Official Magazine of North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
Service The Stars Shine Bright:
NCRLA • 222 North Person Street, Suite 210 • Raleigh, NC 27601
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2018 Stars of the Industry award recipients honored
Spring 2018 Issue, Vol. 7, Issue 1 www.ncrla.org
The need to knows about workplace sexual harassment
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table of contents in every issue
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Letter from the Chair and the President NCRLA Chair Billy Sewell and President & CEO Lynn Minges Upcoming Events Network with North Carolina’s hospitality industry leaders at one of NCRLA’s upcoming events Welcome New Members NCRLA welcomes several new members from across North Carolina Benefits of Membership NCRLA offers new, exciting benefits for members A la Carte A sampler of hospitality-related news stories
Leadership Chat with the Chairman
ADA Compliance How ADA compliance laws affect your website
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Industry Awards NCRLA celebrates industry’s top talent at annual awards gala
Legal Bites What you need to know about workplace sexual harassment
Tip Pooling Omnibus bill fast-tracks changes on tip-pooling Tax Code Tax Reform Act lowers hospitality industry’s alcohol costs Workforce Development 5 tips for employers: Preparing for the summer season by hiring teen workers Member Moments A look at the North Carolina hospitality industry’s recent philanthropic efforts Prostart Future industry all-stars advance to national culinary and management competition
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BILLY SEWELL, Chair Platinum Corral, LLC JIM BELEY The Umstead Hotel & Spa SCOTT BREWTON Pinehurst Resort & Spa DAN FREELAND Concord Hospitality Enterprises PHIL FRIEDMAN Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina DORIS HUEBNER F & D Huebner, LLC JOEL GRIFFIN Griffin Stafford Hospitality, LLC ALAN HILTON S & D Coffee, Inc. BURNEY JENNINGS Biscuitville Fresh Southern SCOTT MAITLAND Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery & Distillery MICHAEL MARTINO Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center AMBER MOSHAKOS LM Restaurants
NCRLA EXECUTIVE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
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ROBERT M. O’HALLORAN East Carolina University RASHMIKANT “HAJI” PATEL Ex-officio Asian American Hotel Owners Assoc. NISHITH “NISH” PATEL Beacon IMG, Inc. VINAY PATEL SREE Hotels, LLC TOM SASSER Burke Hospitality JASON SMITH 18 Restaurant Group STEVE THANHAUSER Angus Barn, Ltd. CHARLES THOMPSON The Inn on Biltmore Estate LANCE TRENARY Golden Corral Corporation STERLING F. WEBSTER IV Hilton Garden Inn, Outer Banks Kitty Hawk & Ramada Plaza, Nags Head CRISSY WRIGHT Charlotte Marriott City Center
Cover Photo: Revival Photography www.revivalphotography.com
Serving the unique health care needs of small employer members. UnitedHealthcare works with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) and the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association (NCRLA) in a strategic alliance, offering exclusive health care pricing and solutions for NRA/NCRLA small employer members. 3 ways NRA/NCRLA small employer members can access UnitedHealthcare’s exclusive offerings: 1 For small businesses with 2-99 employees: New Restaurant
& Hospitality Association Benefit Trust option for fully insured hospitality groups.
2 For small businesses with 51 or more employees: Up to a
5 percent discount on manual medical rates for fully insured groups. 3 For small businesses of all sizes: Up to a 5 percent discount on
specialty benefits products (dental, vision, life, disability, accident and critical illness) for fully insured groups — in addition to all other discounts including bundling benefits programs.
New Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust option for small employers. The new Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust is now available to quote as an option for NRA/NCRLA hospitality member groups. The RH Association Benefit Trust is a new health benefits solution insured and serviced by UnitedHealthcare and focused on small employers with 2-99 eligible employees. This solution can offer NRA/NCRLA members some of the same advantages of large employers regarding more health plan designs for product and potential pricing flexibility. Available nationally, the new RH Association Benefit Trust features a product portfolio with more than 120 health plan designs. It is just one more way for hospitality businesses to access UnitedHealthcare’s solutions for NRA/NCRLA members.
Contact Moriah Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the hospitality associations alliance program.
Contact your broker or UnitedHealthcare representative to get a UnitedHealthcare quote.
Some restrictions and exclusions apply. Discounts are available only to members of the National Restaurant Association and its state restaurant association partners; and may vary by location and group size. The Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust is not available in Minnesota, New York or Vermont. Insurance coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of Illinois, Inc. or their affiliates. Administrative services provided by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through UnitedHealthcare of North Carolina, Inc. Facebook.com/UnitedHealthcare D30321 1/18
©2018 United HealthCare Services, Inc.
letter from the NCRLA Chair and CEO
At Your Service Volume 7, Issue 1 An official publication of the N.C. Restaurant & Lodging Association © 2018 STAFF President & CEO LYNN D. MINGES
Here at the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association, 2018 is already shaping up to be a busy and productive year. During the first quarter, we celebrated the people who make our industry hum at the annual Stars of the Industry awards gala. This event presents the perfect backdrop to recognize individuals who go above and beyond, making the hospitality industry shine. You’ll see highlights from that amazing evening in this edition of “At Your Service” (pg. 8). We celebrated future leaders of our industry at the annual ProStart Invitational in Charlotte, Feb. 26-27. More than 100 high school students, representing 18 schools from across North Carolina, competed in the high-stakes culinary arts and restaurant management competition organized by the association’s philanthropic arm, the North Carolina Hospitality Education Foundation. Chefs, restaurateurs, hoteliers, public relations professionals, post-secondary educators and others came to cheer on these students and serve as volunteers, mentors and judges. You’ll find details on pg. 24. This year, NCRLA is tackling workforce development issues head-on. As the hospitality industry continues to grow, we are faced with worker shortages created by record low unemployment and the rapid growth of business. We have partnered with local workforce development boards across the state to match employers offering career opportunities with dedicated and experienced employees. In late March, we partnered with the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau, Capital Area Workforce Development and the Raleigh Convention Center to host the first-ever hospitality job fair in Wake County. Stay on the lookout for similar events in other areas of the state coming soon. As winter turns to spring, our focus turns to advocacy and the important policy priorities and positions that support business growth, jobs for employees who depend upon our success and the guests we serve. Several opportunities exist for members to engage in advancing NCRLA’s advocacy agenda. Join us as we travel to Washington, D.C., April 17-18, for the National Restaurant Association’s Public Affairs Conference to lead face-to-face meetings with members of North Carolina’s Congressional delegation. On June 5, we invite you to attend NCRLA’s annual legislative day, “Rally in Raleigh.” And, as always, our lobbying team will work tirelessly on your behalf, as the North Carolina General Assembly convenes for its short session May 16. At NCRLA, we are honored to lead the North Carolina hospitality industry, sharing stories of opportunity, growth and success. We look forward to the second quarter of 2018 and your involvement in amplifying the industry’s united message.
