Page 1



(mostly positive )


PRLA 2016 Officers CHAIRMAN John Graf Priory Hospitality Group Western Chapter VICE CHAIRMAN Stephen Musciano Aramark at PNC Park Western Chapter TREASURER James Gratton Marriott International Philadelphia Chapter IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN Jeff Cohen Smallman Street Deli/Weiss Provision Company Western Chapter PRLA STAFF PRESIDENT & CEO John Longstreet |

5TRENDS (mostly positive )

I SEE IN 2016



inside this issue

Member Services Manager Christine Preuss | Director of Finance & Human Resources Diane Sherwood, CPA | director of Government Affairs Melissa Bova | director of education Hope Sterner | DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & ENGAGEMENT Heidi Howard, CMP | DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Stephanie Otterson | ACCOUNTING MANAGER Paula Judd | OFFICE ASSISTANT Gisela McBride | Professional Services Provided by GENERAL COUNSEL Shumaker Williams, P.C. Keith Clark GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Pugliese Associates, Harrisburg Lou Biacchi Frank DiCicco Associates, Philadelphia Andrew Zalenski Accountant and Independent Auditors Brown, Schultz, Sheridan & Fritz Jim Nace, CPA investment advisors Conrad Siegel Tara Mashack-Behney Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters is a publication of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & LODGING Association 100 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 800-345-5353 | |


Chairman’s Message


Five Hotel Trends I See in 2016


Industry Outlook


Legislative Corner


The ProStart Advantage


2016 Menu Trends to Watch


Education & Training


ServSafe 2016 Classes


Legal Docket


Member Milestones


Welcome New Members

Sarah DiCello, Publications Manager 717-238-5751 x118 For Advertising Information: Alexis Kierce, Account Manager 717-238-5751 x119 Creative Design Graphtech

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters is published quarterly by the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, 100 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, tel 800-345-5353, and is a benefit of membership in the association. Articles do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association. Editorial coverage or permission to advertise does not constitute endorsement of the company covered or of an advertiser’s products or services, nor does Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of the advertiser’s offer. ©2015 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in print or electronically without the express written permission of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

chairman’s MESSAGE

John Graf

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.”

That’s George Bernard Shaw from more than a hundred years ago, but this message resonates today. As Chairman of PRLA, my goal for 2016 is to work on improving both our internal and external communications. Internally, this means widening the number of member contacts, and honing our messages so that we are concisely and effectively conveying news, strategies, and advice. It also means testing and measuring the effectiveness of our messages and our means of conveying them to and among members. Externally, as a counter to critics who wrongfully assert that the hospitality industry pays low wages and takes advantage of workers, we need to tell the story that restaurants and hotels have multiple paths of upward mobility. We also need to educate the public on the good works that restaurants and hotels do for the community, providing a great deal of support to a variety of charitable causes. Perhaps more critical is effectively crafting messages regarding the political issues facing the industry. Many times “feel good” proposals have immediate appeal, but upon closer inspection can create a

Did You Know? Employees are 3 times as likely to look for a new job if benefits are not offered.

We Can Help With That.  (717) 576-1224 

great deal of harm for the very people they are supposed to help. Minimum wage is a prime example: “Give America a raise” sounds good, but when that “raise” puts hundreds of thousands of people out of work, especially those with little or no experience, it suddenly is not so attractive. Last, it’s imperative that we effectively broadcast our legislative victories, such as the defeat of “Scores on Doors” restaurant grading in Allegheny County, and the successful lawsuit by the PRLA which thwarted mandatory paid sick leave legislation in the City of Pittsburgh. This underscores the efficacy of the PRLA and will ensure that we are taken seriously when future legislation is proposed which affects the hospitality industry. So while we move forward with our plans, we will keep Shaw’s admonition in mind, and not harbor the illusion that we have effectively communicated ideas or messages among ourselves and to the outside world.

John Graf Chairman of the Board

5TRENDS (mostly positive )

By Stephanie Ricca @HNN_Steph

I SEE IN 2016

Last week my STR colleague Jan Freitag* wrote a fantastic piece on the five things he did not see coming in 2015: everything from megamergers to Airbnb (of course). And this week, Ed Watkins chimed in with “What worries me in 2016.” So that’s enough hindsight and doom and gloom, right? Just kidding, of course. I think there’s a lot of wisdom to be learned from hindsight (for example, those megamergers on all sides of the hotel and travel industry were something we all should have seen coming, and they will inform a lot of the direction our businesses take in 2016). And preparing for the worst is something the industry has long been notoriously bad at doing (as Watkins points out in particular, not staying abreast of global economic issues like visa restrictions will definitely have an impact on our shores). So today I’m going to add my two cents to the mix and identify five positive trends I see coming for the hotel industry this year. And as a disclaimer, these might not all seem like positives at first, but like my high school history teacher used to like to say, “It’s not a test; it’s an opportunity to gain points.” So while some of these topics might appear at first glance to be challenges, I’m going to suggest we see the opportunities underneath.

6 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

As always, if you want to

share comments about this blog or anything else we do here at Hotel News Now, drop a comment below, email me at sricca@hotelnewsnow. com or find me on Twitter @ HNN_Steph. This article first appeared in the January 15, 2016, issue of Hotel News Now’s Daily Update newsletter. Copyright STR, Inc.

