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The Magazine of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association

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Restaurant Operational Resources • Music Licensing FAQ • Health Care Law: Next Steps for Restaurants • Wis. Food Code Reference Guide • Tip vs. Service Charge Alert

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Wisconsin Restaurant Expo

Sneak Peek at Expo Products Engineer Your Menu for Maximum Profitability First Quarter 2013


March 11–13 State’s Largest Foodservice Event

Vol 80 • No 1


Food Pairings Please the Palate with Novel Flavor Combinations

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Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

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Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

T h e M a g a z i n e o f t h e Wi s c o n s i n R e s t a u r a n t A s s o c i a t i o n

+ First Quarter 2013

Vol 80 • No 1

10 Info to Go:

Answers from the WRA Hotline Team

16 Food Pairings

Please the Palate with Novel Flavor Combinations

24 Music Licensing FAQs 26 Wisconsin Restaurant Expo:

Your Guide for What to See and Do

4 A La Carte 6 Chairman’s Column 8 President and CEO’s Column 14 Financial Statements 22 Social Dish 50 WRBN 52 The Back Burner

28 Tip vs. Service Charge Alert 30 Leadership, Artistry and Learning for Culinary Pros 32 Health Care Law: Next Steps for Restaurants 36 Engineer Your Menu for Maximum Profitability 42 Products You’ll See at the 2013 Expo 46 WRA’s Food Code Reference Guide Co-editors Tracy Kosbau & Kate Reiser Art Director Gary Cox Advertising Director Ryan Pettersen Managing Editor Susan Quam

Circulation Director Lee Drone Layout and Electronic Imaging Shane Sanders Printing W.D. Hoard & Sons Printing, Fort Atkinson, WI

Statements or expressions of opinion here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Wisconsin Restaurateur, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association or editors. In no event will the authors, the editors, the reviewers or the publisher be liable for any damages resulting from use of this material. The publication of any advertisement is not to be construed as an endorsement of the product or service offered unless the ad specifically states that there is such an endorsement or approval.

Wisconsin Restaurateur is the official publication of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. Published quarterly by the Wisconsin Restaurant Association with editorial and executive offices at 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison, WI 53713. 800/589-3211. Postmaster: send address changes to Wisconsin Restaurateur, 2801 Fish Hatchery Rd., Madison, WI 53713. Periodicals postage paid at Madison, WI and additional offices. Publication number (USPS 688-540) ISSN 0274-7472. Subscriptions: $17.50 annually; $8.00 per copy. Non-members $32.00 annually.

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin



Visit us online at


Restaurant Industry Forecast

A La Carte A S a v o r y S a m p l i n g o f R e s t a u r a n t N e w s a n d Tr e n d s

What’s Hot for 2013?

Trends in Food Cuisines and Culinary Themes The National Restaurant Association (NRA) each year prepares its “What’s Hot” culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. This survey of more than 1,800 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) identified the following trends for 2013.


2 013

What’s expected for 2013? The National Restaurant Association recently released its highly anticipated Restaurant Industry Forecast for 2013. The Forecast includes economic, workforce, consumer and menu trends, as well as information for operators to overcome current economic challenges and position themselves for future growth. Look for the Forecast to address how changing consumer tastes and preferences impact restaurant operations as well as insights into the factors shaping growth in key foodservice segments. WRA members get a FREE electronic copy. Nonmembers may purchase a copy for $199.95. To order, visit the NRA website at

2013 Food, Cuisines and Culinary Themes

Alcohol Trends

Appetizers House-cured meats/charcuterie Vegetarian appetizers Ethnic/street food-inspired appetizers (e.g. tempura, taquitos, kabobs, hummus) Amuse-bouche/bite-size hors d’oeuvres Flatbread appetizers

NRA also surveyed nearly 200 professional bartenders to reveal the latest trends from behind the bar.

scrambled eggs, coconut milk pancakes) Traditional ethnic breakfast items (e.g. huevos rancheros, shakshuka, ashta, Japanese) Fresh fruit breakfast items Prix fixe brunches Chicken and waffles


Sides/Starches Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat) Black/forbidden rice Quinoa Red rice Pickled vegetables

Kids’ meals Healthful kids’ meals Whole grain items in kids’ meals Fruit/vegetable children’s side items Oven-baked items in kids’ meals (e.g. baked chicken fingers, oven-baked fries) Children’s portions of adult menu items

Main Dishes/Center of the Plate Locally sourced meats and seafood New cuts of meat (e.g. Denver steak, pork flat iron, teres major) Sustainable seafood Non-traditional fish (e.g. branzino, Arctic char, barramundi) Half-portions/smaller portions for a smaller price

Produce Locally grown produce Organic produce Superfruit (e.g. açaí, goji berry, mangosteen) Heirloom apples Exotic fruits (e.g. rambutan, dragon fruit, paw paw, guava)

Dessert House-made/artisan ice cream Bite-size/mini desserts Savory desserts Deconstructed classic desserts Dessert flights/combos

Ethnic Cuisines and Flavors Peruvian cuisine Regional ethnic cuisine Ethnic fusion cuisine Korean cuisine Southeast Asian cuisine (e.g. Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian)

Hotline Q&A

Breakfast/Brunch Ethnic-inspired breakfast items (e.g. Asian-flavored syrups, Chorizo


Spirits Micro-distilled/artisan liquor Locally produced spirits Bitters “New Make” whiskey Mezcal Cocktails Onsite barrel-aged drinks Culinary cocktails (e.g. savory, fresh ingredients) Regional signature cocktails Beer-based cocktails Organic cocktails Beer Locally produced beer Cask beer/ale Craft beer House-brewed beer Gluten-free beer

Wine Wine on tap/draft wine Locally produced wine Non-traditional/less popular wine varietals Organic wine Argentinian wine Ingredients/Garnish Locally sourced fruit/berries/ produce Salt (e.g. flavored, smoked, regional) House-made lemonade/soft drinks/tonics Flower syrup/essence Spices Mixology Themes Food-liquor/cocktail pairings Beer sommeliers/Cicerones Food-beer pairings/beer dinners Molecular gastronomy/ mixology Food-wine pairings

Want more detailed info on trends for 2013? Visit WR



Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

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W R A B o ar d Directors

o f

Executive Committee


The Experience of Being Chairman of the Board by Lynn McDonough Connell’s Restaurants, Eau Claire

Chairman of the Board Lynn McDonough Connell’s Restaurants, Eau Claire Vice Chairman of the Board/Chairman Elect Charlie Gray Culver’s Frozen Custard, Rothschild Treasurer Ada Lara Thimke Lara’s Tortilla Flats, Oshkosh President & CEO Ed Lump, fmp Wisconsin Restaurant Association, Madison Immediate Past Chairman Mary Rowley, fmp Goose Blind, Green Lake


eing the Chairman of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association Board of Directors has been an experience that I will cherish the rest of my life. As Chair I have had the opportunity to attend many different chapter meetings, small and large. They have all been a great learning opportunity. I’ve met many different restaurant owners from around the state who have contributed good ideas on how to make the WRA the best organization for members. Let me share highlights from a couple of the chapter meetings that I attended during my term. The Blackhawk Chapter (Chapter President Chico Pope) had an excellent meeting with a delicious lobster boil with 78 members in attendance. The La Crosse Chapter (Chapter President Tina Tryggestad) held a golf outing and Vegas Night, both of which had a great attendance. The Big Four Chapter (Chapter President Bruce Petrie) held a golf outing that raised a lot of money for WRA. The Southeast Chapter (Chapter Area Rep. Dick Rudin) held a meeting at the House of Gerhard with a presentation on why and how to create your own brand. I want to thank each and every chapter for their hospitality and the great job that they are doing. I hope they keep it up. The WRA and the WRA Education Foundation have many events during the year. The largest event, the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo held at the Delta Center in Milwaukee, is coming up! The dates are March 11-13, 2013. This event welcomes both WRA members and non-members from all segments of the foodservice industry. This year, Monday’s Keynote Speaker is Donald Driver and Tuesday’s Keynote Speaker is Chef Rick Tramonto. I would encourage every member to bring at least two non-members to the show so they can experience the excitement. At this show you can see all the new ideas and products in the industry. Another event is WRA Lobby Day, which is held at the Monona Terrace in Madison, April 10, 2013. The event starts with great speakers and then on to the Capitol to meet with all of your state legislators. This is where you can be heard and make a difference. Please plan on attending and invite a non-member to join you too—the more people, the more impact we’ll have on legislation that affects your business. Please remember to use all the benefits that the WRA provides for you. As a WRA member you are also a member of the National Restaurant Association and have access to all of its benefits too. One phone call to the WRA Hotline can justify the cost of belonging to the WRA. If the WRA staff does not know answer right away, they will research it and help you get your questions answered and problems solved. I would like to say thank you to my two restaurant managers and my entire staff, the West Wisconsin Chapter of the WRA, all of the state board members, Ed Lump, WRA President & CEO, and the entire WRA staff. Without all of you, it would not possible to do the job of the Chairman.

Steve Schilling ZaZING!, North Prairie Chico Pope Buckhorn Supper Club, Milton Dennis Heyde Fanny Hill, Eau Claire The board of directors is comprised of restaurant operators from around the state and industry supplier representatives. The board directs the WRA staff and sets the policies of the Association.

W R A E d u c at i o n F o u n d a t i o n B o ar d of Directors Executive Committee Chairman of the Board Larry Deutsch The Vollrath Company, Stoughton Chairman Elect Michael K. Tsuchihashi MMM Concepts, Milwaukee Treasurer R.C. Schroeder, Jr. Big Tomatoes, Green Bay Secretary/Executive Officer Ed Lump, fmp Wisconsin Restaurant Association, Madison Immediate Past Chairman Steve Davis, FMP Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In, Oshkosh WRA Chairman of the Board Lynn McDonough Connell’s Restaurants, Eau Claire Rhoda Steffel Mark’s East Side, Appleton Heidi Van Grinsven Coca-Cola Refreshments, Wauwatosa The Foundation board of directors is comprised of approximately 30 individuals who are foodservice operators, educators and industry suppliers. The board directs the WRA EF staff and sets the policies of the Foundation.

Visit for a complete listing of board members.




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




Chairman L

President & CEO

Our Industry is a BIG TARGET! by Ed Lump, FMP WRA President and CEO

WRA Board of Directors he good news is that people love to dine out and they are doing so more frequently. Even


with the tough economy of the last few years and the never-ending stream of advice from “talking heads” to quit dining out to save money, consumers remained reluctant to give up going out to eat. They may have cut back, but they still showed up. However, there is no question that customers are taking greater interest in how we do business. More and more our customers are willing to voice their opinions, good or bad, not to the restaurant—but to the world through websites like Yelp, Open Table, etc. There is also no question that people love reading the comments on these sites and many make their decisions based on those comments. Restaurateurs no longer have to wait for the local restaurant critic to show up and do a review. The reviews of customers are instant, and carry weight. The public is also very interested in the publicity (good or bad) our industry and individual restaurants receive. Foodborne illness is bad—charitable giving is good. Recognition for cleanliness is good. Being the subject of a Department of Labor or an IRS audit is bad. In addition, the public is more knowledgeable about restaurant best practices that ever before. A lot of this is because of the Food Network and other media outlets. All of this doesn’t make customers experts, but more of them think they are. This is a new version of “the customer is always right.” In addition to heightened consumer interest, government and consumer activists seem bent on conducting, what I call, a war on restaurants. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association and the National Restaurant Association always had our share of battles on issues like minimum wage, child labor, specialized taxes, etc. We still have these issues, but now it seems that restaurants are being blamed for causing obesity, hypertension, diabetes and other health issues. The result is proposed laws at every level of government to regulate restaurants. Municipalities are proposing bans on certain types of restaurants in selected neighborhoods. Others are regulating the size of soft drinks. There is talk of a fat tax, a sugar tax and a salt tax (weren’t the salt and sugar taxes among the reasons for breaking from England?). Let’s not forget implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. I was a restaurant owner and the thought of having to deal with all of this on my own is overwhelming. Besides running a business, this is a lot to cope with. Fortunately, you are not alone. WRA and NRA are conducting a very aggressive defense of our industry both in government and the media. We are the best source of information for restaurants on how to comply with laws and regulations. I have often asked myself why any restaurateur would ever go to a source other than WRA/NRA for information? You are our only business! No one is going to understand how laws and regulations apply to your business better than us. The time has long passed when restaurant owners could sit on their hands and avoid becoming involved or informed. The time for the excuse of not having time to watch a webinar or attend a local meeting or an industry trade show has passed. The government, the media and the public simply won’t accept the excuse of not knowing. The Wisconsin Restaurant Expo is March 11-13 in Milwaukee (visit to register or learn more). WRA’s Hotline number is 800-589-3211. Check out WRA’s website at and the NRA’s at to find out what’s happening. If you are not a WRA member—JOIN. Knowledge is power to you. You, as part of your association, is power to us in your defense. There is a saying: “You are either at the table or you are on the menu.” It has never been more applicable. 8





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h a p t e r

r e s i d e n t s


e p r e s e n t a t i v e s

Participating at the local level is a great way to get involved with WRA and network with others in the foodservice industry. Visit for a comprehensive chapter map and listing (Click on Connections/Local Chapter Contacts). Big Four Chapter Jill Schneiter Gala Resort Fremont (920) 446-3222

Northeast Chapter Amy Shaffer Shaffer Supper Club Crivitz (715) 854-2184

Blackhawk Chapter Chico Pope Buckhorn Supper Club Milton (608) 868-2653

Northwoods Chapter Mike Pitzo (area representative) Polecat & Lace Minocqua (715) 356-3335

Door-Kewaunee Chapter Doris Thorn (area representative) Roadhouse of Downtown Carlsville Sturgeon Bay (920) 743-4966

St. Croix Chapter Sheena Peterson (area representative) Valley House Hudson (715) 549-6255

Eastern Shore Chapter Scott Trempe Bourbon Street Sheboygan (920) 458-1779

South Central Chapter Todd Baker Eagle Inn of Sauk Prairie Prairie du Sac (608) 643-4516

