faced. As I quickly get up to speed my eyes are firmly fixed on the future. I’m in a fortunate position to have Greg Dugal staying on as our director of governmental affairs, along with our experienced team of Rebecca Dill and Becky Jacobson. Additionally, we have a strong, dynamic, committed board of directors that is well representative of the diversity of Maine’s restaurant industry and its suppliers. I appreciate the trust they’ve placed in me to lead this organization. As a way of introduction, I’ve had the good fortune of spending my entire career in the hospitality industry. Starting back on Cape Cod, I worked through high school at a country club for my dad who was the head golf professional, and then waited on tables throughout college.

www.DennisExpress.com

800-439-2727 Serving Maine Since 1908 P 207-947-0321 F 207-947-0323

Info@DennisExpress.com

After graduating from the University of Maine, I moved to Portland and started a small travel agency out of my house on Munjoy Hill, eventually employing over 70 people before selling the business to AAA Northern New England in 2007 where I became Vice President of Branch Operations, overseeing all travel and member services. More recently, I was the executive director of Portland Downtown, where many of my constituents were restaurants and hotels, and my responsibilities ranged from snow removal to managing the an-

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nual Old Port Festival! What excites me so much about our organization are the opportunities in front of us. I believe that Maine’s restaurant industry is a cornerstone of the state’s overall future. Our industry impacts so many other sectors from agriculture and aquaculture to tourism and hospitality. Restaurants help to revitalize our small towns and support economic development across the state. I would argue that our state’s ‘brand’ and quality of life are positively influenced by the industry that employs us all. We need to grow our ranks and make sure the general public and our political leaders are fully informed and educated about what a strong restaurant sector means for Maine! I look forward to meeting you personally, listening to you, learning from, and relying on you as I embrace this new role and lead your association toward growth and expansion of our member rolls and association services while at the same time strengthening the image of this powerhouse industry. Please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of assistance. www


The

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INGREDIENT I

Maine Restaurant Association

Fall 2016

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05 Classic Annual Golf

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Spring Meadows Golf Club, Gray

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Tournament Sponsor:

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(01) One of three teams from tournament sponsor Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter led by Greg Piper (far right). (02) Patrick Quigg, owner of Riverfront Barbeque in Augusta, approaches the putting green to try his luck at the putting contest. (03) Rudy DiPietro (left) of US Foods approaches the tee with his golfing partner. (04) Rick Robertson of Dennis Paper & Food Service heads for the course after the shotgun start. (05) Newell Augur (far right) of the Maine Beverage Association explains to his Coca-Cola Bottling Company teammates just how close he was to making that last putt. (06) Half of the Captain Mike's team from Brunswick - Ken Burton and Gil Couture. (07) Work doesn't stop - even on the golf course - for Joe Collins of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of New England. (08) Shipyard Brewing Company's team led by Fred Forsley (far left). (09) Gary Potvin of Pine Tree Food Equipment lines up his putt. (10) Chelsea DiMillo and Kirk Noble of the DiMillo's on the Water team wait to tee off. (11) MERA President & CEO Steve Hewins tearing 50/50 tickets on one of his first days on the job. (12) The team from the Muddy Rudder restaurant led by Matthew Witham (center right). Special thanks to: Gene Lagomarsino of Heartland for lending his photographic talents with us and sharing the photos featured above and to Jim MacNeill of the Maine Diner for donating his 50/50 winnings back to the association.

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

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The

Maine

INGREDIENT I

Maine Restaurant Association

Fall 2016

02

01

01 01

03

05 Classic Annual Golf

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Spring Meadows Golf Club, Gray

02

05 06

04

Tournament Sponsor:

