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WA S H I N GTO N

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{ Paid Sick Leave Q & A } { The healthcare ruling } { 1183 innovations }

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Help sustain the future of our industry by supporting culinary students’ programs and scholarships at our annual golf tournament!

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Inside

www.WRAhome.com

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Features 10

Health care ruling: What it means for your restaurant Earlier this summer, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the controversial health care law. Find out if the requirements apply to your business and what to expect from the law moving forward

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Restaurants, retailers and craft distilleries creating benefit through 1183 Private labels are the key to larger profits.

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Compliance is on the menu: Preparing for Seattle’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance If you’re operating a restaurant in Seattle, you’ve probably got questions about the paid sick/safe leave ordinance that will change the way you do business. Find everything you need to get ready for the Sept. 1 deadline

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Other stories HOW DO I

HOW DO I

CALCULATE

CALCULATE

ACCRUAL WHAT IS A HOW DO ARE THERE SAFEGUARDS ACCRUAL

RATES? FULL-TIME I COMPLY? AGAINST ABUSE? RATES? EQUIVALENT HOW DO I WHAT IS A

ARE EMPLOYEE? ARE ACCRUAL FULL-TIME ARE SEASONAL

SEASONAL

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CALCULATE

SEASONAL

EQUIVALENT EMPLOYEES

SEATTLE’S NEW WHAT

COVERED? I COMPLY? COVERED? RATES? EMPLOYEE? COVERED? HOW DO I IS SHIFT-SWAPPING ALLOWED?HOW DO I EMPLOYEES

CALCULATE

PAID SICK LEAVE

CALCULATE

IS A HOW DO ARE THERE SAFEGUARDS ACCRUAL RATES? FULL-TIME I COMPLY? AGAINST ABUSE? RATES? EQUIVALENT HOW DO I WHAT IS A

ACCRUAL

ARE ARE EMPLOYEE? FULL-TIME ARE REQUIREMENTS ACCRUAL SEASONAL

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SEASONAL HOW DO EMPLOYEES EQUIVALENT EMPLOYEES EMPLOYEE? COVERED? COVERED? I COMPLY? COVERED? HOW DO I IS SHIFT-SWAPPING ALLOWED? HOW DO I CALCULATE CALCULATE ACCRUAL WHAT IS A HOW DO ARE THERE SAFEGUARDS ACCRUAL RATES? FULL-TIME I COMPLY? AGAINST ABUSE? RATES? EMPLOYEES

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EQUIVALENT EMPLOYEE?

WA S H I N GTO N

RESTAURANT

August 2012

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{ Paid Sick Leave Q & A } { The healthcare ruling } { 1183 innovations }

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Should I upgrade my mobile phone?

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News Briefs

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Member survey reminds the WRA of its mission

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Welcome to your first day on the job

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WRA member survey sheds light on what restaurants need most

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We are excited to introduce you to your new claims management company, ERNWest

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Reach out and hire a ProStart Student

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Calendar/New Members

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Marketplace

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Remove the strings! How to build guest loyalty with email

ARE THERE SAFEGUARDS ACCRUAL

RATES? FULL-TIME I COMPLY? AGAINST ABUSE? RATES? EQUIVALENT HOW DO I WHAT IS A SEASONAL

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On the cover Keep your restaurant current! This issue will guide you through the tough issues such as Paid Sick Leave, the healthcare ruling and even give you some helpful 1183 innovations that other restaurateurs have implemented.

7/25/2012 4:30:13 PM

August 2012 | 5


EDITORIAL STAFF Anthony Anton, Publisher Lex Nepomuceno, Executive Editor Heather Donahoe, Managing Editor Shawn Sullivan, Contributing Editor Sheryl Jackson, Research Editor Lisa Ellefson, Art Director WRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Bret Stewart, Chair Center Twist Jim Rowe, Vice Chair Consolidated Restaurants Robert Bonina, Secretary/Treasurer Washington Athletic Club Steve Simmons, Past Chair S & S Hospitality, Inc. Nancy Swanger, WRAEF President WSU

Should I upgrade my mobile phone? By Lex Nepomuceno, Executive Editor Busy professionals often ask themselves "Should I upgrade?" This age-old question can be related to a mobile device, a computer system or an oven, but the fundamentals behind the decision making process remain the same. At its core, "Should I upgrade?" stems from a combination of two perspectives: "Does what I have now serve its purpose sufficiently?" and "Is this something I really want?" I’m focusing on mobile phone upgrades because most restaurateurs have mobile devices and face this question on a regular basis. Moreover, the iPhone will likely receive a major upgrade this fall while numerous manufacturers release new versions of Android phones each month.