Green Bay Chapter Pat Biemborn Los Banditos East Green Bay (920) 432-6460

Southeast Chapter Dick Rudin (area representative) House of Gerhard Kenosha (262) 694-5212

La Crosse Chapter Gary Rudy Rudy’s Drive Inn La Crosse (608) 782-2200 Lake-To-Lake Chapter Joan Cunningham Schreiner's Restaurant Fond du Lac (920) 922-0590 Madison Chapter Brad Hammen Outback Steakhouse Madison (608) 241-0851 Milwaukee Chapter Chris Wiken The Packing House Milwaukee (414) 483-5054

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Vacationland Chapter Timothy Tyler Nick’s Family Restaurant Spooner (715) 635-3129 West Wisconsin Chapter Joanne Palzkill Draganetti’s Ristorante Altoona (715) 834-9234 Wisconsin River Valley Chapter Roy Heilmeier 2510 Restaurant Wausau (715) 845-2510

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Info to Go Q u e s t i o n s a n d A n s w e r s A b o u t R e s t a u r a n t B u s i n e s s f r o m t h e W R A H o t l i n e Te a m C a l l 8 0 0 . 5 8 9 . 3 2 1 1 • Vi s i t w w w. w i r e s t a u r a n t . o r g

by K ate R eiser


he federal Department of Labor (DOL) has stepped up their enforcement efforts and the restaurant industry is under scrutiny. “We are putting the industry on notice that violations will not be tolerated,” said George A. Rioux director of DOL Wage and Hour Division’s Boston district office. This means you need to make sure you are in compliance! WRA can help you with that—the Hotline Team (WRA staff available to answer your questions via phone or email), The Handbook for Excellent Restaurant Operations (HERO) manual and information in the Members Only section of the WRA website are some of the valuable resources that can help you avoid a costly and disruptive wage and hour audit. In a recent press release announcing the steep fines a restaurant must pay following an investigation, former Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis said, “Restaurant workers are among the most vulnerable workers in this country.” This keen focus on restaurants requires you to be vigilant. According to the DOL, their investigators have identified widespread noncompliance with the Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping requirements and have deemed it a “high risk industry” for FSLA violations. Common violations include paying employees flat salaries for all hours worked without overtime pay, failing to combine hours worked at multiple locations for overtime purposes, paying incorrect overtime rates to tipped employees, making illegal deductions from employees’ wages and failing to keep accurate records of the hours employees work. An emerging trend of misclassifying restaurant workers as independent contractors in order to avoid the FLSA’s requirements has also been identified. The DOL has a variety of resources for both employers and employees about the FLSA. The link below provides a variety of information describing what’s available:

Q: A:

How do I know if the Fair Labor Standards Act applies to my business?

Every business located in Wisconsin is covered by state law, and most restaurants are covered by federal law as well (or at least have employees covered by federal law). All of a company’s employees are subject to federal law if the company has annual gross revenue of at least $500,000. Even if the company as a whole isn’t subject to federal law in addition to state law, its individual employees are if they participate in “interstate commerce”: servers handling credit cards, chefs ordering food from across state lines or employees unloading trucks from out of state.





One week my line cook worked overtime, the next week he worked less than 40 hours. Can I average out an employee’s hours over our two week pay period?


Absolutely not. The law requires employers to pay overtime when more than 40 hours in a week are worked by a non-exempt employee. It just takes one complaint to trigger a wage and hour audit. If you are found to owe unpaid overtime, you will have to pay back wages for every employee who worked more than 40 hours in a week during the last two years (while also facing additional penalties). Employees cannot waive their rights to overtime! Any agreement to waive overtime pay is not legally valid. Here’s more about overtime: Employees must be paid one and onehalf times their regular hourly wage for all hours over 40 worked in a designated work week. Employers must determine overtime owed for each seven day period, regardless of the length of the pay period used by the individual business. It is up to the employer to determine what the designated work week is (i.e. Sunday through Saturday; Wednesday through Tuesday). But the employer must use that designation consistently. Hours worked in separate weeks may not be averaged. If an employee worked 35 hours in the first week and 45 hours in the second week of the pay period, the employee would be due 5 hours of overtime pay for that pay period. Please note that paid leave time does not count for the 40 hours threshold. WRA can help you by sharing the formula to properly calculate overtime for tipped employees. Contact the WRA

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Hotline Team at 800-589-3211. If an employee puts in unauthorized overtime you may discipline the employee for breaking your policy, but you cannot deny the overtime pay. To help avoid this problem you can use the “Employee Overtime Authorization” form in your HERO manual (it’s also available in the Members Only section of the WRA website Keep in mind that salaried employees who work more than 40 hours a week would still be owed overtime unless exempt as an executive, administrative or professional worker as defined by law (for more information on exempt vs. non-exempt employees contact the WRA Hotline Team). Just saying that your cook is salaried doesn’t mean that he actually fits the criteria. Some employers mistakenly believe that labeling an employee salaried means no overtime. Not true! Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development (DWD) or DOL could find that your employee is improperly classified.


Recently a server had a really bad run. She dropped a tray of plates earlier in the week, calculated a check incorrectly and bungled opening an expensive bottle of wine by getting cork pieces in it. Can I deduct money from her paycheck to recoup some of this money that her carelessness has cost us?


You need to be careful about using paycheck deductions as a disciplinary measure. Whenever a deduction is made for breakage or errors on the job, the employee needs to give written permission prior to the deduction. No blanket agreements are permitted because the employee must give permission on a case-by-case basis. If the employee offers to cover the cost of a breakage or error out

of pocket, this is considered a voluntary action, but owners must use caution when deducting money from paychecks. Employers whose restaurants are covered by federal AND state law need to be aware that the employee’s pay can’t be brought below the minimum wage (currently $7.25/hr.). Employee’s tips may not be taken as payment for a breakage or error. Deductions may only be taken from the employee’s actual base wages in excess of $7.25 an hour. For businesses subject to Wisconsin law only, tips may not be taken as payment for breakage or error, but there is no maximum amount that can be taken from the actual base wages. Again, written permission is required for both tipped and non-tipped employees. If an employee makes a huge and costly blunder, like dropping an entire tray of expensive dishes, you can approach her and see if she will agree to have money withheld from future paychecks to cover a percentage of the loss. If the employee refuses to allow this, continued on page 12

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continued from page 11 you must find another way to discipline her. Remember, the disciplinary action (up to and including termination) must be about the employee’s negligence or carelessness, and can’t be about their refusal to pay for any of the damage. As always, it is important to keep accurate records in personnel files. Breakage/error employee permission slips are available in your HERO manual and in the Members Only section of the WRA website. While deducting money from paychecks is permissible in some situations, you need to follow the proper guidelines and should not use this approach as a disciplinary cure-all.

• Regular hourly pay rate • Total daily or weekly straight-time earnings • Total overtime earnings for the workweek • All additions to or deductions from the employee’s wages • Total wages paid each pay period • Date of payment and the pay period covered by the payment Wisconsin has its own recordkeeping requirements and there is a lot of overlap. Visit docs.legis.wisconsin. gov/code/admin_code/dwd/272/11 for Wisconsin’s requirements.


Is it true that if my servers aren’t making enough in tips to meet minimum wage I have to kick in the money?



What kind of information do I need to keep on file about my employees?


Every employer covered by the FLSA must keep certain records for each covered, non-exempt worker (however, much of this information needs to be kept on file for exempt employees as well). There is no required form for the records, but the records must include accurate information about the employee and data about the hours worked and the wages earned. The following is a listing of the basic records that an employer must maintain: • Employee’s full name, as used for social security purposes, and on the same record, the employee’s identifying symbol or number if such is used in place of name on any time, work, or payroll records • Address, including zip code • Birth date, if younger than 19 • Sex and occupation • Time and day of week when employee’s workweek begins. Hours worked each day and total hours worked each workweek • Basis on which employee’s wages are paid



Yes that is true and not properly handling this requirement has been the reason many restaurants end up involved in investigations and lawsuits. This is what the DOL says in their Fact Sheet #15: Tipped Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act ( whd/regs/compliance/whdfs15.pdf): Employers electing to use the tip credit provision must be able to show that tipped employees receive at least the minimum wage when direct (or cash) wages and the tip credit amount are combined. If an employee’s tips combined with the employer’s direct (or cash) wages of at least $2.13 per hour [$2.33 per hour in Wis.] do not equal the minimum hourly wage of $7.25 per hour, the employer must make up the difference. [Note that this is over a pay period—not per shift.] Confused about using the tip credit? That’s understandable, because new rules were recently introduced. The FLSA allows an employer to pay a tipped employee an hourly wage less than the legal minimum wage under certain circumstances. In Wisconsin the base/ cash wage can begin at $2.33 an hour. The tipped employee’s tips and hourly wage when combined must equal at least the minimum wage (currently $7.25 an hour). The difference between minimum wage and the employee’s hourly wage is known as the tip credit. The amount of the tip credit can vary depending on the


base/cash wages paid, but can’t exceed $4.92. If, over a pay period, an employee does not receive enough money in tips plus actual base/cash wages to bring him or her up to the full minimum wage, the employer must increase the base wage to make up the difference. The DOL rules address what information must be provided to the employee by the employer in order for the employer to take advantage of the tip credit. For example, if a restaurant takes the tip credit of $4.92 an hour ($7.25 minus the base/cash wage of $2.33) their employees would need to be informed of that. What changed? While it was always recommended that employers inform employees that the tip credit was being utilized, the rules now require that employers notify their employees. While this notification can be done verbally, it is strongly recommended that employers provide written notice, to make the evidence of their compliance indisputable. This notice must include: • Amount of direct base/cash wage to be paid to the employee (in Wisconsin the minimum base/cash wage is $2.33 an hour) • Amount the employer claims as a tip credit (e.g. the difference between $2.33 and $7.25 an hour) • The tip credit can’t exceed actual tip earnings • Employers can’t claim the federal tip credit unless they inform employees of the federal law’s provisions on the tip credit • The law requires that employees retain all their tip earnings, with the exception of contributions to valid tip pools What constitutes a valid tip pool? The guidelines for what is considered a valid tip pool haven’t changed. To review, a tip pool can only include those employees who customarily and regularly receive tips. Employees who don’t typically receive tips like cooks and dishwashers (and other back-ofthe-house staff) may not participate in the pool. However, the new rules

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Info to Go don’t set a limit on how much of their tips employees may be required to put in the pool. The rules now state that the law “does not impose a maximum contribution percentage.” In the past, the NRA and WRA had advised employers that the DOL would consider tip pools with a maximum threshold of 15% to be valid. Now that percentage is up to the employer. You must notify your employees how much they will be required to contribute to the tip pool. Does WRA have a form I can use? We have created a basic template that you can use. Keep in mind, however, that you are responsible for informing each employee of their specific base/ cash wage and the amount of tip credit being taken. This information may vary from employee to employee within a business (unless all tipped employees are paid the same base/cash wage). Download the form at info/alerts/110519_tip_credit_rules.php We advise that you put employee tip

credit notification in writing, so if there is ever an audit you will be able to prove that you properly notified employees. Remember, restaurants that don’t follow

the DOL requirements could lose their right to use the tip credit, forcing them to pay the full minimum wage to tipped employees! WR

Don’t forget—Wisconsin’s minimum wage has mirrored the federal minimum wage rate for several years now (but we still get calls asking what that rate is!) Non-tipped employees: General minimum wage $7.25/hour Opportunity minimum wage $5.90*/hour (14 – 19-year-olds during the first 90 calendar days on the job) * The federal opportunity wage rate is $4.25. Wisconsin’s opportunity wage rate of $5.90 is higher and therefore more favorable for the employee and is the rate that should be used. Since July, 2009 there is no long a separate minor minimum wage. The opportunity wage of $5.90 for eligible employees remains in effect. After the opportunity wage period of 90 consecutive calendar days on the job, all employees regardless of age must be paid the full minimum wage of $7.25. An opportunity employee is an employee who is not yet 20 years old and who has been in employment status with a particular employer for 90 or fewer consecutive calendar days from the date of initial employment. Tipped Employees: Employees age 20 or older + $2.33/hour (base wages for general minimum wage) and employees age 14 – 19 $4.92/hour (tip credit) after 90 days of opportunity $7.25/hour wage has passed New hires under age 20 + $2.13/hour (base wages for opportunity wage) (14 – 19-year-olds during the $3.77/hour (tip credit) first 90 calendar days on the $5.90/hour job with opportunity wage) The federal cash wage for tipped employees is $2.13. Wisconsin’s rate of $2.33 is more favorable for the employee and is the rate that should be used. $2.13 is allowed for opportunity wage earners.




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Financial Statements Tips from a CPA

Accounting for Your Business Credit Card Expenses Every restaurant has expenses. And with the growing popularity of small business credit cards and low interest rates, many restaurant owners are using them to make purchases. Tracking and recording expenditures is a process many restaurant owners don’t like to deal with: accounting for your expenses, keeping track of all of your receipts, making sure they are recorded on your income tax return, etc. Proper recordkeeping of your business expenses can help you save time while allowing you to maximize your allowable deductions when preparing your tax return. Implementing a system for your receipts will not only organize your records but give you the satisfaction of knowing you’re accounting for every deduction.