The hotel industry can run into problems when brands try to be too many things to too many people all at once, so let’s not let that happen with loyalty programs. This is a great time to focus in on loyalty. Hotel companies and individual properties have the tools to know more about their guests than ever before, so the opportunity is there.

Airbnb and the sharing economy

12 3

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Tackling the issues surrounding this accommodations segment (and it very much IS a segment now) is a huge opportunity for the traditional hotel industry this year. It’s no longer good enough to ignore this, people. Do I need to repeat that? It’s no longer good enough to ignore Airbnb and its compatriots in the shared-accommodations segment and write them off as a non-threat. Make this segment a positive for your business this year by recognizing the impacts it has, doesn’t have or potentially might have on the cities and properties where you do business. Trust me, there are a lot of ways to make this challenge into a positive. Recognize what these companies are doing right when it comes to guest targeting and steal those ideas. Identify weak spots (hello, tax legislation!) and do what you can to make it right in your market.


Brand clarity

Talk about a topic that’s changed so much over the past few years, all to reflect trends in traveler preference. First you have to keep points for the road warriors, but also you must diversify your loyalty system to include instant-gratification rewards for the millennials.

The last couple years have been sort of a mess when it comes to brands, but I think 2016 will be the year where we can, for the most part, say that we have a better handle on the bigger forces shaping brand trends (like those pesky definitions about boutiques and soft brands).

This is the year to get a grasp on the loyalty that works and pays off for your company, because it’s a business segment of the industry that is threatening to fragment itself into too many pieces. The hotel industry can run into problems when brands try to be too many things to too many people all at once, so let’s not let that happen with loyalty programs. This is a great time to focus in on loyalty. Hotel companies and individual properties have the tools to know more about their guests than ever before, so the opportunity is there.

A big part of that is many of the newer soft brands on the scene have grown their footprint and we can see what they’re all about. The same is true for seeing SOME results of the brand explosion of the past couple years: We can see what an AC by Marriott looks like. We know where Kimpton landed. We get what soft brands are basically all about. And honestly, I think the proposed Marriott/ Starwood megamerger will force those two players to look long and hard at the brands at play. Someone will have to make a decision on what stays and what goes, no matter how much both companies now are keeping their stance soft. This merger will have a big impact on the midscale segments, where most of the brand overlap occurs. We’ll see brand standards sharpen in those segments, which is overdue.

Above all, make it your business to know what these companies are all about. We did a big special report on sharing-economy accommodations last month, and lately I’ve enjoyed reading Fast Company’s interviews with Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky—good insight there.

Continued on next page


Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 7

INDUSTRY outlook By John Longstreet, PRLA president & CEO Tourism Study Tourism Economics conducted a competitive analysis of Pennsylvania’s tourism budget, and released its findings at the end of 2015. This report was sponsored by a coalition of more than 25 industry stakeholders, with PRLA taking the lead. This study provides the data to support our argument that investing in tourism creates jobs and tax revenue. For every $1 invested in tourism promotion yields $3.43 in tax revenue for the Commonwealth. What is clear from this study is that Pennsylvania is losing market share to neighboring states. Our regional competitors (New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Ohio, West Virginia and the District of Columbia) are out spending us, and our coffers are feeling it. We are working with the Department of Community and Economic Development, the Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Committee and the House

Tourism & Recreational Development Committee to advocate for increasing Pennsylvania’s tourism line-item in the budget to $35 million. The full study is available on our website by visiting

Spring Meeting Don’t miss the ultimate industry conference this spring at Skytop Lodge in the gorgeous Pocono Mountains, May 15-17. Destination PA Spring Conference is a joint restaurant, hotel and tourism summit presented by PRLA, Pennsylvania Association of Travel & Tourism and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau. This year’s conference features industryrenowned speakers, educational sessions, exhibitors and fun social events. The conference kicks-off with National Restaurant Association Chairman Joe Kadow, EVP and CLO of Bloomin’ Brands. You’ll also hear about Pennsylvania’s new tourism brand from DCED Deputy Secretary Carrie Lepore and about the

state of the lodging industry from PKF Hospitality Research Group President Mark Woodworth You won’t want to miss the panel “Solutions & options for overreaching legislation,” which will take a close look at the Affordable Care Act and the new exempt employee salary threshold. Whether you operate a restaurant or a hotel, our segment on food tourism will help you capitalize on this emerging trend. The largest hotel company in the world (Airbnb) is the focus of another session. There will be plenty of time for networking and fun throughout the meeting. The singer-songwriters showcase, direct from Nashville will cap off our terrific awards dinner, where the Restaurant Neighbor Awards, Faces of Diversity Awards and the newly revitalized Keystone Awards for Tourism will be presented. While at Skytop, grab a tee time or join us for a beer pairing dinner. For the full conference agenda and to register, visit springmeeting.

TRENDS continued The next downturn is coming Baffled that I’m including this as a positive trend for 2016? Don’t be. This is a real opportunity. Last year was so rife with speculation, I wanted to pull my hair out at half the conferences I attended. Will next year still be good? Will 2017 still be good? How much time is left in the cycle? We should know by now and accept the fact that a downturn is coming. Deal with it. Let’s not go into 2016 pretending we’re going to get another five miraculous years of constant recordbreaking out of this current cycle. Activate the hindsight and move ahead knowing that the turn is coming. One of the questions I ask every hotelier I talk to is, “What are you doing right now to prepare for the next downturn?” and I always get insightful responses. That tells me it’s a big opportunity.