WRA EXECUTIVE TEAM Anthony Anton President and CEO Teran Petrina VP Internal Operations Bob Decker Director of Membership Bruce Beckett Director of Government Affairs Lex Nepomuceno Director of Communications & Technology Lyle Hildahl Director of Education

You may have the latest version of the iPhone. After all, you always get the latest version because you love gadgets. However, you just booked the annual family vacation and have to hire additional wait staff. Consequently, you decide to forego the new iPhone and stick with what you have because it serves its purpose.

Victoria Olson Director of Business Development

1. Look at the new features that would only be available to you if you upgrade your phone. Oftentimes, when hardware upgrades focus more on speed and capacity, as in the case of the upgrade from iPhone 3G to iPhone 3GS, the software upgrade that launches along with the device gives you pretty much all the new features you need for free on your existing phone. 2. How much will you have to pay in upgrade charges? Early upgrade penalties and timeframes vary with each mobile provider, but usually, after two years, you are out of the woods and can get a new phone without additional charges. 3. What do I do with my existing phone? If you have a "hand-me-down" structure already set, you are probably conditioned to upgrade. Nevertheless, if you don't know what to do with your existing phone, you need to decide if you plan on keeping it or reselling it at sites like eBay or gazelle.com. Depending on the device’s condition and age, many mobile users find reselling their phone pays for much of the upgrade.

510 Plum St. SE, Ste. 200 Olympia, WA 98501-1587 T 360.956.7279 | F 360.357.9232 www.WRAhome.com

Letters are welcomed, but must be signed to be considered for publication. Please include contact information for verification. Reproduction of articles appearing in Washington Restaurant Magazine are authorized for personal use only, with credit given to Washington Restaurant Magazine and/or the Washington Restaurant Association.

But then, after the new iPhone is launched, you discover Apple didn't just tweak the device -- it completely revamped the design and specifications. The reviews come in and the latest iPhone is touted as the greatest device ever. All of a sudden, you "have to have" this new gadget. So how do you decide?

Articles written by outside authors do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of the Washington Restaurant Association, its Board of Directors, staff or members.

These three questions are important indicators on upgrade decisions. There is, however, one more question you need to ask yourself before pulling the trigger: “Can I wait one more year?”

Products and services advertised in Washington Restaurant Magazine are not necessarily endorsed by the WRA, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the WRA, its Board of Directors, staff or members.

This last question ultimately drives the others because it addresses all objective decision points in a very subjective manner. When you ask yourself if you can wait, you are basically prioritizing the facts and weighing them against your "wants."

ADVERTISING INQUIRIES MAY BE DIRECTED TO: Ken Wells Allied Relations Manager 425.457.1458 ken.wells@WRAhome.com Washington Restaurant Magazine is published monthly for Association members. We welcome your comments and suggestions. email: news@WRAhome.com, phone: 800.225.7166. Circulation: 6,310.

6 | www.WRAhome.com

If you CAN wait one more year, it means the added features and hardware upgrades simply aren't compelling enough to pay an extra few hundred dollars. But if you CAN'T wait one more year, it means the changes are sizable enough to make a noticeable impact on how you use your device. So, the next time you're faced with the quandary of "to upgrade or not to upgrade," just answer the question "Can I wait?" Do that and you’ll feel confident you made the right decision.  


Primary Source of Information | News Briefs WRA joins tip pooling lawsuit against U.S. Dept. of Labor

WRA has joined a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor, challenging regulations that exclude kitchen staff from tip pools. The suit was brought by a coalition of restaurant associations, desiring these regulations be declared unlawful. The WRA has long advocated for tip pooling, an allowance that would deliver a greater amount of pay equity between tipped and non-tipped employees. The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court in Portland, asks the court to declare recent DOL regulations prohibiting back-of-the-house (kitchen) workers from sharing in tips left by customers unlawful and not applicable to restaurants that pay employees who share the tips at least federal or the applicable (if higher) state minimum wage with no tip credit. For the full story, go to http://wra.cc/tips0712. 

