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MAINE INGREDIENT

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45 Melville St. • Augusta, ME 04330

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Spring 2016

mainerestaurant . com

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127 th Maine Legislature: The Session in Review

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Seasonal Employees Between the Ages of 14 and 16

Young workers between the ages of 14 and 16 can be a valuable part of the summer workforce in dining rooms and takeout areas throughout the State of Maine.

Remember that these workers come with a price and that price is to pay attention to their duties performed and their hours worked so that you do not find yourself at odds with the Maine Department of Labor. Any time there is a violation for a worker working later or longer than they should, each infraction can result in a fine, not all of them aggregated together. During the summer, employees between the ages of 14 and 16 are subject to the following rules: When school is not in session these laws apply: 1. 2. 3. 4.

They may not work more than 40 hours per week They may not work more than 8 hours per day They may not work more than 6 consecutive days They may work until 9 pm during summer vacation

Additionally, the potential employee must have a stamped approved work permit, which you must keep on file, before any minor under 16 may perform work. The student may obtain this permit at their Superintendents of School office. www

The final days of the 127th Maine Legislature were interesting ones for the Maine Restaurant Association and after all that activity they recessed and veto day was scheduled for Friday, April 29. This is a day for the Legislature to come in and resolve any unfinished business and take up any gubernatorial vetoes (and there were a few) that were executed during the short recess. The Maine Restaurant Association’s biggest issue coming into the end of the session was attempting to find a way to mitigate the effects of an extreme minimum wage increase and elimination of the tip credit by a citizen initiative slated to be on the November 8, 2016 ballot. This question if passed would raise the minimum wage in four steps to $12 and adjust to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after the final increase and eliminate the tip credit over time. A coalition of business groups including the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Innkeepers Association, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Association of Maine and another dozen or so groups advocated for a more reasonable approach to this effort. The coalition’s proposal, that we hoped the Legislature would have introduced as a competing measure, would have increased the wage to $10 over four years, kept the tip credit intact and removed the CPI adjustment. The coalition attempted to get the competing measure as an amendment to LD 1661, which was the number assigned to the citizen initiative and Representative Susan Austin of Gray attempted to do the same with LD 674, a concept draft that was still in the Labor Committee. Democratic leader-

ship scuttled both efforts in the House and there was no amendment to LD 1661 and LD 674 died in non-concurrence. Another vehicle, LD 1695, was a Governor’s bill sponsored by Senator Andre Cushing of Newport. It also mirrored the coalition’s attempts at a competing measure, but it ended up having a slight twist. Senate Republican leadership held this bill and then ran it as a straight up increase to $10 in four steps and not as a potential competing measure. The bill would need to be passed as an emergency measure with a two-thirds vote but ended up one vote short in the Senate with 22-12 vote in favor of the measure. The bill was released to the House at recess and was killed there on a motion to indefinitely postpone the measure. The Senate tried to keep it alive by introducing new information and “insisting” that the House take it up, but to no avail. Other issues of importance in this legislative session to restaurateurs included the defeat of a bill that would require restaurants to post any genetically modified organisms (GMO) that could appear in some form on their menus. It was fairly apparent to the committee, that even if this was a good idea that it would need to be someone farther up the food chain rather than the restaurant owner or chef to make this identification and notification. Maine statute currently holds that if the remainder of the New England states pass GMO notification legislation at a grocery store level that Maine would follow. Thus far, Vermont is the only state to have done so and that decision is currently being reviewed in court cases. www

Maine’s 2016 ProStart Champions Place 11th at National Competition In just the fourth year Maine has sent a team to compete at the National ProStart Invitational, the Maine ProStart championship team from Northern Penobscot Tech Region III in Lincoln placed 11th at the 2016 competition held at the end of April in Dallas, Texas. ProStart, a nationwide, two-year high school program, teaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,800 high schools across the country the skills needed to be successful in the food service industry. Through its industry-driven curriculum, ProStart provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation from which to launch a career. The team’s journey to the national competition began at the fifth annual Maine ProStart Championship hosted by the Maine Restaurant Association Education Foundation (MERAEF) at the Holiday Inn

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IN THIS ISSUE:

Chairman’s Message

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Overtime Exemption Changes

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President’s Report

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Awards Banquet

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Restaurant & Lodging Expo

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Annual Golf Tournament

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The

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Maine Restaurant Association

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

In our Business, It's All About Setting the Stage As June gets underway, we here at The Nonantum Resort, along with fellow businesses in Kennebunkport, will welcome the summer season with the annual Kennebunk port Festival – a weeklong showcase of Maine’s chefs, artists, musicians, wine purveyors, and brewers - produced by the talented and creative staff of Maine Magazine. For us, the festival is an opportunity to set the stage for our busiest months of the year and celebrate all that our quaint, seaside hamlet has to offer. At the Maine Restaurant Association we’ve, too, been setting the stage for what’s to come. As we’ve communicated to membership several times since last fall, our President & CEO Greg Dugal will be leaving his post once a suitable replacement is found. I’m happy to report that after much due-diligence on the part of both the Maine Restaurant Association board as well as the board of the Maine Innkeepers Association – for whom Greg also serves at the president & CEO - the formal search for candidates is underway. Through the generosity of time offered by Greg in his willingness to serve out an open-ended resignation notice, we’ve had the opportunity to undergo a more strategic and deliberative process to determine the organization’s future than perhaps has ever before been undertaken in our 63 year history. I thank my fellow board members as well as the Innkeeper’s Association board of directors who have dedicated themselves to the effort which has required more time, patience and commitment than is typical of a director’s term. The result of this six-month planning process led to the formation of a search committee comprised of board members from both associations. The committee interviewed several professional search firms and settled on a local company headquartered in Bangor, Starboard Leadership Consulting LLC – an affiliate of Rudman Winchell - to lead the search for a new executive.

