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Restaurantville MAG AZI NE



Meat Potatoes








February 2018


PUBLISHER Richie Jackson, CEO Texas Restaurant Association VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING & INNOVATION Anna Tauzin Rice Texas Restaurant Association EDITOR Rebecca Robinson, Communications Manager Texas Restaurant Association ART DIRECTOR Janio Rodriguez L., Graphic Design Manager Texas Restaurant Association RESTAURANT VILLE MAGAZINE is published quarterly by the Texas Restaurant Association.

For advertising information contact Miles Pequeno Senior Corp. Relations Manager

Editorial questions can be directed to Rebecca Robinson at 512-457-4100 or

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

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Governance Workgroup Chaired by David Goronkin, this workgroup is tasked with interviewing agencies that can help us review our current governance circumstance, and guide us to a future that helps ensure TRA evolves into an even more relevant, contemporary industry trade association. Conscious Capitalism Workgroup Mark Davis Bailey President of the Texas Restaurant Association.

Word from the

President H

ello friends - welcome to another terrific edition of Restaurantville!

This publication focuses on the sweeping tax reform changes, as well as other topics important to share with you. Since November, we have been busy on several fronts, including progress made by our three “Change Agent” workgroups: Succession Workgroup Chaired by John Gessner, this workgroup is tasked with interviewing recruiting agencies, then engaging the one best suited to help us identify candidates for TRA’s top Leadership.


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Chaired by Russell Ybarra, this workgroup will present its first ever workshop to the Rio Grande Valley Restaurant Association members and public attendees in March. We’re also proud to announce that TRA staff recently completed their first survey with respect to obtaining “Great Place To Work” certification. Each of these chairs will present their progress at our upcoming February Board Meeting. I continue to travel and speak about these three important topics, as well as TRA’s ongoing strategic plan and standing committee work. Most recently this includes: • Attending the Greater Houston Restaurant Association’s Golden Fork Awards Gala, • Presentation to the San Angelo Restaurant Association, at their Vendor Awards and Recognition event,

• Presentation to ProStart students and members of the Sabine Area Restaurant Association at their Scholarship Awards Banquet, • Presentation to members of the Greater Dallas Restaurant Association at their President’s Dinner, • Presentation to members of the El Paso Restaurant Association at their special membership meeting. More travel and engagement is ahead, as I get to meet and speak with members of the Rio Grande Valley Restaurant Association members, the North Texas Restaurant Association, the Permian Basin Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association in Washington DC. If you’d like me to visit your Chapter for any reason, please do not hesitate to contact me directly or through TRA’s office

(512) 457-4100. We do our best to be your indispensable resource. Again, let me take this moment to recognize and express appreciation for the talented TRA leadership and staff. They have a challenging scope and limited resources, yet they are always available to answer questions and respond with solutions. We look forward to hosting an energetic, information board meeting February 25-27 in Austin at the Westin Domain. Thanks mucho…!

Mark Davis Bailey President, Texas Restaurant Association 214.704.8495 (cell)

Tag Us! @TXRestAssoc

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Meat Potatoes COVER STORY




By Rebecca Robinson and Kenneth Besserman


enjamin Franklin wisely said that there is nothing certain in this world but death and taxes. Taxes are indeed an important reality of business, yet not exactly a particularly fun topic to discuss. No one stands around at a cocktail party giddily hoping to delve into a lively discussion about tax code. Unless perhaps, you are an accountant – and maybe not even then. However – there has been some cocktailworthy excitement. On December 22, 2017, a tax reform bill was signed into law, the most sweeping and comprehensive change to United States tax policy in more than thirty years. Some of us may remember the last major tax reform, which took place in 1986 under Ronald Reagan, that shriveled the number of tax brackets from 15 to merely two, and the highest income-tax rate fell from 70 to 28 percent — one of the largest rate reductions in American history.