Chief Operating Officer/ Membership Development/ Health and Safety Regulations/ ALYSSA BARKLEY, IOM Director of Government Affairs/ Staff Attorney KIMBERLY SIOMKOS Director of Communications MIRANDA KINNEY Director of Marketing and Business Development MINDY WHARTON Director of Hospitality Education MANDY HINES Database Manager & Membership Coordinator NATALIE COX Executive Assistant/ NCRLA Board Liaison AMY BERENSON General Counsel & Lobbyist FRANK GRAY Printer CHAMBLEE GRAPHICS, INC. Graphics and Design WHITNEY GOULDING DESIGNS email@example.com BUSINESS OFFICE 222 North Person Street, Suite 210 Raleigh, N.C. 27601 Phone: (919) 844-0098 Website: www.ncrla.org For advertising and sponsorship inquiries, contact Director of Marketing and Business Development, MINDY WHARTON, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lynn Minges NCRLA President & CEO
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Billy Sewell NCRLA Board Chair
/NCRLA @NCRLA Or search North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association
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NCRLA celebrates industry’s top talent at annual awards gala
On Monday, Feb. 5, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association celebrated those who work to make a difference in the North Carolina hospitality industry at the annual Stars of the Industry awards gala. The star-studded evening shined bright with a dinner reception for 300 hospitality professionals highlighting anticipated 2018 food and beverage trends.
North Carolina’s diverse hotel and restaurant community. The evening was emceed by WRAL-TV’s Ken Smith, a self-proclaimed foodie and friend of NCRLA.
The celestial celebration continued as 15 men and women, in various sectors of the industry, were recognized for their dedicated service to the North Carolina hospitality industry and the guests it serves. The winners were from across the state, exemplifying
Left to right: Doris and Fred Huebner, F&D Huebner; Doug Pearce, Over the Falls; NCRLA Chairman Billy Sewell, Platinum Corral; and Brad and Jo Hurley, 42nd Street Oyster Bar; gathered to cheers Stars of the Industry award recipients
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THE 2018 STARS OF THE INDUSTRY AWARD WINNERS ARE: • • • • •
• • • • • • •
North Carolina House of Representatives Hospitality Champion – Rep. David Lewis North Carolina Senate Hospitality Champion – Sen. Rick Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award – Presented to Denise Doyle honoring Barry Doyle, Barry’s Cafe (Raleigh, NC) Hospitality Supplier of the Year – Angie Packer, Tryon Distributing (Charlotte, NC) The Griff & June Glover Award for Distinguished Service – Scott Maitland, Top of the Hill Restaurant, Brewery & Distillery (Chapel Hill, NC) Ken Conrad Award for Service to the Community – Jason Smith, 18 Restaurant Group (Raleigh, NC) Lodging Employee of the Year – Patrick Hawthorne, The Umstead Hotel and Spa (Cary, NC) Lodging Manager of the Year – Kevin D’Amico, Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel (Raleigh, NC) Lodging Operator of the Year – John Beatty, The Dunhill Hotel (Charlotte, NC) Restaurant Employee of the Year – Myles Scaglione, Heirloom Restaurant (Charlotte, NC) Restaurant Manager of the Year – Robert Montanari, Taverna Agora Greek Kitchen & Bar (Raleigh, NC) Restaurateur of the Year – Clark Barlowe, Heirloom Restaurant (Charlotte, NC)
THE TOP 2017 NCRLA NC CHEF SHOWDOWN HONOREES WERE ALSO RECOGNIZED DURING THE EVENT: • • •
NCRLA Chef of the Year – Matthew Krenz, The Asbury at The Dunhill Hotel (Charlotte, NC) NCRLA Pastry Chef of the Year – Ann Marie Stefaney, Heirloom Restaurant (Charlotte, NC) NCRLA Mixologist of the Year – Amanda Britton, 204 North Kitchen & Cocktails (Charlotte, NC)
NCRLA President & CEO (left) and Chairman Billy Sewell (right) congratulate Rep. David Lewis, who was awarded the North Carolina House of Representatives Hospitality Champion award A second line brass band capped off the evening as desserts and sparklers were wheeled in, accompanied by a sparkling wine cocktail from Shelton Vineyards to cheers the winners and their accomplishments. The evening would not have been possible without the host sponsor, the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center, the presenting sponsor, Sysco, and the many other sponsors who contributed. z
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Chat with the Chairman On Feb. 5, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association announced the election of its 2018 officers to the Board of Directors, as well as the new directors who will serve the association. NCRLA’s Miranda Kinney caught up with the 2018 Board Chairman Billy Sewell of Platinum Corral to learn more about his industry experience and goals for the year to come.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SERVE AS NCRLA CHAIR? It is important that I give back to an industry that has provided so much opportunity to me. NCRLA protects and promotes the hospitality industry at a state and federal level. Being a leader within this association gives me a seat at the table, and a voice to amplify industry issues. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP PRIORITIES FOR 2018? This year, I want to focus on member engagement and involvement in advocacy. NCRLA offers numerous opportunities to initiate conversations with policymakers, such as annual trips to Washington, D.C., and the Rally in Raleigh event. This allows us, as owners and operators, to address our concerns of impeding regulations and short- and long-term challenges. However, our united voice cannot be heard if we do not step up to the plate.
WHAT IS YOUR HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY BACKGROUND?
IF YOU COULD FIX ONE MAJOR ISSUE LOOMING OVER THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
The restaurant industry is in my genes. My father was an initial investor in Golden Corral, which generated my interest. I started working for Golden Corral in 1989 as a kitchen manager. I worked my way through the ranks, eventually purchasing two Golden Corral stores in 1996. Today, I am the president of a multistate Golden Corral franchisee based in Jacksonville, North Carolina.
One of the biggest issues the hospitality industry faces is a shortage of workers to fill the many jobs needed at all levels of our businesses. We must have an adequate number of trained and dedicated employees to make this a sustainable industry. We are in the service industry and pride ourselves on being customer centric. Taking care of our customers starts with happy, educated and well-trained employees.