How to Track and Record Credit Card Expenses for Your Restaurant

If you use a separate business credit card for business purchases, do not put personal items on the business card. The IRS does not approve of mixing business and personal purchases on the same credit card. If paying an item through the business, think to yourself, would you reimburse an employee for this expense if he/she turned in the receipt? If not, you should pay for it personally. Receipts are needed for all charge card purchases to prove in an audit what the expense is for and that sales tax was paid on the purchase. Without the actual receipt, the expense could be disallowed by the IRS or the State of Wisconsin. There are two options to report credit card purchases depending on whose name the card is in: Method One - Company Charge Card (make sure the card is in the business name) 1. At the beginning of each year, create a new manila folder so that each charge card will be filed by year with the receipts attached. 2. Create a separate petty cash envelope to be used for each charge card the business uses. 3. For each charge card purchase, obtain a receipt and mark on the receipt what the expense is for. Then file the receipt in the monthly petty cash envelope for that particular charge card. 4. At the end of each month (or when you receive your charge card statement): a. File the charge card statement with the receipts attached in the annual folder created in step one.

b. Consult with your accountant on how to transmit the information to them to be recorded in the company records. Method Two - Personal Charge Card If using a personal charge card for business expenses, treat the business expense charges as items paid in cash by you personally and use an expense report to transmit the expenses to your accountant. The advantage of doing this is as follows: 1. Provides a good audit trail for the IRS. The charge card statements are not verification of the expense for IRS purposes, but the receipts for each item are. 2. Will separate your personal items on the charge card from your businesses expenses. 3. All expenses for charge card purchases are recorded in the proper month. This will allow for all deductions to be taken in the year the purchases were made. (ex: December purchases are deducted in December not in January when the statement is received or later when finally paid). Helpful Tip: Be sure you give your accountant all expenses charged to your credit cards for the year. If you receive a credit card statement on January 20th for the period December 15th through January 15th, be sure to submit to your accountant all items charged through December 31st. These items can and should be deducted for tax purposes in the prior year. For a detailed reference guide on this topic, contact EWH Small Business Accounting ( WR

Statements or expressions of opinion here are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Wisconsin Restaurateur or the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. In no event are the editors and publisher liable for any damages resulting from use of this material.




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

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Food Pairings Please the Palate with Novel Flavor Combinations By M ary Be rg in


hen The Machine Shed in Pewaukee decided to serve chocolate-covered bacon on a stick during the 2009 Wisconsin State Fair, the story I wrote about it went viral online, proving the public’s intense curiosity and interest in unusual food offerings. Aaron Fidder, then the restaurant’s executive chef, tested a dozen bacon-chocolate combinations before settling on milk chocolate over hardwood-smoked, honey-cured bacon. Dipping the salty pork into a ganache was too bitter, he decided, and a key move was to add a bit of sea salt to the coating. The Machine Shed served this unusual treat frozen, and it is likely to remain on the State Fair menu for 2013. “Usually the shelf life of a trend is two or three years, but this one’s still



strong,” says chef Kurt Wagner, Fidder’s successor. About 30,000 of the skewers were sold in 2012, and The Machine Shed certainly is not alone in its fun with bacon. Madison’s Tory Miller, the James Beard Foundation’s 2012 Best Chef: Midwest, used bacon seven ways during a themed dinner that introduced the book “Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon!” by restaurateur Ari Weinzweig of Ann Arbor, Mich. The meal’s palate-pleasing surprises included a maple-bacon-bourbon frozen custard with salted caramel sauce. Miller praised the versatility of bacon as a seasoning for all courses, and Weinzweig declared “bacon is the olive oil of North America—the more I study bacon, the more I love it.”


So the meat is not just for breakfast anymore, it sneaks into casual and fine dining in unusual ways, and such experimentation has potential to delight diners—when done intelligently.

New outlets for creativity

Restless and creative Wisconsin chefs pair unusual ingredients, foods and beverages in a myriad of other ways. Why? Chef Michael Feker of IL MITO Enoteca, Wauwatosa with a new location opening soon in Milwaukee, explained it this way: “I don’t want to follow recipes—it becomes monotonous. I want to create recipes. But like a Miles Davis in music, you first have to learn to play like someone else before you can play like yourself.”

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

+ Understanding the chemistry of cooking is crucial, he said, because “a nice chemical reaction is fundamental to what we do in the kitchen.” A seat at his Chef’s Counter combines good food with advice about health and cooking techniques. “I show the ‘why’ and ‘how’—how to sweat an onion, for example, and how nature gives us sugar in many ingredients,” including onions, through caramelization. Although the finished meal might be unusual—think beef tenderloin with a blue cheese sauce and lobster mashed potatoes—the art of combinations “is what makes us chefs,” and matches need not be complicated to be successful. “We can all cook with 50 flavors, but if we can make a beautiful, simple eggplant dish or salad, then we have succeeded and are artists,” Feker said. “Balance is crucial—the palate does not accept too much of an unusual combination of flavors. So keep it simple,” and know when to let go. “I would not use a grated Parmesan with a seafood pasta,” he offered, “but my customer can do with it as he wishes.” Milwaukee’s Lake Park Bistro for 10 years has presented a black truffle dinner that adds Perigord truffles from France to each of seven courses. Adam Siegel, 2008 James Beard Winner Best Chef: Midwest and corporate chef for the Bartolotta Restaurants, said this bistro also uses saffron in a dessert sauce, Harbor House serves lobster pot pie and “foie gras at Bacchus for years has been

+ served with French toast, a sunny-sideup quail egg, bacon and maple syrup.” At the rural Delta Diner, southern Bayfield County, chef-owner Todd Bucher’s Norwegian Hot Cakes have been a hit for years. They are thin and sweet pancakes with pickled jalapenos

“If everybody just likes it, nobody wil be passionate about it.” – Todd Bucher in the batter. An order arrives with a topping of powdered sugar and freshsqueezed lemon. “Key to these unique combinations is the 50/50 rule,” Bucher contended. “Don’t try and create a menu item for everyone. If everybody just likes it, nobody will be passionate about it.” Another unusual diner favorite is southern staple red-eye gravy, served with biscuits made in-house. In the cream-based gravy is bacon, sausage, prime rib and “a Turkish grind of our espresso beans… It has a very rich flavor and is very dark in color. Totally unique and a hit—people travel far for this and will email prior to coming, to arrange its availability.”

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin


Variations on a theme

At Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, lobsterwurst was a success for years at Dream Dance Steak. Peter Gebauer, executive chef, said the sausage-like roll of seafood still “makes its way onto the menu occasionally, each time with a slight variation in sauce and accompaniment, depending upon the season.” Every January, the menu at the casino’s Fire Pit Sports Bar and Grill includes tributes to Elvis Presley, to coincide with an annual impersonation contest. The Blue Suede Burger was introduced in 2013 featuring one-half pound of ground Black Angus with bacon, peanut butter, Cheddar cheese and traditional fixings. Popular year-round is fire crackers candy: a mix of dark chocolate, Rice Krispies, chipotle chile and caramel, topped with fizzy Pop Rocks. Sometimes the culinary play isn’t quite ready for public acceptance. When developing the concept for Wild Earth Cucina Italiana, Gebauer said testing included a traditional Italian dessert, sanguinaccio alla napoletana. The classic dish, similar to custard, is made with cream, cocoa, sugar and fresh pig’s blood. “While we found the taste and presentation close to chocolate custard, it had a slight iron flavor,” Gebauer said. “A modified version produced a rich, chocolate-like gelato, and if you did not know the ingredients, you’d love it.” The dessert is not yet on the menu. For Ada Lara Thimke of Lara’s continued on page 18



continued from page 17 Tortilla Flats, Oshkosh, the pairing of unconventional ingredients dates back to childhood, when her mother would coat the Thanksgiving turkey with chunky peanut butter mixed with spices and chicken boullion. “I like to add a small amount of creamy peanut butter to my curry sauce,” she confided. “It gives a smoother, more satiny consistency and a hint of peanut taste to the hot curry,” working especially well with shrimp or chicken. Peanut butter also sneaks into her three-generation-old family recipe for Molè Poblano, a paste used to make molè sauce. “To me, these things are not strange or quirky, different or even experimental,” Thimke said. “They are everyday items that perhaps need a little kick or something sweet.” In Milwaukee, J. Claire Menck, culinary director at The Art Institute of Wisconsin, favors the Thai hot sauce sriracha “on just about everything.” It is similar to Tabasco, but more of a paste than liquid, which “allows it to stand up nicely as a finishing sauce” over freshly

sriracha is really what your body looks for after a long night.”

The makings of a great pair

+ cut cantaloupe. One of her favorite breakfast dishes is steel-cut oats baked with sauteed bacon, onion, garlic, milk or chicken stock, maple or cane syrup and sriracha. “This is great for brunch and is such a great ‘hair of the dog’ in case you’ve enjoyed yourself a bit too much the night before,” she said. “The sweetness of the cane syrup and the saltiness of the

Just as unconventional ingredients can build depth of flavor in a recipe, so can culinary surprises broaden the fun and sophistication of a meal or food event. Chocolates were paired with beers in Madison recently, to promote the new book “Beer: From Ancient Origins to New Traditions,” and tickets sold out weeks in advance. Chocolatier Gail Ambrosius and brewer Aran Madden of Furthermore Beer, Spring Green, combined expertise for this Wisconsin Historical Museum event. The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board has long encouraged creative and appetizing uses for cheeses in cooking and menu preparation. This includes the recent introduction of Grate. Pair. Share., an online magazine accessible at Recommendations to match wine with food are customary at high-end restaurants, but now specialty beers also have more of an opportunity to

Bacon for All Courses The menu below, for a multi-course, bacon-themed dinner at L’Etoile restaurant, Madison, introduced the book “Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon!” by Michigan restaurateur Ari Weinzweig. · Pleasant Ridge Reserve gougère, Tomato Mountain strawberry-raspberry jam, Benton’s bacon. · House-cured bacon, Harmony Valley iceberg lettuce, potato crisp, tomato gelée. · Piemontese onion soup, Jones Valley Farm grilled radicchio, toasted pine nuts, shaved SarVecchio, guanciale, grape must. · Hoe cakes, sweet corn, smoked cashews, Roth Käse Moody Blue, Concord grape-maple butter sauce. · Kuri squash, Hidden Springs sheep’s milk agnolotti, pheasant meatballs, toasted pistachios, sage-Benton’s bacon broth. · Bacon-wrapped sea scallop, grilled prawn, Hook’s 12-year Cheddar grits, collard greens, smoked bourbon jus. · Ela Orchard apple brown betty, Hook’s 15-year-Cheddar topping, maple-bacon-bourbon frozen custard, salted caramel sauce.




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

“They are everyday items that perhaps need a lit le kick or something sweet.” – Ada Lara Thimke

shine. Erv’s Mug, which opened in 1979 as a corner bar in Oak Creek, now has a from-scratch kitchen and owner Danielle Baerwald presents monthly beer dinners. The four-course meals involve recipes not on the regular menu, and each dish is matched with the beer of a featured brewery. “They’re fun, but a lot of work,” Baerwald said. “You’re bringing in new beers and teaching staff about both the

beers and the specialty dishes.” A brewery representative usually attends, too, going from table to table to answer questions during the meal. About 60 people dine from 5-8 p.m. The cost is $35, which includes one 6- to 8-ounce pour of beer per course. For $21, the meal for designated drivers includes 2-ounce pours, just enough to taste the blend between food and beverage. Before presenting monthly dinners, Baerwald and chef Kathy Ganong used tabletop tents to suggest a specific beer to accompany the nightly special.

Tap Into Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s own beer and cheese come together in this special area at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo. • Taste beer paired with local cheese • Try exciting flavor combinations • Learn how draft system management delivers profits in the glass It’s Only in Wisconsin and presented especially for you in partnership with New Glarus Brewing Co.

It’s a balancing act

Grant Holtackers, beer trader for Tenth and Blake Beer Company, works with brewers and chefs to create beer dinners throughout the Great Lakes region. “When you’re working with two forms of art, brewing and cooking, it can get a little tricky,” he said. But getting the two to connect and understand each other can bring “delicious revelations.” Beer contains some of the same

+ continued on page 20

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continued from page 19 essential oils found in popular food seasonings, he noted. Crucial to the success of food-beverage pairings is balance, and Holtackers contends that beer tends to work better than spirits. “So many delicious flavors that are spicy or herbal can be distorted in food by high alcohol levels,” Holtackers observed. “Since beer has a lower alcohol content, it cuts through fats and oils but doesn’t affect the spices.” He considers beer, because of its carbonation, a good palate cleanser and “bitterness can act as a reset button for our tastebuds,” to keep flavors sharp from the beginning to the end of a meal. “If you enjoy hoppy beers, spicy foods will accent the hops. Richer, sweeter foods—like those with cream sauces— will balance out the hops.” He refers to “palate fatigue—the body’s ability to adapt to what it is sensing. So we mute that flavor over time. I use the example of Skittles

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cocktail craze shows no signs of slowing down and in 2013 it will bring a push to pair these intriguing libations with bar snacks and appetizers that complement or are made with bar ingredients themselves. Artisanal bitters, such as those from Milwaukee’s Bittercube, “provide bartenders with an almost endless list of drink possibilities for big impact in a small bottle.” Schweitzer says bitters “will find a way back to the kitchen and enhance the flavor profiles of soups, sauces, meats and desserts there.” Cutting-edge chefs “should be dusting off their mothers’ and grandmothers’ cookbooks and creating new spins on classic favorites.”

candy—the first one we eat is puckeringly tart, but then we adapt.” The right beer helps prevent the muting of flavors. Holtackers described beer as “a very seasonal drink, especially in Wisconsin with its four distinct seasons.” We tend to eat differently in winter than summer: It is the difference between hearty and robust vs. light and fruity meal presentations. The rebirth of craft brewing “means you’ll have one beer, or many, to match a season today.” There’s more. Notice whether the brown hue of a beer complements the food being served: a porter goes well with seared steak, for example, and a fruity brew enhances seared scallops. Think of a meal’s components as instruments playing in an orchestra, Holtackers advised. “If one note comes out so much louder, the harmony won’t be there.”