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The 1986 bill also wiped out $60 billion in tax “loopholes” and shifted $24 billion in taxes from individuals to businesses, part of “Reaganomics” which, ultimately was credited for the resuscitation of a lagging economy. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), the latest reform, is equally profound and already in effect. Texas had a firm imprint on the new law with the leadership of Representative Kevin Brady, Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, and Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn who sits on the Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight. Though everyone is still awaiting additional guidance and clarifications from the IRS, accountants and financiers are slogging through, examining just how the changes will impact business. At first blush, most experts agree that the majority of changes are good for business

– very good for business. So good, in fact, that recent headlines have been touting the huge savings for various restaurant chains and outlining what they plan to do with all that extra, sweet cash. Just this week, Chipotle, the Mexican food chain, announced that it will invest a whopping $50 million of its tax reform savings into remodeling its stores, and an additional 1/3 of the savings will be used for $1,000 bonuses to select employees. McDonald’s has also said it will also funnel its “significant tax savings” into remodels, in addition to opening 1,000 new stores in 2018, and further investing in technology geared toward delivery and digital ordering. Clearly, it makes sense to learn about what has changed, what remained the same and how to make the most of your potential tax savings. To help demystify this 500+ page document, we spoke with two Texas tax experts who specialize in restaurants (among other things), Keith Foster, CPA, director at BKD CPAs & Advisors in Dallas, and Samanta Guerra, CPA, tax manager at ATKG, LLP in San Antonio.

According to Foster, the top five changes of which restaurants need to be aware include: 1) Reduction in Tax Rates – The most dramatic change is the reduction in tax rates. Corporations drop from a top rate of 35 percent to 21 percent - and individuals




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drop from a top rate of 39.6 percent to 37 percent. Most individuals will see a slight decrease at lower brackets as well.

2) 20 percent pass-through deduction Perhaps the most important change for pass-through entities is the new 20 percent tax deduction. Restaurants are taxed in many forms – from C corporations to S corporations, to partnerships, to sole proprietorships. While the corporate tax rate reductions under the new tax law are substantial, many restaurants are not able to take advantage because they are not formed as corporations. However, there is new, significant tax relief for those restaurants that are not corporations, such as S-corps, partnerships, or sole proprietorships, whose income is passed through to the owners. There is now a 20 percent deduction on business income that will apply to the first $315,000 of joint income, or $157,500 for individual filers, earned by those businesses. Filers with income below those thresholds will see the full effect of the 20 percent deduction on qualifying business income. However, if a taxpayer has more than $315,000 (joint filer) in income or $157,500 (filing individually) then certain limitations will kick in, which will lessen the 20 percent deduction on business income.

Restaurants have IRS tax lives that are different than many other industries. Incorrectly assigning lives often means paying more tax, early.

O n e important limitation for filers over the income threshold, is the 50 percent of wages limitation. Filers with income in excess of the threshold will be limited to the lesser of the 20 percent standard deduction or 50 percent of W-2 wages of employees. If a taxpayer gets the full 20 percent tax deduction on business income their top tax rate on that business income would be 29.6 percent instead of the 39.6 percent, was the case under the prior law. The business tax deduction will provide owners with additional cash and resources to invest in their businesses and employees. 3) Bonus Depreciation – Another change to get excited about is bonus depreciation. For years, bonus depreciation was at 50 percent and it was limited to new equipment. Now, there is a 100 percent bonus depreciation and it includes both new, and used equipment. This includes furniture, remodels, appliances and many other fixed assets except those with longer depreciable lives, like buildings. Samanta adds that this change is particularly good for the restaurant industry. “Restaurants try to save money where they can, and sometimes they will find a good R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


by addressing the impact now, you will be better able to adjust your short and mid-term plans and most importantly, better plan for your future. deal on equipment from another restaurant going out of business. So not only do you save money by purchasing used equipment, now you also get to deduct 100% of it.” 4) Qualified Restaurant Property (QRP) vs Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) - The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act sought to simplify definitions for real property and related improvements and renovations. The law consolidates a few different types of property – qualified leasehold improvement property, qualified restaurant property, and qualified retail improvement property – into one “qualified improvement property” (QIP) category and assigns that property a 15-year tax depreciation recovery period. Under prior law the owner of a restaurant building could depreciate it over a 15-year recovery period as qualified restaurant property. While the 15-year period still applies to the interior of the building, the building itself does not fall under the definition of QIP and has a longer 39-year life under the new law. Keith strongly recommends that restaurants take this opportunity to analyze fixed assets, both new and existing. “This is one of the most common items on which I see mistakes. Restaurants have IRS tax lives that are different than many other industries. Incorrectly assigning lives often means paying more tax, early.”