WHAT IS YOUR HISTORY WITH NCRLA?
It is my goal to seek solutions to address this issue by initiating conversations with state and federal representatives and by urging increased funding for hospitality training programs at the secondary (i.e. ProStart) and post-secondary levels across the state. NCRLA will also strengthen its work with local workforce development boards to roll out hospitality job fairs and job boards helping job seekers connect with available positions in restaurants and hotels.
I have had the pleasure of serving on NCRLA’s Board of Directors for more than a decade. During that time, I was a founding member of the association’s Government Affairs Committee, served on the Executive Committee and have also served at a national level, as a National Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association Education
Foundation board member. In 2008, I was honored with NCRLA’s North Carolina Restaurateur of the Year award.
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Available exclusively from
IN YOUR OPINION, WHAT ARE THE MOST VALUABLE RESOURCES/SERVICES THAT NCRLA PROVIDES TO ITS MEMBERS? NCRLA offers endless operational benefits to its membership including access to a number of discount programs that offer savings that cannot easily be obtained as an individual business, but is right at our fingertips thanks to NCRLA. In addition to the important advocacy work we do together, perhaps the greatest benefit the association provides is the access to information through consultancy on legal and regulatory issues such as health and safety, ABC, labor and wage and taxation. Association events throughout the year offer networking opportunities with peers from across the state and education on important issues. For example, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Expo in August is a multifaceted opportunity for both single- and multi-unit operators to network with foodservice, alcohol, insurance, linen companies and more, all under one roof. It’s a onestop-shop; a “hospitality industry mall.” The best part is, it is free to NCRLA members using promo code “NCRLA18.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY? Whether you are part of this industry for one day, one year or a career, there are numerous opportunities to learn and grow that you will not find in other professions. The work ethic that you put forth can open doors to wherever you want to go. This is an industry where you can start by washing dishes or cleaning hotel rooms and work your way up to restaurant or hotel owner. You chart your own course.
To learn more about NCRLA’s chairman and Board of Directors, visit NCRLA.org. z
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2018 calendar of events Network with North Carolina’s hospitality industry leaders at one of NCRLA’s upcoming events. Learn more at www.ncrla.org.
Charlotte Chapter Golf Classic The Golf Club at Ballantyne Charlotte, NC 9 a.m.
National ProStart Invitational Providence, RI
NCRLA Board Meeting 222 N. Person Street Raleigh, NC 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Rally in Raleigh/Legislative Day 222 N. Person Street Raleigh, NC 2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
NC HEF Excellence in Education Awards Breakfast Prestonwood Country Club Cary, NC 8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
NC Future of Hospitality Golf Classic Prestonwood Country Club Cary, NC
Thank You to Our Corporate Partners
Corporate partners support the endeavors of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association in a variety of ways, from event sponsorships, advertising and more. NCRLA thanks those who help make the association strong.
View our corporate partnership opportunities at www.ncrla.org For more information on how you or your organization can become a corporate partner of NCRLA, including the Hospitality Education Foundation and the NCRLA Political Action Committee, call Mindy Wharton, NCRLA director of marketing and business development, at 919-277-8585.
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welcome new NCRLA members NCRLA welcomes new members from across North Carolina Go to www.ncrla.org to learn more about NCRLA and to download a membership application. New Allied Members Barnwell Whaley Patterson & Helms, LLC, Wilmington FisherPhillips, Charlotte Growth Management Group, Durham Hospitality Staffing Solutions, Raleigh Joseph Cofield Insurance & Financial Services, Charlotte Strickland’s Portion Pak, Inc., Fayetteville SmartCare Equipment Solutions, Charlotte Tortal Training, Charlotte Ward & Smith, P.A., Raleigh New Lodging Members CMC Hotels: -Best Western Plus Cary, North Carolina State University -Best Western Raleigh North - Downtown -Fairfield Inn & Suites RDU Airport - Brier Creek -Fairfield Inn & Suites Raleigh - Cary -Holiday Inn Raleigh - North Midtown -Hyatt House RDU Airport - Brier Creek -SpringHill Suites Durham - Chapel Hill -SpringHill Suites Raleigh - Cary -TownePlace Suites Wilmington - Wrightsville Beach Hilton Garden Inn, Hickory LeMeridien Hotel, Charlotte Revisn, Raleigh Sheraton, Charlotte The Marriott, Research Triangle Park New Restaurant Members Big Steaks Management, Pikesville, MD BJ’s Carolina Café, Jarvisburg City Lights Rooftop Bar, Charlotte Craft City Social Club, Charlotte
Currituck BBQ Company, Maple Evoke, Charlotte Fair Witness, Winston-Salem Jack Brown’s Beer and Burger Joint, Nags Head Kanki Crabtree Valley Mall, Raleigh Kanki Durham/Chapel Hill Kanki North Market Square, Raleigh Longboards Island Grill, Kitty Hawk Metro Diner, Huntersville Might as Well Bar and Grill, Chapel Hill Mozelle’s Fresh Southern Bistro, Winston-Salem Pinetop Sport Club, Greensboro Russo’s Bistro, Kitty Hawk Sal’s Pizza, Kill Devil Hills Sandbars Raw Bar & Grille, Kill Devil Hills Sandtrap Tavern, Nags Head Shuckin’ Shack Franchising, LLC, Wilmington -Shuckin’ Shack, Carolina Beach -Shuckin’ Shack, Morehead City -Shuckin’ Shack, Surf City -Shuckin’ Shack, Salisbury -Shuckin’ Shack, Tryon Village -Shuckin’ Shack, Cary -Shuckin’ Shack, Durham Simply Southern Kitchen, Nags Head Sly Grog Lounge, Asheville Social Bar & Kitchen, Charlotte Southern Shores Pizza, Southern Shore The Pizza Times, Raleigh The Scorpio, Charlotte Tommy’s Natural Food Market & Wine Shop, Duck Tonbo Ramen, Raleigh
NCRLA Helpline Do you have questions about legal or regulatory issues that impact your business? NCRLA can help. Membership grants you three hours of legal assistance from our staff attorney, Kim Siomkos, as well as help from our on-staff health and safety regulations expert, Alyssa Barkley. Contact Kim at 919-861-0942 or email@example.com or Alyssa at 919-844-7883 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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What you need to know about workplace sexual harassment
1. Be Aware of Your Potential Liability
In light of the recent #MeToo Movement and the allegations of inappropriate conduct by high profile celebrities and top CEO’s, it is a great time for all employers to take time to review their company’s sexual harassment policies and procedures. Below are five things that all employers should know to prevent, investigate and put an end to harassment in the workplace.