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Cheri Schweitzer



Cheri Schweitzer of Credible Consulting, Madison, predicted cocktails will be the next frontier for chefs to tackle. “In 2012, kitchen chemistry took a bit of a back seat to bar chemistry,” the hospitality consultant said. “The craft


+ Chocolate and Cheese to Please

Inside the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s new Cheese and Chocolate Pairing Guide is this trio of ideas: • Toss popcorn with grated asiago and chocolate-covered peanuts. The cheese’s “sharp, buttery nuttiness” adds depth of flavor in a mix that is “equal parts sweet, salty and crunchy.” • Add dark chocolate truffles to the long-popular pairing of blue cheese and port wine. The chocolate “works as a bridge” to temper the saltiness and sweetness of the other ingredients. • Serve a crumbly Parmesan with a little dark chocolate for a contrast in texture and flavor. A slightly sweet oatmeal stout beer enhances the harmony. Download a copy from pdfs/CheeseChocolate.pdf

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Great Marriages with Leinie’s

“The resonating coffee, chocolate, vanil a and stone fruit flavors were impeccable”

Grant Holtackers of Tenth and Blake Beer Co. works with many brewers and chefs to create multicourse dinners with matching beers. These winning combinations involved Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. products. · Summer Shandy and a salad of Bibb lettuce, wheat berries soaked in the beer, black figs, cucumbers and mozzarella from The Orchard, Baldwin. The mix was served with a Shandy-mango vinaigrette. “Beers with fruit and citrus qualities are excellent with salads in summer and can usually be easily made into a dressing that creates automatic, complementary flavors between the salad and beer,” Holtackers said. · Honey Weiss and prawns stuffed with Peakatoe crab sashimi, soy bean puree and Meyer lemon drizzle from Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva. “Its subtle complexity resonated with the delicate shellfish

Let your guests



Cheeses and

Specialty Foods


• • • • • • • • • • • • •

without overpowering it, and the Meyer lemon made the whole thing shine,” Holtackers said. · Big Eddy Russian Imperial Stout and tender, slow-braised beef cheeks “loaded with big caramelized and browning flavors” from the Trocadero Gastrobar in Milwaukee. Holtackers considered it a perfect pairing. · Berry Weiss and walnut-crusted snapper with black beans and a berry salsa from High Rock Cafe, Wisconsin Dells. “We generally think of as an exceptional partner to dessert, but this pairing really opened my eyes to the decadence it can bring to a well-prepared main course,” Holtackers said. · Big Eddy Baltic Porter and “an absolutely decadent” espresso cheesecake from Paoli Schoolhouse Cafe, Paoli. “The resonating coffee, chocolate, vanilla and stone fruit flavors were impeccable together,” Holtackers said. WR

Wisconsin cheeses, imported cheeses and cheese spreads Fresh curds and string cheese Sizes from 1 ounce to 500 pounds All types of butter and butter products Specialty foods and candy Bar snacks, soups, eggs and specialty non-alcoholic beverages Pickles, olives, cherries and relishes Lakeside and Silver Spring condiments Nueske’s Hillcrest Farm meat products (bacon, ham, sausage, etc...) Custom ordered gift boxes for all occasions Serving most of Wisconsin, upper Michigan and northern Illinois Call us for your foodservice needs Proudly serving our customers since 1964

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First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin





The Social Dish The Scoop on Social Media

Yelp People are talking… and you need to be part of the conversation! Online review sites like Yelp, Chowhound and Urbanspoon give customers the opportunity to share their opinions—the good and the bad. Since 85% of consumers use the internet to find a local business and 72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (according to a Search Engine Land survey), you need to be an active participant in these conversations. Yelp now has free tools available for business owners to tap into. Visit https://biz.yelp. com and you’ll be able to post “crave-worthy” photos, share your restaurant’s history, list specials, fix any incorrect information that may been shared such as your hours of business, offer “check-in” specials for the mobile crowd and respond publicly or privately to reviews. Corey Dane, Yelp’s Senior Community Manager in Madison, emphasized that social media isn’t simply a vehicle for negativity—in fact 80% of the reviews on Yelp are 3 stars or better. Dane shared the following suggestions: • Set time aside to respond to reviews and manage your online reputation. Just as you set aside time to order food and process payroll, carve out time for this. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, find a trusted employee who is savvy with social media and put them in charge. • Always start with customer service—place your emphasis on giving customers five star experiences and take stock of the elements that you can control. You can’t please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but you can offer customers strong, meaningful experiences at your restaurant. • When responding to criticism and negative reviews take a breath and try to not to view it as a personal attack. Keep your cool and don’t let emotions take over. Address the facts in the review and remember that it is just one person online in a sea of millions. If you feel like it will be impossible to remain unemotional, have someone else respond on your behalf. Negative reviews can play an important role in a businesses’ overall online reputation. They showcase a variety of experiences at the restaurant that are more true to life than only 5 star reviews. • Online reviews can help businesses figure out what they’re doing well and what they can improve on. Some business owners go over Yelp reviews with their employees during staff meetings and figure out together how to use the feedback to improve future customer experiences. Other issues to consider: How often do you communicate? What type of negative reviews do you interact with? What type of positive reviews do you react to? You can even have fun with negative reviews! Craft & Commerce, a gastropub in San Diego, plays audio clips of its worst Yelp reviews in its restrooms—turning the tables on harsh online critics by taking the sting out of their rants. WR




Corey Dane of Yelp

Expo Seminar presented by Corey Dane from Yelp Managing Your Online Reputation Monday, March 11th 2:30-3:45 pm • Best practices for creating a strong online presence • Yelp’s online tools for businesses • Claiming your business page • Building a robust profile • Monitoring your traffic • Responding to reviews proactively and diplomatically Included with Expo registration

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

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Celebrities Coming to the Expo Green Bay Packer Donald Driver Monday, March 11 at 10:00 am

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First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




The Right Ingredients

WRA’s FAQ About Music Licensing

nt Restaura esources

Operational R

Q: What do the music licensing companies do? A: ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are the three performing rights organizations (PROs) that were created as clearinghouses between the creators and owners of copyrighted music and the people who want to publicly perform or play this music. Most songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers join one of these organizations and the organizations then collect and distribute fees on their behalf. Think of the music you play as the product created by composers and owned by music publishers. Copyright laws require that you obtain advance permission to play their music (or use their product). Royalties are the compensation that composers and publishers are entitled to. All three companies explain that over 80 percent of fees collected are distributed to the copyright owners. Because it would be virtually impossible for a restaurant owner to negotiate separate licenses with the copyright owners (composers or publishers), blanket agreements with these companies allow restaurant owners to play music from the companies’ repertories. Q: Is there an alternative to using these companies? A: You can: • Attempt to negotiate separate licenses with the copyright owners for each



piece of music you want to use (not really a reasonable option). • Limit the music performed to works in the public domain (difficult to determine). • Use a jukebox, but remember that you must have a Jukebox License Agreement from the Jukebox License Office. You would still need licensing agreements with the PROs if you charge admission, if the jukebox is activated in any way other than through coin operation, or if other music is played in addition to the jukebox. • Use a commercial music service like Sirius XM, Muzak or DMX. They pay the licensing fees for you, but you would still be responsible for any other music played which is not supplied by the commercial music service. • Play only radio or television if you meet the exemptions outlined later in this article. Q: I got a call from a company called SESAC and I never heard of them. Are they a legitimate operation? A: While most people have probably heard of ASCAP and BMI, SESAC is a lesser known, but still legitimate music licensing company. Q: How do these companies calculate the fees they charge? A: The companies will ask how music is


played in your establishment, how often it is played, and the occupancy of your business. Some of the questions asked when calculating the fee: Do you play live music? Is it performed by multiple singers or a single singer? Do you play recorded music—MP3 players like i-pods, CDs, tapes, records, jukebox, DJs, karaoke, or video tapes? Do you charge admission or a cover? Is there dancing to live or recorded music? Do you play television or radio? Q: If I have an agreement with one company do I need one with each of them? A: Each organization represents different songwriters, composers, music publishers and copyright holders. Subsequently they license only the works from their copyright holders. For example, a license with ASCAP does not give you the authorization to play music in BMI or SESAC’s repertory. You can’t assume that you are only playing music from one company. Q: I already pay the band (or DJ); why do I have to pay these companies? A: The law states that the owner of the establishment where the music is being played is responsible for obtaining the required authorization. Paying a band or DJ doesn’t mean you have satisfied this requirement.

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Q: What happens if I ignore these companies and continue to play music without a licensing agreement? A: When you play any copyrighted music in your restaurant without proper authorization you are breaking the law. If you are caught, the fines you face can be much higher than the cost of the licenses. Infringers of copyright law are subject to a civil suit in federal court with damages ranging as high as $100,000 for each song performed without proper authorization. If you are found to have infringed on a copyright for commercial advantage or private gain, you face criminal sanctions. Q: I only play CDs from my personal collection. Why should I pay these companies when I already paid for the music? A: The price you pay when you purchase a CD only covers the right for you to listen privately to the music. When you play records, tapes, MP3 files or CDs in public it becomes a “public performance.” The copyright owners of the music have the exclusive rights to public performances.

Q: Are there any exemptions that I might qualify for? A: Yes: • If your restaurant is 3,750 square feet (including the kitchen, storage areas, bathrooms, etc., but excluding the parking lot) or smaller, you do not have to pay royalty fees for playing radio and television music. • Restaurants over 3,750 square feet may be exempt from fees if they have four or fewer televisions (no more than one per room, diagonal screen sizes of 55 inches or smaller) and six or fewer speakers (no more than four per room). Q: How do I know which songs are included in the repertories of these different companies? A: All three companies have searchable databases on the Internet. Their websites are:,, and

Q: I remember reading about a discount available to WRA members with BMI— what’s this about? A: BMI offers WRA members up to 20 percent in discounts. For more information call BMI at 800-925-8451. Q: Where can I learn more? A: The Better Business Bureau’s informative article, “Music in the Marketplace” is available on its website WR

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First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




Ultimate Foodservice Event! March 11-13, 2013 Delta Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Expo Schedule: Highlights

March 11-13, 2013 Delta Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Monday, March 11 10:00 11:00 11:30 11:30 12:00 1:00 1:00 1:30 2:30 2:30 3:00 4:30 5:00 5:00

Keynote Address by Donald Driver, Packers all-time leading receiver EXHIBIT HALL OPENS Using Social Media to Pack Your Establishment Beef Menu Opportunities and Pricing Michael Feker in Culinary Theater Changes to the Food Code That’s Fabulous! 2013 Party Trends for Any Budget Adam Siegel in Culinary Theater Interior Design Do’s and Don’ts Managing Your Online Reputation Justin Johnson in Culinary Theater College Culinary Arts Competition Awards (events start at 9:00 am) EXHIBIT HALL CLOSES Monday Night Party at the Hyatt Regency

Tuesday, March 12 9:30 10:00 10:45 11:00 12:15 12:15 12:30 1:15 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 6:00

Tuesday Keynote by Rick Tramonto, of Chicago’s Tru and Top Chef Masters EXHIBIT HALL OPENS 7 Secrets to Profitable Sustainability Keys to Successful Restaurant Construction Big Plate vs. Little Plate – The Battle Engaging Customers with Social Media Michael Feker in Culinary Theater Loss Prevention: Keeping Your Business Safe Jarvis Williams in Culinary Theater Using Social Media to Pack Your Establishment ProStart® Invitational Awards (events start at 9:00 am) EXHIBIT HALL CLOSES Elegant Awards Dinner at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts

Just $30 when you register by March 7 WRA Members receive FOUR FREE advance registrations! Members and non-members are encouraged to attend. Sorry, children under 16 may not attend.

All Day Events Art of the Cake Competition Charitable Auction – Booth 214 Design Gallery Foodservice Exhibits – 1000’s of Products Pastry Studio Workshops Something Special from Wisconsin Tabletop Design Competition Tap Into Wisconsin – Beer and Cheese The Bar – Cocktail Education Wisconsin Creamery WRA Connections – Booth 526

Wednesday, March 13 10:00 10:30 11:30 Noon 3:00

EXHIBIT HALL OPENS Understanding the New Health Care Law Chef Demo in Culinary Theater Using Social Media to Pack Your Establishment EXHIBIT HALL CLOSES Scan for Expo’s Mobile App 1. Download Guidebook 2. Open App & Search for Wisconsin Restaurant Expo

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




The Right Ingredients

Tip vs. Service Charge Alert

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IRS Enforcement of Service Charges as Wages: Service Charges MAY NOT be Taken as Tip Credit I. Background Member restaurants and accounting firms have been receiving notification from the IRS reinforcing their position after IRS Revenue Ruling 2012-18 issued June 2012 that IRS tax examiners must ensure that distributed service charges are properly characterized as wages and not tips. U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) regulations, IRS interpretations and Wisconsin law distinguish between a tip voluntarily paid by a customer and a mandatory service charge imposed upon the customer.

the unrestricted right to determine the amount. • The payment should not be the subject of negotiation or dictated by the employer policy. • Generally, the customer has the right to determine who receives the payment. Similarly, under Wisconsin state law, Wis. Admin. Code Sec. 272.03(2) (c), the customer must have the sole discretion to determine whether a gratuity is to be given, to whom it is to be given and the amount.

II. What Is a “Tip” and What Is a “Service Charge”? A service charge is a gratuity automatically added to a customer’s bill by management. A tip is a gratuity voluntarily added to the bill by the customer. The IRS lists four factors, all of which must be present in order for the customer’s extra payment to be deemed a tip: • The customer’s payment must be made free from compulsion. • The customer must have




III. Examples The IRS Rev. Rul. gives the following examples to distinguish when a gratuity left by the customer will be considered a “tip” or “service charge”: Example 1: A restaurant’s menu specifies that an 18 percent gratuity will be added to all customer bills. A customer’s bill for food and beverages includes an amount on the “tip line” equal to 18 percent of the price for food and beverages and the total includes this amount. The restaurant distributes this amount to the servers and buspersons. Under these circumstances, the customer did not have the unrestricted right to determine the amount of the payment because it was dictated by employer policy. The customer did not make the payment free from compulsion. The 18 percent gratuity is not a tip within the meaning of section 3121 of the federal tax code. The amount included on the tip line is a service charge dictated by the restaurant. Example 2: A restaurant includes sample calculations of tip amounts beneath the

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

signature line on its charge receipts for food and beverages provided to customers. The actual tip line is left blank. A customer’s charge receipt shows sample tip calculations of 15 percent, 18 percent and 20 percent of the price of food and beverages. The customer inserts the amount calculated at 15 percent on the tip line and adds this amount to the price of food and beverages to compute the total. Under these circumstances, the customer was free to enter any amount on the tip line or leave it blank; thus, the customer entered the 15 percent amount free from compulsion. The customer and the restaurant did not negotiate the amount nor did the restaurant dictate the amount. The customer generally determined who would get the amount. The amount the customer entered on the tip line is a tip within the meaning of section 3121 of the federal tax code. IV. Effect if Gratuity Is a Service Charge If the gratuity is deemed to be a service charge rather than a tip, under federal law, service charges: • belong to the establishment

• become a part of the establishment’s gross receipts • must be considered as income to the employer, and • may be retained entirely by management or distributed to employees in any amount management chooses. Service charges that get distributed to employees are treated as wages under federal law. Distributed service charges may be used to help employers meet their obligation to pay employees the minimum wage. However, a compulsory service charge cannot be counted as a tip and used as tip credit. Thus automatically added or mandatory gratuities, e.g., for large parties or catered events, are service charges, not tips, and employers cannot take a tip credit, even if management passes the gratuity to employees. Instead, the mandatorygratuity receipts would be considered part of the employer’s receipts. Money paid from those receipts to employees would be considered wages rather than tips. The DOL maintains that a compulsory service charge is not a tip and cannot be counted as a tip even

See How


if the employer distributes the service charge to employees. V. Customer Notice of Service Charges: It is important for restaurants to inform guests of service charges and the amount of the charge before the guest orders, either by a conspicuous notice on the menu or some other means. It is also now important as a result of the U.S. DOL’s new tip credit notice regulations issued May 5, 2011 that employers notify tip employees of specific information concerning tips and tip credit. Contact us or log onto pdf/membership/Tip_Credit_Employee_ Notification.pdf to see the information you must now provide. Make sure your accountant or bookkeeper is aware of this issue. WRA will keep members informed as we learn more about how this is being enforced. You may also view this online by accessing the National Restaurant Association Legal Problem Solver at Please call or email the WRA Hotline Team at 800-589-3211 if you have questions. WR

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Leadership, Creativity and Learning for Culinary Pros


by Amy Steger

oday’s diners are demanding something different, something more than ordinary. It takes a top chef to meet that demand. While passion is a great start to becoming a top culinarian, there are key traits to create a recipe for success in a professional kitchen: leadership, creativity and a desire to learn. Enhancing these traits in a discovery-based environment, like the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo held March 11-13 in Milwaukee, is a great step toward industry success.