Operators to increase capital spending through 2012

Restaurateurs are planning for more capital spending throughout the rest of the year, the National Restaurant Association reports. According to the NRA’s most recent Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, 55 percent of operators said they plan to make capital expenditures for equipment, expansion or remodeling within the next six months. The figure is up three percentage points over last month’s survey level. Read more at http://wra.cc/capspend712. 

Plan now for health care law

Restaurateurs need to begin preparing to implement the health care law’s requirements for employers even though key regulatory guidance is still missing and legislative changes may be necessary. The National Restaurant Association’s labor and workforce team suggests that restaurateurs stay on top of new regulations, delve into their workforce demographics to understand what parts of the law affect them, talk to their insurers about possible changes in benefit-plan design, and think about how to communicate with employees about the law. “This law will raise lots of questions, and many employees will be turning to their employers for general questions about health care coverage,” said Michelle Neblett, senior director of labor and workforce policy for the National Restaurant Association. For details, go to http://wra.cc/hc0712. 

Corn woes could affect feed prices, protein supply

The ongoing drought in the Midwest is threatening the nation’s corn crop, which will result in even higher food costs for the restaurant industry, a commodities expert said. According to John Barone, CEO of Fairfield, N.J.-based Market Vision Inc., just 40 percent of this year’s corn crop is rated good to excellent, compared with 66 percent in the same period a year ago. This should, he said, result in higher feed costs for farmers and increased food prices due to beef, poultry and dairy shortages. For the full article, go to http://wra.cc/cornwoes. 

National Restaurant Association unveils new branding initiative, logo

The fresh, new visual identity will help build cohesiveness in the NRA’s brand structure, and is a step in its multiyear strategic plan to strengthen the connection and messaging to core constituents. The new brand visual is designed to reflect the richness and diversity of the $632 billion restaurant industry and its nearly 13 million employees. The new logo which will be applied to all the organization’s programs, advocacy, services and products this year. The NRA sought input from industry professionals, state restaurant associations and policy makers to create a logo concept that resonates with a wide audience and that illustrates the restaurant and foodservice industry in multiple ways. or more information on the National Restaurant Association’s branding initiative, including videos, visit www. restaurant.org/brand. 

August 2012 | 7


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7/19/2012 2:28:28 PM


Industry Outlook | WRA President & CEO

Member survey reminds the WRA of its mission

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very two years, the WRA launches a massive membership survey. We hire an outside company to randomly interview more than 600 members to ensure we get an unfiltered idea of members’ needs, perceptions and desires. We use this survey as a road map to decision making, a lighthouse for strategic direction and a report card. Thank you to everyone who took 30 minutes or so to help strengthen the Association. The WRA’s leadership team scoured the 800 pages of results and analysis and presented the results of the survey to the WRA Board of Director’s at the end of July, but please allow me to share with you just a few of the lessons. A FEW OF THE WORKS STILL IN PROGRESS

ƒƒ The WRA’s work to provide excellence across the state

through a local representative is not yet complete. Survey respondents in areas with strong performing area coordinators (ACs) indicated a stronger connection to, knowledge of and satisfaction with the WRA. Areas with high AC turnover or unfilled AC positions were less likely to be “very satisfied.” Too many people commented, “I have never met my area rep.” We will continue working to make improvements in that area. ƒƒ And finally, we heard from members loud and clear regarding minimum wage. Living with the nation’s highest minimum wage for 15 years without any of the exceptions allowed in 44 other states has not tempered the desire for relief. In an open-ended question, more than 90 percent of the WRA’s membership rated either minimum wage or tip credit (or both) in their top five legislative priorities. Several commented on the pain this was causing in their operations. SUCCESSES WORTH CELEBRATING

ƒƒ In 2011, the WRA took on a new direction with our

Communications department, based on the prior survey feedback, and it paid off. Seventy-five percent of you now view the WRA or one of its tools as your primary source of industry information—an all-time high and a 23-point jump over the last survey. ƒƒ On every survey since 1998, the WRA has asked members if they are satisfied with their membership, and this year 93 percent responded “YES”--OUR HIGHEST RATING EVER!!! Additionally, our “Very Satisfied” responses came just shy of setting a new record.