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To illustrate the point, imagine a $2 milliondollar building being depreciated over 39 years, when it qualifies for a 15-year life. Deductions are being pushed 24 years into the future. Worse, imagine carpet or furniture that has a five-year life getting rolled into the cost of a building under a 39year life. Fortunately, this can be corrected via an accounting method change. Missed depreciation can be caught up in 2017, providing a catch-up deduction when rates are higher than they will be in 2018, which can result in a permanent savings. 5) Section 179 – Section 179 allows a taxpayer to expense the cost of qualifying property immediately, rather than recover costs through depreciation deductions. What the new tax reform did, which is a big win for restaurants, was increase the maximum amount a taxpayer could deduct (after December 31, 2017) from $500,000 to $1 million. In addition, the definition of qualifying property has expanded to include often high-dollar improvements to property such as roofs, HVAC systems and fire/alarm protection systems. Without the new rule, these assets had to be depreciated over 39 years.

Other changes of note To outline all the tax reform changes affecting business in one article is nearly impossible, but there are some other key changes worthy of mention. One win for restaurants by default, was the continuation of the FICA tip credit. Originally, there was a proposal to increase the minimum wage base from $5.15 to $7.25 per hour. This would have translated to a reduction in the credit for each full-time equivalent employee and increased the cost of labor – a significant portion of a restaurant’s operating costs.

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Samanta also mentions new, major opportunities to minimize the tax cost of transferring wealth. The new law temporarily doubles the exemption amount for estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes from $5 million to $10 million, adjusted annually by inflation, good from 2018 through 2025. In 2018, taxpayers can pass $11.2 million during life, at death or in some combination, free of the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax. Married couples can transfer approximately $22.4 million – but only through 2025, after which it reverts to pre2018 figures. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which was also originally under threat of elimination, wound up staying intact for two more years. This tax credit translates to a potentially substantial reduction on taxes when you pay wages to certain employees who are having trouble getting into the workforce and fit into the governmenttargeted categories, such as qualified veterans, ex-felons, welfare recipients and others. “I have clients who gained $50,000 through employment credits. That means if an owner owes $350,000 in taxes – they can reduce that number by $50,000. It’s a dollar for dollar reduction,” Samanta says. Regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA), nothing has changed on the employer side. Currently, the ACA requires that individuals must demonstrate that they have qualified health insurance coverage (or qualify for an exemption), or they face a penalty. TCJA does not repeal this provision, but it does eliminate the individual penalty for failure to obtain healthcare coverage in January of 2019. At that time, employers covered by ACA (50+ employees) will still be required to offer healthcare coverage to qualified employees (and will still face penalties if


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they fail to do so), but those employees will no longer face a penalty if they decline their employer’s offer. While the tax bill is generally good news for restaurants and business operations, there are also some challenges. First, under the old tax law, net operating losses had a two-year carryback period and carryforward for 20 years. This allowed businesses a great deal of flexibility to offset prior year income with current year’s losses and obtain refunds. The carryback and carryforward provisions have been changed under the new tax bill. Now, a restaurant can only offset 80 percent of taxable income in a tax year, thereby causing businesses to possibly have a tax liability on the remaining income for that year. The remaining 20 percent net operating loss would have to be carried forward to a subsequent year. In addition, there is also now a limit on the amount of net interest that can be deducted in each year for businesses with gross receipts over $25 million. The new law caps, or limits net interest expenses to 30 percent of EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). The remaining interest expense can be carried forward to subsequent years, but the 30 percent limit is still in place. This might have a negative tax impact on those businesses

depreciation, for example, covers new and used equipment (property in service) starting from September 28 of 2017. The deduction is 100 percent until the end of 2022 and gradually decreases after that. For many people, that’s huge potential savings.” Keith Foster

Samanta Guerra

that are highly leveraged, in that they will not be able to deduct all their interest expenses in one year.

WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW • Consult your CPA and find out how the tax reform changes will affect you. Make sure your CPA is well-informed about the new rules. • Analyze fixed assets – both new and existing. • Don’t delay – some of the changes affect 2017 taxes and many of the changes will phase out over time. Samanta says that one of the most important things you can do now is to be proactive about how the tax changes will affect you. “The biggest mistake I see people make, is being ‘too busy’ to look into it. Because most of the changes came into effect in 2018, people think they don’t need to worry about it until next year’s taxes,” she says. “If they do that, they might not fully maximize their benefits. The bonus

Keith adds that by addressing the impact now, you will be better able to adjust your short and mid-term plans and most importantly, better plan for your future. What would you do with thousands of dollars of savings? Pay off debt? Re-invest? Plan for retirement? “Take a trip to Aruba?” Keith jokes. “It’s important to know.” Also keep in mind that the changes won’t last forever. For example, the 100 percent bonus depreciation ends in 2022, phasing to 80 percent in 2023, 60 percent in 2024, and so on until 2027. The estate tax is effective until 2025, as well as the pass-through deduction and individual tax rates. While that is still some time away, it is critical to consider for tax planning. While Congress often extends the expiration dates of certain deductions and income tax rates, it is never a sure thing. Both Samanta and Keith agree that the best way to get a precise picture of how the tax reform will affect your restaurant, is to contact your CPA and start asking questions. If your CPA is unfamiliar with the new law or unsure, either prompt them to study it, or find someone who is already well-versed and familiar with the changes. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


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O N E The dish on recruiting and retaining good people

By Kendra Shier VP of Operations and Marketing “Markerations” for Jakes Burgers and Beer Co-chair, National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executive Group


e are all facing it - the biggest challenge in our industry is recruiting and retaining good people. Speaking with several operators in all categories, the number one issue they face is staffing. Low staffing results in poor guest experiences, and a rapid decline in customer base. With so many choices, why return to a location that failed to deliver an amazing dining experience? Not to mention the social review sites that begin to take the hit as your team fails to execute, and the high number of hours, and 5-star reviews it will take to get you back to an acceptable rating. It’s not only difficult to recruit the hourly employees, good managers are just as scarce. What is the answer? Some of you may not like it. Some may even say it is the complete opposite of how this industry

has been built, but I challenge you to think outside the box for a moment. Stay with me here, because I am pretty sure we are on to something. So much so, that I was a bit reluctant to share, and even our owner (looking over my shoulder as I write this) jokingly interjected, “What? Don’t tell them our secret!” We both realized that if everyone in our industry really bought into this practice, this culture, and truly walked the walk, we could transform the guest experience and bring value back to the dining out equation. When one wins, we all win.

We must come to grips with, and embrace the thought that our guests are NOT number one. They are not our biggest asset - our team is. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


We must come to grips with, and embrace the thought that our guests are NOT number one. They are not our biggest asset - our team is. That means you must commit to taking care of your team, and make certain they know that they are more important to your success than the guest. Like it or not, your hourly employees are the most powerful individuals in your organization because they single-handedly will determine whether a guest comes back. You cannot do it, nor your marketing team, nor your board of directors. Nothing you are doing at the corporate or ownership level is going to impact your bottom line more than what your front line team is doing. When your team feels appreciated, when they love their job, guess what? They take excellent care of the guest. It is all over their faces that they love their job. They recruit friends and family to join the team, and they become advocates for the brand outside your four walls. How much are you investing your team? Do they love their jobs? Do they feel appreciated? Do they feel part of something bigger than themselves? Do you have an INTERNAL marketing plan targeted at your team? Yes, the job terrain has changed, it’s not like what it was for a lot of us when we had our first restaurant job. Millennials have now surpassed Gen Xers as the largest workforce in the nation and people give them a hard time. People say they are entitled, lazy, focused on their cell phones, have a poor work ethic and lack social skills necessary to interact in the workplace. Those who say that, have it completely wrong.