In the stressful environment of a professional kitchen, it’s essential that all players collaborate to work as a team. The chef’s role in fostering this collaboration is leadership, the ability to enlist the support of others in accomplishing a common task. Take cues from industry leader Rick Tramonto as he delivers an inspiring keynote speech at the Expo on March 12. Chef Tramonto—James Beard winner, founding chef at Chicago’s four-star Tru and media star on Top Chef Masters—has demonstrated leadership skills on the way to becoming one of the hottest celebrity chefs in the country.

Desire to Learn

It’s essential for culinary pros to keep ahead of the latest trends, at any stage of one’s career. The Expo is a great place to catch sight of what’s new and what’s hot. Top issues for front- and back-of-house are covered in a series of interactive sessions held March 11-13. Leading foodservice experts present on a wide range of topics including menus and pricing, food code changes, profitable sustainability and other trendy foodservice subjects. Whether you’re already an awesome chef or you want to get better—the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo is a great resource to tap into for culinary inspiration. WR


Creativity is one of the most appealing requirements in becoming a chef. Not only does creativity enable a chef to apply culinary knowledge in new ways, it also provides the flexibility to cope with changing demands in the back-of-house. Inspire your creativity in the Expo’s live Culinary Theater demos, where top regional names will grace the stage. Michael Feker Learn the magic of combining flavors from Milwaukee’s celebrity chef, Michael Feker. The executive chef/owner of IL MITO Enoteca, owner of CMF’s School of Culinary Magic and the star of Feker’s Kitchen on FOX6 WakeUp will do a cooking demo on March 11 and 12. Adam Siegel Broaden your cooking repertoire with Adam Siegel, James Beard winner, executive chef of Bartolotta’s Lake Park Bistro, Bartolotta corporate chef/managing partner and guest host on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. Chef Siegel will present contemporary interpretations of today’s ever-evolving bistro cuisine on March 11. Justin Johnson Add a little zing to your menu with Justin Johnson, executive chef at Harvest Market at the Watertown Regional Medical Center and regular guest on WISN12 News This Morning. Chef Johnson will showcase sophisticated techniques with versatile ingredients on March 11. 30



State’s Largest Industry Event March 11-13, 2013 Downtown Milwaukee Just $30 in advance for three days of value. WRA members and nonmembers are encouraged to attend; qualified members receive four free registrations. Questions? Call 800.589.3211.

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

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The Right Ingredients

Health Care Law:

Next Steps for Restaurants

nt Restaura esources

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10 Steps to Take Now to Prepare for the Health Care Law

1. Don’t assume you’re too small to be covered by the employer mandate. Most restaurant operators understand the law requires employers with 50 or more full-time-equivalent employees to offer “minimum essential coverage” to their full-time employees (and their dependents) or face potential penalties. However, many employers with more than one business entity don’t realize that they might need to consider their employees as one group. That could push you over the 50-FTE threshold. [See “Consult your tax adviser,”below.] 2. Consult your tax adviser. Make sure you contact your tax attorney or CPA about ownership considerations and how many employees each business entity has [guided by common control: IRC §414 (b), (c), (m), (o)]. Also, some new taxes associated with the health care law take effect in 2013. 3. Study your workforce numbers. For the purposes of this law, a full-time employee is defined as working an average of at least 30 hours a week in any given month, or the equivalent of 130 hours per calendar month. Study your workforce: Under this new definition, how many fulltime employees do you have? What are the hours worked by part-time and seasonal employees? Although you are not required to offer benefits to part-time employees, their hours (and those of seasonal employees) are included in the calculation for determining whether you meet the 50-FTE threshold for the employer mandate. The answers



to these questions will help you better understand the potential impact of the law on your business. 4. Consult your insurance broker. Consider whether you should make any changes to your current health plan(s) this year. Your broker will be able to help you determine more options as regulatory agencies release more rules. 5. Understand what your employees’ responsibilities will be. In 2014, the tax penalty for an individual who fails to obtain coverage will start at $95, or 1 percent of a person’s taxable income, whichever is greater. That amount increases to $695 or 2.5 percent of income in later years. Employees with incomes between 100 percent and 400 percent of the federal poverty level (currently $11,170 to $44,680 for a single person, or $23,050 to $92,200 for a family of four) may qualify for premium tax credits or costsharing reductions to purchase coverage on the exchange in your state. Be aware of the cost of that coverage on your state’s exchange: Employees will be comparing your plan’s monthly premium contribution rate to those on the exchange. 6. Develop a strategy to talk about the health care law with employees. Under the new law, most employers must act as sources of information for employees. Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act must issue a written notice to employees that tells them about the exchange, how to access it and more. Employers must provide the written notification by late summer or early fall of 2013. Your employees might look to you for answers to their questions about the health


care law. It is wise to think about how you will explain the impact of the law on your business. 7. Understand your state exchange. Some states are setting up their own exchanges or insurance coverage marketplaces. Others have said they won’t set up state exchanges, which means the federal government will operate a “federally facilitated exchange” in place of a state exchange. Several states may operate an exchange jointly with the federal government. [Note: Wisconsin is defaulting to a federally facilitated exchange.] Look for opportunities to engage with state officials charged with establishing and operating the exchange. Ensure they hear from small restaurant operators who could purchase coverage for their employees on the exchanges. If employers could use the exchanges to buy coverage in the future, the business community needs to ensure the exchanges work for employers. 8. Evaluate your information technology capabilities. Employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees will be required to comply with complex new reporting rules. Every Jan. 31, beginning in 2015, those employers must report information to the IRS about individual full-time employees and their dependents. That could include information from your payroll system, health benefit plans and other sources. Consider what information will need to come from which system or third-party vendor. How will you set up a process to aggregate this information to then report it to the IRS? Consider how much lead time you might need before reporting begins.

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

9. Tell your story: Let your elected officials know how the law is affecting you. The restaurant industry is impacted by this law like almost no other industry because of the unique characteristics of our workforce. Explaining the business decisions that you are faced with now will help lawmakers understand how to mitigate the law’s impact on employers’ ability to create jobs. The NRA is collecting stories about how the law affects our members. Send your story to Ellen Mize, 10. Stay abreast of new developments at The National Restaurant Association’s Health Care Knowledge Center is your one-stop shop for information about the law and related regulations. Use the calculator to determine whether you are considered a large or small employer under the law. Learn about the employer requirements and recent regulatory developments. Access past webinars that walk members through all the requirements of the law.

Q&A Employer mandate— who is covered?

Q: Am I covered by the employer mandate?

A: The health care law’s employer mandate covers employers who employed an average of at least 50 full-timeequivalent employees on business days during the preceding year. To calculate whether you are covered, you must look at each of the preceding 12 months to determine the average number of fulltime equivalents you employed over those months. Under the law, there is a new calculation you must use to determine full-time equivalents. For each of the 12 months, an employer must look back and determine how many employees worked 130 hours or more in the calendar month. That will be the number of full-time employees the employer had during that month. Next, the employer must add together the hours of all other employees, but not count more than 120 hours per person. The total hours worked by all others is then divided by 120. That determines a full-time-equivalent number for your non-full-time employees. Next, the employer must add the number of full-time employees to the number of equivalents, to get the total number of full-time-equivalent employees. Finally, the employer must:

• Repeat the process for each of the remaining 11 months. • Add each of the 12 numbers together. • Divide by 12 for the average annual fulltime employee equivalent number. That is the number that employers must use to determine whether an employer is considered an applicable large employer. If the total number of full-timeequivalent employees is 50 or higher, the employer is subject to the mandate. If the number is below 50, the employer is not considered a large employer subject to the mandate. Q: When do I do the calculation to determine if I am an applicable large employer and subject to the mandate for 2014? A: In general, businesses should look at the preceding calendar year to determine if they meet the threshold of 50 full-timeequivalent employees for the following year, says the Treasury Department. However, for 2014, the agency is allowing employers to use as short as 6 months in 2013 to determine their 2014 status, to give business owners time to make arrangements to offer a plan by Jan. 1, 2014. For example, that means employers could look at payroll continued on page 34

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continued from page 33 from Mar. 1, 2013, to Aug. 31, 2013 to determine status then make the necessary arrangements for 2014. Q: I own 100 percent of three restaurants, but they are organized under different federal tax identification numbers. Am I considered one employer because I control all three restaurants? What does this mean for me? A: Yes, more than likely you will be considered as one employer under the health care law. However, you should consult your tax adviser to determine how Internal Revenue Code §414(b), (c), (m), (o) affects you and your businesses. The application of these rules is case-specific and shouldn’t be generalized. Assuming you are determined to be one employer, you must combine all the employees from all three restaurants to determine whether you are an applicable large employer.

Small employers

Q: What are the requirements for companies with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees? A: Employers who employ fewer than 50 full-time-equivalent employees: • Are not subject to the law’s employer mandate. These businesses are not required to offer health benefits to their employees and will not owe federal penalties if they fail to offer health benefits. • Must provide required notice to all employees about exchanges. The Department of Labor (DOL) will issue guidance and a compliance date before employers must implement this. DOL anticipates an effective date in late summer/early fall of 2013. • May be eligible to buy insurance through an “exchange.” • If you offer a health plan, certain insurance reforms apply. For example, you cannot impose annual/lifetime limits on coverage; you must cover people with preexisting conditions; you cannot rescind coverage; and you must allow children to remain on a parent’s plan until age 26. You also are covered by other rules, including non-discrimination rules, the 90-day limit on maximum waiting periods, and restrictions on flexible savings accounts, health savings accounts and health reimbursement



accounts. You must offer a “plain English” summary of your benefits and coverage to employees and must report the value of health care coverage on W-2 forms starting with W-2s issued for calendar year 2013. Small employers also are likely to be affected by some new taxes under the law. For further details, see

Large employers

Q: What does the law require of large employers? A: Starting in 2014, large applicable employers—those with 50 or more full-timeequivalent employees—must offer “minimum essential coverage” to all full-time employees and their dependents. Minimum essential coverage means that the coverage meets a minimum value standard (at least 60 percent actuarial value) and is affordable to an employee (employee’s premium contribution is no more than 9.5 percent of their household income). Dependents have been defined as children up to age 26. Large employers also face new reporting requirements. For example, every Jan. 31, beginning in 2015, employers must report information to the IRS about individual full-time employees and their dependents. And like all employers covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act, large employers will be required to notify employees of the existence of state exchanges [remember Wisconsin will default to federal exchange]. Implementation of this notice has been postponed until DOL issues guidance about how employers must comply. Q: What are the penalties if a large business does not offer the required coverage? A: Large employers covered by the law’s employer mandate face two possible types of penalties: • If you do not offer any coverage, the


“4980H(a)” penalty applies. If you are covered by the employer mandate and don’t offer health plan coverage and any full-time employee uses a tax credit to purchase insurance through an exchange, you are liable for a $2,000 annual penalty for each full-time employee, minus your first 30 full-time employees. These are applied proportionally according to number of full-time employees employed by each member entity of the common control group. This is the 4980H(a) penalty, named for the section of tax code that contains it. • If you offer coverage but it’s not affordable, the “4980H(b)” penalty applies. If you offer a health plan but it’s not affordable (see the last Q&A), you’ll face a $3,000 penalty for every employee certified by an exchange as eligible for a premium tax credit to help them purchase insurance through the exchange. Your liability in this scenario can never exceed the total penalty you’d pay for not offering coverage at all. Q: Which employees are considered full time? A: A full-time employee is defined as working an average of 30 hours a week on average in any given month, or the equivalent of 130 hours per calendar month. This is not a simple calculation, especially for employees whose hours vary significantly from month to month. In January 2013, the IRS published regulations on how to use an optional “lookback” period to figure out whether existing and

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

new employees with variable hours are considered full-time. For the latest info, visit Q: What does it mean for insurance to be considered “affordable” for a full-time employee? A: If a full-time employee who works for an applicable large employer is required to pay more than 9.5 percent of his or her household income for individual coverage under an employer’s plan, the employer’s health plan is considered unaffordable for that employee. As noted above, failing the “affordability test” can be costly for an employer. If the employee goes to an exchange and the exchange certifies that an employer’s plan is unaffordable for a particular employee and that the employee qualifies for a federal premium tax credit to help them buy insurance on an exchange, employers can be assessed $3,000 a year for each full-time employee that does this. So to avoid penalties, employers need to know whether premiums are affordable for each employee. The problem is, the health care law bases the calculation on 2013_WRA Ad_7.5x4.875_HR.pdf


an employee’s household income—data employers don’t have. Household income is typically available only by looking at a person’s federal tax return to see “modified adjusted gross income” for individuals or “aggregate modified gross income” for couples and families. At the urging of the NRA and other employers, Treasury/IRS agreed to give employers three potential ways to calculate affordability. Under the “affordability safe harbor for employers,” Treasury/IRS agreed to choose one of the following: (a) let an employer look at an employee’s W-2 wages (Box #1) for the previous year, rather than household income. Under this test, a health plan is considered affordable for an employee as long as the employee doesn’t have to pay more than 9.5 percent of his or her W-2 wages in health care premiums for individual coverage; (b) allow the employer to prospectively anticipate and design contribution rates using employee’s rate of pay at the beginning of the year. This can be applied employee to employee or based on lowest paid worker; or (c) allow employers to set their employee premium


Health Care Law Seminar

Michelle Neblett, NRA’s director of labor and workforce policy, will present a seminar, “Understanding the New Health Care Law,” at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo on Wednesday, March 13th, 10:3011:45 am. Neblett will help you determine if you are subject to the employer mandate and understand how the new federal health care law will impact your business and your employees. The session is open to all Expo attendees. contribution rate at 9.5% of 100% federal poverty level for all employees, making the application of the safe harbor easier administratively. WR

This health care law information was provided by the National Restaurant Association.