Anthony Anton, president and CEO

We are humbled by the positives and steeled in our resolve to improve our services to “Help Our Members Succeed.” For those of you who know me, please forgive my repeat of a little of my family past for context. My dad and uncle opened their first restaurant in the early sixties and just retired a few years ago. As a result, we often share industry stories and anecdotes on family get-togethers. Recently, my dad handed me a copy of a typed up story (yes from a typewriter) that has likely been passed around the Greek restaurant community for years. OVERHEARD BY A LOCAL ACCOUNTANT….. A Greek restaurant owner in the South Puget Sound had his own bookkeeping system. He kept his accounts payable in a cigar box on the left hand side of his cash register, his daily cash returns in the cash register, and his receipts for paid bills in another cigar box on the right. When his youngest son graduated as a chartered accountant, he was appalled by his father’s primitive methods. “I don’t know how you can run a business that way,” he said. “How do you know what your profits are!?!” “Well, son,” the father replied, “when I got off the boat from Greece, I had nothing but the pants I was wearing. Today, your brother is a doctor, your sister is a speech therapist and you are an accountant. Your mother and I have a nice car and a nice home. We have a good business and everything is paid for. So, you add all that together, subtract the pants and there’s your profit.”

This story encapsulates much of why I love my job so much. We are an industry of opportunity. An industry that supports families, sends kids to college and keeps the American Dream alive. From my conversations with restaurant operators, I know this scenario applies to many of our WRA members. And honestly, that’s why the WRA team works late hours and under more stress than is probably healthy. We have a passion for meeting our mission of “Helping Our Members Succeed.” The whole team is honored to serve the industry, and we appreciate that 93 percent of you recognize our efforts. We’re committed to raising that number even higher. 

August 2012 | 9


Health care ruling: What it means for your restaurant By Elissa Elan, National Restaurant Association

In late June, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the 2010 health care law’s individual mandate. The court called the mandate a tax, under Congress’ tax-and-spend authority, as cited in the U.S. Constitution. It also ruled that states can choose whether to participate in the Medicaid expansion under the law, and that the federal government cannot coerce them to participate by threatening to pull the funding for their current Medicaid program if they refuse. So what does this mean for the foodservice industry? All of the employer requirements stand. Beginning in 2014, employers with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees must offer affordable health-care coverage that is of minimum value to their full-time workers and their dependents or face potential penalties. Called applicable large employers, they must also provide

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specific information to the Internal Revenue Service regarding the kinds of plans they offer and to whom they offered coverage. Furthermore, the employees must receive the same information the IRS does. For employers with 200 or more full-time employees, they must automatically enroll those full-time employees into least-cost coverage no more than 90 days after hire. Rules for this, however, also aren’t expected until 2014. In addition, the law will require employers to become a resource for employees, especially where it concerns the state exchanges. Notice requirements on the exchanges will begin in March 2013.


Also, new taxes were passed and existing ones increased to “pay for” the law. A new health insurance tax on insurers will be passed down to small businesses and individuals in the form of higher premiums. Another increase, in payroll tax, will impact many small business owners and now will include net investment income, including capital gains. Americans must purchase minimum essential coverage for themselves and their dependents. Because the individual mandate was upheld, employees will be responsible for purchasing coverage or pay a tax on their tax returns for not doing so. There are some exceptions for those who don’t earn enough to file their taxes, and other allowances, but for the most part, all Americans will be required to have “minimum essential coverage.” They could obtain that coverage through their employer, through the state exchange, Medicaid, Medicare or certain other state and federal programs. Also, those individuals who are under the age of 30 can purchase catastrophic coverage to satisfy this requirement. Still, that type of coverage does not satisfy the employer mandate. The impact of the ruling on the Medicaid Expansion is still to be determined. This will depend on whether a state chooses to participate in the expansion program or not. Medicaid is a joint federal-state program that originally was designed to help certain people, such as poor youth and the disabled. The health care law greatly expanded that eligibility to anyone with income below 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Many states are concerned about their ability to fund such an expansion and the impact this would have on their budgets.