The job posting can be viewed at starboard leadership.com/executive-search. I encourage you to share the job description with anyone you know who might be interested in and qualified for the position. We are very much interested in candidates with industry experience. The application deadline is June 17 and we hope to have a new President & CEO in place by August 1, by which time it will have been nearly a year since Greg first informed the associations’ board chairmen, myself included, of his intended resignation. Not only has Greg done yeoman’s work by continuing to run the association and steadfastly representing the industry over the past year, he’s also been a tremendous resource as we’ve determined our path forward. His experience in the hospitality industry and in association leadership is broad and deep and we’re fortunate that he has agreed to continue assisting this association with our advocacy efforts and government affairs agenda for the foreseeable future. This will allow Greg a more manageable pace of life while the association continues to benefit from his expertise, reputation and relationships he’s built over the years “under the dome”. I look forward to introducing our new leader to you in the near future. Until then, I wish those of you who thrive in the summer a prosperous peak-season and those of you for whom summer is the off-season a restful few months! www

Overtime Exemption Rules...

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 STAFF Greg Dugal

President & CEO greg@mainerestaurant.com

Becky Jacobson

Operations Manager becky@mainerestaurant.com

Rebecca Dill

Marketing & Events Director rebeccad@mainerestaurant.com

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Spring Meadows Golf Club, Gray • 7:30 am - Breakfast & Check-In • 8:30 am - Shotgun Start • 1:30 pm - Lunch & Awards

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

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...continued from page 3 more about the duties test and the salary basis test. However, in 2015, that all changed. The Department of Labor proposed a new rule changing the current salary threshold test from $455 a week or $23,660 per year to an estimated $970 per week and $50,440 per year. More than doubling the salary threshold test is predicted to cause a very significant upheaval in the U.S. workforce. The Department of Labor has estimated that just the direct costs to employers of adjusting their policies, evaluating the exemption status of each employee and hiring professionals to assist could cost between $240,000,000 and $255,000,000 per year. More significantly, the DOL expects the transfers to employees from employers as a result of this changeover will be between 1.18 and 1.27 billion dollars per year. This titanic change is caused by the fact that 4.6 million workers are expected to become newly nonexempt in the first year of this rule. This is true because many currently exempt workers earn less than $970 per week or $50,440 per year. As you can imagine, this new proposed

FMI: See page 10

Annual Membership Meeting & Reception Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Location: TBD • 2:30 pm - Membership Meeting • 4:00 pm - Member Reception

rule generated an extreme reaction from the public. DOL received approximately 250,000 comments from employers regarding the proposed changes. Despite significant pushback from the business community, DOL and the current administration continued pressing the new rule aggressively. On March 15, 2016 DOL sent the proposed final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the last stop before publication of the final rule. On May 18, 2016 DOL published the final rule. DOL made slight changes to the rule in its final form. The new salary threshold for EAP exemption is $913 per week, or $47,476 annually. These new thresholds are lower than the $970/$50,440 per year figures in the proposed rule. There is some speculation that Congress will attempt to derail the new rule, however the current administration can be expected to veto any such effort. The new rule is effective December 1, 2016. Employers are advised to immediately identify those employees currently considered exempt whose annual salaries are between $23,660 and $47,476 or $455 per week versus $913 per week). Employees in that category most likely will not be ex-

empt employees after this rule change. Employers should consider the implications of changing those individuals to hourly employees or increasing their salaries to meet the new salary threshold test. Obviously there will be significant human resources issues associated with changing formally exempt employees over to nonexempt hourly workers. These issues will include setting up timeclock protocols for formerly exempt employees, adjusting hourly rates to reflect salary equity and managing the workforce to avoid workers exceeding forty hours per week. Formerly exempt employees may perceive their newly established “hourly employee” status as demoralizing too. Business does not welcome this type of change, but with some planning the disruption can be managed. The key is to start planning now. This guest article is authored by Robert W. Bower, Jr., a labor and employment law attorney at the firm of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy. For more guidance regarding the coming changes to impending overtime exemption rules, you may reach Bob at rbower@nhdlaw.com or 207-553-4659. www

President's Report... ...continued from page 3 I might add. So, what are these ballot question promoters doing for servers? Not much in my book, and for no one who is asking for it.

Annual Golf Classic

www.DennisExpress.com

Spring 2016

I am sorry to inform you that this effort will not be the last. There is a very long list of defeated bills that elected officials and special interest groups have attempted to implement through the legislative process which will soon be staring us in the face at the ballot box. These fights are difficult, time-consuming and expensive. For small business owners, the time is now to support the only organization that cares about this as much as you do - your trade industry association. Renew your membership, encourage other neighboring restaurants to join, contribute additional funds to Restaurateurs for A Strong Maine Economy – the association’s political action committee. (Visit mainerestaurant.com to make your PAC donation.) Your gut reaction may be that there is noth-

ing we can do and eventually this progressive tide will subside and things will get back to normal. Not in your lifetime, I am sure. Remember that, last November, the citizens of Portland thought a $15 minimum wage was too much of an increase and they defeated that onerous ballot question at the polls. That didn’t just happen, as some of our current legislators seem to think. It took a tremendous amount of time and money from interested businesses, the local chamber and statewide trade associations – like ours - representing the hospitality and retail industries. Resistance to these efforts can be successful and will need to be engaged in for the foreseeable future as the ballot box becomes the frontline of political activism due to gridlock at the legislative level. Challenging though these efforts will be, the future of many a Maine business is stake. There will be much to do between now and November’s election and we know most