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Engineer Your Menu for Maximum Profitability


By Mary Lou Santovec


hen customers step into the Pine Lodge Restaurant at the Heartwood Conference Center and Retreat in Trego, they select their meal from a solid oak, laser-engraved menu. At $50 apiece, Zac Benson, the executive chef, describes the menu as “contemporary, unique, clean and elegant.” The year-old restaurant, part of a former Boy Scout camp, has morphed into a destination place because of its emphasis on “approachable fine dining.” Selections are limited but diverse with weekly specials “to keep our regular guests coming back on Fridays and Saturdays.” A restaurant’s menu gives customers the clearest hint as to what will eventually appear on their plate. It defines your culture and sets your place apart. The menu is often the unsung hero of the restaurant and it deserves significant attention. “Restaurant owners, managers and their chefs work very hard developing the menu items, purchasing the freshest and highest quality of ingredients, and creating a beautifully plated presentation,” said Phyllis Weege of Menu Masters, a Pewaukee-based company that offers design services, printed menus, menu covers and marketing services. “The in-hand menu… is the diner’s first impression representing the work happening behind the scenes and what is to come.”




“The in-hand menu… is the diner’s first impression representing the work happening behind the scenes and what is to come.”

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

– Phyllis Weege Menu Masters

“A menu is the heart and soul of a restaurant.” – Greg Rapp

Menu Magician

Gregg Rapp has spent 31 years in the restaurant industry. The Palm Springs, California-based menu expert is called the “menu magician” for his ability to transform a ho-hum list of dishes into a successful sales tool. “A menu is the heart and soul of a restaurant,”according to Rapp. But a menu is only as good as its ability to sell food. That’s where menu engineering comes in—to help the customer navigate the choices. If they can choose an entrée quickly, they have more time to look at the appetizer or dessert sections. “They will add on more food if the decision is easy to make,” said Rapp. More food translates into more

profits for the restaurant and ultimately, a happier waitstaff. “The biggest mistake made is to simply look at the menu as printing a list of items in ink on paper,” said Weege. “A poorly designed menu results in lost revenue each and every day.” Kathy Reading of A La Carte Restaurant Marketing in Waukesha, offering marketing strategies alongside printed menus, menu covers and inserts, e-mail marketing and on-line menus, added, “On the most basic level, a welldesigned restaurant menu can steer choices towards more high-profit items.” The menu can also “set the mood of the restaurant, allowing guests to be more comfortable with the overall dining experience.”

The science of design

Studies have found that people don’t read a whole menu but rather look for what they want to have for the current meal. “This is why I always break out items into a section so you don’t have continued on page 38

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WR Restaurateur


continued from page 37

Menu Masters’ design for Joey Gerard’s – a Bartolotta Restaurant group supper club located in Mequon and Greendale

to read everything,” said Rapp. “Layout becomes expected and important.” Your customers read menus in a “predictable manner,” said A La Carte’s Reading. “Following best practices for menu design can transform your menu into a ‘silent salesperson’ and contribute to increased check totals.” Designing a successful menu starts with knowing what your food costs are. “Even a professionally engineered menu will not help profits if the operator hasn’t done the required homework analyzing the costs of each item and pricing it correctly,” said Weege. “Successful operators identify and remove low profit items and low profit/ low sales items from their menu.” “What goes on the menu is determined by profitability and popularity,” said Rapp. “A successful menu takes items and describes them so they’re different and better than the competitors’.” There is a science to designing a successful menu. “Menu items should generally be presented in the order of the meal, with beverages listed last,” said Reading. “This allows guests to most easily picture their meal and make



The Blue Bayou Inn’s menu featuring original art from Floyd Sonnier

their choices.” The first and the last spots on the menu are where you should put your best sellers. Highlighted items or those in boxes “push people in the right direction you want them to go,” said Pine Lodge’s Benson.

“Following best practices for menu design can transform your menu into a ‘silent salesperson’ and contribute to increased check totals.” – Kathy Reading

A La Carte Restaurant Marketing Because customers read a menu much like a newspaper or magazine, what you place in the upper-left side will position


the restaurant and its priorities. Each item should be the very best of its kind. Some experts say that each category should contain a maximum of seven choices. Five is optimal. Why seven? Research shows that seven numbers, the length of a phone number, is the maximum a person can retain. Descriptions drive sales. A plate of nachos is a plate of nachos unless, of course, yours are covered with organically grown tomatoes and peppers and topped with shredded aged Cheddar. “The more we can talk about them as being better and different, the more successful they will be,” said Rapp. The very idea of writing a menu sends most chefs reeling. But Rapp eases the tension, saying: “I teach chefs that if they’re not a good writer, to grab a tape recorder and describe the dishes. You can transcribe the descriptions and then go back and edit it. Editing is much easier than writing from scratch.”

Uniqueness sells

If your restaurant is located in an historic location, the menu can also serve as a history lesson. Maxsells Restaurant and Bed and Breakfast in Florence utilizes a

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

“Our guests like the menu, it flows with the theme of our restaurant.” – Rita Mazur

Blue Bayou Inn

one-page menu printed on parchment paper with a history of the 1904 home on the flip side. “I believe in a one-page offering of quality choices instead of a book of mediocrity,” said Rachel Egelseer, owner. “The parchment works well with our one-page offerings, we can print them often to be sure they’re clean and nice appearing. People are always asking about the historic property so this gives them the information they are wondering about.” A dry erase board at the entrance lists the weekly specials, which servers reinforce when taking drink orders. Blue Bayou Inn is big on the “lagniappe,” a little something extra

on their menu. That something extra is a drawing by Floyd Sonnier, a Cajun pen and ink artist based in Scott, La. Owners Rita and the late Walter Mazur commissioned Sonnier to graphically design the oversized menu cover, which is placed in a dark blue leather folder. “Our guests like the menu,” said Rita Mazur. “It flows with the theme of our restaurant.” Located in Manitowish Waters, Blue Bayou is a seasonal, fine-dining restaurant offering Creole/Cajun cooking and American fare. The menu is divided into sections with whimsical headlines such as Appetizers to Appreciate, Soups to Warm the Cockles of One’s Heart and Duck Lovers Only. It’s changed every season with adjustments made during the summer depending upon the availability of products and customer requests. The restaurant links Sonnier’s art to its branding efforts. They offer giveaway menus that are a smaller replica of the larger one. The restaurant has T-shirts imprinted with the menu cover. continued on page 40

Franchises & Restaurateurs -

Don’t just print your menu.

Experience it. We work with you to design and produce your menu.

ur state-of-the-art menus are delivered outside of your restaurant, reaching your customers long before they are seated. With all A La Carte menus, your diners can experience your menu wherever they are: on the web, mobile phone, tablet, email and even in their mailbox. It all happens seamlessly within days of your new menu rollout.

How do we do it? We use technology to simplify the seemingly complex. We maximize your menu’s value by multiplying its exposure.

We provide a mobile web menu, easily read from desktop, tablets, iPads and smartphones.

Get Started Today.

We deliver your new menu via email and can make it even easier to share and read on the go with text and social media. or 262-290-3132

We place your menu in our Online Marketplace, where you simply log on to edit and re-order new menus.

We can provide a direct mail version of your menu, mailed to your customer’s homes or businesses within your targeted area.

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




continued from page 39 A cookbook of Chef Walter’s recipes is decorated with Sonnier’s prints. Michael Franzen took over Deanos Steakhouse in Belgium in February 2012. Although he reduced the portion size as well as the price of some of the items, he kept the menu the same. “This is a steak house,” he said. “Fifty percent or more of the menu is steaks.” Deanos’ menu includes several blue standout boxes featuring the most popular items that are still available from its 2008 opening. The menu is organized by meats and seafood and customers will find house specialties all in one place. A chalkboard lists the specials. Franzen also printed extra menus to give away with takeout orders, gift cards and for distribution to the wider Sheboygan area.

Bayou’s Mazur. Most of the time a verbal description of a dish or an explanation of its preparation or ingredients will sell an appetizer, soup, salad or entrée. But dessert is where a server’s description can really shine. “Often times you are full at the end of a meal, but if you explain desserts as you are clearing dishes, it’s like having a conversation,” added Mazur. “You will entice an order rather than hand them a menu to read the selections.”

end with $.00. If the price has just one or two digits following the dollar sign ($10), that represents significant attitude, something that’s popular at on-trend restaurants. Pine Lodge’s Benson noted: “In a higher end restaurant a plain dollar amount looks cleaner.” No matter what you choose, make sure that you stick to the same format throughout the entire menu. “We always encourage our clients to change pricing to $.99,” said Menu Masters’ Weege. “It may not seem like a lot initially, but over time the added 4 cents really impacts their bottom line. We also like rounding up and dropping the cents.” That dollar sign can be a deal breaker. “We prefer to drop all dollar signs and definitely discourage clients from using leader lines directing diners right to a lineup of prices,” she said. “Diners will simply scan down the page and select the cheapest item.”

Avoiding sticker shock

Embrace technology

Printed vs. verbal

“Traditionally, verbal menus are occasionally used with very high-end restaurants as a means to save the cost associated with daily changes in their menu offerings,” said A La Carte’s Reading. But there are exceptions. Shaffer’s Supper Club has no printed menu. Established in 1939, the restaurant serves Grandma Shaffer’s fried chicken and fish, as well as livers and gizzards, with the occasional chopped sirloin and hamburger for the committed carnivore. “Our verbal menu is about personalizing and talking with our customers,” said Amy Shaffer, owner of the Crivitz restaurant. “Our servers are able to explain our menu and answer our customers’ questions.” The regulars already know what they want when they walk in. “You can read a menu, but when someone describes a dish with feeling and passion like you can taste it, your guest wants to order it,” said Blue



It does no good to have the best items with mouthwatering descriptions if your pricing is off. Pricing a menu is a key part of your concept. Prices ending in $.88 say “discount.” That may be fine at Wal-Mart, but “it doesn’t feel good in the restaurant world,” said Rapp. Prices ending with $.95 are friendly and have a neighborhood feel while $.99 are still friendly, but “cheesier.” Prices ending in $.00 have more attitude. It’s almost like saying to the customer that if you can’t afford it don’t be here, although a study by Cornell University and the Culinary Institute refers to the “halo effect” where customers think that the food is a little better and of higher quality when prices


Although the research isn’t yet complete, young people today may read less than previous generations. To get their attention, technology “is showing up in an abundance of applications,” said Reading. “Most of us have seen restaurants using iPads for easily updated wine lists and specialty menu items.” QR codes are also making an appearance. “We think that when used thoughtfully, a QR code on a menu can help tell the restaurant’s story,” she said. “We like to see technology used to improve the experience and build a closer connection with your diner.” Touch screen menus are popular especially for “restaurants that offer an extensive beverage and wine menu, feature menu items at special times

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

“Digital signage was once the wave of the future, but is now the wave of the present.” – Sam Mobely Lodgevision

throughout the day or have entertainment or sports venues,” said Weege. Servers report that touch screen menus have improved their earnings. “Customers can enter the order for the second glass of wine or after dinner drink, even if their server is busy with another table,” she said. “Check totals go up and tips go up proportionately.” And tables turn around faster. “Digital signage was once the wave of the future, but is now the wave of the present,” said Sam Mobely, general manager of Lodgevision, a Wisconsin Dells based company that provides media solutions including digital signage. Digital signage is the “umbrella” from

which words and pictures are displayed on a screen, similar to the electronic billboards found along the highways. Using digital for your menu board has several advantages. With a few keystrokes, an operator can institute quick menu changes between meals. An operator “doesn’t have to climb on the counter to manually change the menu,” he said. For big franchises, corporate can change the boards from afar. Digital is easy to use and update. Your digital menu can contain moving and constantly changing pictures. You can have multiple products filling that same slot. Whether you provide print or digital, verbal or hard copy, menus are a critical part of the restaurant’s success. “Understand what pushes your customers’ buttons and then help them push the buttons” with a well-engineered menu, said Rapp. WR

Service is at the center of everything we do. It’s not just what we deliver, it’s how we deliver it. In our 110+ years of operation, we’ve learned a thing or two about what constitutes great service. That’s why our service goes far beyond delivering products, to delivering ideas and solutions that help our customers succeed. It’s also why we treat every customer with courtesy, respect, and genuine appreciation—an attitude that makes every delivery special. To learn more call (800) 968-6515 or visit

For a list of our Spring Food, Tabletop & Supplies events, please visit First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




Products You’ll See at Expo 2013 At the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo, 100s of suppliers (local and national) show off the latest trends and innovations in foodservice. They’re on-hand to answer your questions, help you get hands-on testing products and offer samples of their flavors. Ultimately, they can help you attract customers and boost the bottom line.