07

08

09

10

11

(01) One of three teams from tournament sponsor Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter led by Greg Piper (far right). (02) Patrick Quigg, owner of Riverfront Barbeque in Augusta, approaches the putting green to try his luck at the putting contest. (03) Rudy DiPietro (left) of US Foods approaches the tee with his golfing partner. (04) Rick Robertson of Dennis Paper & Food Service heads for the course after the shotgun start. (05) Newell Augur (far right) of the Maine Beverage Association explains to his Coca-Cola Bottling Company teammates just how close he was to making that last putt. (06) Half of the Captain Mike's team from Brunswick - Ken Burton and Gil Couture. (07) Work doesn't stop - even on the golf course - for Joe Collins of Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits of New England. (08) Shipyard Brewing Company's team led by Fred Forsley (far left). (09) Gary Potvin of Pine Tree Food Equipment lines up his putt. (10) Chelsea DiMillo and Kirk Noble of the DiMillo's on the Water team wait to tee off. (11) MERA President & CEO Steve Hewins tearing 50/50 tickets on one of his first days on the job. (12) The team from the Muddy Rudder restaurant led by Matthew Witham (center right). Special thanks to: Gene Lagomarsino of Heartland for lending his photographic talents with us and sharing the photos featured above and to Jim MacNeill of the Maine Diner for donating his 50/50 winnings back to the association.

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

4

5

12


The

Maine

Maine Restaurant Association

In Memoriam

Upcoming Events

I

INGREDIENT

It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that the Maine Restaurant Association recognizes the passing of longtime members who spent their careers as food service professionals in Maine. Leo Berg

Lena Dennis

December 27, 1933 - September 13, 2016 Rebecca's Place Restaurant & Catering

April 26, 1919 - October 11, 2016 Dennis Paper & Food Service

Late this summer, we lost longtime member Leo Berg. Leo opened Rebecca’s Place Restaurant and Catering in Augusta with his wife Nancy in 1976 and soon thereafter joined the Maine Restaurant Association making him one of this organization’s longest standing members at the time of his passing.

At the remarkable age of 97, Lena Dennis, died in Bangor. A lifelong Mainer and matriarch of the Dennis family, Lena helped build the family business of Dennis Paper & Food Service alongside her husband Lawrence. Over the years she witnessed her children take the reins of the company and eventually, ownership be transferred to its employees.

Berg was a US Navy veteran, serving during the Korean War on the USS Atka and the USS Whitley. Leo requested a brief obituary asking to simply state, “I’m gone.” Gone but not forgotten Mr. Berg.

Lena’s son Ron is a former member of the Maine Restaurant Association Board of Directors and Rick Robertson, the company’s Chief Operating Officer is a current member of the board.

Chris Caprara

Chef Richard Hanson

April 21, 1966 – October 10, 2016 C. Caprara Foodservice Equipment

1955 - October 11, 2016 Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro (formerly)

Chris Caprara passed unexpectedly in early October following surgery. Chris, together with his brother Carl, spent his career building the family business started by his parents in 1978. Over the years, Chris worked with generations of restaurant and food service professionals to meet their equipment needs.

The talented Chef Rich Hanson lost his battle with a heart illness several weeks ago. A two-time James Beard Award nominee, Chef Hanson opened Cleonice Mediterranean Bistro in Ellsworth with his wife and business partner Cary in 2002.

Under Chris’s leadership, C. Caprara Foodservice Equipment has been a 30year member of the Maine Restaurant Association, a perennial exhibitor at the Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo and, in 2006, was named Allied Member of the Year by this organization.

President’s Report: By Steve Hewins: President & CEO, Maine Restaurant Association

Jumping on a Fast Moving Train

Classroom and Online Course Options Available $119 per person (member rate) $170 per person (non-member rate)

Visit mainerestaurant.com for Class Schedule & Registration For More Information or to Sign Up for Online Training

The Hansons were active members in the Maine Restaurant Association during their twelve years as restaurant owners. It was during this time, in 2008 and again in 2009, that Chef Hanson was a semi-finalist for a James Beard Awards in the Best Chef Northeast category. www

call: 207. 623 . 2178 or email: becky@mainerestaurant.com

Election Day Nationwide Tuesday, February 7, 2017 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Legislative Reception Senator Inn & Spa, Augusta Saturday, February 18, 2017 8:00 am - 1:00 pm 6th Annual Maine

ProStart Championship Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland Tuesday, March 28, 2017 5:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Holiday Inn By the Bay, Portland (See pg. 10 for nomination process) Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo Cross Insurance Arena, Portland (Exhibitor registration now open) www.Sysconne.com 1-800-632-4446