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An employer can be held liable for harassment in the workplace, whether the alleged harasser is a supervisor, a co-worker, a vendor or even a customer. Employers may also be held liable for other types of harassment in the workplace, including claims of harassment based on race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, veteran status, genetic status, etc. Harassment may occur anywhere and at any time—at the office, at a customer’s job site, at a conference, at a bar after working hours or at home. The complainant does not need to put anything in writing regarding his or her complaint. An informal or “off the record” report is enough to trigger a company’s duty to investigate. 2. Have a Written Policy on Sexual Harassment and Train Your Employees Employers should have a written policy in place that defines and prohibits harassment, and outlines clear procedures for employees to initiate a complaint. The policy should
s) for fully insured groups — in addition to all other ng bundling benefits programs.
t & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust option for contain a “leap frog” provision that allows the employee to bypass complaining to the supervisor if it is the supervisor that is engaging in the harassing conduct. The policy should state that all employees are required to report any instance of harassment and that any employee who violates the policy will be disciplined up to and including discharge. The employer should take steps to ensure that employees at every level understand the company’s harassment policy. Finally, the policy should have a statement that includes protection against retaliation.
to prevent retaliation arises from the moment the complaint is made and all of the parties involved should be instructed that retaliation is prohibited. The employer should periodically check in with the complainant to determine whether further harassment or retaliation has occurred.
& Hospitality Association Benefit Trust is now available to quote as a ity member groups. The RH Association Benefit Trust is a new health b dHealthcare and focused on small employers with 2-99 eligible employ embers some of the same advantages of large employers regarding mo tial pricing flexibility. Available nationally, the new RH Association Bene 3. Don’t Ignore Any Complaints – Investigate Katie W. Hartzog is an more than 120musthealth planthe designs. It isemployment just one more way for hospital An employer investigate whether alleged law attorney at conduct was inappropriate or violated a company Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog policy. During the course of the investigation, the LLP. She can be reached at lutions for NRA/NCRLA members. employer should collect and review any relevant 919.863.8744 or documents, and interview the complainant, the accused and any witnesses. The employer should document in writing the steps taken, evidence reviewed, witnesses interviewed and the finding of the investigation. 4. Take Action to Stop the Harassment
Murphy at If the employer concludes that harassment hasContact your broker or @optum.comoccurred, for steps must be taken that are sufficient UnitedHealthcare representative to end the harassment. With regard to employees, this may include a warning, training, counseling, on the hospitality to get a UnitedHealthcare quote. suspension, transfer or schedule change, or termination, based on the nature of the allegations, nce program. RALLY in RALEIGH the employee’s past behavior and the employer’s goal of stopping future harassment. The employer must do more than simply request the harasser stop the harassment. The employer must express strong disapproval, reprimand the employee and make a record of the reprimand, and advise the employee that further harassment could lead to termination. Employers also have a duty to take steps to end harassment by vendors or customers. The complainant should be instructed to report any new complaints of harassment.
Save the Date!
June 5, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit www.ncrla.org
5. Understand Retaliation Regardless of whether the employer is able to substantiate that harassment occurred, the employer has a duty to prevent and address retaliation against the complaining party and any witnesses. The duty
scounts are available only to members of the National Restaurant Association and its state restaurant ation and group size. The Restaurant & Hospitality Association Benefit Trust is not available in SP Minnesota, RI NG 2 0 1 8
h UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company of Illinois, Inc. or their by United HealthCare Services, Inc. or their affiliates. Health Plan coverage provided by or through
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How ADA Compliance Laws Affect Your Website People with disabilities can challenge all barriers in a hotel or restaurant—even if they have never personally encountered the obstacles. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allows plaintiffs to recover litigation costs, including attorneys’ fees, if they can prove ADA violations. This creates a perfect storm for serial plaintiffs and their lawyers to survive off of the settlements from ADA lawsuits. It is the business’ responsibility to follow ADA compliance laws at their property and ensure that all online content accurately reflects their services and offerings to people seeking disability access without any hindrance or discrimination. Your Digital Real Estate Your online content must clearly display what ADA features you offer at your hotel or restaurant. Additionally, your reservation system and electronic media and mobile applications need to be compliant.
Is your property accessible? Most business owners understand that they are responsible for and have complied with ADA
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regulations regarding their physical property, like accessible parking, swimming pool lifts, ramps and more. However, you must also include braille signage, pathway accessibility and A/V equipment for vision and hearing-impaired guests and patrons. Additionally, you must meet the stringent federal guidelines regarding the correct in-room equipment, placement of fixtures and dimensions that provide accessibility. You will also need to modify policies, practices and procedures to allow the use of a service animal by individuals with disabilities. Even if your property is not pet friendly, you should clearly explain that your business allows service animals. ADA Title III Compliance – Five Points You cannot discriminate against anyone in their ability to search for and book a reservation with accessibility features online. Thirdparty reservation services, including your website provider and digital marketing agent, are not liable for non-compliance with these rules. As the owner and operator of a place of lodging, you are responsible for ensuring that reservations made through third-party services and online travel agencies comply. The five points discussed below could potentially apply to a restaurant’s booking process, as both restaurants and hotels are defined as “public accommodations” in the ADA.
Requirements under 2010 ADA Title III entail these five points: 1. Modify policies, practices or procedures to ensure that individuals with disabilities can make reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same manner as people who do not need accessible rooms; 2. Identify and describe accessible features and guest rooms offered through your reservations system in enough detail to reasonably permit individuals with disabilities to assess independently whether a
given place of lodging or guest room meets his/ her accessibility needs; 3. Ensure that accessible guest rooms are held for use by individuals with disabilities until all other guest rooms of that type have been rented and the accessible room requested is the only remaining room of that type; 4. Reserve, upon request, accessible guest rooms or specific types of guest rooms and ensure that the requested guest rooms are blocked and removed from all reservations systems; 5. Guarantee that the specific accessible guest room reserved through your reservations system is held for the reserving guest, regardless of whether a specific room is held in response to reservations made by others.