High-yield business I started off thinking that this trend was going to be worded more along the lines of “group business is back,” but when I thought about it further, the bigger opportunity I see is in high-yield business across the board. That includes group business in many, many forms, and also just expanded revenue-generating opportunities at existing hotels. For example, we’ve seen several big-ticket changes to food and beverage and meetings revenue opportunities over the last few years that are coming to fruition. Also included in this general opportunity is the fact that revenue management and dynamic pricing models are coming into maturity in some impressive ways. And yes, distribution falls in here too. The online-travel-agency megamergers of 2014 and 2015 forced companies large and small into examining their relationships with existing and emerging OTAs. I’ve seen an overall rise in knowledge from hoteliers about where they can best spend their money to achieve the best yields.

8 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

4 5

Meet Apex2 More Control. Made Simple.

Solve your biggest warewashing problems Get outstanding one-pass results that impress your guests, cut costs and conserve resources. The intuitive controller captures real time data so you can track key metrics. The high resolution screen also alerts you when these metrics are out of line using multiple languages, images, colors, and even includes language free training videos to ensure easy resolution.

To learn more visit: OR CALL 1 800 35 CLEAN FOR MORE INFORMATION Š2015 Ecolab USA Inc. All rights reserved.

legislative corner



Pennsylvania’s political scene Budget update With no finalized 2015/2016 budget in sight, the legislature is moving forward with the discussion of 2016/2017 budget. The Governor made his budget address on February 9 and budget hearings will be held until the second week of March. What to expect Don’t expect any action until after the April 26 primary election. At some point, legislators will need to put up a tax vote and there aren’t any moderate Republicans who will do that until after they win their primary and know they are safe for the general election. Speaking of the general election ... No incumbent legislator can successfully run without a budget for the past two years so we do expect resolution on everything budget-related over the next six to eight months. Wine and spirits reform The Senate passed HB 1690 (Turzai) with a vote of 29-21, and the bill is now awaiting consideration in the House. The legislation is a “consumer convenience and PLCB modernization” proposal. The Governor has signaled that he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk. Unfortunately, the bill does not go far enough towards privatization for the House Republican caucus so it is being held up until an agreement on changes can be reached. Paid leave preemption This legislation is more important than ever now that Philadelphia’s paid leave mandate has officially gone into effect, Pittsburgh has passed a paid leave mandate and Harrisburg attempted to file one. PRLA continues to maintain that it is not the role of local government to be passing these mandates on private business. SB 333, sponsored by Sen. Eichelberger, continues to await consideration in the House Labor Committee.

Hotel tax reform HB 794 is still expected to be passed by the Senate in the next few weeks, but has been waylaid at the moment due to the desire to focus on the budget. PRLA is working with Sen. Corman’s office to get the legislation scheduled for full Senate consideration. Tourism funding With the study on Tourism Funding completed, we have already had meetings with the Department of Community & Economic Development (DCED) and the Governor’s Office to encourage an increase in tourism funding for 2016/2017. This is a top priority of the PRLA in 2016.

Federal Issues Congress passes tax bill Many of PRLA’s federal tax priorities were included in the tax bill that passed at the end of 2015: • Permanent extension of the 15-year tax depreciation schedule. • Permanent extension of expanded Section 179 expensing— allowing businesses to deduct $500,000 of the cost of financed purchases up to $2 million. Currently, businesses are limited to a deduction of $25,000 against $200,000 in purchases. • Five-year extension of bonus depreciation. • Five-year extension of the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. • Permanent extension of the enhanced charitable deduction for food donation. • Delay in several Affordable Care Act taxes for two years, including the “Cadillac tax.” • Delay in menu labeling compliance to one year after the FDA issues final guidance, which it has not done yet. • Protections for small business and baking industries not to be subject to frivolous lawsuits as the work to comply with the phase-out of partially hydrogenated oils. • Protections for federal per diem rates. • Guidance to the Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) on rogue affiliates, OTC consolidation and the impact on consumers.

10 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

Philadelphia’s “ban the box” passes

Budget Update Congress Passes Tax Bill City of Pittsburgh Files Appeal on Paid Leave Ruling

ADA reform bill filed in U.S. House Congressman Ted Poe (Texas) filed H.R. 3765 “The ADA Education & Reform Act of 2015” to create a “notice and cure” provision relating to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that would give businesses the opportunity to address an ADA violation before any legal proceedings can move forward. Auto-enrollment under Affordable Care Act repealed

Former Philadelphia Mayor Nutter signed legislation before the end of his term that only lets employers perform a background check after they make a conditional offer of employment. In addition, employers can only look at the past 7 years of an applicant’s criminal history. Philadelphia City Council passes legislation to create wage theft coordinator position Philadelphia City Council passed legislation that would create a wage theft coordinator in the City. This person would rule on wage theft complaints by employees. If a business is found guilty of wage theft or admits they made an honest mistake they must pay the back wages and appropriate penalties. In addition, the wage theft coordinator will have the ability to deny the renewal of the business license for even first time offenders and applicants will not be able to reapply for a year. It will take effect July 1, 2016. Philadelphia’s new mayor plans on introducing a sugary drink tax Mayor Kenney is expected to announce his intention to pass legislation that would assess 3 cents on every ounce of sugary drinks to raise $400 million to support universal pre-K, renovating city parks and reducing the city’s pension deficit. Philadelphia’s previous mayor attempted to pass a sugary drink tax twice, and it failed both times.

