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Restaurantville spring

M AG A ZI N E

CO N N EC T IN G THE TE X A S R E STAUR A NT CO MMUN I T Y

The founder of wildly successful Smashburger on the science of flavor, restaurant trends, and the importance of food with a story.


PUBLISHER Richie Jackson, CEO Texas Restaurant Association EDITOR Wendy Saari, Vice President, Marketing & Communications Texas Restaurant Association ART DIRECTOR Carol Ann Lee, Graphic Design Manager Texas Restaurant Association CONTRIBUTOR Chantal Rice RESTAURANT VILLE MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Texas Restaurant Association.

Editorial and advertising questions can be directed to Wendy Saari at 512-457-4100 or wsaari@tramail.org.

It is the mission of the Texas Restaurant Association to be the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice and hospitality industry in Texas.

P.O. Box 1429 Austin, Texas 78767 512-457-4100 800-395-2872

restaurantville.com


Contents 4

F E AT U RES 4

SMASH HI T! The fou nder of wi ldly s ucce ssfu l Smashbu rger o n th e s cience of flav or, res ta ura n t t re nds, and the i mpo rta n c e of food wi th a story.

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D E PA RTMENTS 29 T EXA S 36 0

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Smash Hit! The founder of wildly successful Smashburger on the science of flavor, restaurant trends, and the importance of food with a story. BY CHANTAL RICE

Anyone who has ever happ chicken wings and breadsti

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pily sunk their teeth into a gooey, cheesy Stuffed Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut (or the brand’s Sicilian Pizza, Lover’s Line pizzas, icks, for that matter) has Tom Ryan to thank.

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The 2007 launch of Smashburger, the popular and critically acclaimed burger franchise solidified Rya

T

om Ryan is trending. And though most Americans have never heard of this wildly successful mad scientist of food, they’ve no doubt been exhilarated by his iconic creations. Indeed, anyone who has ever happily sunk their teeth into a gooey, cheesy Stuffed Crust Pizza from Pizza Hut (or the brand’s Sicilian Pizza, Lover’s Line pizzas, chicken wings and breadsticks, for that matter), enjoyed a McDonald’s McFlurry, breakfast McGriddle or anything from the Dollar Menu, or lunched on a Quiznos Steakhouse Beef Dip Sub or Prime Rib Sub has Tom Ryan to thank, as he and the teams he led are responsible for bringing these quintessential products to market. Ryan began his prolific career by earning an undergraduate degree in food science, a master’s degree in lipid toxicology and a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry from

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The ability to be creative and rapidly prototype in the real time of the

restau rant business

was what I was cut out for.

an’s remarkable success in the restaurant industry.

Michigan State University. His expertise landed him development positions with industry giants like Pillsbury, Proctor & Gamble and later, Pizza Hut, McDonald’s and Quiznos. But it was the 2007 launch of Smashburger, the popular and critically acclaimed burger franchise that solidified Ryan’s remarkable success in the restaurant industry. As the managing partner and chief concept officer of Consumer Capital Partners, the innovative investment and operating company behind Smashburger, Ryan, along with founder and chairman Rick Schaden, has also helped pioneer such growing brands as Tom’s Urban, a full-service concept providing multi-ethnic food, craft beers and cocktails; and Tom’s Live Basil Pizza, a fast-casual authentic Neapolitan pizza concept. In advance of Ryan’s keynote address, Riding the Wave: Finding and Sustaining Success, at the Texas Restaurant Association’s annual tradeshow and convention, TRA Marketplace, in Dallas this June, RestaurantR E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

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ville Magazine spoke to Ryan about how his science background has influenced is career, the continued success of Smashburger, and the next big trends in the restaurant industry. Restaurantville Magazine: You have quite the eclectic background. What first drew you to the restaurant industry?