We're accepting nominations for the Association’s annual awards in each of the following categories: Restaurateur of the Year, Chef of the Year, Allied Member of the Year, Rising Star, and Lifetime Achievement. Do you know of a gifted chef, a restaurateur who has mastered the art of hospitality, a supplier that goes the extra mile, or an up-and-coming restaurateur or chef who's really making their mark? Nominate them for an award at mainerestaurant.com, events@mainerestaurant.com or 207-623-2178! Think of someone who gives back to the community, serves as a mentor, goes above and beyond the call of duty, and makes a positive contribution to the restaurant industry - then, tell us about them! We’re anxious to accept your nomination by November 13th. Winners will be celbrated at our Awards Banquet on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

I am honored to have been appointed president & CEO of the Maine Restaurant Association! I’ve been on board for nearly two months now and have quickly been immersed in the association’s operations and culture.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Maine Restaurant Assoc. Annual Awards Banquet

It's Nomination Time!

6

Fall 2016

It’s been a bit like jumping onto a fast moving train here at MERA with our annual golf tournament occurring my second week on the job and the Minimum Wage referendum on November’s ballot being as big an issue as Maine restaurateurs have ever faced. As I quickly get up to speed my eyes are firmly fixed on the future. I’m in a fortunate position to have Greg Dugal staying on as our director of governmental affairs, along with our experienced team of Rebecca Dill and Becky Jacobson. Additionally, we have a strong, dynamic, committed board of directors that is well representative of the diversity of Maine’s restaurant industry and its suppliers. I appreciate the trust they’ve placed in me to lead this organization. As a way of introduction, I’ve had the good fortune of spending my entire career in the hospitality industry. Starting back on Cape Cod, I worked through high school at a country club for my dad who was the head golf professional, and then waited on tables throughout college.

www.DennisExpress.com

800-439-2727 Serving Maine Since 1908 P 207-947-0321 F 207-947-0323

Info@DennisExpress.com

After graduating from the University of Maine, I moved to Portland and started a small travel agency out of my house on Munjoy Hill, eventually employing over 70 people before selling the business to AAA Northern New England in 2007 where I became Vice President of Branch Operations, overseeing all travel and member services. More recently, I was the executive director of Portland Downtown, where many of my constituents were restaurants and hotels, and my responsibilities ranged from snow removal to managing the an-

3

nual Old Port Festival! What excites me so much about our organization are the opportunities in front of us. I believe that Maine’s restaurant industry is a cornerstone of the state’s overall future. Our industry impacts so many other sectors from agriculture and aquaculture to tourism and hospitality. Restaurants help to revitalize our small towns and support economic development across the state. I would argue that our state’s ‘brand’ and quality of life are positively influenced by the industry that employs us all. We need to grow our ranks and make sure the general public and our political leaders are fully informed and educated about what a strong restaurant sector means for Maine! I look forward to meeting you personally, listening to you, learning from, and relying on you as I embrace this new role and lead your association toward growth and expansion of our member rolls and association services while at the same time strengthening the image of this powerhouse industry. Please feel free to contact me if I can ever be of assistance. www


The

Maine

INGREDIENT I

Maine Restaurant Association

Chairman’s Message: By Tina Hewett-Gordon: The Nonantum Resort - Kennebunkport

The Only Constant is Change There’s something about living and working in Maine that keeps us in tune with the transition of the seasons. And there’s something about the change of seasons that causes us to take stock. As I reflect on the tourist season we just experienced, it is with a sense of awe. What a season it was! The summer of 2016 will go down as a stellar one for Maine’s food service and lodging industry. According to Maine Revenue Services, restaurant sales were up 4.7% and lodging sales were up 7.4% and the remainder of the year is projected to be a record breaker. We can only hope that those industry members whose “season” is winter enjoy such numbers. This is a very exciting yet uncertain time to be in the tourism industry here in vacationland. While sales have been up this year, we’re in the midst of an election cycle where the results will have distinct and dramatic effects on the livelihood of restaurateurs across the state. As November 8th approaches and tension mounts, we are faced with the prospect of a transitioning industry. Question 4: will the minimum wage being raised to $12 per hour along with the elimination of the tip credit and how will this affect our businesses? The presidential election: will it be Clinton or Trump and how will the outcome affect our country? Combine the election results with escalating healthcare costs, the continuing labor shortage, the doubling of overtime exception and we’re faced with undeniable challenges. As daunting as this all seems, our mission – as an association and an industry – will be to try to look for the opportunities in whatever cards we’re dealt. In every change, we’re challenged to find opportunity and growth for our businesses. As for the association, we have concluded the long awaited transition in leadership.