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Jakes Team

All Millennials want is to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, to feel they truly matter to the organization they work for. They want to be thanked, and given responsibility. Perhaps the most important thing they want is for you to deal with low performers quickly. Your failure to do so, indicates that you tolerate bad behavior and they will quickly “check out” and, as we like to say, they will “quit their job and still keep showing up.” They will lose faith in you. So the question becomes, how do you start to turn the ship that is already very guest-focused and put it back on the team? At Jakes, we are committed to team centric culture. My team has the luxury of an inspired, hands-on owner who empowers me and my team to take care of our people. From the moment they are on-boarded we take the time to get to know them as people.

Proud of the company we keep To learn more, contact Wayne Stewart 713.906.0593 or All logos and trademarks are property of their respective owners

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We take an interest in what they are passionate about outside the work setting. We find out what motivates them, and we empower them to own the guest experience. We listen to their ideas and act upon them when it makes sense for the business. We tell them daily how important they are and we thank them after every shift.

Like it or not, your hourly employees are the most powerful individuals in your organization because they single-handedly will determine whether a guest comes back. We celebrate every single 4 or 5-star Yelp review, and we make it a point to draw attention to every single positive feedback we receive. In some cases, a financial reward comes along with that. We preach every day that we are all about FUN - we want every single shift to be fun. In our manager meetings, we ask them to provide us their “fun plan” – how are they going to make the shift FUN. I once had a guest pull me aside and ask me how it was possible that everyone had smiles and talked about how much they loved their job, and appeared to be having so much fun. I wasn’t shy in telling her, “It is because we put our team first, we focus on their happiness so they can focus on yours.

That means our team is number one, and we do that so you can feel like number one.” You can’t be afraid to share that message with guests. They will get it, and will benefit by enjoying consistently amazing dining experiences that builds their loyalty and turns them into your best brand advocates. The guest that pulled me aside sent her daughter in to apply for a job, and she is now one of our strongest servers, and the recipient of our most recent $100 Yelp Award. We do several other things to ensure this “family” focus. Note I use the word family. We try never to refer to our team as employees, to us, they are family. In families, the bond is stronger, everyone has a voice and honesty and integrity reign. Does it take time? Yes! Does it take organization? Yes! But the benefits far outweigh the challenges in doing this. We aren’t a huge corporation, we have over 500 employees and will open another 11 restaurants over the next several years, but regardless of the size of your organization you can make a huge impact. Here are a few easy ideas that you can immediately implement to start putting the focus back on your team.

All Millennials want is to feel a part of something bigger than themselves, to feel they truly matter to the organization they work for. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E W I N T E R 2 0 1 8


Be the example that walks through the door and finds ten things that are right, the one who praises and appreciates. 1. Employee Spotlight – send out a monthly email spotlighting an employee or create a newsletter just for your team with accolades.

2. Randomly award $100 monthly to a team member who was called out in a 4 or 5-star Yelp/Google review. 3. Recognize birthdays with a card and small token. 4. Offer an idea bounty - $20 to the team member whose idea gets implemented. 5. Send flowers/cards for births and deaths…”from Your Jakes Family”. 6. Quarterly Manager Fun Days – take group outings as a corporate support team and have key employees hold down the fort. 7. Family meals – prior to, or after each shift. 8. Shift games – Server poker, bingo etc. 9. Pre-shift spotlights, thanking team members before and after each shift.


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10. Appoint an ambassador of fun/ committee of fun – they plan and create monthly or quarterly events, in-store fun. 11. Give a week’s paid vacation for hourly employees with two or more years of service. 12. MOST IMPORTANT - BE NICE. Be the manager, owner, or leader that they LOVE to see walk through the door. Be the one they know is there to help, not just blow through and point out everything that sucks. Be the example that walks through the door and finds ten things that are right, the one who praises and appreciates. If there are opportunities for improvement, approach those in a constructive, positive manner. We all know your team can walk out the door and find another job at your competitor’s place, and perhaps for more money. WHY WILL THEY STAY? Because of how you treat them, because you have created an environment where they feel appreciated, listened to and because it is FUN.