Tom Ryan: I’ve always been fascinated with the science behind food. I was enamored with the fact that there was a high degree of technology behind consumer packaged When it comes to insightfu goods; it takes a lot of technology to get ketchup in a botbrand. What is the flexibili tle. I put my academic focus against food. All my studies were linear along the path of wanting to understand the general sciences of food. Then I went to work in the packaged-foods industry. At Pillsbury, I did consumer-based research. All the trends I was chasing were coming out of the restaurant industry. After about six to nine months of chasing trends — before the Internet — it dawned on me: I think maybe it’s time for me to cross over and do new product development for restaurants. The degrees of freedom were higher. Then Pizza Hut recruited me as the director of lead product development. I jumped at the chance! I knew my hunch was correct. The ability to be creative and rapidly prototype in the real time of the restaurant business was what I was cut out for. RVM: What was it about developing specific menu items for existing restaurant brands that intrigued you? TR: The creative freedom is one aspect. When it comes to insightful product development, you have to understand the specifics of the core brand. What is the flexibility and mindset of the core customers? You have

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At some point, it becomes a matter of how much

creative challenge

ul product development, you have to understand the specifics of the core ity and mindset of the core customers?

you want to take.

to innovate within the confines of the operating platforms the brand has. Most brands don’t have the capability or desire to change their core platform for something new. Then there’s the business strategy. To really get a good fit, you have to understand what those novel business developments are and how to work within those targeted elements to make that happen. You have to have a fundamental understanding of all those. RVM: What has been your favorite venture or product so far? TR: The singular thing I’m probably most proud of is the design and execution of the Smashburger brand. We had the opportunity to put together something from a blank page. The Smashburger brand is the décor, the service platform, the product, the burger; they all represent complete innovation. Time will tell which I’m the proudest of. Smashburger, since 2007, has seen prolific growth and gotten great feedback from consumers and the industry alike. The market’s ripe for change. Our way of viewing change is working. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

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The modern consumer is looking for food with a story. The story needs to make them feel good about what they’re eating.

The other things I’m very proud of? At Pizza Hut, I had a chance to be involved in the Lover’s Line. My biggest success and the thing I had the most fun doing that was so challenging and innovative was the Stuffed Crust Pizza. There were over a billion dollars in sales in that first year. At McDonald’s, the biggest win there I had was with the Dollar Menu. That was a big positioning play. The McGriddle was the biggest product. That drove their breakfast sales tremendously. It was a big revenue generator. Those are the two iconic products I had a hand in and led creative evolution in.

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RVM: After developing several existing restaurant brands and menu items, why start your own restaurant concept with Smashburger? TR: At some point, it becomes a matter of how much creative challenge you want to take. Having to understand a brand’s pre-existing equities, customers, strategic objectives, they make the creative platform narrow to an overall creative palate. The market is changing. The next generation of consumers is looking for things radically different than the brands supporting the last generation’s revenue. Millennials are looking for brands with attributes. My sense is that we are on the front end of a big sea change in terms what the next generation is looking for. The modern consumer is looking for food with a story. The story needs to make them feel good about what they’re eating. It’s not so much about health and nutrition. It’s not about what we don’t have, like GMOs and hormones. For many people, it’s about why food is special, the culinary process, the taste. It’s an amalgam of different things in the consumers’ mindset. They’re looking for something different. Fast-casual is clearly what Americans want. They want sit-down food quality with the quickness of fast food. It’s a story plus the fast-casual dynamic. When you put those two things together, and think about being an entrepreneur, I made the decision and made the leap to get out from the last generation and get on to next generation.

The

market is changing.

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To accomplish this, it’s not about just one thing. It’s through branding and marketing: There are 50 things our potential customers need to know about Smashburger that they don’t know yet. For instance, Smashburger starts with the burger. Angus beef makes for a tremendously luscious burger when you bite into it. We roll the beef into meatballs every day. We smash the burger and it forms a sear, a shell that when you bite, releases juiciness. The shell lets us cook the burger really quickly. We’ve also got great local recipes for every market and create-your-own options. It’s served restaurant-style: open face with no bags and no paper. It’s the full restaurant experience. All our food has a level of detail and a story. We really are presenting consumers with a new way to think about eating a burger. There is modernity in storytelling that really gets consumers excited about it. The service is