I’m thrilled to welcome Steve Hewins as our new president & CEO. He brings with him a vast knowledge of our industry and is well suited for his new role. I’m certain that Steve is uniquely positioned to steer the organization through these transitional times, but more than that, I feel confident that he’s the right person to blaze a new path for the association as we seek to meet the needs of today’s restaurant professionals. And all the while, we’ll continue to have Greg Dugal as our voice in Augusta as our Director of Governmental Affairs. As for me, I’ll be transitioning out of my twoyear term as Chairman of the Board of the Maine Restaurant Association at the end of this year. It has been a challenging and rewarding experience and it has been my privilege to have served this organization during an exciting time of change. I couldn’t be more pleased to have been a part of recruiting Steve Hewins to lead the association. In the coming two years, he’ll benefit greatly from the assistance and counsel of Michelle Corry - owner of the Portland restaurants Five Fifty-Five, Petite Jacqueline, and Portland Patisserie & Grand Café - as she takes the reigns as our new Chairman of the Board. www

Minimum Wage Referendum...

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Maine Ingredient This newsletter is published by the the Maine Restaurant Association. 2016 © All Rights Reserved 45 Melville Street Augusta, Maine · 04330 Tel: 207.623.2178 · Fax: 866.711.5408 mainerestaurant.com info@mainerestaurant.com ../mainerestaurantassociation @mainerestaurant MAINE RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Tina Hewett-Gordon

Chairman of the Board The Nonantum Resort Kennebunkport

Michelle Corry

Vice Chair Five Fifty-Five· Petite Jacqueline· Portland Patisserie & Grand Café Portland

Laurie Palmer

Second Vice Chair Burger King Waterville

Bruce Woodard, CPA, CFP

Treasurer Woodard & Associates, CPA’s Auburn, Portland

Steve DiMillo

Secretary DiMillo’s On the Water Portland

John Kyle

Senior Advisor Pat’s Pizza Yarmouth

STAFF Steve Hewins

President & CEO steve@mainerestaurant.com

Greg Dugal

Proudly servicing Maine’s restaurants.

Director of Governmental Affairs greg@mainerestaurant.com

Call today for a free evaluation.

Operations Manager becky@mainerestaurant.com

1-800-323-7378 MODERNPEST.COM

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Fall 2016

Becky Jacobson

Rebecca Dill

Marketing & Events Director rebeccad@mainerestaurant.com

Quick service restaurants may likely install ordering kiosks to replace humans who currently take customer orders. Tablet ordering devices like iPads are appearing more frequently in family casual dining establishments and counter pickup as an alternative to table service is becoming the norm in some locations. “Could your restaurant be next?,” is a question Dugal suggests restaurant operators ask themselves. “The elimination of the tip credit and tipped wage in Maine will fundamentally change the restaurant industry here forever and it will take years for the industry to recover. There is good reason why 42 other states in our country also have some form of tip credit,” he observed. Those negatively affected by these proposed increases besides the restaurateur and their employees are consumers and prospective employees. People on fixed incomes will not benefit from this wage increase, but will suffer the negative consequences should this referendum pass. In rural areas where menu price increases are not feasible, restaurants will be faced with difficult business decisions. Young people will also be negatively affected as first time jobs will be hard to come by. The Maine Restaurant Association successfully defeated a minimum wage referendum in the City of Portland in November 2015 billing the wage increase as going Too Far Too Fast. The coalition believes the same slogan applies to this statewide minimum wage increase referendum which, if passed, would establish Maine’s minimum wage as the third highest in the country at the end of the proposed wage increase cycle on January 1, 2020. Yet Maine is only 44th in gross state product. Here’s how Maine would stack up against some of the most populous and prosperous areas of the country: • • • •