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members have a busy summer ahead but I encourage you to stay informed and engaged in this issue and be on the lookout for emails from our office on this matter. www

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The

Maine

INGREDIENT I

Maine Restaurant Association

annual golf classic Wednesday, September 7, 2016 ▪ Spring Meadows Golf Club ▪ Gray 7:30 am Check-In & Breakfast ▪ 8:30 am Shotgun Start ▪ Rain Date: September 21

Team: $675 Twosome: $350 Single: $185

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Golf with us!

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Coupons, trinkets, vouchers & more for our 144 golfer welcome bags.

Start as low as $200 and provide great recognition for your brand.

For more information, to register a team, or secure a sponsorship: events@mainerestaurant.com ▪ 207.623.2178 ▪ mainerestaurant.com

Tournament Sponsor:

ProStart Champions... ...continued from page 1 By the Bay in Portland on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Four culinary teams, each comprised of four to five students, represented technical centers from around the state including teams from: • • • •

Northern Penobscot Tech Region III Waldo County Technical Center Lewiston Regional Technical Center Hancock County Technical Center

The all-female team from Northern Penobscot Tech, under the guidance of ChefInstructor Herman Ammerman, earned the first place trophy for the second time with the school having won the state’s first-ever title at the inaugural Maine ProStart Championship in 2012. This year’s winning team included culinary students Nikkol Mulligan, Lexi Clark, Kiara Michaud, Shelby Powers, and Sarah Greaton. Lewiston Regional Technical Center, placed second in the March competition and Waldo County Technical Center placed third. On April 9, 2016, the team from Northern Penobscot Tech represented the state of Maine in the New England Regional ProStart competition and brought home the first place trophy besting competitors from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The Maine team then flew to Dallas, Texas on April 28 to compete in the National ProStart Invitational. Maine’s Pro-

Start mentors, Chef David Turin and Chef Will Beriau, accompanied the team to Texas to support the culinarians as they competed on the national stage. Though the National ProStart Invitational celebrated its 15th anniversary at this year’s competition, Maine’s ProStart program began just five years ago and 2016 was only the fourth time Maine sent a team to the national championship. “Until now, Maine teams have placed in the middle of the pack,” said MERAEF President Mike Carney. “That’s been really impressive for a small state like ours whose program is still in its early days compared to other states. The girls from Northern Penobscot Tech placing 11th at this year’s competition - they really took things to a new level and we couldn’t be more proud.” Maine ProStart efforts are made possible through generous sponsors from local companies including: Performance Foodservice – NorthCenter, Sea Dog Brewing Company, Sysco Northern New England, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, Pine Tree Food Equipment, Dennis Paper & Food Service, Governor’s Restaurants, David’s Restaurant, DiMillo’s On the Water, Ground Round Restaurants, Pat’s Pizza – Yarmouth, US Foods, Oriental Jade Restaurant, R.M. Flagg Food Service Equipment, Stone Cove Catering, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, Dysart’s Restaurant, Senator Inn & Spa, and Husson University. Additional donations were made by Holiday Inn

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By the Bay, Victorinox, Carlisle and Ecolab. The MERAEF extends its gratitude to Maine’s ProStart competition director, Chef Gary Sheldon, curriculum director and mentor, Chef Will Beriau and mentor, Chef David Turin for their tireless efforts in the development of the ProStart teams around the state. For information about how you and your company can become a supporter of the ProStart program in Maine, call 207-623-2178 or email prostart@mainerestaurant.com. For more details about the national ProStart program, visit nraef.org/prostart. www

New Federal Rules to Redefine Exemption From Overtime Many More Employees Will Be Entitled to Overtime Pay By far the most commonly relied upon exemptions from the overtime rule are known as the “white collar exemptions.” Specifically, the “white collar exemptions” are for employees performing executive, administrative and professional jobs. Collectively, these exemptions are known as the EAP exemptions. As we know, many restaurants rely heavily on the EAP exemptions to avoid paying overtime pay. For example, managers and assistant managers are frequently exempt under one or more of the EAP exemptions. Somewhat surprisingly, Congress did not define the terms “executive, administrative and professional” in the statute, section 213(a)(1). Instead, the statute directs the Secretary of Labor to “define and delimit” those terms “from time to time.” As a result, the Secretary of Labor, through the Department of Labor, invented a definition for the EAP exemption in 1940. The three primary aspects of the EAP exemption definition are: 1. The salary requirement (salary basis test); 2. The minimum weekly salary (salary threshold test); and, 3. The duties must be EAP duties (the duties test). The purpose of this brief article is not to delve deeply into the details of each of these tests. Instead, it focuses on test #2 above, the salary threshold test.