A major provision of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was repealed when President Obama signed a bill that ends the auto-enrollment mandate. This mandate would have forced employers of 200 or more employees to automatically enroll full-time employees in the company’s health plan if they had not already opted out. Overtime regulations delayed until late 2016 The U.S. Department of Labor received so many comments on the proposed overtime regulations that final regulations are not expected until late 2016. We will let you know when a firm date is determined. Hotel tax reform HB 794 is still expected to be passed by the Senate in the next few weeks, but has been waylaid at the moment due to the desire to focus on the budget. PRLA is working with Sen. Corman’s office to get the legislation scheduled for full Senate consideration.

serving the needs of the restaurant and HOTEL industry for more than 45 years

Local Issues City of Pittsburgh files appeal on paid leave ruling As expected, the City of Pittsburgh has appealed the ruling that struck down the paid leave mandate in the City. It is expected this appeal will take close to a year to run through the process. The law remains invalid unless a higher court overturns the previous decision.

Acquisition, sale and financing of restaurants and hotels • Liquor license acquisition and sale • Defense of liquor license citations and enforcement actions • Dram shop liability • Structuring to limit liability Employment law and wage & hour issues • Litigation, mediation and dispute resolution • Intellectual property protection including trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets • Tax, business and estate planning SERVING THE FOLLOWING AREAS: PENNSYLVANIA MARYLAND NEW JERSEY NEW YORK WASHINGTON DC

1-888-794-5542 WINTER 2016

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 11

Milton Hershey School, Monroe Career & Technical Institute nab top honors at state ProStart Competition ProStart teams from Milton Hershey School and Monroe Career & Technical Institute (Bartonsville) placed first at the 2016 Pennsylvania ProStart Competition in culinary arts and restaurant management, respectively. Students competed February 24, in State College, Pa., to win scholarships, honors and the opportunity to compete against the best teams from other states at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s National ProStart Invitational, April 29–May 1, 2016, in Grapevine, Texas. Thirteen ProStart teams gathered from throughout Pennsylvania to compete in either the culinary arts or restaurant management divisions. Culinary teams prepare a three-course meal in 60 minutes, without access to running water or electricity using only two butane burners, and management teams present a business proposal for an original restaurant concept to a panel of industry judges. “These students practice all year for this competition,” said Hope Sterner, director of education. “They come in early, afterschool and on weekends, because this is what they’re passionate about and they want to do their very best.” “The students who compete here are determined,” said Sterner, “Determined to win, determined to succeed – and not just here in this moment, but for the rest of their lives. ProStart reinforces the relationship between industry and the classroom, resulting in a workforce who understands what the industry is about and all of the opportunities it has to offer.”

12 •

C.A. Curtze Company, a food service distributor headquartered in Erie, Pa., was the event’s platinum sponsor. Ecolab, Hershey Entertainment & Resorts, Red Roby Gourmet Burgers & Brews, SYSCO Pittsburgh, The Culinary Arts Institute at Montgomery County Community College, Westmoreland County Community College, PepsiCo, Penn State Hospitality Services and Mercer Culinary were additional event sponsors. See how the Pennsylvania teams fare at nationals by following #NPSI2016 on Twitter.

The 2016 Pennsylvania ProStart Competition team winners are: First Place Management: Monroe Career Technical Institute, Team Hendry (bottom picture) First Place Culinary: Milton Hershey School (top picture) Second Place Management: Monroe Career Technical Institute, Team Stelmach Second Place Culinary: Monroe Career Technical Institute Third Place Management: Northumberland County Career & Technology Center Third Place Culinary: Greater Johnstown Career & Technology Center

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

2016 Menu Trends to Watch While the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot in 2016 chef survey highlights what’s trending on restaurant menus, additional analysis of survey results and respondents’ answers to the open-ended question “What will be the next hot menu trend” reveal a few more food ideas to keep an eye on in the next year ...

Grocerants The mashup “grocerants” has been around for a few years now – grocery stores increasingly focusing on foodservice. We’re now starting to see restaurants adapting that idea by considering fresh food retail operations. If consumers want to eat where they shop for groceries, it’s reasonable to believe they also want to grocery shop where they eat. In fact, half of consumers say they would be interested in buying fresh, uncooked food items from restaurants (think items like steak, shrimp, bread and pasta of the same quality as served in the restaurant). Hybrid concepts like food halls and market restaurants are leading the way.

Simple is key Simplicity, back to basics cooking, and classic dishes. These are words to live by in the year ahead according to many professional chefs. While molecular gastronomy is turning more mainstream, there is a counter-movement brewing that focuses on stripping down recipes to fewer ingredients to let them shine in all their glory. Venerable preparation methods like pickling, fermenting and smoking are back with a vengeance, and traditional recipes are being refreshed for today’s palates.

So long kale? All good things must come to an end, and we may be approaching the end of the trends line for kale salads and gluten-free cuisine. Both of these formerly hot trends have been losing steam over the past couple of years. But don’t expect either to go away altogether. We’re more likely to see these evolve into perennial favorites over time. For example, kale salads are being adapted to salads where other greens are traditionally used, like Caesars and Cobbs, and glutenfree items are becoming menu staples at many foodservice locations.