WEBSITE ACCESSIBILITY Website Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 refer to your website design and content. Your business’ website should: •
Provide text alternatives for any non-text content
Provide alternatives for time-based media
Include content that can be presented in different ways without losing information or structure
Things you can do now to protect yourself
Be easy to see and hear, including separating foreground from background
1. Retain an attorney who is experienced in ADA compliance and defense if you ever face a claim for non-compliance. 2. Contact a reputable company to review your website’s ADA Title III and web accessibility compliance. One such company, INNsight, has developed tools to display the ADA features and services offered on your hotel website and reflect any future changes in regulations. 3. Ensure your staff is properly trained to answer ADA questions, and handle any situation with facts, tact and compassion. Have an onsite ADA compliance review, discuss a Certified Access Specialist Program (CASp). 4. Become a member of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association if you are not already. Associations are a fantastic resource and protect the interests and rights of hoteliers. They offer members affordable programs, access to vendors, legal counsel and more.
Permit all functionality from a keyboard if needed (as opposed to a cursor)
Permit sufficient time to read and use content
Not be designed in a way that is known to cause seizures
Include ways to help users navigate, find content and determine where they are
Include text content that is readable and understandable
Operate and appear in predictable ways
Help users avoid and correct mistakes
Be compatible with current and future user agents, including assistive web technologies
Raj Patel is the founder and CEO of INNsight.com, a San Francisco-based hotel internet marketing and technology company, www.INNsight.com/ADA. Legal insight contributed by Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP. A variation of this article originally appeared in Today’s Hotelier magazine. z
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Omnibus bill fast-tracks changes on tip-pooling Fair Labor Standards Act? Public comment? Tip credit? Omnibus? With viral videos featuring Hollywood favorites screaming theft, pages on pages of proposed language overflowing with legal jargon and threats of a government shutdown, it’s hard to make heads or tails of where we are when it comes to tip pooling requirements.
passed, and the president later signed, the budget reconciliation bill. This piece of legislation is often called an “omnibus,” meaning “for all” because while it is a single bill or document, it contains a slew of amendments and provisions pertaining to a broad array of topics. Why does this matter to the hospitality industry? As part of the new budget plan, language addressing tip-pooling requirements was among the several provisions included. The bill erases the industryunfriendly Obama-era rule, allowing companies that pay all employees at least the minimum wage to impose a tip pool that allows all non-management employees, even those who are not directly in the line of service, to be a part of a tip-pool arrangement, including dishwashers, cooks and other kitchen staff. This new standard helps to close the wage gap between front- and back-of-the-house employees. Kitchen staff are every bit as responsible as servers when it comes to a customer’s overall dining experience. If food is cold, or plating is unattractive, tips often decline accordingly. Allowing back-ofhouse staff to participate in the pool, not only encourages teamwork and cooperation but ensures all employees are incentivized to give guests the ultimate dining experience.
Where to start? Dec. 4, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced its plan to revisit tippooling regulations established during the Obama administration, which many had argued contradicted the intent of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Confusion and misinformation amassed, as many misunderstood and mischaracterized who exactly the new rule would apply to, when in fact, only operators already paying their employees at least $7.25 per hour would have been able to utilize the Department of Labor’s new rule. What exactly is the “omnibus?” As the government faced potential shutdown on March 23, House and Senate leaders met day-in and day-out to reach consensus on a financial plan for the remainder of the fiscal year. On March 22, a compromise was reached as both chambers 18
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A word of caution: While the omnibus bill certainly fast-tracked what could have been a long, drawnout regulatory process to address this important issue, additional provisions on the subject could have unintended consequences. The legislation incorporated language to help clarify an already existing standard that restaurant owners may not keep employees’ tips and increased the corresponding enforcement and penalties provisions. There is great concern that these new enforcement and penalty updates go too far when it comes to unintended violations. As the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association and our national counterparts continue dialogue with Washington officials to resolve this issue, please keep this in mind as you go about instituting these long sought changes.
For more information please contact Kim Siomkos, NCRLA director of government affairs, at email@example.com.
Tax Reform Act lowers hospitality industry’s alcohol costs On Dec. 22, 2017, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” was signed into law; making extensive changes to individual and business tax rules. The bill is the most significant federal tax reform bill since 1986.
gallons produced or imported; $13.34 per gallon between 100,000 gallons and 22,130,000 gallons produced or imported; and $13.50 per gallon above 22,130,000 gallons produced or imported. Congress’ enactment of the excise tax reductions and other changes demonstrate a clear intent to encourage further development in the craft beverage industry and an overall modernization of alcohol excise taxes. However, these reductions and changes are, for the time being, only temporary and will end after 2019 unless Congress takes further action.
As part of these reforms, breweries, wineries and distilleries were granted a reduction in federal excise taxes on their products, potentially lowering costs for restaurants, hotels, and retailers who serve or sell beer, wine and liquor.
To read this article in its entirety, visit https://ncrla.site-ym.com/resource/resmgr/files/ EWC_and_JAM_Article_on_Excis.pdf.
Key reductions featured in the bill include: •
Eugene W. (“Gene”) Chianelli, Jr. and Jennifer Allen Morgan are attorneys with Williams Mullen in Raleigh, North Carolina. Both work with clients affected by the variety of statutes, rules and regulations applicable to the production, distribution, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages. Gene and Jennifer regularly contribute TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT – ALCOHOL EXCISE TAX CHANGES to Williams Mullen’s “Raising the Bar” blog on TOPIC OLD LAW NEW LAW An expansion of the exciseExcise taxTax credit for wineries Tiered rates for still wine alcoholic control law, atsystem is now available to No change to rates,available however, the credit Rate on Wine based on ABV; beverage flat rates for sparkling all producers. and artificially-carbonated wines and hard cider. Tiered credit by repealing the phase out of the credit based http://www.williamsmullen.com/blogs/abc_law. z system for small producers. at the lowest excise tax rate applicable to still wine -- $1.07 Excise Tax for Mead and Certain on production size. This allows allRatewineries to Low No specific provision - no definition of "mead" or "low ABV wine." Taxed per gallon. "Mead" is defined as: 1) containing not more than 0.64 ABV Wines gram of CO2 per 100 ML of wine; 2) derived solely from honey and claim the credit based water; 3) containing no fruit product or fruit flavoring, and 4) containing less than 8.5% ABV. "Low ABV wine" is defined as: 1) on the first 750,000 containing not more than 0.64 gram of Co2 per 100 ML of wine; 2) derivedTAX primarily from grapes or grape juice concentrate and water; TAX CUTS AND JOBS ACT – ALCOHOL EXCISE CHANGES gallons of production. 3) containing no fruit product or flavoring other than grape; and 4) containing less than 8.5% ABV. TOPIC OLD LAW NEW LAW Sparkling wine now No change to rates, however, the credit system is now available to Excise Tax Rate on Wine Tiered rates for still wine based on ABV; flat rates for sparkling 16% ABV. Alcohol Content of Wine for Excise Taxation 14% ABV. all producers. and artificially-carbonated wines and hard cider. Tiered credit qualifies for the credit. system for small producers. at Still Wine Rate of $1.07 Per Gallon A reduction in the excise tax rate on beer applicable to large breweries from $18 per barrel to $16 per barrel on the first 6 million barrels produced and in the rate applicable to small breweries from $7 per barrel to $3.50 per barrel on the first 60,000 barrels produced.