Kendra Shier is the VP of Operations and Marketing “Markerations” for Jakes Burgers and Beer and she sits as the co-chairperson of the National Restaurant Association’s Marketing Executive Group.


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M EMB ERSHIP S P OT LIGHT The Texas Restaurant Association is delighted to welcome the vibrant, new Fairmont Austin Hotel to our community!


he 37-story dramatic addition to the Austin skyline is the largest Fairmont hotel in the world, and is sure to be the perfect companion to the downtown dining scene. The Director of Food and Beverage, David Garcelon, and Executive Chef AndrĂŠ Natera are preparing to express their talents and passion for the industry as the Fairmont open its doors. 1. Who, or what, inspired you to join the culinary industry? David: As a kid at 14, I just needed a job and found one in a local made-from-scratch pizza joint. I loved it right away, especially the adrenalin rush of surviving a busy service. AndrĂŠ: I wanted to be a cook for all the wrong reasons; I wanted to get a girlfriend and thought that I had a better chance if I was a chef. It turned out once I got into cooking that I really liked it and was somewhat good at it. I grew up in sports

and I felt that there were many similarities between the two competitive cultures. 2. How do you keep up with the latest food trends? Which are your favorite? AndrĂŠ: I use social media and I try to go out and eat or travel as much as possible. My current favorite trend is vegetable centric cuisine; I see vegetables now taking a lead role with meat playing the supporting character. 3. What do you think Fairmont will bring to the downtown Austin dining scene? David: Our concepts and design are unique and will add experiences not yet available in the city. We have an exciting cocktail, beer and wine program to roll out in our four bars. The Fulton Lobby Bar will bring a live music program and become a component to the Live Music Capital of the World.

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4. What advice do you have for others starting a new restaurant or entering the industry? Andre: Make sure you get a bit of experience prior to getting a formal education. This industry is not always what people think it is. Hard work is the shortest path to success. 5. Tell us a funny story from your experience in the kitchen. Andre: I once ruined my chef’s lobster bisque by finishing with ice cream base instead of heavy cream. He didn’t think it was very funny. 6. What is your favorite dish to make at home? David: I love to cook at home. My favorite thing at home is the challenge of creating a meal with whatever I have on hand. My favorite dish is probably just a simple grilled fish with butter and lemon. I grew up next to the ocean and fresh seafood is the pinnacle for me.


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Andre: I personally do not enjoy cooking at home. I find it 100x harder with limited resources. So, when I do it is simpler items like a classic French omelet or soup. 7. When you are not at work, what Texas restaurants do you enjoy? Andre: In Austin, Emmer and Rye, Chicon, and Ramen Tatsu-Ya are my go-to favorites. David: Olamei and Chicon. Olamei has outstanding and interesting food but also great hospitality. You feel like you are in someone’s home and it also feels like you are in Texas. Chicon is a simpler establishment but also great food and consistently warm service and hospitality. 8. What do you think the next big thing in the food and beverage industry will be? Andre: Technique! With so much use of social media and the sharing of ideas sometimes it becomes easy to take an original idea. The small attention to detail in the food will be the trend - more focus on flavor than presentation… if only Instagram had the ability to taste the food in the picture.

David Garcelon

The President’s Circle is an endowment for the Texas Restaurant Association Educaiton Foundation. The President’s Cirlce is the Foundation’s highest Honor.