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fast-casual plus. You order at the counter then we take care of everything after that. We offer soft alcohol in the vast majority of our restaurants, and the menu variety is pretty broad. For instance, we have a black-bean burger for those practicing the non-meat craft. Our shakes are also very popular; on average every five burgers are ordered with a shake. At the very beginning of Smashburger, we had two goals: Give people a great-tasting, juicy burger with every bite and put burgers back in people’s lives. There weren’t enough good burger places out there back in 2006. Now, Smashburger has 315 stores in more than 30 states and five countries outside the U.S. We’re successful because we were very thoughtful and deliberate about how to add value for the consumer. RVM: How has your science background influenced your career in the restaurant industry? TR: All of us are either benefited or victimized by conventions of the past. I take a very analytic and academic outlook, and I try to meld that with creativity around business opportunities. At Consumer Capital Partners, we’re highly entrepreneurial, very analytically driven. We’re good at using analysis to understand an unmet demand, to understand what categories are in need of disruptive innovation and be able to create new concepts. I’m a bigger fan of reinventing things than I am of creating something new. A burger’s a burger unless it’s a Smashburger. I had a mentor at Pizza Hut in the early ’90s who said if you didn’t have command of the business, you couldn’t innovate with success. At Capital, we have savvy business people, and that’s an integral part. RVM: Do you have an overall philosophy when it comes to business and the restaurant industry? TR: We believe the restaurant landscape is changing and being shaped by the 32-year-old Millennial mindset. If you’re younger than 32, you

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We’re successful because we were very

thoughtful and deliberate about how to add value for the consumer. aspire to be at that age; if you’re 58, you’re still trying to live that 32-yearold lifestyle. All of us here in the partnership agree that maintaining a forever-young mentality in the way we think, operate and do things is what makes us successful. I started Smashburger in 2007. People who I designed for then are now 40. We have restaged our décor and upgraded our music, changed the venue to accommodate more organic components, made small revolutions back to relevant to bolster what 32-year-olds are looking for. If every 18 to 24 months you’re not assessing where you are to be relevant for 32-year-olds, you’re going to end up looking old fast. It’s an evolutionary approach. Consumers are looking for accuracy, speed and quality, but a more aesthetic element of service and presentation. That’s the natural evolution of fast-casual. [Restaurateurs] who are not evolving against that metric are missing it. We are committed to continuing to evolve fast-casual. RVM: What can independent restaurant owners learn from you and Smashburger? TR: Offer fast food with a story and make sure that story makes customers feel good about what they’re eating. You’ve got to stay relevant, have some level of badge quality, have word-of-mouth. Having leaders in electronic communication in your camp is very important. Those generalities are my best advice. After that, you have to rely on the specifics of R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

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Health Care Reform: Guidance and Solutions  Guidance

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To discuss UnitedHealthcare’s solutions for your business, contact Clinton Wolf at (312) 348-7064 or clinton_v_wolf@uhg.com.

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“Offer fast food with a story and make sure that story makes customers feel good about what they’re eating.”

what concept it is. Things are changing fast out there. The nimbler you are, the better off you’re going to be. RVM: What’s the best decision you’ve made throughout your restaurant career? What’s the worst? TR: Obviously, the best career decision I made was to make the transition from a packaged-food orientation to a restaurant orientation. That unleashed a tremendous amount of passion and latent creativity in me. The worst? I’m karmic in the way I think about life. Even things I don’t think were optimal for me added to my perspective. That teaches you wisdom. You’ve got to earn it yourself. The toughest situations I’ve ever been in where products I worked on underperformed or weren’t popular with my peer groups, all those things tempered my perspective. The

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“There is 15 percent you have to go back and do once you launch to get everything right. That 15 percent is driven by true expe they’re going to lose.”

wisdom that comes, comes from good and bad times. It is much more enjoyable when things are going great, but smart people build wisdom in moments when things are not working the way they planned. You have to process that a certain way. A calm and wise approach, and deliberate action are what separate world-class companies from those that aren’t. RVM: Do you feel you got the Smashburger concept right? TR: I get asked [that] a lot. I tell people, “No.” I firmly believe we have to launch 120 percent of what we have to get 85 percent right. Thirty-five percent is going to go away. There is 15 percent you have to go back and do once you launch to get everything right. That 15 percent is driven by true expertise in the marketplace. People who expect perfection before they launch, they’re going to lose.

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I firmly believe we have to launch

ertise in the marketplace. People who expect perfection before they launch,

RVM: How do you recognize a true trend that has legs versus a flash in the pan? TR: I think the past, in many ways, defines the future. For us, our principle goal is to recreate the landscape for the next generation with high value for the customer, operators and shareholders against things that have a big mass-market appeal. It’s tough to recreate trends. We don’t chase trends. We chase a primary mindset. Take the customization trend: If you’re going to do a burger concept and not offer customizable op-

120% of what we have to get 85% right.