Here’s a preview of just some of what you’ll see in Milwaukee, March 11-13:

– New since March 2012

Alsum “Frozen” Sweet Corn

– Exclusive Expo Discount

Delicious sweet corn with amazing flavor and fresh off-the-cob taste. Delivers quality and freshness in a heat-and-serve product. A Wisconsin sweet corn grower for over 35 years.

CT Express Compact Combi-Ovens

Alsum Sweet Corn, Something Special from Wisconsin

The new compact full performance Combi by Alto-Shaam holds four full-size pans in less than 2 feet of counter space. Plus, it uses less energy and water. One year extra warranty included, a $300 value.


A mobile app that allows customers to listen to the audio of muted televisions. Keeps noise levels of facilities low. App software includes coupons, menus, specials and ads.

Boelter, Booth 602

Audivero, Booth 324

POS Lavu

Complete point-of-sale solutions that are totally wireless, cloud based technology. Compatible with Apple products. Includes free updates. Discounts available on credit card processing.


Sriracha Chicken Bites™

Made with 100% breast meat, prebrowned, panko coated, delivering a gentle Thai chili heat. A dusting of toasted sesame seeds adds unique flavor and appearance. Deep fry or bake.

Brakebush Brothers, Inc., Booth 316

Schell’s Firebrick

A mouthwatering Vienna Style Amber Lager, that has a nice Reddish-amber hue. Provides a delicious subtle sweetness with a touch of roastiness.

August Schell Brewing Company, Booth 556

Cash Registers

Affordable, with easy to use convenience and efficiency. Features include: age verification, check tracking, receipt logos, frequent items, data backup, inventory and time/attendance.

Cornerstone Processing Solutions, Booth 615

Croix Valley Bloody Mary Seasonings

Butter Mints

Individually wrapped smooth buttermints. This timeless dessert classic is always well received. The perfect after dinner mint. A great option for restaurant giveaways.

Azar Nut Co., Booth 752




Liquid concentrates that make the perfect Bloody Mary every time. Simply add a squirt or two to a glass of tomato or vegetable juice and toss in the vodka. Available in three flavors.

Croix Valley Foods, Something Special from Wisconsin

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Dexter Safe Splitter

Redd’s Apple Ale

A unique, multi-position stainless steel upright design cuts produce of all sizes and hardness. Increases leveraging power, resulting in increased productivity. Made in USA and NSF certified.

With a refreshing, just right sweet taste, the apple flavored golden ale has low malt and bitterness. Its crisp clean finish allows for the natural apple flavor to come through.

MillerCoors, Booth 646

Dexter-Russell, Inc., Booth 918

Orange Juice

Enjoy fresh squeezed juice, squeezed and bottled within 24 hours, or gourmet pasteurized juice, lightly pasteurized to retain fresh squeezed quality.


An effective degreaser that requires no gloves or goggles. Aluminum safe, biodegradable and has no unpleasant flashback or odor. Foam for vertical cling. Available dispensed or RTU.

Natalie’s Orchid Island Juice Co., Booth 331

EcoLab, Booth 909

Gourmet Country Pâtés and Headcheese

Gourmet pork delicacies—country pâtés and headcheese—are all natural, without fillers, jellies, preservatives, and are gluten and allergen free. Handcrafted in Milwaukee for over 60 years.

Glorious Malone’s Fine Sausage, Something Special from Wisconsin

Applewood Smoked Duck Bacon

Maple Leaf Farms offers naturally Applewood smoked, thick sliced, duck bacon with 61% less fat and 26% less sodium than traditional pork bacon. Made with boneless duck breast meat.

New Era Marketing, Booth 550

SkySpan Shade Systems

SkySpan waterproof shade systems are rated for 75 mph winds. “Daisychain” together to create large contiguous recreational spaces. Heaters, lights, misters, curtains and more are available.

GMB & Associates, LLC, Booth 327 Karlsburger Cream Soup Base

A great starter for favorite soup recipes. With a rich creamy flavor and hints of garlic and onion, it delivers a smooth consistent cream soup every time!

Karlsburger Foods, Inc., Booth 845

Manitowoc 0% Financing

Access cost-effective, innovative and energy-efficient foodservice equipment with 0% financing.

Kavanaugh Restaurant Supply, Inc., Booth 514

Point of Sale (POS)

Ordyx POS offers 24x7x365 support, inventory tracking, SMS notifications, time & attendance, remote voids/comps, iPhone/ iPad compatibility, loyalty & gift card programs and more. Free Advance Exchange Warranty on show orders.

Ordyx POS, Booth 533

Protect-All Commercial Flooring

A complete flooring system that resists animal fats, stains, grease and chemicals and retards bacteria growth. Reduces leg fatigue and provides water and flame protection.

Oscoda Plastics/Protect-All Commercial Flooring, Booth 641

Online Ordering

Order kitchen and bar equipment and supplies online—it’s convenient and secure. Special offer when you register for online ordering at the Expo!

Kessenich’s LTD, Booth 817

Orbit Payroll

Online employee management software covers: payroll outsourcing and tax filing, time/attendance, HR and benefits, document management, mobile apps and more. Free W2 Processing for 2013 on Expo orders!

Payroll Data Services, Booth 723

continued on page 44 First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




Cobblestreet Market™ BBQ Meats

Payroll Processing

High quality pork and beef is cooked slowly to perfection with signature seasonings. Skip the cost of in-house prep with a succulent starting point for the most indemand dishes.

Save time, money and hassle with payroll check processing, service allocations, tip processing, blended wage calculations and more. WRA Members save 10% on first year of payroll fees!

Reinhart FoodService, Booth 702

Schenck SC, Booth323

Energy Optimization System

Save energy with a 15% reduction in your electrical usage. Systematic approach includes voltage conditioning, electrical optimization, A/C compressor optimization and lighting solutions. Discounts available!

Total Energy Concepts, Booth 340 Sweet Basil Herb Base

Wisconsin field grown, full flavored Italian sweet basil is blended with olive oil, then frozen. Year-round availability. Use on pizza, sauces, dips, eggs, vegetables, dressings and more! 20% direct rebate on first two purchases!

Renaissance Farm, Something Special from Wisconsin Sanchez Specialties Sweet Salsa

Experience a journey your taste buds will thank you for. “First you taste the sweet, then you feel the heat!” Available in mild, medium and hot. 10% discount on show orders.

Sanchez Specialties, LLC, Something Special from Wisconsin

VTEC Infrared Charbroiler

Delivers increased production capacity and food quality, while decreasing gas usage. Patented grate design virtually eliminates flare-ups.

Woolsey & Associates, Booth 716

Wisconsin Restaurant Expo See these products and more at the Wisconsin Restaurant Expo!

March 11-13, 2013

Delta Center • Milwaukee, Wisconsin Exhibit Hall Hours Monday: 11am-5pm Tuesday: 10am-5pm Wednesday: 10am-3pm Your 3-day pass is only $30

WRA Members: Get FOUR FREE Registrations!




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Visit us at Booth #615

Check Scanner

Credit Card, ATM and POS Processing Services


Terminal with Printer

Remember when honesty, integrity and service were everything? We never forgot.

We strive to provide the highest quality, lowest cost solution while maintaining that personal touch unrivaled by larger companies.

Restaurant and Bar POS

We build bonds, not numbers. SAM4s and Casio Cash Registers

Visit our Showroom at: 1600 S. Main St. • Oshkosh, WI 54902 • 1-855-POS-ATMS •

You watch your business.

WRA will watch your back. Be a WRA member First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin





The Right Ingredients

WRA’s Food Code Reference Guide

nt Restaura esources

Operational R

Don't be caught off-guard by the new requirements

Learn about Food Code changes and get your questions answered

Seminar presented by James C. Mack, Department of Health Services Wisconsin Restaurant Expo Tuesday, March 12, 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Included with Expo registration

These changes are expected to take effect in July, 2013. WRA has created this quick reference guide for major changes to the Food Code. Chapter 1 – Definitions

The first chapter of the Wisconsin Food Code is dedicated to definitions that are used throughout the rest of the code. Many new and updated definitions will be included. Some new definitions, such as priority items or cut leafy greens are very important for operators to understand in order to comply with new requirements.

Old/Deleted term Critical violations are violations that if in noncompliance, are more likely than other violations to contribute to foodborne illness (FBI). This term has been removed from the code.

New Term or Addition Priority and Priority Foundation items have replaced “critical” as types of violations. A Priority item is an action or procedure that prevents, eliminates or reduces hazards that cause FBI’s.

Explanation These new definitions are a better way to evaluate and implement provisions within the Food Code. The old term “critical” was too inclusive. By dividing those provisions into Priority and Priority Foundation items, operators and inspectors have a better way to evaluate how a restaurant is complying with the code.

A Priority Foundation item is a provision that supports the compliance of Priority items. All remaining provisions in the code are called Core items, which promote general sanitation and good retail practices. Example: Properly washing your hands is a Priority item. Having a properly stocked handwashing sink is a Priority Foundation item. Keeping the sink in good repair is an example of a Core item Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF)

Time/Temperature Control for Safety (TCS) Foods

Foods that were referred to as Potentially Hazardous Foods (PHF) will now be called TCS - foods that require Time/Temperature Control for Safety. Sometimes these foods may be referred to as PHF/TCS Foods. This change in name better describes the reason these foods need to be given special attention.

Foods will be added to the PHF/TCS list of foods.

Cut leafy greens and cut fresh tomatoes will now require time/temperature control

Cut leafy greens (e.g. lettuces, spinach and cabbage) and cut fresh tomatoes will now have to be transported and kept at 41degrees F or less at all times, until service.




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Chapter 2 – Management and Personnel New/Changed Requirement


Exclusion of Employees – length of time: Any employee that exhibits sudden onset of vomiting and/or diarrhea must be sent home or “excluded” from working in the establishment and not allowed to return to work until 48 hours after the symptoms cease. The only exception to the 48 hour exclusion rule is for the employee to produce a doctor’s note that states the symptoms are caused by a non-contagious medical condition, such as pregnancy morning sickness.

Prior Food Codes required employees with symptoms of vomiting and diarrhea to be excluded for 24 hours. Because Norovirus has become one of the most common foodborne illnesses associated with sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea AND a person infected with Norovirus will “shed” the virus through bodily fluids for more than 24 hours after symptoms cease, recent science tells us that is it is important to have ill employees stay away from the restaurant for 48 hours. Individuals who have chronic gastrointestinal disease or are pregnant will be able to get a medical excuse to allow them to come to work despite the 48 hour requirement.

The Person in Charge must ensure that all employees are properly trained in food safety, including food allergy awareness. The food allergens employees must know are: milk, eggs, fin-fish, shellfish, tree nuts, wheat, peanuts and soybeans.

The number of customers with food allergies continues to increase. It is critical to provide employees with knowledge of common food allergens and methods for preventing allergic reactions. Employees must take questions and requests from customers with food allergies seriously and be aware of how to accommodate those guests, if possible. Visit for a previous Wisconsin Restaurateur article including useful references and information. Go to for info on allergen training.

Exclusion of employees: The “Big 5” list of FBI’s is now the “Big 6.” Norovirus has been added to the list of diagnosed FBI’s in which an employee must not be allowed to come to work.

Norovirus was added to the exclusion list of FBI’s because it is easily spread by the infected employee. If an employee is diagnosed with Norovirus, (or any of the Big 6) he/she can infect other employees or surfaces within the restaurant, potentially causing a serious outbreak.

Prewash sinks in new or extensively remodeled establishments and those establishments with a change of ownership will no longer be allowed to be used as a handwashing sink.

Employees must be able to wash their hands at all times a restaurant is in operation. Many times, a prewash sink is being used for its main purpose and is not available to employees to wash their hands.

Chapter 3 – Food New/Changed Requirement


Frozen, commercially processed and packaged raw animal foods can now be stored in a freezer with frozen Ready to Eat (RTE) food.

When a raw animal food is frozen and properly packaged, it is unable to contaminate frozen RTE food and does not have to be stored below RTE items anymore. This change does not allow raw animal products to be stored with or above RTE foods in coolers/refrigerator.

The process of non-continuous cooking of raw animal foods is now allowed, as long as proper cooling and reheating of the food is followed.

This new provision in the code puts parameters in place for a common industry practice. Food must be heated to 165 degrees F before service. A written plan must be in place that is approved by the regulatory authority.

Children’s menu items that contain ground meats cannot be served in a raw or undercooked form.

Even if a parent requests it, any item on a children’s menu which contains ground meat cannot be served raw or undercooked. Children are the most susceptible to the “bad bugs” that cause FBI’s.

Cook-Chill or Sous-Vide reduced oxygen packaging (ROP) processes will be allowed, but will require a detailed HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points) plan that meets specific heating and cooling requirements.

Foods stored in ROP have increased potential to foster the growth of Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes, two of the most virulent “bad bugs.”

New date marking exemptions. Commercially prepared deli salads (e.g. chicken, pasta or potato salads), cultured dairy products (e.g. yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk) and preserved fish products no longer have to be discarded within 7 days after opening.

New science has proven that these types of foods do not need to be used or discarded within 7 days to prevent the growth of Listeria monocytogenes. However all of these exempted foods must be prepared in commercial, licensed processing plants and be used or discarded by the expiration date on the package.

The Consumer Advisory for raw or undercooked animal products has been clarified, better describing how to comply with the “disclosure” and “reminder” portions of the code.

Raw or undercooked animal products still require identification (disclosure) and the warning (reminder) must still be available on menus or in other written form. However, the code is much clearer on what are acceptable ways to comply. Call the WRA Hotline at 800-589-3211 if you have questions on how to adapt your menu.

Mechanically tenderized meat has been added to the list of foods that must be cooked to an internal temperature of 155 degrees F.

Further research has shown that mechanical tenderization (aka needled or needle-tenderized) can expose the “inside” of a piece of meat to “bad bugs.” This exposure to contamination requires further cooking. These products can be served in an undercooked manner, only if linked to the Consumer Advisory.

see useful operations reference materials in “Members Only” WRA Hotline 800-589-3211

continued on page 48 First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




continued from page 47 Chapter 4 – Equipment, Utensils and Linens New/Changed Requirement


Rinsing equipment and utensils after sanitizing will now be allowed, but only when specific parameters are met.