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The current salary threshold is $455.00 per week or $23,660 per year. This is the threshold below which an employee may not be considered exempt from overtime under EAP exemptions. This threshold has increased on a very glacial pace since 1940. With an hourly rate of just over $11.00 per hour, the current threshold is met, and therefore employers have rarely been concerned with meeting the salary threshold test in order to prove one of the EAP exemptions. We usually worry much ...continued on page 11

Spring 2016 President’s Report: By Greg Dugal: President & CEO, Maine Restaurant Association

Lack of Governance Leads to the Ballot Box It has become increasingly apparent to this observer of things political and legislative, that the process of implementing laws and regulations is undergoing a sea change. What used to be the bailiwick of the legislative process has now become the purview of citizen signature gatherers who, frustrated with the pace of legislation at the Federal and State level, are taking matters in their own hands. Within a twelve-month cycle we will have seen two minimum wage referendums here in Maine - one local and now, a statewide question slated for November’s ballot and with the potential for many others to follow. Proponents of the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Maine have succeeded in their bid to put the question on November’s statewide ballot and surely this election cycle won’t be the last to see such citizens’ initiatives. Use of the citizen initiated referendum changes the playing field for those of us who try to alert and energize the business community to the perils of these efforts. These initiatives take armies of people and piles of money to succeed either in passing or defeating any particular citizen referendum ballot question. Our resources pale in comparison to those of these with well-funded grassroots organizations behind such initiatives. It makes one wonder what the future of the bicameral system is if more and more of the most complex decisions are made by voters at the ballot box. The construct of our legislative process is that citizen elected legislators are charged with and, in theory have time to, educate themselves on the issues and act upon them for the good of their constituents. Not every average citizen has the time to pore through dozens of pages of testimony and fact to make an educated decision at the ballot box. In fact, in our ever increasingly busy lives, many read the ballot initiative for the first time when they head to the polls.

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At first glance, a question is often taken at face value and viewed through the lens of what it brings to them at the moment. With limited background information, their splitsecond decision may affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. It is very easy for the crafters of these questions to bury a disparate and potentially misunderstood aspect of statute into a citizen initiative question. I believe this to be the case with the elimination of the tip credit in the minimum wage question on November’s ballot. The tip credit has existed since the implementation of the minimum wage at the Federal level in 1938 to help sustain low margin business models like full service restaurants, where both the small business owner and the employee thrive in a gratuitybased system in which tips are calculated as part of the employee’s declared income. This acknowledgement of tips as income has served both the owner and the server well. Servers, who sometimes make more than the owner, will not be happy to be relegated to a minimum wage that they may be powerless to exceed with good service and attention to detail. Those who haven’t worked in a full service restaurant, likely have no idea what a tip credit is or how much money servers make, and rightfully so

...continued on page 11


The

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Maine Restaurant Association

A Night to Remember: Annual Awards Banquet - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring 2016

Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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(01) 2016 Rising Star awardee Krista Cole (left), co-owner of Portland's Sur Lie restaurant pictured with partner Antonio Alviar (right). (02) Courtney Bishop (left) and Cordelia Davies (right) of David's Restaurant in Portland served guests during the Restaurant Showcase reception. (03) 2016 Chef of the Year James Walter (right), executive chef and co-owner of Five-O Shore Road in Ogunquit pictured with fiancĂŠ Elizabeth Woodcock (left) of When Pigs Fly Pizzeria, Kittery. (04) Hors d'oeuvres courtesy of The Nonantum Resort's signature restaurant - 95 Ocean. (05) Attorney David Herzer (right) of the law firm Norman Hanson & DeTroy - our 2016 Allied Member of the Year - with wife Dana Herzer (left). (06) Steve Quigley provides musical entertainment during the cocktail hour courtesy of BMI. (07) Crostini served as appetizers during the Restaurant Showcase reception by chefs from Sea Dog Brewing Company (Topsham, Bangor & South Portland) and Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brewpub (Kennebunk). (08) 2016 Lifetime Achievement honoree Mike Carney (left) of Governor's Restaurants (statewide) pictured with Maine Restaurant Association President & CEO Greg Dugal (right). (09) Hors d'oeuvres shooters from Portland restaurant Five Fifty-Five. (10) 2016 Restaurateurs of the Year - The Geaghan Family of Geaghan's Pub & Craft Brewery of Bangor (pictured from left to right is Larry Geaghan, Andrew Geaghan, Pat Geaghan and Peter Geaghan). Visit mainerestaurant.com to view this year's award videos!

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

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10 (01) Gary Potvin (left), owner of Pine Tree Food Equipment pictured with Jan Castagna (right), director of business solutions. (02) A bountiful seafood display at the Maine Shellfish Company booth. (03) Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter's Corporate Chef Anthony Bussiere plating samples for expogoers. (04) Chris Fawcett (left) and Jason Towle (right) of Plucked Fresh Salsa serving up samples at the Dennis Paper & Food Service booth. (05) Gritty McDuff's on tap! (06) General Manager of The Nonantum Resort, Tina Hewett-Gordon (left) pictured with Tom Radomski (right), chief franchising officer for Margaritas Mexican Restaurants. (07) Cherry cheesecake samples courtesy of Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter. (08) Darren Case of Round Turn Distilling displaying his Bimini Gin as part of the Bow Street Distributing booth. (09) Maine Magazine's Editor-In-Chief Susan Grisanti (left) pictured with Associate Publisher Steve Kelly (right). (10) Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot wines by Cellardoor Winery. (10) Carl Caprara (left) of C. Caprara Food Service Equipment conversing with an Expo attendee.