An increase of the alcohol by volume (ABV) limit to qualify for the lower excise tax on wine from 14 percent to 16 percent. A reduction in the rate applicable to spirits from a flat $13.50 per gallon produced or imported to a tiered rate of $2.70 per gallon for the first 100,000
Noout specific provision - no definition of "mead" or "low ABV wine." Credit Taxedof at between the lowest53.5¢ excise to stillto wine -- $1.07 on Excise Tax for Mead and Certain Low Phased based on amount of production. Excise Tax Credit forRate Wineries totax $1rate per applicable gallon allowed all wineries perfirst gallon. "Mead" is defined as: 1) containing not more than 0.64 ABV Wines the 750,000 gallons of production. gram of CO2 per 100 ML of wine; 2) derived solely from honey and Not available. Available. Availability of Excise Tax Credit for Wineries water; 3) containing no fruit product or fruit flavoring, and 4) for Sparkling Wine containing less than 8.5% ABV. "Low ABV wine" is defined as: 1) $18 per barrel. $16 per barrel for the first0.64 6 million barrels produced; per2)barrel General Tax Rate on Beer containing not more than gram of Co2 per 100 ML of$18 wine; for all barrels produced in excess of 6juice million. derived primarily from grapes or grape concentrate and water; 3) containing no fruit product or flavoring other than grape; and 4) $7 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels. $3.50 per barrel for the first 60,000 barrels. Tax Rate on Beer for Small Brewers
Transfer of Beer in Bond
Not permitted without payment of excise tax unless receiving brewery belongs to the same brewer. Flat rate of $13.50 per proof gallon.
Alcohol Content of Wine for Excise Taxation 14% ABV.
Tax Rate at onStill Distilled Spirits Wine Rate of $1.07 Per Gallon Excise Tax Credit for Wineries
Phased out based on amount of production.
Availability of Excise Tax Credit for Wineries Not available. forBonded Sparkling Wine Transfer of Spirits Only bulk distilled spirits may be transferred in bond between $18 per barrel. General Tax Rate on Beer bonded premises without payment of excise tax.
Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Tax Rate on Beer for Small Brewers Distilled Spirits Transfer of Beer in Bond
Tax Rate on Distilled Spirits
Transfer of Bonded Spirits Production Period for Beer, Wine, and Distilled Spirits
containing less than 8.5% ABV.
Transfers between bonded breweries allowed without payment of excise tax. 16% ABV. Tiered rates as follows: $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 proof gallons; $13.34 per proof gallon for all proof gallons in excess Credit of between 53.5¢ to $1 per gallon allowed to all wineries on of 100,000 but less than 22,130,000; and $13.50 per proof gallon the first 750,000 gallons of production. for all proof gallons in excess of 22,130,000. Available.
All distilled spirits may be transferred in bond between bonded $16 per barrel for the first 6 million barrels premises without payment of excise tax.produced; $18 per barrel for all barrels produced excess are of 6 no million. Brewers, vintners, and distillers required to capitalize interest with Brewers, vintners, and in distillers longer required to capitalize $7toper barrel for the first 60,000 barrels. $3.50 per barrel for the 60,000 barrels. respect aging products. interest with respect to first aging products. Not permitted without payment of excise tax unless receiving brewery belongs to the same brewer. Flat rate of $13.50 per proof gallon.
Transfers between bonded breweries allowed without payment of excise tax. Tiered rates as follows: $2.70 per proof gallon on the first 100,000 proof gallons; $13.34 per proof gallon for all proof gallons in excess of 100,000 but less than 22,130,000; and $13.50 per proof gallon for all proof gallons in excess of 22,130,000.
Only bulk distilled spirits may be transferred in bond between bonded premises without payment of excise tax. Brewers, vintners, and distillers required to capitalize interest with respect to aging products.
All distilled spirits may be transferred in bond between bonded premises without payment of excise tax. Brewers, vintners, and distillers are no longer required to capitalize interest with respect to aging products.
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tips for employers: Preparing for the summer season by hiring teen workers
The North Carolina Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Bureau issues youth employment certificates to ensure teens, ages 14 to 18, work in safe and healthy environments. Requesting a certificate is required by law and some requests may be denied by the bureau in instances where a youth intends to work in an environment that is deemed unsafe. For instance, teens are not permitted to work in manufacturing or mining. Once the certificate is issued, the youth, a parent and the employer are required to sign the certificate to ensure everyone understands what the summer job entails. The following are five tips from the N.C. Department of Labor concerning the hiring of teen workers:
1 Almost everyone is required to obtain a youth employment certificate. Employers of youth under the age of 18 must obtain a youth employment certificate, including parents who hire their children as employees. The certificates are easy to obtain online,
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and need to be retained for at least two years after the youth separates from employment or turns 18.
2 Work responsibilities for youth under 18 are limited to those that are not deemed “hazardous” or “detrimental.” Youth ages 14 to 15 may work in food preparation, but they may not perform any baking activities. In addition, they may only perform cooking that involves the use of (1) electric or gas grills that do not entail cooking over an open flame, and (2) deep fat fryers that are equipped with and utilize devices that automatically lower and raise the baskets into and out of the oil or grease. For more details, review the U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet No. 58: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/ compliance/whdfs58.pdf. While most youth ages 14 to 15 cannot operate power machinery, they may operate most office machines and certain equipment found in food service establishments, such as dishwashers, toasters, dumbwaiters, popcorn poppers, milk shake blenders and coffee grinders.