International cuisines have become ingrained in our everyday diets, but despite featuring numerous distinct cuisines, Africa is still relatively under-explored when it comes to culinary experiences in the United States. Perhaps not for much longer, however. Berbere, harissa, dukkah, ras el hanout, tsire and other spice mixes and flavors are likely to gain wider use, as African flavors are a fast-growing trend.

Veggie-centric Center-of-the-plate items usually means proteins, but that may be changing. Fresh produce as the star of the plate is being championed by more restaurants and culinary professionals, who are serving up vegetable-centric meals that are often vegetarian without being advertised as such. And even when animal proteins are included in the dish, the veg is still the main attraction. Basically the opposite of television character Ron Swanson’s attitude toward veggies as “the food that my food eats.”

Sriracha—the new ketchup? The red sauce in the bottle with the green top is ubiquitous, but just a few years ago, only Thai food enthusiasts were familiar with this condiment. Following in its popularity growth wake are a range of other condiments and spices from various global cuisines applied to anything and everything to create brand new flavor combinations. Chimichurri as a hamburger topping. Peri peri barbecue ribs. Za’atar spread on crostini. Raita with hot wings. You get the idea.


Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 13

EDUCATION & training

NEW EDUCATIONAL WEBINAR SERIES LAUNCHED FOR MEMBERS | Webinar Wednesdays, a new initiative in 2016, provides our members with more educational opportunities to improve their business and get the most out of their PRLA membership. Webinars occur the third Wednesday of the month at 9:30 a.m. Topics range from industry trends to operational resources to human resources to PRLA benefits and more. The webinars are complimentary for members but do require you to register in advance. Visit our website, for the current schedule, to register for the next session or to access past webinar slides. Have a presentation you think would help PRLA members? Visit and download the presentation proposal form. Complete the form and submit it to PRLA for consideration.

What topics would you like to see covered in a Webinar Wednesday? Email Hope Sterner, director of education, at what topic would help your business.

Harford Mutual

is serving up complete Restaurant Coverage in Pennsylvania including Fine Dining &Liquor Liability Ask your agent or visit


14 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

2016 Upcoming Classes JANUARY 1/11 Lancaster 1/11 Philadelphia* 1/25 Harrisburg 1/25 Monroeville FEBRUARY 2/1 Wilkes-Barre 2/8 Butler 2/8 Reading 2/22 Greensburg 2/22 York 2/22 Philadelphia* 2/29 State College MARCH 3/7 Allentown 3/7 Lancaster 3/7 Washington 3/14 Carlisle 3/21 Hazleton 3/21 Monroeville APRIL 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/11 4/18 4/25 4/25 4/25

Erie Philadelphia* Reading Harrisburg Philadelphia* Bethlehem Latrobe State College

MAY 5/2 5/9 5/16 5/23 5/23 5/23 JUNE 6/6 6/6 6/13 6/20 6/27 6/27 JULY 7/11 7/18 7/18 7/25

Butler Lancaster Skytop (Poconos) Monroeville Philadelphia* York

Harrisburg Uniontown Williamsport Pittsburgh Lancaster Philadelphia*

Wilkes-Barre Doylestown Monroeville Harrisburg

AUGUST 8/1 Cranberry Twp. 8/1 Reading 8/1 State College 8/8 Greensburg 8/8 York 8/15 Philadelphia* 8/29 Lancaster 8/29 Washington

*Philadelphia Department of Health regulations require class time for certification.

SEPTEMBER 9/12 New Castle 9/12 Wilkes-Barre 9/26 Harrisburg 9/26 Monroeville 9/26 Philadelphia* OCTOBER 10/3 Bethlehem 10/3 State College 10/17 Downingtown 10/24 Bedford 10/24 Butler 10/24 Lancaster NOVEMBER 11/7 Latrobe 11/7 Philadelphia* 11/14 Wilkes-Barre DECEMBER 12/5 Harrisburg 12/5 Reading 12/12 Philadelphia* K G IV IN G B A C ts

fe profi PRLA ServSa d in industry are reinveste treach and education, ou grams. advocacy pro industry. Support your

EARLY BIRD CLASS PRICING* $130 members $170 non-members *Early bird pricing must be pre-paid 14 days prior to the class. Regular prices are $135/member and $175/ non-member. Taxes, shipping & handling fees apply. Group discounts available for oneday class when registering three or more students. Corporate classes at your location are available for groups of 15 or more.

CLASS DESCRIPTION All classes are one-day course with a proctored exam. Textbook and lunch included. Classes begin at 8 a.m., with the exams starting at 3:30 p.m. Home study and online courses are available. Check for pricing. Retesting available for $60.

REGISTER (800) 345-5353


Kenneth J. McDermott, Esquire


The Attorney

SHUMAKER WILLIAMS, P.C. General Counsel, Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association

Gone viral

Potential complications from using social media in your employment practices Social media can be a great tool for connecting with customers and potential customers; however, it can also present traps for the unwary when used for purposes other than marketing. One area that seems particularly troublesome for employers is the use of social media in the hiring and firing process. Hiring When requesting prospective employees to submit resumes and applications, you are expecting you will receive a picture of the candidate that only shows him or her in the best light. If the candidate is any good, he or she will be sure to polish every possible attribute that can be learned about them from the application. A candidate’s social media profile, however, is likely not going to be as rosy, and it will be very tempting to search for any information that can be gleaned from their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter accounts (or any number of other social media sites). After all, if you want to know what a person is really like, it’s best to view them when they are unfiltered, which, for better or worse, is generally what you will see when viewing someone’s social media profiles. Although it seems intuitive to gather as much information as possible about a candidate, it is possible to gather too much information. Social media profiles

between the employer and any infor­ma­ tion that could be used in a discriminatory manner. However, third-parties providing these background checks and the entities using their services must comply with the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act. At a minimum, compliance will involve providing notice to prospective employees that they will be subject to a background check and obtaining their consent.