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tions, you’ve missed the trend in that space. Think about how to integrate trends into your menu, but don’t bank a brand on a trend. RVM: Once a trend loses steam, how do you stay successful without having to jump on the next hot thing? TR: I happen to believe that people are looking for food and a story in eating that food. Trendiness is one of those things that makes you feel good about eating an item, but it’s just one piece of a bigger story to tell. A concept that’s built entirely around a trend has to deal with that trend fading or enduring. We always pay attention to trends and ask ourselves: Is there a smart way to integrate that trend?

Smashbu rger By the Numbers: • Launched in 2007 • Current number of corporate and franchise restaurants: 315 stores in more than 30 states and five countries outside the U.S. • Current number of Smashburger restaurants in Texas: 48 For more information about Smashburger and franchising opportunities, visit www. Smashburger.com.

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RVM: What do you see as the next big trends in restaurants? TR: In terms of a macro trend, there’s a lot of continuity around what’s already happening. Food is cool. It’s a big part of how Americans socialize. Chefs are still a big thing. People are turning kitchens into entertainment centers. That speaks to the fact that food and added value play in to the fabric of America. How does this affect restaurants? People are learning from innovation and diversity. In the next five to 10 years, we will see more of a mainstreaming of Northern African, Indian, Pan Asian and South American foods. We’ll see the next round of ethnicities incorporate in to how people eat. Additionally, any restaurant that’s doing full-service has got to look at the proliferation of fast-casual.

Get more insights from Tom Ryan at his keynote address Riding the Wave: Finding and Sustaining Success Monday June 29 at 1pm. Ryan will share his unique perspective on the restaurant industry and his insights on recent food and restaurant trends that are impacting restaurant businesses throughout Texas. For more information and to register for TRA Marketplace, visit tramarketplace.com. REGISTER TODAY

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M EMB ERSHIP S P OT LIGHT

Lakesha Reed

CEO, Beaucoup Bar & Grill/Lagniappe Group “What I love about food is how it makes you feel. And that’s what I want to get across to people. My grandma’s food gives me the best feeling in the world. When I left New Orleans to go to the University of Houston, the closest thing I could get to home was food, and I couldn’t find the food I loved. I knew I wasn’t the only New Orleanian feeling like that! After college I worked in New Orleans for a while and then Katrina hit. I lost everything and didn’t work for a while. I kinda just contemplated life. I’ve always wanted to start a restaurant and had experience working in restaurants during college. So I moved to Houston and took this perfect opportunity to take what I love (my grandma’s recipes) and provide that home-cooked traditional New Orleans food to customers. I thought I knew what I was getting into – until I had to control a whole restaurant myself! But it has been an amazing experience and I don’t know that any other industry would have provided this kind of opportunity. We just opened our second location!”

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FEATURED SPEAKER Jim Sullivan, CEO and founder, Sullivision.com

IN CONJU NCTION WITH

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M EMB ERSHIP S P OT LIGHT

Alfonso Hernandez

Director of Operations, James Coney Island “Knowledge is power. The resources available to TRA members through local chapters and the state organization are invaluable. For example, I was looking for a new hot dog bun supplier. Instead of searching the Internet, I picked up the Houston chapter’s directory and contacted a baker that was a member. We worked out a great deal – they landed a major account, and we got a better product at a better price. There is nothing like being able to get knowledgeable answers to critical industry questions just by making a call.”

According to Skeeter Miller, The County Line BBQ and president of the TRA’s Austin chapter, “If you think you’ve got it all figured out, that’s when you’ll get kicked in the teeth.” Learn why TRA membership is so valuable to restaurant operators. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E S P R I N G 2 0 1 5

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TAKE IT WITH YOU Texas-sized servings of new opportunities.

Fill up on everything you need to run a better restaurant and feed your bottom line. The TRA Marketplace serves up generous portions of leading suppliers, fresh products, upto-the-minute industry insight and proven practical solutions you can take home and put into action right away.

www.tramarketplace.com

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June 28-29, 2015 Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center

F O R A D V E R T I S I N G I N F O R M AT I O N C O N TA C T W E N D Y S A A R I AT 5 1 2 - 4 5 7 - 4 1 0 0 O Dallas, R WSAAR I@TRAMAIL.ORG Texas