New York City - $15 Long Island & NYC Suburbs - $13 California - $13 Maine (if Question 4 passes) - $12

Combine the prospect of Question 4 passing along with the prospect of Questions 2 – a referendum that seeks to add a 3% tax on individual Maine taxable income for those earning more than $200,000 per

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year in an effort to increase funding for K-12 education – and add to the mix the recent ruling from the Secretary of the US Department of Labor that more than doubled the overtime exemption salary threshold to $47,000 and you have a trifecta of devastation for Maine restaurant operators.

Most recently, he served as the Executive Director of Portland Downtown, a non-profit organization whose mission is to build and promote downtown Portland as a vibrant business, residential and tourism destination. During his time there, Portland Downtown implemented a new strategic plan, contemporized its branding and websites, and expanded city-wide events including the iconic Old Port Festival.

Cities like Seattle, Los Angeles and Washington, DC are struggling with a rapid increase to their wage base. Seattle has lost nearly 11,000 jobs and the number of unemployed has risen by nearly 5,000. The city’s jobless rate has increased by more than 1% and a major hardship for employees is a significant reduction in hours worked. Seattle has seen many restaurants close since the beginning of the implementation of the $15 minimum wage last April and they have not even reached $15 per hour yet. They are at $10.50 and $13.00 depending on the size of the employer and whether or not they offer health insurance. We encourage you to vote no on Question 4 and educate your employees on the topic. Given the current political climate, defeating Question 4 will take every available resource this association and its members have at their disposal. Please consider a monetary contribution to assist in purchasing advertisements in opposition to Question 4 – an exorbitant expense during a presidential election year. No amount is too small. Please visit mainerestaurant. com and click “Donate to our PAC” to contribute online or call us at 207-623-2178 to donate via telephone. We’ll be eagerly accepting donations up to the last minute. Additionally, and while it is a deeply personal choice that each restaurant operator will need to make for themselves, the association has developed materials such as door signs, table tents, and fact sheets for use in communicating with your dining customers about the vast changes that will take place in your restaurant should Question 4 pass. Question 4 is the biggest game-changer Maine restaurants have ever collectively faced. It will take a concerted effort not only from the association but its members to defeat it. Please give what you can and contact us for any additional details you may need. www

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“I’ve been in the hospitality and visitor industry for my entire career and I truly love it!” Hewins remarked. “I also believe that it’s a key component of Maine’s economy and crucial to its future. I’m excited to be leading the restaurant and the innkeepers associations, whose members represent exceptional food and lodging establishments that produce a major slice of Maine’s economy and tax revenues, while remaining one of the state’s biggest employers. “I’m looking forward to applying the experiences I’ve learned to focus on enhancing benefits for our existing members, but also to attract new members. The larger and more diverse we become, the greater value we are able to provide our members, visitors, and the general public,” Hewins observed. In addition to his professional pursuits, Hewins is currently chair of the University of Southern Maine Hospitality and Tourism Advisory Board, and serves on the boards of University of Maine Alumni Association, the Greater Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Maine Convention Center Collaborative. He is an avid golfer, skier, traveler and self-described amateur chef. In speaking of Hewins’ appointment, Chair of the Maine Innkeepers Association Board of Directors and owner of The Nonantum Resort in Kennebunkport Jean Ginn Marvin shared that “We are thrilled and excited that after an exhaustive national search, we found the perfect candidate right here in Maine. Steve is well known in the tourism industry,” she continued adding that “he’ll be a great compliment to our existing team." Tina Hewett Gordon, Chairman of Maine Restaurant Association Board of Directors as well as the general manager of The Nonantum Resort shared similar sentiments stating that "Steve is the perfect fit for our organizations as we go through a healthy transition. I have had the pleasure to work with Steve in prior efforts and have found him to be a dedicated team player." www


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45 Melville St. • Augusta, ME 04330

207. 623 . 2178

Fall 2O16

mainerestaurant . com

info @ mainerestaurant . com

November Ballot Poses Game Changing Scenario for Maine Restaurant Owners

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New Salary Threshold Takes Effect on December 1st

As of December 1, 2016, employers will be required to abide by the new salary criteria introduced by the Obama administration to pay salaried employees. The new salary threshold is a minimum of $47,476 annually or $913 per week. The previous minimum was $23,660 annually or $455 per week. Seasonal employers now must pay salaried employees a minimum of $913 per week for the number of weeks worked.