could include information relating to a candidate’s race, gender, age, ethnicity, religion and whether he or she has a disability or is pregnant. Pursuant to a series of federal and state antidiscrimination laws, these characteristics cannot be used in making decisions regarding a person’s employment. Even if a decision to hire is not based on these characteristics, if a disgruntled applicant files a “failure to hire” or unlawful discrimination suit, he or she may seek discovery related to whether you view all applicants’ social media profiles or just some, whether specific parts of a social media profile are viewed, and the length of time spent reviewing social media profiles. In other words, what may seem like innocent behavior can provide fodder for a lawsuit by an unhappy applicant or class of applicants. Some employers retain third-party services to search a candidate’s social media profiles for them. The goal of this arrangement is to add a degree of distance WINTER 2016

While not as common of a practice anymore, employers should also refrain from demanding that their employees or prospective employees provide their social media account login credentials to the employer. Again, this may appear to be a valuable method for gathering information on a prospective employee or monitoring the behavior of current employees, but many states have concluded this conduct is an unlawful invasion of privacy and have enacted laws against such practices. Legislation was introduced in 2013 to specifically prohibit this practice in Continued on page 18

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 17

U P C OM I NG E V E N T S 2 0 1 6 April 12–13

NRA Public Affairs Conference

Washington, DC

May 15-17

Destination PA Spring Conference

Skytop Lodge, Skytop

May 17-18

AH&LA Legislative Action Summit

Washington, DC

May 21-24

NRA Show 2016

McCormick Place, Chicago

June 21

PRLA Golf Classic East

RiverCrest Golf Club, Phoenixville

September 26

PRLA Golf Classic West

Fox Chapel Golf Club, Pittsburgh

October 23–25

PRLA Annual Fall Conference & Awards Gala

Omni Bedford Springs Hotel, Bedford

November 13–16

AH&LA Fall Conference & HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly the IHM&R Show)

Jacob Javits Center, New York City

Legal Docket continued from page 17 in Pennsylvania, but ultimately was not passed. Nonetheless, the clear trend across the country suggests this type of demand is not permissible. Along similar lines, an employer should never attempt to “hack” or otherwise attempt to gain unauthorized access into a candidate or employee’s social media accounts. Recent case law has extended the federal Stored Communications Act’s prohibition against unauthorized access to electronic communications to social media accounts. Additionally, an employer committing such actions could be subject to a lawsuit for invasion of privacy. Firing In addition to the hiring process, care should also be taken in reviewing social media profiles of current employees. Again, it may be very tempting to review posts and comments of your employees, especially for discussions related to their employment; however, punishing or terminating employees for those discussions can result in potential legal trouble, including for violations of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). The NLRA protects employees from being punished for certain “concerted activity.” It is important to remember that even non-union employees are protected by the NLRA. Examples of protected “concerted activity” include conversations among

two or more employees regarding wages, safety conditions, or other terms and conditions of their employment, including online conversations regarding these topics. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) investigates and adjudicates employee complaints related to the NLRA and has been active in addressing employers’ social media actions. In fact, just this past October, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed an NLRB decision that found co-workers who had “liked” another co-workers Facebook post were engaging in protected “concerted activity” (the Facebook post complained of the employer’s failure to properly withhold taxes, resulting in taxes owed by the employee). The NLRB has also been examining employee handbooks and provisions regarding the use of social media and electronic communications to determine whether the effect of the employer’s policy is to chill an employee’s ability to engage in protected “concerted activity.” The use of social media by employers is still an evolving area of the law given the relatively recent rise in the use of social media and the failure of certain laws to keep pace with this change. As an employer, it is important to know how to use social media as a tool without suffering the consequences of its misuse. If you have questions concerning this or other legal issues, please contact Kenneth McDermott (717.909.1624) at Shumaker Williams, P.C., PRLA’s General Counsel.

18th annual

PRLA GOLF CLASSIC EAST Tuesday, June 21 | RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve

18 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016


Congratulations to Bucks-Mont Chapter President Matt George for his recent shout out in Nation’s Restaurant News Power List 2016! Matt is the general manager of the Plumsteadville Inn in Pipersville, which hosted the chapter installation party in early February. The chapter is hard at work planning a fundraising event called “Taste of Bucks-Mont,” which will be held on April 10 at The Fuge in Warminster. It include local restaurants, breweries, wineries and distilleries sampling their products. VIP ticket includes butler passed hors d’oeuvres and admission to the exclusive centrifuge viewing platform. Entertainment will be provided by CB Cares Musicians and there are children’s activities planned. Text TASTE16 to 272727 for more information.