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

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The

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Maine Restaurant Association

A Night to Remember: Annual Awards Banquet - Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Spring 2016

Maine Restaurant & Lodging Expo: Wednesday, March 30, 2016

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(01) 2016 Rising Star awardee Krista Cole (left), co-owner of Portland's Sur Lie restaurant pictured with partner Antonio Alviar (right). (02) Courtney Bishop (left) and Cordelia Davies (right) of David's Restaurant in Portland served guests during the Restaurant Showcase reception. (03) 2016 Chef of the Year James Walter (right), executive chef and co-owner of Five-O Shore Road in Ogunquit pictured with fiancĂŠ Elizabeth Woodcock (left) of When Pigs Fly Pizzeria, Kittery. (04) Hors d'oeuvres courtesy of The Nonantum Resort's signature restaurant - 95 Ocean. (05) Attorney David Herzer (right) of the law firm Norman Hanson & DeTroy - our 2016 Allied Member of the Year - with wife Dana Herzer (left). (06) Steve Quigley provides musical entertainment during the cocktail hour courtesy of BMI. (07) Crostini served as appetizers during the Restaurant Showcase reception by chefs from Sea Dog Brewing Company (Topsham, Bangor & South Portland) and Federal Jack's Restaurant & Brewpub (Kennebunk). (08) 2016 Lifetime Achievement honoree Mike Carney (left) of Governor's Restaurants (statewide) pictured with Maine Restaurant Association President & CEO Greg Dugal (right). (09) Hors d'oeuvres shooters from Portland restaurant Five Fifty-Five. (10) 2016 Restaurateurs of the Year - The Geaghan Family of Geaghan's Pub & Craft Brewery of Bangor (pictured from left to right is Larry Geaghan, Andrew Geaghan, Pat Geaghan and Peter Geaghan). Visit mainerestaurant.com to view this year's award videos!

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

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10 (01) Gary Potvin (left), owner of Pine Tree Food Equipment pictured with Jan Castagna (right), director of business solutions. (02) A bountiful seafood display at the Maine Shellfish Company booth. (03) Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter's Corporate Chef Anthony Bussiere plating samples for expogoers. (04) Chris Fawcett (left) and Jason Towle (right) of Plucked Fresh Salsa serving up samples at the Dennis Paper & Food Service booth. (05) Gritty McDuff's on tap! (06) General Manager of The Nonantum Resort, Tina Hewett-Gordon (left) pictured with Tom Radomski (right), chief franchising officer for Margaritas Mexican Restaurants. (07) Cherry cheesecake samples courtesy of Performance Foodservice - NorthCenter. (08) Darren Case of Round Turn Distilling displaying his Bimini Gin as part of the Bow Street Distributing booth. (09) Maine Magazine's Editor-In-Chief Susan Grisanti (left) pictured with Associate Publisher Steve Kelly (right). (10) Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot wines by Cellardoor Winery. (10) Carl Caprara (left) of C. Caprara Food Service Equipment conversing with an Expo attendee.

Many Thanks to our Generous Sponsors!

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annual golf classic Wednesday, September 7, 2016 ▪ Spring Meadows Golf Club ▪ Gray 7:30 am Check-In & Breakfast ▪ 8:30 am Shotgun Start ▪ Rain Date: September 21

Team: $675 Twosome: $350 Single: $185

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Coupons, trinkets, vouchers & more for our 144 golfer welcome bags.

Start as low as $200 and provide great recognition for your brand.

For more information, to register a team, or secure a sponsorship: events@mainerestaurant.com ▪ 207.623.2178 ▪ mainerestaurant.com

Tournament Sponsor:

ProStart Champions... ...continued from page 1 By the Bay in Portland on Saturday, March 12, 2016. Four culinary teams, each comprised of four to five students, represented technical centers from around the state including teams from: • • • •

Northern Penobscot Tech Region III Waldo County Technical Center Lewiston Regional Technical Center Hancock County Technical Center

The all-female team from Northern Penobscot Tech, under the guidance of ChefInstructor Herman Ammerman, earned the first place trophy for the second time with the school having won the state’s first-ever title at the inaugural Maine ProStart Championship in 2012. This year’s winning team included culinary students Nikkol Mulligan, Lexi Clark, Kiara Michaud, Shelby Powers, and Sarah Greaton. Lewiston Regional Technical Center, placed second in the March competition and Waldo County Technical Center placed third. On April 9, 2016, the team from Northern Penobscot Tech represented the state of Maine in the New England Regional ProStart competition and brought home the first place trophy besting competitors from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The Maine team then flew to Dallas, Texas on April 28 to compete in the National ProStart Invitational. Maine’s Pro-

Start mentors, Chef David Turin and Chef Will Beriau, accompanied the team to Texas to support the culinarians as they competed on the national stage. Though the National ProStart Invitational celebrated its 15th anniversary at this year’s competition, Maine’s ProStart program began just five years ago and 2016 was only the fourth time Maine sent a team to the national championship. “Until now, Maine teams have placed in the middle of the pack,” said MERAEF President Mike Carney. “That’s been really impressive for a small state like ours whose program is still in its early days compared to other states. The girls from Northern Penobscot Tech placing 11th at this year’s competition - they really took things to a new level and we couldn’t be more proud.” Maine ProStart efforts are made possible through generous sponsors from local companies including: Performance Foodservice – NorthCenter, Sea Dog Brewing Company, Sysco Northern New England, Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England, Pine Tree Food Equipment, Dennis Paper & Food Service, Governor’s Restaurants, David’s Restaurant, DiMillo’s On the Water, Ground Round Restaurants, Pat’s Pizza – Yarmouth, US Foods, Oriental Jade Restaurant, R.M. Flagg Food Service Equipment, Stone Cove Catering, Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream, Dysart’s Restaurant, Senator Inn & Spa, and Husson University. Additional donations were made by Holiday Inn