3 Work hours for youth ages 14 to 15 are more limited than for those ages 16 to 17. Youth under age 16 may work: no more than eight hours on a non-school day; no more than 40 hours during a week when school is not in session; between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., except between June 1 and Labor Day when the evening hour is extended to 9 p.m. (when school is not in session); and must be given at least a 30-minute break after five consecutive hours of work. School hours are determined by the local
public school in the area the youth is residing while employed. This is true even if the youth does not attend public school (i.e. attends a private school or is home-schooled).
4 Work hours for youth ages 16 to 17 are still limited during the school year. During the school term, youth who are enrolled in grades 12 or lower cannot be employed between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., when there is school for the youth the next day (unless the employer has written authorization from the parents and the school principal). School hours are determined by the local public school in the area the youth is residing while employed. This is true even if the youth does not attend public school (i.e. attends a private school or is home-schooled).
5 There are special rules for those who hold onpremises Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) permits. Youth under age 16 may not work anywhere on the premises, except the outside grounds with written consent from the parent/guardian. Under no circumstances may the youth be involved with the preparation, serving, dispensing or sale of alcoholic beverages. There is a parental exemption that allows youth under 16, who are employed by their parents, to work on the premises, as long as another person at least 21 years of age is in charge of and present at the licensed premises. Such youth are still prohibited from preparing, serving, dispensing or selling the alcoholic beverages.
Visit www.labor.nc.gov or call 800-625-2267 with questions about hiring and employing teen workers. z
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The most valuable benefits you receive through the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association are
intangible. But, as you can see below, there are also numerous opportunities to save while helping your business grow through your membership with the association. Additionally, NCRLA continues seek and secure new ways to help your business grow stronger.
Advocacy - NCRLA is the leading advocate for the restaurant, foodservice and lodging industries in North Carolina. - NCRLA supports our membersâ€™ interests by lobbying key decision makers, helping them understand the effects of legislation on your business.
Cost Savings Leverage the power of group buying and exclusive member offerings! NCRLA offers members deep discounts on important goods and services: - Take advantage of significant refunds from classaction settlements.
- We notify members of critical policy developments
and promote pro-business candidates and legislation through grassroots issue advocacy campaigns and the NCRLA PAC.
- Up to 50% discount on set-up fees and ongoing preferred member pricing for electronic alcohol purchasing.
- This support also includes lobbying updates at the
- Access to free local and regional hotel wage and benefits data.
local, state and federal levels; as well as research from our national partners--the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel & Lodging Association.
Learn more at www.ncrla.org/legislative-overview/.
- 10-20% discount on ServSafe training and up to 20% discount on music licensing fees. - Benefit solutions for your business including group health plans, commercial property and casualty, and executive benefits. - Complimentary registration to the NC Restaurant & Lodging Expo
Learn more at www.ncrla.org/membership/operationalbenefits/.
Education and Networking
NCRLA serves as a resource to members on many issues impacting their businesses. Whether you need assistance in understanding and complying with health department, fire or safety regulations, ABC rules and regulations, or legal issues, we have experts available to assist every step of the way.
NCRLA offers many unique opportunities for members to connect including: annual golf tournaments; Stars of the Industry awards gala; Rally in Raleigh; Manteo to Murphy PAC fundraiser; and other social events. The association also offers seminars, workshops and webinars.
For regulatory issues, contact Alyssa Barkley at firstname.lastname@example.org. For other legal issues contact Kim Siomkos at email@example.com.
Learn more at www.ncrla.org/ncrla-events/.
A look at the North Carolina hospitality industry’s recent philanthropic efforts This past December marked the 10th year Dugan’s Pub in Pinehurst stuffed stockings for BackPack Pals, a program that sends underprivileged kids home from school for the weekend with easy-serve foods packed into inconspicuous backpacks.
Since 2016, Triangle McDonald’s Owner/Operator Doris Huebner (F&D Huebner) has hosted a Christmas party for Fostering Bright Futures, a program created by Wake Tech Community College to help youth, who have aged out of the foster care system, continue their education. For the 2017 party, Huebner’s effort raised $11,700 in cash donations, $4,000 in food/goods donated and $7,000 in gifts.
On Nov. 13, 2017, for the 17th consecutive year, Golden Corral thanked more than 315,000 active duty and retired U.S. military personnel across the country for their service with a free dinner buffet and beverage, while also raising donations for Disabled American Veterans. A tradition started in 2001 to celebrate our nation’s heroes, Golden Corral’s Military Appreciation Night has served 5.4 million complimentary meals to military personnel and generated more than $14.3 million dollars in guest contributions to support community-based service initiatives for veterans.
Johnson & Wales University, Charlotte Campus, participated in Operation Sandwich, Feb. 16. The Student Alumni Association, Student Government Association and Women’s Varsity Volleyball assembled 2,000 sandwiches to benefit the Charlotte Rescue Mission, Urban Ministries Center, Safe Alliance and Hope Haven.
During guest room renovations from 2014-2017, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club donated tens of thousands of dollars in furniture, bedding, curtains, lamps, chairs and more. Gently used items were donated following each stage of the renovation to Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers.
Help us tell your story, contact Miranda Kinney at firstname.lastname@example.org, with information on your company’s latest philanthropic contributions. z
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Future industry all-stars advance to national culinary and management competition On Feb. 26 and 27, high school students from across the state joined to compete at the 2018 North Carolina ProStart Invitational (NCPI) presented by Golden Corral. NCPI is a high-stakes culinary arts and restaurant management competition organized by the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association’s philanthropic arm, the North Carolina Hospitality Education Foundation. NCPI took place at Johnson & Wales, Charlotte, bringing together more than 100 high school students from across the state—representing 18 teams. Student competitors put their skills to the test in front of industry leaders, family and friends with the hopes to earn more than $1 million in scholarships— awarded to first, second and third place teams in management and culinary categories—to top culinary schools across the country. Two schools from the western part of North Carolina, Henderson County Career Academy (Flat Rock, NC) and North Buncombe High School (Weaverville, NC), secured first place finishes at NCPI. Both schools now advance to the prestigious National ProStart Invitational in Providence, Rhode Island, April 27-29. “North Carolina’s hospitality industry is thriving, and demand for talent to meet job growth is at an alltime high. We are proud to be a part of a program that continues to prepare the industry’s future leaders for a fulfilling career in the restaurant and hospitality industry,” said Lynn Minges, president and CEO of NCRLA and NC HEF. “These students have demonstrated amazing competencies during the annual North Carolina ProStart competition. There 24
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is no doubt that they will make us proud as they advance to the national competition in April.”