On February 2, members of the Lehigh Valley Chapter and supporters celebrated the installation of the chapter board of directors over dinner at Dime Restaurant in the Renaissance Allentown. Dinner featured a state of the association update by President & CEO John Longstreet and legislative news from Director of Government Affairs Melissa Bova. Mark April 19 on your calendar for the Lehigh Valley Chapter’s annual cigar night, this year at Detzi’s Tavern. This yearly fundraiser includes food samplings, craft beer and hand rolled cigars. The event benefits the PRLA Educational Foundation for scholarships and ProStart. NORTHWESTERN CHAPTER


RiverCrest Golf Club & Preserve in Phoenixville played host to the January installation of the Brandywine Chapter leaders. The night featured delicious food stations and entertainment provided by the Dean Maola Trio. Congratulations to Victory Brewing Company for celebrating its 20th anniversary. Part of the celebration was announcing a landmark alliance with Southern Tier Brewing Company under the parent company Artisanal Brewing Ventures. This union presents a new model for craft beer partnerships by preserving brewery independence while pooling deep collective resources. Congratulations! CENTRAL CHAPTER

Central Chapter held their installation night for the third year in a row at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Raceway on Feb 11. During the event, Central Chapter gave proceeds from the annual golf outing to PA State Police South Central Camp Cadet. PA Flavor is back! Don’t miss the ultimate beer and food pairing event on Saturday, April 23 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex, featuring more than 30 Pennsylvania brewers, 20 vendors, 25 restaurants. Focusing on Pennsylvania products, PA Flavor showcases the unique beer and food offerings of the keystone state. General admission is from 2-5 p.m. and includes all beer and food tastings, as well as parking at the Farm Show Complex. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

Chapter President Chris Sirianni hosted the annual chapter installation and legislative update on a very snowy night in February at his Brewerie at Union Station. PHILADELPHIA CHAPTER

Philadelphia chapter has a new name! In an effort to rebrand and create more awareness of the PRLA in the City of Brotherly Love, this chapter has changed its title to the Philadelphia Restaurant & Hotel Alliance. The new name was announced at the chapter installation party on February 15 at the Ritz-Carlton, featuring the appointment of new chapter president Ben Fileccia of Sbraga Dining. The chapter is undertaking a grassroots campaign, funded in part by the National Restaurant Association, to develop better relations with City Council. Who are those vodka guys? You’ve seen them pouring their delicious martinis at just about every chapter installation event! Thank you David Solomon from Golia Vodka for your generous sponsorship of the chapter installation events!


PRLA’s newly launched Keystone Chapter celebrated the installation of leadership at a ceremony over dinner on February 18 at the Days Inn Penn State in State College. Attendees enjoyed action food stations and libations provided by local distillery Barrel 21. LANCASTER CHAPTER

Ray Hottenstein and team hosted the Lancaster Chapter President’s Night on January 25 at the beautiful Hamilton Ballroom serving high-end cuisines stations, libations and a fabulous dessert bar. Chapter President T.J. Quinn of Kitchen Kettle Village gave an engaging speech promising to make building membership a priority in 2016.

Philadelphia Chapter Board of Directors POCONO MOUNTAINS CHAPTER

We are excited to be holding the Destination PA Spring Conference at Skytop Lodge in Pocono Mountains Chapter. Destination PA is a restaurant, hotel and tourism summit presented by PRLA, Pennsylvania Association of Travel & Tourism, and Pocono Mountains Convention & Visitors Bureau.The conference dates Continued on next page WINTER 2016

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 19

Members Milestones continued are May 15–17 with content that promises to be educational, inspirational & fun! The conference agenda and registration are available at


Rivers Club in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh was the location for the Western Chapter Awards & Installation Gala on February 8. New chapter officers, including president Tim Zugger of the DoubleTree Pittsburgh Downtown, were honored along with the following award winners: • Restaurant Member of the Year: Sean Casey of Church Brew Works • Lodging Member of the Year: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown • Wilmer S. Lapp Keystone Award: Stephen Musciano of Aramark at PNC Park • Allied Member of the Year: VisitPittsburgh • Member Employee of the Year: Greg Goffin of DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Suites Pittsburgh Downtown • Best New Restaurant: Gaucho Parilla Argentina

Outgoing Western Chapter President Vince Sanzotti

• Best Libation Venue: Industry Public House

Skytop Lodge

Call today for your FREE, no-obligation quote!


Exclusive NATURAL GAS and POWER Solutions Randy Bryden | 732.440.0014

20 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

Preferred Energy Provider

WELCOME new members Restaurant Members

Crawdaddys Restaurant

Naple’s Pizza




Naple’s Pizza



Di Bruno Bros.

Naple’s Pizza



East End Tavern

Napoli Restaurant




Elixir Bistro Bar

Napoli Restaurant

Arooga’s Grille House & Sports Bar

Wilkes Barre


Franktuary-Market Square

New Sheffield Café




Athens Family Restaurant

1810 Tavern Bridgewater

7 Tap Tavern Downingtown

A.J. Stephen’s Crab House Glenolden

Aleco’s Steak & Hoagie

Franky Bradley’s

North Third

Beaver Falls



Austin Ray Bar & Grill

Gaucho Parilla Argentina

Ocean Prime




Baker’s American Bar & Grille

Greystone Public House

Path Valley Family Restaurant



Spring Run

Bakn Gastropub

Grille 565

Paul’s Provisions



State College

Baxter’s American Grille


Peppi’s Downtown




Blue Duck Sandwich Company


Peppi’s North Side




Boro Bar and Grill Riverview

Hines Ward Table 86

Peppi’s Point Breeze


Seven Fields


Bottleneck Management

Indian Springs Golf & Country Club

Peppi’s Strip District


Pratte Catering


Brewser’s Sports Grille Coal Township

BubHub Restaurant & Franchising Group, LLC Monaca

Buddy’s Burgers, Breasts & Fries Exton

Cafe 1500 American Bistro Harrisburg

Chaz & Odette Restaurant Pittsburgh

CJ’s American Pub & Grill Shippensburg

CJ’s BBQ Smokehouse Chambersburg

Clarkville Philadelphia

Cloud 9 Erie

Coeur Philadelphia

Country Club of Harrisburg


James Street Gastropub & Speakeasy


Red Lobster Seafood Co.