TEX A S 3 60

Achieving Operational Success

YUM! BRANDS IN THE COMMUNITY

The Texas Restaurant Association is hosting unique, interactive conferences where you’ll learn best practices and ‘how to’ strategies to help you build a high performing team, and manage costs related to today’s regulatory environment. From organizational structure, job descriptions and employee communication, to IRS reporting requirements and FLSA rules, we are bringing together industry experts and restaurateurs with a wealthy of knowledge and experience. Take this opportunity to hear from those who are successfully navigating the complex landscape of Affordable Care Act requirements. June 2 | San Antonio June 9 | El Paso July 7 | Fort Worth area (Euless) July 8 | Dallas area (Farmers Branch) July 14 | Houston July 29 | Tyler

On April 16, Yum! Brands invited legislators and their staff to help end hunger in the Austin community. More than 500 guests donated non-perishable food items to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas and were treated to lunch by KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. The donations raised at the Capitol luncheon will provide 7,800 meals for those in need across Central Texas. Yum! Brands is a company with a Huge Heart and believes its greatest contribution is in making food accessible to the less fortunate. In 2014 alone, franchise and corporate stores in Texas donated more than 1.1 million pounds of prepared food to agencies serving those in need.

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- Where the industry parties! After a busy, successful, productive day of business at TRA Marketplace, cut loose with your colleagues at The Rustic. Don’t miss this after hours party for attendees and exhibitors. Proceeds benefit the TRA Education Foundation and the Texas ProStart program. We promise great food, refreshing beverages, kickin’ music and a good time!

S U N DAY, J U N E 2 8 , 2 0 1 5 | 6 P M – 9 P M

T H E R U ST I C | DA L L A S , T E X A S www.restaurantville.com/lonestarbash

Texas Restaurant Association leaders and other luminaries will gather for an elegant evening to honor outstanding individuals and their contributions to our industry.

Saturday, June 27, 2015 Reception 6:30 PM | Dinner & Program 7:30 PM

Omni Dallas Hotel | Dallas, Texas www.restaurantville.com/nightofexcellence

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TEX A S 3 60 Awards Celebrate the

Each year the Texas Restaurant Association and its chapters present awards honoring excellence in the industry. These awards recognize individuals for their achievements in business, in their communities and in the association. They are true leaders and inspirations to fellow restaurateurs! David Cea

On Saturday, June 27 we will celebrate their achievements at the Night of Excellence. Join us in Dallas for an elegant evening of delicious food, free-flowing beverages and amazing company. CLICK HERE to purchase tickets. 2015 TRA Hall of Honor

Mark Maguire

• David Cea, owner, Orlando’s Italian Restaurant and CapRock Café, Lubbock • Mark Maguire, owner, Maguire’s Restaurant Concepts, Dallas • Steve Richmond, president, Pizza Hut of San Antonio, San Antonio 2015 Chapter Outstanding Restaurateurs • Hoover Alexander & Skip Walker, Hoover’s Cooking, Austin

Steve Richmond

• Kyle Noonan, FreeRange Concepts, Dallas • Tracey Vaught, Backstreet Café, Hugo’s and Caracol, Houston • Loyd Turner, Orlando’s Enterprises Inc., Lubbock • Rusty Swanson & Sherry Swanson, Rooster’s Chicken, San Angelo • Gloria Starling, The Capital Grille, Fort Worth

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TE XAS 3 6 0

The Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management at Byron Nelson High School and New Caney High School represented Texas at the National ProStart competition.

Texas Teams

at National Competition It was an exciting night at the 2014 National ProStart Invitational Awards Dinner in Anaheim, CA as the teams from two Texas high schools waited to hear the results after demonstrating their mastery of restaurant leadership skills in a fast-paced culinary and restaurant management competition. For the third year in a row, the culinary team from The Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management at Byron Nelson High School, Trophy Club won their competitions at the Texas ProStart Invitational to advance to Nationals. The management team from New Caney High School, New Caney made their first appearance as Texas champions. Both teams did an outstanding job representing the Lone Star State at Nationals, taking 4th place in management and 8th place in culinary in a field including teams from 48 states, territories and Department of Defense bases.

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TEX A S 3 60

For the third year in a row, the culinary team from The Academy of Culinary Arts & Hospitality Management at Byron Nelson High School, Trophy Club won their competitions at the Texas ProStart Invitational to advance to Nationals.