To be salary eligible, employees – whether seasonal or year-round - must pass the duties test as defined by one of six different federal classifications: ● ●

Executive Exemption Computer Employee Exemption

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Administrative Exemption Outside Sales Exemption

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Professional Exemption Highly Compensated Employees

Most restaurant employees will not qualify for these exemptions. Typically, restaurants qualify for only two or three exempt employees. If you have questions, contact our office and we can provide you with the full definitions of these exemptions. If your employees make less than $47,476, you have the following options: • Increase their salary to meet the threshold • Place them on hourly pay • Classify them as salary non-exempt, which requires that you pay overtime for more than 40 hours worked • If you have seasonality to your business, consider the fluctuating work week option, but it does involve a fair amount of paperwork For information and guidance on these different approaches, contact our office at 207-623-2178. www

A coalition of business groups including the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine Innkeepers Association are immersed in an effort to defeat Question 4 on the November 8, 2016 ballot. Question 4, a citizen initiated referendum question, seeks to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour over a four year period and eliminate the tip credit in favor of a tipped wage of $5 per hour on January 1, 2017 increasing by $1 per hour every year thereafter until the tipped wage equals the minimum wage around 2024. The wage would then increase every year based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). “We do believe, as a coalition, that the minimum wage should be increased, but to a more reasonable level like $10 in a couple of steps,” according to Greg Dugal, the association’s Governmental Affairs Director. “So we are working hard to defeat this far-reaching proposal and if successful, will gladly support a reasonable increase to the minimum wage with no tip credit elimination or CPI factor in the next legislative session.” The proposed changes in minimum wage law would result in a 60% increase in that wage over a four year period or 15% per year and a 260% increase in the tipped wage going from $3.75 to $12.00 and higher or approximately 32.5% per

year. That could result in some restaurants seeing an overall labor cost increase of 24% per year for the first three years - hardly a sustainable increase in any cost. No small business can absorb any increases like these and, with tip credit elimination, it hits restaurants and lodging establishments with foodservice operations harder than other small businesses. “This will result in changes needing to be made that won’t be welcome and ones that will affect the industry for years to come,” Dugal remarked. “Restaurants may choose to go to a no-tipping model so as to create equity between front and back of the house employees. Even if these changes aren’t made, customers will tip less, eliminating the tradition of customer service determining the outcome of a server’s wages and their ability to make $20 to $40 an hour - a real disservice in our minds to the tipped employee staff.

Maine Restaurant Association Welcomes Steve Hewins as President & CEO The boards of directors of the Maine Restaurant Association and Maine Innkeepers Association have announced the appointment of travel industry veteran Steve Hewins to lead the organizations as the new President & CEO. Hewins brings with him a diversity of professional experiences including entrepreneurship, membership services, and economic development that, combined, make him uniquely qualified to lead the associations. Steve graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in history. Shortly after college, he founded Hewins Travel Consultants and over the next 25 years he and his employees built the travel agency to be Maine’s largest, with locations throughout the state. In 2007, Hewins sold the business to AAA Northern New England and became its Vice President of Travel and Branch Operations for the next six years.

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IN THIS ISSUE:

“As we saw in the Great Recession, advances in automation technology have reduced the need in most types of industries to have as many employees,” Dugal continued, noting that raising the wage so suddenly and drastically may potentially change the delivery mechanism in restaurants to reduce labor costs.

Chairman’s Message

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President’s Report

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Golf Tournament Review

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In Memoriam

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Annual Award Nominations

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Hot Tip: New Salary Threshold

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MERA Fall 2016 Newsletter