9. Why did you choose to become a part of the Texas Restaurant Association? David: It is important to be part of the community and that includes our industry. In addition, there is good value for us and we have taken advantage of the support offered in helping us train our teams, and industry discounts we can take advantage of. André Natera

$50,000 Claire and William L. Hyde, Jr. Greater Austin Restaurant Association Greater Dallas Restaurant Association Rio Grande Valley Restaurant Association San Angelo Restaurant Association

$25,000 Chef Sharon Van Meter Chef Charles Duit Jessica Delgado In Memory of G. Jim Hasslocher Carmelo Mauro David Cea Roger Kaplan Nikky Phinyawatana Jimmy Hasslocher




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SanO Antonio U N D


24 Teams Advance to the Texas ProStart Invitational State Finals The competition was red-hot at the two Texas Regional ProStart Invitational competitions, yielding a total of 24 teams (more than 300 students) San Antoniobound for the Texas ProStart state finals at St. Philip’s College on March 23-24. The schools are all participants in Texas ProStart, an industry-based culinary arts and hospitality program and curriculum. Produced by the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF), the Texas ProStart competitions are the largest in the country, with more than 320 students competing in either culinary or restaurant management. R E S TA U R A N T V I L L E M A G A Z I N E W I N T E R 2 0 1 8




The first of the Texas Regional ProStart competitions was held January 19 and 20 in Frisco at Collin County College, with 20 Texas high schools participating, for a total of 28 teams, (19 culinary and nine restaurant management).

Winning teams from Texas ProStart Invitational – Frisco


1st. Academy of Culinary Arts and Hospitality at Byron Nelson High School. Instructor Victoria Hooker, Victoria Plott, Zachary Villasenor, Olivia Dahlstrom, Instructor Joseph Maher

2nd. Ben Barber Innovation Academy. Instructor David Roberson, Reece Bowman, Sydney Toledo, Bria Miller, Ally Turner, Donovan Johnson

3rd. Azle High School. Instructor Joseph Koons, Ethan Ludwig, Houraye Niang, Avery Motley, Dawson Slack

4th. West Mesquite High School. Instructor Chelsea Hogue, Ivan Ng, Jesus Perez, Azelia Zapien, Amia Brown

5th. Royse City High School. Trinity Carnes, Cameryn Manzanares, Instructor Cindy Clark, Carissa Duran, April Raymundo, Aspen Rue

6th. Castleberry High School. Instructor Wendy Ivey, Arlene Huerta, Christina Reyna, Kelly Lujan, Daniela Ramirez

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COMMUNIT Y NE W S Winning teams from Texas ProStart Invitational – Frisco

1st. Ben Barber Innovation Academy. Instructor Jocqui Baker-Roberson, Aaliyah Abrah, Cecilia Harlin, Justice Jackson, Kaiya Story, Audrey Oster, Instructor David Roberson, Instructor Lisa Amoriello

2nd. Royse City High School. Instructor Farrah Smith, Miguel Camargo, Collin Hallett, Victoria Strang, Jared Payne, Instructor Cindy Clark

3rd. Dubiski Career High School. Instructor Valerie Beckwith, Elizabeth Liguez, Jessica Ortega, Bryan Lopez

4th. Trimble Technical High School. Instructor Heather Kurima, Anna Loera, Kimberly Sanchez, Alexandra Gonzalez, Rayven Barnaba, Miriam Perez, Instructor Natasha Bruton

5th. John Horn High School. Instructor Amy Petrawski, Brandon Howell, Nia Elliott, Diamond Thompson, Hidekel Hernandez

6th. North Mesquite High. Instructor Lauren Chinea, Benjamin Radde, Leslie Lazo, Lesley Duncan, Kaylee Daniel

The 24 winning teams will reconvene at St. Philips College in San Antonio on March 23 and 24 to vie for the chance to represent the Lone Star State at the National ProStart Invitational, which is being held in Providence, Rhode Island on April 27-29.

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The second competition was held February 9 and 10 at the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Houston, where 17 high schools sent a total of 22 teams (15 culinary and seven restaurant management).