“I cannot express enough how much I love the ProStart curriculum, and the experiences that Texas ProStart has provided my students and myself,” said Cherie Busch, New Caney instructor. “Alyssa’s passionate nature, Esteban’s quick thinking, Brandon’s level head, and Chris’s entertaining presence, along with their drive and determination brought them here. However, if it was not for the opportunities provided by Texas ProStart, these kids would not have the platform to realize their potential. Representing Texas at the National competition was an once-in-alifetime experience for us all!”

“It is inspiring to watch these talented students compete with the passion that we saw at this year’s Texas and National ProStart Invitational events,” said Richie Jackson, CEO, Texas Restaurant Association. “We know they will take the experience gained to propel their dreams and achieve rewarding careers in the restaurant industry.” Texas ProStart is a two-year high school culinary arts and hospitality program currently in 200+ high schools reaching over 20,000 students each year.

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COMMUNIT Y NE W S

TEXAS RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION WELCOMES REVENTION AS NEWEST PREFERRED PARTNER After a rigorous and lengthy process of selection, the Texas Restaurant Association chose Revention as its exclusive, point of sale Preferred Partner. “POS systems are an essential part of every restaurant operation, and this partnership with Revention will help our members navigate the ever-changing technology landscape successfully,” said Richie Jackson, CEO, Texas Restaurant Association. Both Revention and TRA are dedicated to advancing the state of the everevolving restaurant industry, and the partnership opens up new and exciting opportunities for both parties to do so. Additionally, Revention will be sponsoring many of the TRA’s upcoming events, such as TRA Marketplace in June in Dallas, as well as the Lone Star Bash and Texas ProStart Golf Classic & Casino Night. “We are humbled and honored to be chosen as the official POS provider for the Texas Restaurant Association. We look forward to a successful and rewarding partnership,” stated Jeff Doyle, President/CEO of Revention. Revention is the leading developer of complete, customizable restaurant and entertainment management solutions designed to streamline the way hospitality concepts do business. The company’s offerings include point-of-sale solutions, HungerRush™ integrated online ordering, and Revention Enterprise. Revention’s goal is to provide a complete solution that includes customized installation, training, technical support and much more. | revention.com

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Have a question? Ask our experts. K EN N E T H BE S S E R MA N General Counsel

kbesserman@tramail.org • 512.457.4170 T I M S E KI YA Director of Insurance

tsekiya@tramail.org • 512.457.4161 P HI L W I L L I S Director of Products & Training Manager

pwillis@tramail.org • 512.457.4165

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COMMUNIT Y NE W S

AUSTIN CHAPTER GIVES TIME AT FOOD BANK The Greater Austin Restaurant Association took their April Board Meeting to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. After finishing the official business, 30 GARA members made a motion to roll up their sleeves in the warehouse. Restaurateurs sorted and inspected nearly 30,000 pounds of food to distribute to 22 counties in the Central Texas area. “As restaurateurs, we are often asked for donations but this time we gave our time and it was an absolute blast!” said Deborah Donovan, General Manager of the Frisco and Chair of the GARA Membership Committee. She went on to say, “We serve people in our restaurants every day, this was a different way we could serve our community and connect with fellow restaurateurs.” The unique networking opportunity attracted new members to join the Texas Restaurant Association and get involved with the chapter. After nearly three hours in the warehouse, checking expiration dates and inspecting packaging, the group had compiled enough groceries for 2412 meals!

PERMIAN BASIN RESTAURATEURS HONOR OUTSTANDING EMPLOYEES The Permian Basin chapter of the Texas Restaurant Association hosted their inaugural Silver Spoon Awards for foodservice excellence on April 28. Members nominated individuals from their restaurants who excel in their commitment to provide great service, and help make dining out an experience to remember. Congratulations to the 2015 Silver Spoon Award winners!

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COMMU N I T Y NEWS

GDRA ANNUAL GOLF TOURNAMENT CANYON CREEK COUNTRY CLUB SUNDAY SUPPER CLUB DINNER AT PARIGI Dinner guests at the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association’s second Sunday Supper dining event enjoyed a private meal at Parigi created by the all-star, all-female chef team: Chef Janice Provost, Parigi; Chef Sharon Van Meter, 3015 at Trinity Groves; Chef Tida Pinchakron, Haute Sweets Patisserie, Chef April Barney, Skyline Café and Chef Mynetta Cockrell, Personal Chef.

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Over 120 golfers hit the links on a sunny Tuesday for a par-tee like no other. GDRA’s annual golf tournament included a hole-in-one contest featuring a new Mercedes Benz and a cruise for four. An unprecedented tie for second place with both teams coming in at 13-under par was busted up by the 18-under first place team from Reddy Ice.