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By the Bay, Victorinox, Carlisle and Ecolab. The MERAEF extends its gratitude to Maine’s ProStart competition director, Chef Gary Sheldon, curriculum director and mentor, Chef Will Beriau and mentor, Chef David Turin for their tireless efforts in the development of the ProStart teams around the state. For information about how you and your company can become a supporter of the ProStart program in Maine, call 207-623-2178 or email prostart@mainerestaurant.com. For more details about the national ProStart program, visit nraef.org/prostart. www

New Federal Rules to Redefine Exemption From Overtime Many More Employees Will Be Entitled to Overtime Pay By far the most commonly relied upon exemptions from the overtime rule are known as the “white collar exemptions.” Specifically, the “white collar exemptions” are for employees performing executive, administrative and professional jobs. Collectively, these exemptions are known as the EAP exemptions. As we know, many restaurants rely heavily on the EAP exemptions to avoid paying overtime pay. For example, managers and assistant managers are frequently exempt under one or more of the EAP exemptions. Somewhat surprisingly, Congress did not define the terms “executive, administrative and professional” in the statute, section 213(a)(1). Instead, the statute directs the Secretary of Labor to “define and delimit” those terms “from time to time.” As a result, the Secretary of Labor, through the Department of Labor, invented a definition for the EAP exemption in 1940. The three primary aspects of the EAP exemption definition are: 1. The salary requirement (salary basis test); 2. The minimum weekly salary (salary threshold test); and, 3. The duties must be EAP duties (the duties test). The purpose of this brief article is not to delve deeply into the details of each of these tests. Instead, it focuses on test #2 above, the salary threshold test.

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The current salary threshold is $455.00 per week or $23,660 per year. This is the threshold below which an employee may not be considered exempt from overtime under EAP exemptions. This threshold has increased on a very glacial pace since 1940. With an hourly rate of just over $11.00 per hour, the current threshold is met, and therefore employers have rarely been concerned with meeting the salary threshold test in order to prove one of the EAP exemptions. We usually worry much ...continued on page 11

Spring 2016 President’s Report: By Greg Dugal: President & CEO, Maine Restaurant Association

Lack of Governance Leads to the Ballot Box It has become increasingly apparent to this observer of things political and legislative, that the process of implementing laws and regulations is undergoing a sea change. What used to be the bailiwick of the legislative process has now become the purview of citizen signature gatherers who, frustrated with the pace of legislation at the Federal and State level, are taking matters in their own hands. Within a twelve-month cycle we will have seen two minimum wage referendums here in Maine - one local and now, a statewide question slated for November’s ballot and with the potential for many others to follow. Proponents of the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Maine have succeeded in their bid to put the question on November’s statewide ballot and surely this election cycle won’t be the last to see such citizens’ initiatives. Use of the citizen initiated referendum changes the playing field for those of us who try to alert and energize the business community to the perils of these efforts. These initiatives take armies of people and piles of money to succeed either in passing or defeating any particular citizen referendum ballot question. Our resources pale in comparison to those of these with well-funded grassroots organizations behind such initiatives. It makes one wonder what the future of the bicameral system is if more and more of the most complex decisions are made by voters at the ballot box. The construct of our legislative process is that citizen elected legislators are charged with and, in theory have time to, educate themselves on the issues and act upon them for the good of their constituents. Not every average citizen has the time to pore through dozens of pages of testimony and fact to make an educated decision at the ballot box. In fact, in our ever increasingly busy lives, many read the ballot initiative for the first time when they head to the polls.

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At first glance, a question is often taken at face value and viewed through the lens of what it brings to them at the moment. With limited background information, their splitsecond decision may affect the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people. It is very easy for the crafters of these questions to bury a disparate and potentially misunderstood aspect of statute into a citizen initiative question. I believe this to be the case with the elimination of the tip credit in the minimum wage question on November’s ballot. The tip credit has existed since the implementation of the minimum wage at the Federal level in 1938 to help sustain low margin business models like full service restaurants, where both the small business owner and the employee thrive in a gratuitybased system in which tips are calculated as part of the employee’s declared income. This acknowledgement of tips as income has served both the owner and the server well. Servers, who sometimes make more than the owner, will not be happy to be relegated to a minimum wage that they may be powerless to exceed with good service and attention to detail. Those who haven’t worked in a full service restaurant, likely have no idea what a tip credit is or how much money servers make, and rightfully so

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

In our Business, It's All About Setting the Stage As June gets underway, we here at The Nonantum Resort, along with fellow businesses in Kennebunkport, will welcome the summer season with the annual Kennebunk port Festival – a weeklong showcase of Maine’s chefs, artists, musicians, wine purveyors, and brewers - produced by the talented and creative staff of Maine Magazine. For us, the festival is an opportunity to set the stage for our busiest months of the year and celebrate all that our quaint, seaside hamlet has to offer. At the Maine Restaurant Association we’ve, too, been setting the stage for what’s to come. As we’ve communicated to membership several times since last fall, our President & CEO Greg Dugal will be leaving his post once a suitable replacement is found. I’m happy to report that after much due-diligence on the part of both the Maine Restaurant Association board as well as the board of the Maine Innkeepers Association – for whom Greg also serves at the president & CEO - the formal search for candidates is underway. Through the generosity of time offered by Greg in his willingness to serve out an open-ended resignation notice, we’ve had the opportunity to undergo a more strategic and deliberative process to determine the organization’s future than perhaps has ever before been undertaken in our 63 year history. I thank my fellow board members as well as the Innkeeper’s Association board of directors who have dedicated themselves to the effort which has required more time, patience and commitment than is typical of a director’s term. The result of this six-month planning process led to the formation of a search committee comprised of board members from both associations. The committee interviewed several professional search firms and settled on a local company headquartered in Bangor, Starboard Leadership Consulting LLC – an affiliate of Rudman Winchell - to lead the search for a new executive.