Some restaurant employees could be impacted as to where they obtain their minimum essential coverage — Medicaid, exchange or employer — depending on whether or not they qualify for Medicaid under the new eligibility requirements. If a state chooses not to participate in the expansion program, an employer’s plan could be impacted as more full-time employees trigger penalties if the plan is “unaffordable” for those employees under the law. Exchanges - another decision for states. Will each state set up its own exchange, engage in a partnership to run it jointly with the federal government, or will the Department of Health and Human Services run the federal exchange in the state? Under the law, states are required to establish and operate an exchange — a marketplace for the individual and small group insurance markets. Exchanges may be a place where restaurant operators could purchase small group plans for their businesses or where individuals find coverage. The idea is that exchanges would pool people together to reduce the cost of coverage for everyone. At first, only those with 50 or fewer people to insure can purchase coverage on the state exchanges, but each state may choose to allow large group plans — 51+ or 100+ lives insured — in future years. If a state does not choose to set up an exchange or partner up with HHS, the federal government will operate one for them. If they do choose to set up their own or partner with HHS, states will be given flexibility in how the exchanges operate. Furthermore, each state may be different. While only a few have passed legislation or issued executive orders establishing exchanges, most states have accepted federal planning grants to develop an exchange. And several key deadlines are fast approaching. By mid-November, states that want to partner up with HHS will have to submit a blueprint for their plans and will have to prove to HHS by Jan. 1, 2013, that they will be ready to operate their exchanges by Jan. 1, 2014. The NRA is committed to your understanding of the law’s requirements and its effect on your business. To understand the basics, visit the NRA’s online Health Care Knowledge Center. If you’re interested in how the regulations are developing, visit our Health Care Policy page. We’ll continue to keep you informed about current health-care implementation issues. Email us at healthcare reform@ restaurant.org. 

August 2012 | 11


Restaurants, retailers and craft distilleries creating benefit through 1183 By Shawn Sullivan Turn on the TV, read the newspaper, or listen to your favorite radio show and you will hear the same theme. Initiative 1183 resulted in higher prices, product shortages and a lack of competition. What you won’t hear are examples of how the system is working, or how some restaurants have negotiated much lower prices. You definitely won’t hear about restaurants, retailers and craft distilleries using Initiative 1183 to gain a competitive advantage through innovation. Restaurants like Duke’s Chowder House and El Gaucho serve as two shining examples of how to use the market to keep prices low, and get product shipped directly from the manufacturer. John Moscrip, Senior Vice President of Duke’s Chowder House, is very passionate about his restaurants. He prides himself in going the extra mile to make sure every customer enjoys their experience at Duke’s, and that passion led him to create his own private label bourbon with Woodford Reserve. “We were in the process of mixing up our cocktail list,” John said. “We really wanted a smooth, vanilla and buttery Manhattan that was really drinkable and approachable.” John partnered with master distiller Chris Morris to blend the perfect bourbon, and now Duke’s uses that private label bourbon as their flagship spirit.

a colorless, tasteless and odorless alcohol.” Instead of focusing on the supply, El Gaucho is focusing on the final product, even infusing vodka themselves at one location. “If customers care at all, they care about the taste and the value,” Chad said. “We won an award for the best cocktail in Bellevue—and it is killer—using craft distilled vodka.” On the supply side, companies like Costco and Dark Moon Artisan Distillery are working on supply alternatives to help support the craft distillery and private label markets. Costco is exploring the option of delivering product direct to restaurants through it Costco Business Centers in Fife and Lynnwood. “We are still studying it,” said Patrick Callans, vice president of business centers for Costco Wholesale. “Are the business centers best, or do we better serve our customers with a distributor license?” Either way, Costco is planning on some type of vehicle to deliver their Kirkland Signature brand directly to restaurants. “Within the next several months, we will be in the delivery business in a big way,” Patrick said. Look for a big announcement from Costco sometime very soon.

El Gaucho took a similar approach as Duke’s with their well and premium vodka, and even went a step further with their drink menu. “When 1183 came around, we began discussing a private label vodka,” El Gaucho President and COO Chad Mackay said. “We realized we could provide a premium—beyond well—vodka from a Washington-based distillery.”