COMMUNIT Y NE W S

HEADS OR TAILS? GDRA ANNUAL SEAFOOD BOIL

PAC & SIP AT WHISKEY CAKE KITCHEN & BAR

The annual GDRA crawfish boil was reinvented at The Rustic this year, with a slight delay due to a snow and ice storm. A few inches of ice could not stop the dedicated GDRA members from enjoying a night of shrimp and crawfish deliciously prepared by Chef Sharon Van Meter, Chef Janice Provost and Chef Abe Aguirre and listening to the Texas tunes of Shoot Low Sheriff.

Culture Map Tastemaker nominee Bonnie Wilson of Front Burner Restaurants created signature craft cocktails likes Im’Peach’ment, Affirmative Action and Balance of Power for the PAC fundraising event. Sponsored by Willa Vodka.

Sponsored by Emergency Ice and Ben E Keith

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COMMU N I T Y NEWS

MARTIN PREFERRED FOODS OPENS NEW POULTRY FURTHER PROCESSING PLANT Martin Preferred Foods, a further processer and distributor of Center of the Plate proteins and specialty groceries, opened a new USDA inspected poultry further processing facility at its company headquarters in Houston, Texas. The new plant consists of approximately 40,000 square feet of refrigerated processing and cooler space, and employs more than 90 people out of the company’s total workforce of 310 employees. It replaces the company’s facility in Stafford, Texas, which had been the location of the company’s poultry further processing operations since 1998. The new plant is the latest addition to the company’s central Houston campus, which is home to its BRC food safety certified further processing facility for beef, veal, lamb and pork. With the new plant, the company’s facilities now encompass more than 175,000 square feet of further processing, cooler, freezer, and warehouse space and advance the next generation of restaurant and foodservice leaders.

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TRA ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING The 2015 Texas Restaurant Association Annual Business meeting is Sunday, June 28 at 9:30am in ROOM at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, Dallas, Texas. It is held in-conjunction with TRA Marketplace.

SERVING IT UP IN FORT WORTH The Tarrant County Restaurant Association hosted a Mix ‘n Mingle featuring local celebrity bartenders. TRA President Jerry Morales was honored to be included and show his talents behind the bar.


COMMUNIT Y NE W S

The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) honored Carlton Curtis, vice president of industry relations for The Coca-Cola Company with the 2015 Thad and Alice Eure Ambassador of Hospitality Award. This prestigious award is a tribute to an individual who has shown extraordinary achievement and exemplary leadership in the restaurant and hospitality industry. “It’s a privilege to recognize Carlton and his lifetime of achievements with one of the NRAEF’s and the industry’s highest honors,” said Rob Gifford, executive vice president, strategic operations and philanthropy, NRA and NRAEF. “During his tenure with Coca-Cola and as a member of the NRA and NRAEF boards, Carlton has been steadfastly passionate and committed to improving the industry. He is a tremendous industry advocate, and an exemplary role model within the nation’s restaurant and foodservice sector.”

ADVE RTISING INDE X FISHBOWL...................................................40 HEARTLAND................................................22 LONE STAR BASH.......................................28 NIGHT OF EXCELLENCE...........................28 RVM CLASSIFIED........................................34 BERNER TRA AT YOUR SERVICE FOODGUARD TABC TO GO

REVENTION................................................32

Coca-Cola is an integral and long-standing partner of the NRAEF, donating nearly $8 million to the NRAEF and NRAEF Foundation over the last decade. This funding has helped fuel educational programming geared towards bolstering the industry’s workforce and advance the next generation of restaurant and foodservice leaders.”

STIR...............................................................24 TEXAS MUTUAL .........................................14 TRA MARKETPLACE...................................26 UNITED HEALTHCARE..............................16

For advertising information contact Wendy Saari at 512-457-4100 or wsaari@tramail.org

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Smash Hit! Q & A with Tom Ryan | Restaurantville Magazine Spring 2015  

TRA's digital magazine is emailed to over 6,000 foodservices professionals quarterly. The content highlights industry trends, best practices...

Smash Hit! Q & A with Tom Ryan | Restaurantville Magazine Spring 2015  

TRA's digital magazine is emailed to over 6,000 foodservices professionals quarterly. The content highlights industry trends, best practices...