The job posting can be viewed at starboard leadership.com/executive-search. I encourage you to share the job description with anyone you know who might be interested in and qualified for the position. We are very much interested in candidates with industry experience. The application deadline is June 17 and we hope to have a new President & CEO in place by August 1, by which time it will have been nearly a year since Greg first informed the associations’ board chairmen, myself included, of his intended resignation. Not only has Greg done yeoman’s work by continuing to run the association and steadfastly representing the industry over the past year, he’s also been a tremendous resource as we’ve determined our path forward. His experience in the hospitality industry and in association leadership is broad and deep and we’re fortunate that he has agreed to continue assisting this association with our advocacy efforts and government affairs agenda for the foreseeable future. This will allow Greg a more manageable pace of life while the association continues to benefit from his expertise, reputation and relationships he’s built over the years “under the dome”. I look forward to introducing our new leader to you in the near future. Until then, I wish those of you who thrive in the summer a prosperous peak-season and those of you for whom summer is the off-season a restful few months! www

Overtime Exemption Rules...

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 STAFF Greg Dugal

President & CEO greg@mainerestaurant.com

Becky Jacobson

Operations Manager becky@mainerestaurant.com

Rebecca Dill

Marketing & Events Director rebeccad@mainerestaurant.com

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 7, 2016 Spring Meadows Golf Club, Gray • 7:30 am - Breakfast & Check-In • 8:30 am - Shotgun Start • 1:30 pm - Lunch & Awards

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

Info@DennisExpress.com

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...continued from page 3 more about the duties test and the salary basis test. However, in 2015, that all changed. The Department of Labor proposed a new rule changing the current salary threshold test from $455 a week or $23,660 per year to an estimated $970 per week and $50,440 per year. More than doubling the salary threshold test is predicted to cause a very significant upheaval in the U.S. workforce. The Department of Labor has estimated that just the direct costs to employers of adjusting their policies, evaluating the exemption status of each employee and hiring professionals to assist could cost between $240,000,000 and $255,000,000 per year. More significantly, the DOL expects the transfers to employees from employers as a result of this changeover will be between 1.18 and 1.27 billion dollars per year. This titanic change is caused by the fact that 4.6 million workers are expected to become newly nonexempt in the first year of this rule. This is true because many currently exempt workers earn less than $970 per week or $50,440 per year. As you can imagine, this new proposed

FMI: See page 10

Annual Membership Meeting & Reception Tuesday, October 18, 2016 Location: TBD • 2:30 pm - Membership Meeting • 4:00 pm - Member Reception

rule generated an extreme reaction from the public. DOL received approximately 250,000 comments from employers regarding the proposed changes. Despite significant pushback from the business community, DOL and the current administration continued pressing the new rule aggressively. On March 15, 2016 DOL sent the proposed final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the last stop before publication of the final rule. On May 18, 2016 DOL published the final rule. DOL made slight changes to the rule in its final form. The new salary threshold for EAP exemption is $913 per week, or $47,476 annually. These new thresholds are lower than the $970/$50,440 per year figures in the proposed rule. There is some speculation that Congress will attempt to derail the new rule, however the current administration can be expected to veto any such effort. The new rule is effective December 1, 2016. Employers are advised to immediately identify those employees currently considered exempt whose annual salaries are between $23,660 and $47,476 or $455 per week versus $913 per week). Employees in that category most likely will not be ex-

empt employees after this rule change. Employers should consider the implications of changing those individuals to hourly employees or increasing their salaries to meet the new salary threshold test. Obviously there will be significant human resources issues associated with changing formally exempt employees over to nonexempt hourly workers. These issues will include setting up timeclock protocols for formerly exempt employees, adjusting hourly rates to reflect salary equity and managing the workforce to avoid workers exceeding forty hours per week. Formerly exempt employees may perceive their newly established “hourly employee” status as demoralizing too. Business does not welcome this type of change, but with some planning the disruption can be managed. The key is to start planning now. This guest article is authored by Robert W. Bower, Jr., a labor and employment law attorney at the firm of Norman, Hanson & DeTroy. For more guidance regarding the coming changes to impending overtime exemption rules, you may reach Bob at rbower@nhdlaw.com or 207-553-4659. www

President's Report... ...continued from page 3 I might add. So, what are these ballot question promoters doing for servers? Not much in my book, and for no one who is asking for it.