Winning teams from Texas ProStart Invitational – Houston


1st. Rockwall High School. Preslie Mann, Evan Scott, Cameron Davis, Madison Alexander, Rachel Bristo, Instructor Cody Hayes

2nd. Sam Rayburn High School. Areli Chavez, Maria Rocha Magana, Nallely Rodriguez, Ingrid Islas, Oziel Mendez, Instructor Teresa Fernan

3rd. Glenda Dawson High School. Devan Maumasi, Danielle Foster, Martine McCollister, Jamelyn Henderson, Brendan Kibodeaux, Instructor Sean Dunn

4th. Whitehouse High School. Sarah Calhoun, Haley Berrera, Erica Olmsted, Austin Davis, Thomas Truong, Instructor Amber Bennett

5th. John Marshall High School. Denver Lopez, SeanLuc Kimble, Tia Hall, Fausto Gonzalez, Julissa Marquez, Instructor Becky Salter

6th. Round Rock High School. John Hocher, Hannah Dall’Orso, Camila Estrada, Sarah Berrera, Stuart Styer (not pictured Instructor Frank Perkins)

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COMMUNIT Y NE W S Winning teams from Texas ProStart Invitational – Houston

1st. Porter High School. Instructor Vandi Nall, Daniel Salas, Carlos Trevino, Carter Kuhn, Instructor Lauren Fraga

2nd. Glenda Dawson High School. Jill Brady, Payton Bryant, Grace Garcia, Instructor Sean Dunn

3rd. Whitehouse High School. Coby Wellborn, Christopher Taylor, Winnie Briscoe, Marley Mullen, Instructor Amber Bennett

4th. PSJA North High School. Larissa Garibay, April Montero, Adriana Alvarez, Instructor Cristina V. Santos

5th. North Shore Senior High School. Instructor Sherrissa Veal, Sabastian Diaz, Miguel Bautista, Jesus Gutierrez

6th. Forney High School. Katie Larimer, Jovanny Cisneros, Andrew Carpenter, Dylan Wyont, Salvador Castillo, Instructor Glenda Dyer

The 2018 Texas ProStart Invitational is supported by TRAEF partners - Texas Beef Council (Exclusive), Ecolab (Diamond), Ben E. Keith (Platinum), Auto-Chlor (Gold), BJ’s Restaurants, Coca-Cola, Texas Mutual, United Healthcare, Les Dames d’Escoffier (Silver), El Centro College, Nicholls State University and BMI (Bronze).

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7. 9 5

online th Onlin rouggh throu h 12/31 12/31//2018 2016

Classroom training also available! (English or Spanish)


Phil Willis,



Texas Requires Statewide Food Handler Certification Ge t C e r ti fi e d wit h S e r v S afe Food Han dle r Te xas on li n e ACCEPTED EVERYWHERE IN TEXAS

ANSI-accredited; approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services




The 2018 GHRA Annual Golden Fork Awards Gala, held on January 13, was a huge success, with more than 390 guests to support the association and culinary education. Honored guest Mayor Sylvester Turner received a special Golden Fork award for the city in recognition of coming together in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Other award winners included: Paul and Doris Miller of GR8 Plate Hospitality (Restaurateur of the Year), The Guthrie Center’s Erin Land (Educator of the Year), Antone’s Famous Po’ Boys (Restaurant Neighbor of the Year), Oscar and Denise Taylor of Bonfire Wings (Faces of Diversity Award), Houston Chronicle restaurant critic Alison Cook (GHRA President’s Award), and the 2018 People’s Choice Award winner - The Union Kitchen. Photo top to bottom: Mark Davis Baily, TRA State board president / The Original Pancake House – DFW, Melissa Stewart, GHRA Executive Director and Dominic and Ofelia Laurenzo, El Tiempo Cantina.

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Register Today ! Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Registration 10:30 AM

Golf Club of Texas 13600 Briggs Ranch San Antonio, TX 78245

Lunch 11:00 AM

Teams $1,000

Individuals $250

Proceeds benefit the SARA Scholarship Fund, the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation, Texas ProStart, and other local culinary institutions and charities.

Shot Gun Start 12:00 PM

Dinner 5:00 PM

To Register, call 210-734-7663 or email

Join the San Antonio Restaurant Association for their largest fundraiser of the year! Each golfer will enjoy a swag bag, lunch, snacks, beverages, raffles, a fantastic awards reception and much more. Arrive early and participate in the Golf Skills Challenge for a chance to win a prize valued at $500!


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Profile for Texas Restaurant Association

Restaurantville Winter 2018  

Restaurantville Winter 2018