Dark Moon Artisan Distillery is taking their product on the road. They are hosting regional tastings, and will gladly run an event or promotion at your restaurant. “As John and I travel the state bringing Still Waters Vodka to the new retail channel we are overwhelmed, both at the reception our product is getting and at the number of folks who are behind Buy Local,” said co-owner Kathy Alley on her Facebook page. “Not just local spirits, there is a movement to support local business that we see everywhere we go.”

Using a craft distillery in Washington allowed El Gaucho to save money by avoiding retail and distributor license fees. It also affords better quality control, improved customer service from a local supplier and fits their business model of providing fresh, locally sourced products on the menu.

As the transition from the state monopoly system to the free market progresses, restaurants, craft distilleries and retailers will continue to find creative ways to lower prices, increase sales and get local products into the hands of consumers.

Once the initiative took effect, Chad also realized two important facts. Customers are not dedicated to the brand of alcohol so long as they enjoy the taste, and that his staff has the ability to influence what his customers drink. “We actually removed all of the brand names on our cocktail list,” Chad said. “Most of the vodka outside of Washington is coming from the same plant, and by definition, vodka is

By working together, these restaurants and businesses have taken advantage of the market created by Initiative 1183. All of them hope programs like these take off for different reasons, but everyone agrees that using the market to force pricing corrections will benefit everyone. 

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Welcome to your first day on the job By Jack Goldberg

ƒƒ Create a checklist – Designate who is responsible for each

“I hope I made the right decision.” “What was that person’s name again?” “Where will my work station be?” “Will I be able to make friends?” “What should I wear?” “I really want to make a good impression.” Anyone who has started a new job knows what it feels like to be the “new person.” As managers, we sometimes forget how stressful it can be for the new employee. We almost immediately start thinking, “I need this person brought up to speed as soon as possible. We have work to do!” Your new employee’s first thought is “Can someone please show me where the rest room is?” The good news is companies are starting to hire again. The bad news is companies are out of practice. Here is a refresher for those companies who haven’t done a lot of hiring:

ƒƒ Be ready – Make sure new employees have uniforms,

computer access, keys, and whatever else they need to be self-sufficient. Show them you took the time to get ready for them. ƒƒ Create a plan – Before an employee is hired, all of the key players need to work together to develop a meaningful plan on not only how employees are introduced to their job, but also to the company.

training aspect you want your new hire to know and by what date it is expected. Share this with the new hire so he is involved and can see who is helping him through this transition. Give him a copy of the job description. ƒƒ Give each new employee a mentor or a buddy – A mentor helps connect the new employee with her team. This person gives the new hire a place to ask questions and helps define your culture: acceptable work hours and dress, how to get supplies, where to get lunch, etc. ƒƒ Introduce the new employee to everyone – Have a new hire breakfast or lunch. Give everyone at the company a chance to come together to meet the new employees. ƒƒ Make it ongoing – What happens next week or next month? Don’t forget about the new employees. Maybe have a “new hire lunch” once a quarter for all new hires to get together and meet with management to ask questions. ƒƒ Give the employee something meaningful to work on during his first day – This gives the new employee a sense of accomplishment and a readiness to take on more. ƒƒ Let new employees learn about other teams – Create a jobshadowing program where new employees spend an hour with another team so they can fully understand their role within the organization. ƒƒ Give them a map – Give new employees a floor plan of the work area that includes names of co-workers; this gives them names to go with faces. ƒƒ Follow-up – At the end of the new employee’s first week, set aside some time to talk with her about how she is doing so far. What else does she need? ƒƒ Develop a list of FAQ’s – Instead of having new employees figure out what questions to ask, be prepared. Employees tend to ask the same questions when they start: Where should they park? Where can they find those commonlyused documents? Who places supply orders? What about expense reports? Where are those restrooms? Have a list of definitions if your company uses a lot of acronyms. ƒƒ Create a new employee “gift pack” – For example, wrap their apron around something with the company logo (a water bottle?). It makes their first day a bit more “celebratory” and is a fun, inexpensive way to make them feel special. ƒƒ Say “hi” – It’s the fastest and easiest way to make a new person feel welcome and wanted. Taking care of our new hires means new employees feel welcomed and engaged faster. They will look forward to coming to work, and will be productive more quickly and hopefully become key players within our organization. If you need assistance in this area just let us know.  August 2012 | 13


WRA member survey sheds light on what restaurants need most The results are in on the 7th biennial WRA membership survey! Every other year, the WRA asks member how we’re doing and how we can do better. The 2012 survey revealed plenty of great information that we’re already using to make your membership even more valuable! Here’s an overview of what members told us this year!