Annual Golf Classic

www.DennisExpress.com

Spring 2016

I am sorry to inform you that this effort will not be the last. There is a very long list of defeated bills that elected officials and special interest groups have attempted to implement through the legislative process which will soon be staring us in the face at the ballot box. These fights are difficult, time-consuming and expensive. For small business owners, the time is now to support the only organization that cares about this as much as you do - your trade industry association. Renew your membership, encourage other neighboring restaurants to join, contribute additional funds to Restaurateurs for A Strong Maine Economy – the association’s political action committee. (Visit mainerestaurant.com to make your PAC donation.) Your gut reaction may be that there is noth-

ing we can do and eventually this progressive tide will subside and things will get back to normal. Not in your lifetime, I am sure. Remember that, last November, the citizens of Portland thought a $15 minimum wage was too much of an increase and they defeated that onerous ballot question at the polls. That didn’t just happen, as some of our current legislators seem to think. It took a tremendous amount of time and money from interested businesses, the local chamber and statewide trade associations – like ours - representing the hospitality and retail industries. Resistance to these efforts can be successful and will need to be engaged in for the foreseeable future as the ballot box becomes the frontline of political activism due to gridlock at the legislative level. Challenging though these efforts will be, the future of many a Maine business is stake. There will be much to do between now and November’s election and we know most

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members have a busy summer ahead but I encourage you to stay informed and engaged in this issue and be on the lookout for emails from our office on this matter. www

www.Sysconne.com 1-800-632-4446


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45 Melville St. • Augusta, ME 04330

207. 623 . 2178

Spring 2016

mainerestaurant . com

info @ mainerestaurant . com

127 th Maine Legislature: The Session in Review

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Seasonal Employees Between the Ages of 14 and 16

Young workers between the ages of 14 and 16 can be a valuable part of the summer workforce in dining rooms and takeout areas throughout the State of Maine.

Remember that these workers come with a price and that price is to pay attention to their duties performed and their hours worked so that you do not find yourself at odds with the Maine Department of Labor. Any time there is a violation for a worker working later or longer than they should, each infraction can result in a fine, not all of them aggregated together. During the summer, employees between the ages of 14 and 16 are subject to the following rules: When school is not in session these laws apply: 1. 2. 3. 4.

They may not work more than 40 hours per week They may not work more than 8 hours per day They may not work more than 6 consecutive days They may work until 9 pm during summer vacation

Additionally, the potential employee must have a stamped approved work permit, which you must keep on file, before any minor under 16 may perform work. The student may obtain this permit at their Superintendents of School office. www

The final days of the 127th Maine Legislature were interesting ones for the Maine Restaurant Association and after all that activity they recessed and veto day was scheduled for Friday, April 29. This is a day for the Legislature to come in and resolve any unfinished business and take up any gubernatorial vetoes (and there were a few) that were executed during the short recess. The Maine Restaurant Association’s biggest issue coming into the end of the session was attempting to find a way to mitigate the effects of an extreme minimum wage increase and elimination of the tip credit by a citizen initiative slated to be on the November 8, 2016 ballot. This question if passed would raise the minimum wage in four steps to $12 and adjust to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after the final increase and eliminate the tip credit over time. A coalition of business groups including the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Innkeepers Association, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Association of Maine and another dozen or so groups advocated for a more reasonable approach to this effort. The coalition’s proposal, that we hoped the Legislature would have introduced as a competing measure, would have increased the wage to $10 over four years, kept the tip credit intact and removed the CPI adjustment. The coalition attempted to get the competing measure as an amendment to LD 1661, which was the number assigned to the citizen initiative and Representative Susan Austin of Gray attempted to do the same with LD 674, a concept draft that was still in the Labor Committee. Democratic leader-

ship scuttled both efforts in the House and there was no amendment to LD 1661 and LD 674 died in non-concurrence. Another vehicle, LD 1695, was a Governor’s bill sponsored by Senator Andre Cushing of Newport. It also mirrored the coalition’s attempts at a competing measure, but it ended up having a slight twist. Senate Republican leadership held this bill and then ran it as a straight up increase to $10 in four steps and not as a potential competing measure. The bill would need to be passed as an emergency measure with a two-thirds vote but ended up one vote short in the Senate with 22-12 vote in favor of the measure. The bill was released to the House at recess and was killed there on a motion to indefinitely postpone the measure. The Senate tried to keep it alive by introducing new information and “insisting” that the House take it up, but to no avail. Other issues of importance in this legislative session to restaurateurs included the defeat of a bill that would require restaurants to post any genetically modified organisms (GMO) that could appear in some form on their menus. It was fairly apparent to the committee, that even if this was a good idea that it would need to be someone farther up the food chain rather than the restaurant owner or chef to make this identification and notification. Maine statute currently holds that if the remainder of the New England states pass GMO notification legislation at a grocery store level that Maine would follow. Thus far, Vermont is the only state to have done so and that decision is currently being reviewed in court cases. www

Maine’s 2016 ProStart Champions Place 11th at National Competition In just the fourth year Maine has sent a team to compete at the National ProStart Invitational, the Maine ProStart championship team from Northern Penobscot Tech Region III in Lincoln placed 11th at the 2016 competition held at the end of April in Dallas, Texas. ProStart, a nationwide, two-year high school program, teaches nearly 140,000 students in more than 1,800 high schools across the country the skills needed to be successful in the food service industry. Through its industry-driven curriculum, ProStart provides real-life experience opportunities and builds practical skills and a foundation from which to launch a career. The team’s journey to the national competition began at the fifth annual Maine ProStart Championship hosted by the Maine Restaurant Association Education Foundation (MERAEF) at the Holiday Inn

...continued on page 10

IN THIS ISSUE:

Chairman’s Message

2

Overtime Exemption Changes

3

President’s Report

3

Awards Banquet

4

Restaurant & Lodging Expo

9

Annual Golf Tournament

10

MERA Spring 2016 Newsletter  
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