To learn more about the North Carolina ProStart program, visit https://www.ncrla.org/foundation/prostart/. z
The following teams placed in the top five for the management and culinary divisions of the competition: 2018 NCPI CULINARY WINNERS First place: Henderson County Career Academy, Flat Rock, NC Second place: Smithfield Selma High School, Smithfield, NC Third place: Cary High School, Cary, NC Fourth place: Southwestern Randolph High School, Asheboro, NC Fifth place: Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School, Raleigh, NC 2018 NCPI MANAGEMENT WINNERS First place: North Buncombe High School, Weaverville, NC Second place: Sanderson High School, Raleigh, NC Third place: West Rowan High School, Mount Ulla, NC Fourth place: Western Harnett High School, Lillington, NC Fifth place: Davie High School, Mocksville, NC
Right: First-place management team representing North Buncombe High School pose with Lance Trenary (left) of Golden Corral and Lynn Minges (right), NCRLAâ€™s president and CEO, following the awards ceremony
Left: First-place culinary team from Henderson County Career Academy celebrate with Lance Trenary (left) of Golden Corral and Lynn Minges (right), NCRLAâ€™s president and CEO
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a la carte A sampler of hospitality-related news stories
FREE RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL TRAINING FOR YOU AND YOUR EMPLOYEES Every day, your staff makes crucial decisions that put responsible alcohol service to the test. To help ensure your employees are making the correct and lawful decisions that protect themselves and your business, the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is offering ServSafe Alcohol® Responsible Service training FREE of charge. This benefit will give your business’ bartenders, servers, hosts, bussers, valets, bouncers and all front-of-house staff the skills they need to effectively and safely handle difficult situations including recognizing and preventing intoxication, and properly checking for identification to reduce underage alcohol consumption. To make this possible, NCRLA partnered with the North Carolina ABC Commission to offer free online ServSafe Alcohol courses and exams (a $30 value) for a limited time to 1,000 alcohol service providers across the state. The ServSafe Alcohol course is offered in both English and Spanish. Certification is valid for three years. These complementary courses were made possible through grant funding obtained by NCRLA through the North Carolina ABC Commission. NCRLA encourages you to visit the commission’s campaign web page that promotes responsible alcohol service and works to combat underage drinking, www.talkitoutnc.org. To learn more or to register for the free course, visit www.ncrla.org/servsafe-alcohol-training/complementary-servsafe-alcohol-course/. z
NCRLA LAUNCHES NEWLY REDESIGNED WEBSITE The North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association is excited to announce the launch of its newly redesigned website, www.ncrla.org. The site is now responsive (desktop, mobile and tablet) and more user-friendly than ever before. Various updates and additions have been incorporated in to the new site, including a “Take Action” area to assist industry with contacting legislators on critical issues, easy-to-navigate training and events areas for faster registration and an “Operational Benefits” section to efficiently access member discounts and benefits. Member favorites from the prior site are still available including the North Carolina Hospitality Law Guide, a legislative overview and the research and resources section. NCRLA welcomes users to browse the redesigned www.ncrla.org and experience the new and improved, responsive and user-friendly platform. z
DON’T LET YOUR BUSINESS FALL VICTIM TO CYBERSECURITY The National Restaurant Association recently released its second edition cybersecurity toolkit. “Cybersecurity 201: The Next Step,” shares the framework for implementing organizational change to protect against cybercrime. When implemented, this framework provides an actionable structure for restaurant owners and operators. Don’t let your business fall victim to cybersecurity. Download the toolkit today at www.restaurant.org/cybersecurity. z 26
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3 WAYS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR
C A PA B I L I T I ES
PREPARE FOR THE UNEXPECTED You’re likely familiar with live news bloopers and the comical yet unfortunately timed mishaps that can happen on live TV. Similarly, these occurrences can happen during a live stream. Whether a surprise guest makes an appearance, a storm rains on your parade or a slip of the tongue catches you off guard, keep in mind that when filming a live event, it’s best to prepare for the unexpected. Have a plan that addresses each element of the live streaming run of show, including a way to redirect attention to the online audience, a backup location or a way to moderate the conversation. HAVE FUN WITH IT
Today’s social audiences are fixated with the idea of live interactions. Live streaming on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are changing the game in terms of engagement and have opened a new world of possibilities for businesses in all industries. According to Livestream, 80 percent of brand audiences would rather watch live video from a brand than read a blog, and 82 percent prefer live video from a brand to social posts. Whether sharing a grand opening event, the unveiling of a new menu or announcing a new offer, consider taking your social expertise live. Here are some tips on how you can live stream like a pro. RUN A TEST VIDEO Though it may sound simple, it’s important to test out your Facebook Live, Periscope or Instagram video before the actual event. There’s more to live streaming than just “lights, camera, action,” and underestimating the minor details that make up the big picture can compromise the entire live stream. Conduct a complete set up to ensure you have every piece of equipment you need in addition to testing the sound, lighting, wireless connection and video quality. For example, tap a colleague in an outside location to tune into your test video to ensure everything looks and sounds great just prior to the official event. Similarly, be aware of what’s happening in the background of your shot and make sure it aligns with your brand standards.
The key to holding a successful live streaming event is to engage your audience by reminding them that this is unscripted, LIVE content! Don’t be afraid to take a few moments to allow viewers to tune in prior to kicking off the meat of what you’re sharing or discussing. Let the viewers’ excitement build as they await the exclusive “behind-thescenes” look into your brand. The true opportunity lies in the authenticity of the content that will live on to define your social page until the next time followers tune in. For more social media and PR tips, visit www.largemouthpr.com.
By Kelly Propst, Vice President, Largemouth Communications
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AT Y O U R
We are happy to introduce MySysco, a central hub where you can access your favorite Sysco applications and tools. Whether youâ€™re streamlining your restaurant with fully integrated POS and guest management system CAKE, building your menu for profit with Sysco Menu Services OnDemand, or placing and tracking orders on-the-go with the Sysco Mobile app, MySysco helps you work faster and more efficiently. Shop products, place orders, pay bills, and more with MySysco, featuring:
Transitioning soon to all MySysco Apps! Ask your MA for updates.
Check out www.mysysco.com for full access!
5/15/17 11:45 AM
Quarterly publication of the North Carolina Restaurant & Lodging Association