93%

of WRA members are satisfied with their membership!

Overall most important WRA services Top of Mind

2001

2003

2005

2007

2009

2012

RETRO

47%

51%

58%

68%

56%

58%

GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

7%

24%

37%

27%

19%

34%

Up 15%

MAGAZINE

30%

23%

31%

9%

5%

29%

Up 24%

89% 75% 71% 56% 47% 14 | www.WRAhome.com

of respondents spend

at least 5 minutes reading Washington Restaurant Magazine of members indicated Washington

Restaurant Magazine is their primary source of industry information!

of members believe the WRA

should get more involved in local government issues. of members said they would hire

Would you?

a ProStart-trained teen.

of members are aware of their area

coordinator. Do you know who yours is? If not, call 800.225.7166 to find out!


Your menu is fabulous, your staff is the best‌ protect your reputation.

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Compliance is on the menu: Preparing for Seattle’s paid sick and safe leave ordinance Created by Kirsten Daniels of Cairncross & Hempelmann with contributions by WRA’s Josh McDonald On Sept. 12, 2011, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved an ordinance, which created a new chapter in the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). The new chapter (SMC 14.16), referred to as the Seattle Sick and Safe Leave Ordinance, provides minimum requirements for employers with employees who work within the Seattle city limits to provide those employees with paid sick and safe leave. The ordinance also establishes penalties, remedies, and enforcement procedures for employers who fail to do so. The ordinance goes into effect on Sept. 1, 2012. The ordinance is 29 pages long and contains 51 separate sections, some of which contain complex definitions and/ or references to other state or federal laws. This compliance “menu” is designed to give you an overview of the ordinance’s requirements to assist you with identifying and resolving issues. However, this guide is not intended to, nor should it be used as, a substitute for legal counsel. So, when in doubt, call your legal professional for advice.

Appetizers: Coverage and Scope 1. Which employers does the ordinance cover? All employers, regardless of size, who have one or more employees who perform work within the Seattle city limits are covered by some aspects of the ordinance, such as the antiretaliation provisions. 2. Which employers are required to provide paid sick and safe leave under the ordinance? Employers with five or more “full-time equivalent” (“FTE”) employees – regardless of where the employees work - are required to provide paid sick and safe leave to eligible employees. Employers operating for less than two years are exempted from this requirement. Example: “Bean Me Up, Scotty” is a chain of Star-Trek themed, drive-thru coffee kiosks. Bean Me Up has 15 kiosks in King, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties and employs a total of 25 FTE employees. Only one FTE employee works within the Seattle city limits. Bean Me Up is therefore covered by the ordinance’s paid leave requirement.

3. What is a “full-time equivalent” (FTE) employee? “Full-time equivalent” (FTE) refers to the number of hours worked for compensation that add up to one full-time employee, based on either a 40-hour work week or on how the specific employer defines “full-time” in writing or practice. Example 1: The employee handbook for Thai restaurant Fit To Be Thaied states that a full-time employee is one who works at least 40 hours per week. Fit to Be Thaied employs three fulltime employees and four part-time employees, each of whom work 25 hours per week. Fit To Be Thaied therefore employs 5.5 FTE employees. Example 2: The employee handbook for Sand In Your Shoes Seafood Bistro states that full-time employees are entitled to benefits. The benefits section of the handbook explains that full-time employees are those who work a minimum of 35 hours per week. Sand In Your Shoes employs two full-time employees and 17 part-time employees, each of whom work 14 hours per week. Sand In Your Shoes therefore employs 8.8 FTE employees. 4. I employ temporary workers, workers from placement agencies and workers outside the City of Seattle. Whom do I include when calculating FTE employees under the ordinance? Employers must count all compensated hours for all employees from the previous calendar year, including:

ƒƒ Full-time employees; ƒƒ Part-time employees; ƒƒ Temporary employees; ƒƒ Employees who are made available by a temporary service, staffing agency or similar entity; and ƒƒ Employees who work outside of Seattle

5. I’ve heard that the ordinance divides employers into “tiers.” How do I know into what tier my employer falls? An employer’s specific obligations depend on the number of full-time equivalent (-FTE) employees: Tier One – Employers with more than four, and fewer than

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50, FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year.

paid sick/safe leave accrued pursuant to the ordinance for a shift worked in Kent.