Orlando, Fla.

Jerome Bettis’ Grille 36

Roman Bistro



Jim & Nena’s Pizza

Savor Restaurant



Jimmy John’s

Silk City



La Cappella

Stone Grille and Taphouse



Landmark Hospitality


Jersey City


Local 44

Tavern in the Wall



McGrath’s Pub

The Alcove Restaurant



Memphis Taproom

The Bistro



Milito’s Restaurant

The Club At Shadow Lakes





Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• 21

The Juice Jar

Mountain Laurel Resort & Spa


White Haven

The Mill

Renaissance Allentown



The Pittsburgh Golf Club

Shippensburg Courtyard By Marriott


The Wandering Chef Toyoko Japanese Restaurant Skippack

Triple Fresh Catering East Fallowfield

Vegan Commissary Philadelphia

Victory Brewing Co. - Parkesburg Parkesburg

White Rose Bar & Grill York


Springhill Suites Plymouth Meeting


Wyndridge Farm Dallastown

Ye Olde Kopper Kettle Restaurant Washington Zeiderelli’s Pizza Mechanicsburg

Washington, DC

Staybridge Suites Harrisburg – Hershey Harrisburg The Atherton Hotel

HFL Corporation

The Inn at Leola Village Leola

Valley Forge Courtyard Wayne

Allied Members ARF Financial Philadelphia

A-Tech Refrigeration and Mechanical Pittsburgh


1825 Inn Bed and Breakfast

Full Circle Distributors

Palmyra Ronks Altoona

Harrisburg Hershey Regional Visitors Bureau Harrisburg

Indiana County Tourist Bureau Indiana

Embassy Suites Downtown – Pittsburgh


Fairfield Inn & Suites Huntingdon Raystown Lake

State College

Other Hospitality



A Party of 4

State College

Explore Altoona Visitors Bureau

Days Inn Hershey

Management Company Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA)

Country Inn & Suites State College

Plymouth Meeting


SpringHill Suites State College

Lodging Members

Courtyard by Marriott Plymouth Meeting

JEVS Human Services/ Ambrosia Food Group


Candlelight Inn Bed & Breakfast

State College

Honey Brook

Plymouth Meeting

State College

Wings To Go

Heatherwood Retirement Community

Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau Lawrence County Tourist Promotion Agency

Folcroft Cheswick

Hoodz North America Pittsburgh

Luttner Financial Pittsburgh

Makin It Safe LLC Harrisburg

Oracle Hospitality Swarthmore

Reinhart FoodService Coal Township Richard B. Ryon Insurance Pottsville

Ritter Insurance Marketing

New Castle



Schuylkill County Visitors Bureau

Sofranko Advisory Group LLC

Hampton Inn & Suites Williamsburg Square



The Manor on Front

Soom Foods

State College



Heritage Hills Golf Resort & Conference Center

York County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Sprague Energy




Hilton Garden Inn Pittsburgh Downtown



Hilton Philadelphia Penn’s Landing Philadelphia

Holiday Inn Express North Shore

Evans Retirement Center Inc. Fleetwood

Guckenheimer Enterprises Canonsburg


22 •

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging matters

• WINTER 2016

Eatontown Doylestown

U.S. Foods Allentown

Don’t miss the ultimate industry conference this spring at Skytop Lodge in the gorgeous Pocono Mountains. This year’s conference features industry-renowned speakers, educational sessions, exhibitors and fun social events. Educational session highlights include solutions & options for overreaching legislation, travel trends by AAA, The largest hotel company in the world—Airbnb, leading the next generations and more.

REGISTER Destination PA is a restaurant, lodging and tourism summit presented by the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania travel and tourism industry and the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.





National Restaurant Association Chairman of the Board and EVP & Chief Legal Officer of Bloomin’ Brands Inc.

• Solutions & options for overreaching legislation Affordable Care Act & overtime regulations that double the exempt salary threshold


• The largest hotel company in the world—Airbnb

Department of Community & Economic Development Deputy Secretary, Office of Marketing, Tourism and Film

• Travel trends presented by AAA

MARK WOODWORTH President of PKF Hospitality Research Group and national practice leader of CBRE Hotels’ Americas Research

MIKE MUETZEL Nationally recognized author, “They’re not aloof... just Generation X,” and management consultant focusing on changing traditional leadership paradigms.

• Food tourism: What is it and why it matters • Public relations roundtable discussion lead by Tierney Communications EVENTS • Dinner at Barley Creek Brewing Company • Keystone Hospitality Awards Reception & Dinner • Direct from Nashville singer-songwriter’s showcase featuring Dan Couch, Tim James and Wendell Mobley

Proud of the company we keep To learn more, contact Angela Ihry 605.940.9861 or All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners

Š 2015 Heartland Payment Systems, Inc.

Profile for Graphtech

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters  

The official publication of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.

Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters  

The official publication of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association.