Many in this industry feel that chemical sanitizers used on plates and glassware affect the taste of food or drink. Further rinsing of utensils AFTER they have been sanitized will be allowed IF applied by a warewashing machine that has been equipped to do so.

Chapter 5 – Water, Plumbing and Waste New/Changed Requirement


Toilets and urinals may no longer be grandfathered in and used as a “mop sink” in a restaurant if any food preparation takes place. The cleaning of mops and disposal of mop water must be done in a separate service sink or curbed facility equipped with a drain.

“Bad bugs,” such as Norovirus, are easily splashed and spread through floor cleaning tools or mop water.

Chapter 6 – Physical Facilities New/Changed Requirement


Non-heated, air-knife, high velocity hand dryers are now an acceptable way to dry hands.

Research shows these devices are as effective in drying hands as paper towel, and eliminate paper waste.

Insects, rodents and other pests shall be controlled to ELIMINATE their presence on premise. This is a change from ‘minimizing” the presence of pests on premise.

Operators need to actively inspect all items that enter the restaurant and prevent pests from hitching a ride. Operators must still work with a licensed pest control operator if poisons or chemicals are needed to eliminate pests.

Chapter 7 – Poisonous or Toxic Materials New/Changed Requirement


Ozone has been approved as a way to wash fruits and vegetables and extend shelf life.

Ozonated water has been found to be an effective way to extend shelf life/freshness of fruits and vegetables. Ozonated water has NOT been approved as a sanitizer for food contact surfaces or equipment.

Meet state requirements and protect your business. Make sure your staff is properly trained in food safety with ServSafe®, the leader in food safety training and certification. WRA members receive a discount! Visit or call 800-589-3211 for more information. WR




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Meet state requirements with the industry’s best training and certification.

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■ ServSafe® Manager Initial Review and Exam ■ Wisconsin State Food Manager’s Recertification ■ Online Food Safety – Initial and Recertification Get more info:

■ ServSafe® Food Handler Employee Training ■ ServSafe® Alcohol and Bartender Training – Online Available across Wisconsin. Contact WRA for locations or more information.

Food Safety and Bartender Certification Register today! •u r800.589.3211 First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin Resta ateur



In Memoriam


Wisconsin Restaurant Business News, continued from page 22

Wisconsin Restaurant Business News

Members in the News

The Justinian Society, an affiliate of the National Italian American Bar Association named Sanford D’Amato, of Sanford in Milwaukee, Italian of the Year. D’Amato accepted his award at the organization’s annual Columbus Day Awards Banquet and Scholarship Presentation on October 12th. The Justinian Society said the following about D’Amato, “Sanford has a history of success and continues that tradition through his work and personal life. He has received many accolades for his culinary genius… Sanford D’Amato is being honored as the Italian of the year in recognition of the outstanding creative and valuable services rendered by him Sandy D’Amato as a leader, visionary, and artist in the culinary world.” D’Amato and his wife Angie recently sold the restaurant to Justin Aprahamian, their Chef de Cuisine, and his fiancé Sarah Murdock who has also worked for Sanford in a variety of roles.


Deb Carey (pictured right), a founder and president of New Glarus Brewing Co., was part of a group of 15 small business owners who were invited to speak with President Obama and Vice President Biden on November 27th. Carey, who has been on the White House’s small business council since 2011, has attended President Barack Obama talks with participants before a meetings in Wisconsin and Washington, meeting with small business owners to discuss a balanced D.C. The small business owners addressed their business concerns and shared ideas for approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, in the dealing with the fiscal cliff. Carey, who was Roosevelt Room of the White House, Nov. 27, 2012. recognized as Wisconsin’s Small Business of the Year in 2011 (and was the national runnerup Small Business Person of the Year) by the United States Small Business Administration was asked by the President to give feedback on beer brewed in the White House kitchen.

Hotline Q&A

National Restaurant Association Board

Trey Hester


Wisconsin Restaurant Association member, board member and past board chairman, Trey Hester, began his term as a member of the National Restaurant Association board of directors on January 23, 2013. Hester, President & Chief Operating Officer of Rocky Rococo Restaurants, joined the WRA board of directors in 2002 and served as WRA Board Chairman in 2008. Hester succeeds John Kavanaugh, owner of the Esquire Club in Madison, who served as an NRA board member for nine years. Joe DeRosa, President of the DeRosa Corporation also served as an NRA board member for nine years prior to Kavanaugh. Both remain as emeritus members.



Craig “Moldy” Moldenhauer passed away at the age of 64 on December 7th. Born and raised in Manitowoc, he graduated from Manitowoc Lincoln High school in 1966. He sold wholesale foods to restaurants in addition to owning and operating C.C. Willows Supper Club in Valders, where he enjoyed serving friends behind the bar. He worked for several distributors, most recently for Reinhart Foodservice, before retiring in August, 2012. He was well respected by his colleagues and clients and known for his loyalty and sense of humor. He is survived by his wife Char, two children (Cayce and Curtis) and seven grandchildren.

Marsh Shapiro

Marshall “Marsh” Shapiro passed away on December 26th at the age of 74. Born in Madison, Shapiro attended West High School and was an accomplished athlete and student. After high school he served in the U.S. Navy for three years in Virginia where he worked as a cryptographer. After his discharge he enrolled at UW Madison and earned a degree in Radio, TV and Speech. A member of the Badger boxing and baseball teams, he also worked part-time jobs at the Post Office and as a bartender. From 1961 to 1985 he worked at WKOW Radio and Television which overlapped with his other career as owner/operator of the iconic Nitty Gritty Restaurant and Bar on campus (known as Madison’s Official Birthday Place) from 1968 to 2010. At Channel 27 he started as a production staffer and also worked as a news reporter and cameraman. He hosted a popular children’s show and was

Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

WRBN known as Marshall the Marshal. From 1975 to 1985 he worked as the station’s Sports Director before focusing full-time on the Nitty Gritty. After owning “the Gritty” for 40 years, Marsh retired in late 2009, passing on ownership to his sonin-law Lee Pier and business partner Eric Suemnicht. A well-known and charismatic figure around Madison, Shapiro was involved with numerous philanthropic organizations including the Madison Pen and Mike Club. He served on the boards of the Dane County Tavern League, the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and Second Harvest Foodbank of Wisconsin. With the help of close friend and classmate Irwin Smith, Shapiro created the Marshall the Marshal—American Family Children’s Hospital Fund. He is survived by his wife Susan, daughters Ragen and Lauren and two grandchildren. Charles “Chuck” Thompson passed away on October 23rd at the age of 76. Thompson was born in Chippewa Falls and attended Eau Claire Senior High School

Chuck Thompson

where he met his wife of 57 years, Dianne. He attended Eau Claire State Teacher’s College (now UW-Eau Claire) where he earned a BS in secondary education. His first teaching job was at Wisconsin Dells Junior High School before an interest in school administration led him to continue his education at UW-Superior and University of Colorado. His start in foodservice began when he was in charge of the school lunch programs while working as a junior high and elementary principal in the ‘60’s. With

Dianne, he purchased Edwards Pancake House in Lake Delton (the location, now Mr. Pancake, is still serving tourists 50 years later and is owned by his daughter Elizabeth Knoop). Active in many business interests, foundations, non-profits and boards for 40 years, he served on the WRA Board of Directors from 1977-1987. Additionally, he served on the board of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau for nearly a decade as well as the board of First Business Banchares, Inc. He was a partner in Wintergreen Resort and Conference Center (which is owned and operated by his daughter Julie Johnson). Thompson was also Wisconsin’s longest serving Secretary of Transportation. He had a longtime personal friendship with former Governor Tommy Thompson, having served as Treasurer for Tommy Thompson’s first campaign for Governor and serving as Thompson’s first Chief of Staff. Thompson also served as Commissioner of the Public Service Commission from 1986-1992. He is survived by his wife, daughters, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. WR

All New Design Gallery Ideas to Transform Your Space • Tips for budget-friendly interior and exterior design • Treatments for walls, floors and lights • Outdoor dining and landscaping ideas Stroll through 100s of exhibits – there’s equipment, signage, furniture and so much more!

March 11-13, 2013 Delta Center Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Register at First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




We asked restaurant operators from around the state:

The Back Burner

Simmer on this Ten thousand dollars: more training for the staff. One hundred thousand dollars: bring in specialized individuals to train waitstaff, bartenders, pastry and line cooks. The best thing to do is invest in your staff, it will increase your bottom line: less turnover, quality of food and services go up. Win-win for the guests, servers make more money, back of the house runs smoother and more efficiently and they are proud to work at your establishment. John Johnson, Culinary Instructor Madison College, Madison

If you had an extra $10,000 to spend on your business, what would you do? How about an extra $100,000? With ten thousand dollars... Just keep plodding away at the endless repairs and upgrades that seem to be never-ending. With one hundred thousand dollars, same thing times ten. John Hayes, Owner Red Ox Seafood & Steakhouse, Appleton

Finish all my half-done projects.

The ten thousand dollars would be wisely spent on marketing to bring in a wider range of customers. With one hundred thousand dollars, I would use it towards building updates and software for the restaurant to get better, more updated POS systems. With anything that might be left over, kitchen equipment would be replaced. Eddie John, Executive Chef America Restaurant, Ripon

Ten thousand dollars: I’d spend it on employee bonuses and a party. One hundred thousand dollars: same as above plus pay off some bills, building beautification and a digital menu board. Mark Gold, Owner Pizza Shuttle, Milwaukee

Loopy Kleich, Owner Loopy’s Saloon & Grill, Chippewa Falls

Extra ten thousand dollars would be spent on an expansion of our “garden to table” raised garden beds. Extra one hundred thousand dollars would be spent on expansion of the grounds to include more customer seating and native plantings. Cathy Cryor Burgweger, Owner Franklin Grove, Etc., Albany

Ten thousand dollars: install an additional POS system (currently have three). Expediency and efficiency is everything in running a successful business where customers don’t have to wait long and can eat, enjoy and relax before heading out the door! One hundred thousand dollars: begin the process of designing our second location! Laura Strackbein, Co-Owner/Business Manager Rochester Deli, Inc., Waukesha

Share with your fellow restaurateurs on the next Back Burner question—visit 52



Restaurateur • First Quarter 13


ve rtise r


Photo Credits


From top to bottom; left to right

A La Carte Restaurant Marketing...... p.39

Cover face................... Angelika Schwarz/iStockphoto

ATM Guys - IMS........................................ p.13

peppers.............................. Creativeye/iStockphoto bacon.....................Yulia Polischuk/iStockphoto chocolate. ................... malerapaso/iStockphoto

Batzner Pest Management, Inc.............. p.11

p.3 pancakes. .................... Chris Elwell/iStockphoto

Brakebush Brothers, Inc.......................... p.19 Cornerstone Processing Solutions, Inc..... p.45 Credible Consulting................................. p.20 Dierks Waukesha.......................... back cover

New benefit for WRA members!

p.4 Frying pan....................... ryan burke/iStockphoto graph................................... vaeenma/iStockphoto pickled veggies......Radu Sebastian/iStockphoto grapefruit. .............Mariusz Blach/iStockphoto dragonfruit...................... lumineux/iStockphoto wine.............................................serts/iStockphoto barrel.................................. Floortje/iStockphoto

Create Your Own Employee Handbook

p.10-11 capital..........................Kevin Smart/iStockphoto chef cooking....................... gerenme/iStockphoto

EWH Small Business Accounting S.C.... p.9

broken dishes. ..............Erna Vader/iStockphoto p.12

GNP Company / Gold’n Plump................ p.35

employee file............. Micah Young/iStockphoto p.18-19

Gordon Food Service............................... p.41

beer.......................Julián Rovagnati/iStockphoto chocolate with beer.......... Riorita/iStockphoto chocolate bacon......Dirk Richter/iStockphoto

Heartland Payment Systems..................... p.1

cheese. ................................. Floortje/iStockphoto p.20 martini shaker....................... alicat/iStockphoto

Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company...... p.5 Menu Masters............................................ p.37 Mississippi River Distilling Co.................. p.2

blue cheese....................Juanmonino/iStockphoto p.24-25 Piano Bar.........Denis Tabler/ Band. ..............Aija Lehtonen/

A good handbook lets employees know what’s expected and acts as a defense in employment lawsuit.

p.28 Tip...........................photowind/ Group..............Corepics VOF/

WRA’s electronic template includes:

Red Wing Software.................................. p.29

p.32-33 EKG..................... jeff Metzger/

Reinhart FoodService............................... p.31

p.34 Doctor. ......Marcin Balcerzak/

Reliable Water Services........................... p.15

p.37 Menu Ladies................Lena S/

Menu Group. ......Corepics VOF/

Sanimax....................................................... p.25

p.40-41 Menu Couple. .. Yuri Arcurs/ Tablet Menus.........optimarc/

Text It Advertising. ................................. p.23

It’s easy to use!


Rishi Tea. .................................................... p.33

Society Insurance........... inside front cover

• Info on employment law • Sample policies • Notes of caution • Examples to follow


Create your handbook in WRA Members Only at

Egg.......Sandra Gligorijevic/ p.48 Meal Prep. ........ Yuri Arcurs/ Dessert Prep................. arazu/

Vern’s Cheese, Inc...................................... p.21

p.50 Official White House Photo.............Pete Souza

Windy Water Inc......................................... p.7


Not a WRA Member? Call 800.589.3211 today for more info

Gold Coins. ......Marc Dietrich/

First Quarter 13 • Wisconsin




Fresh Success! D

ierks k Waukesha understands the demands of operating

a successful restaurant and can help you navigate the difficult re waters off today’s t d ’ marketplace. Providing you with 15,000 of the very freshest products available is only the beginning.

Check us out at our “Journey to Profitability” food show April 2nd, 3rd & 4th. Call for details.



Call us today to find out more of the Dierks difference . . . here’s to your success!




Restaurateur • First Quarter 13

Wisconsin Restaurateur - First Quarter 2013  
Wisconsin Restaurateur - First Quarter 2013  

The magazine of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. Features articles include; Food Pairings; Engineering Your Menu for Maximum Profitabil...