Tier Two – Employers with at least 50, and fewer than 250, FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year.

8. I opened my restaurant within the past 24 months (2 years). Am I covered by the ordinance?

Tier Three – Employers with 250 or more FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year. Again, tier size is determined by the employers’ number of FTE employees, not the number of individual employees. 6. Does an employer need to count both in-state and outof-state employees to determine its tier size? Yes. If an employer has any employees who perform work in the City of Seattle, thus subjecting the employer to the ordinance, an employer must count the compensated hours of all employees when determining into which tier the employer falls, regardless of where those employees work. Example: Muffin Topz owns and operates 137 restaurants throughout the United States, and employs a number of fulltime, part-time and temporary workers in each restaurant. Two of these restaurants are located within the City of Seattle. To determine into what tier Muffin Topz falls, it must consider the compensated hours of the employees at each of its 137 nationwide restaurants, and any corporate offices it may have throughout the country. 7. My restaurant is located outside the City of Seattle, but I periodically send employees into the City of Seattle to work. Does the ordinance apply to me? Yes. The ordinance applies if employees are performing work within the City of Seattle. However, only the hours worked in Seattle will count toward accrual of paid sick/safe leave. Example: Fresh is Best operates two restaurants in Kent, Washington. Fresh is Best employs more than five FTE employees. To achieve its mission of offering foods prepared from ingredients grown only in Washington state, Fresh is Best regularly sends three of its employees to the Pike Place Market to purchase ingredients. Because these three employees are performing work within the City of Seattle for Fresh is Best, the ordinance applies to Fresh is Best. Keep in mind, the employee must work more than 240 hours within the City of Seattle in a calendar year to qualify for paid sick/safe leave. In addition, the paid sick/safe leave can only be used while the employee is working within the City of Seattle. So, in the above example, the employees could not use

You are covered by some of the ordinance’s general provisions, such as the anti-retaliation provision. However, you are exempt from the requirement to provide sick and safe leave to employees until you have been operating for two years (24 months) and have at least five FTE employees. Example: Marguerite opened Rita’s Ritas, a specialty margarita bar on Queen Anne Hill, 20 months ago. One of Marguerite’s servers has requested paid sick leave under the ordinance. Because Rita’s Ritas has operated for less than two years, the employer is not required to provide paid sick leave to the employee. However, Rita’s Ritas may not retaliate against the employee for attempting to exercise her rights under the ordinance. 9. Which employees does the ordinance cover? Employees are covered if they perform full-time, part-time or temporary work within Seattle city limits. Employees who occasionally work in Seattle are covered if they perform more than 240 hours of work in Seattle within a calendar year. Example 1: Nicole works as a bartender for a restaurant in Seattle for 30 hours per week. She is a covered employee, because she performs part-time work in Seattle. Example 2: Jaime works for Fresh is Best as a sous chef. Fresh is Best periodically sends Jaime to the Pike Place Market in Seattle to obtain ingredients. As a result, Jaime works more than 240 hours within the City of Seattle within a calendar year. Jaime is therefore covered. 10. Does the ordinance cover employees based outside the City of Seattle but who occasionally work in Seattle? Yes. Employees are covered if they perform work in Seattle for more than 240 hours within a calendar year and the employer has five or more employees. However, the paid sick/safe leave must be used in Seattle. Example 1: See Question 9, Example 2 Example 2: Seth works as a manager for The Eggs Have It, a popular breakfast spot in Spokane. Seth temporarily transfers to Seattle for a period of four months to manage the opening of The Eggs Have It II, then returns to Seattle only on an intermittent basis to oversee the restaurant. Only the hours

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that Seth works in Seattle count toward accrual of paid sick/ safe leave. In addition, Seth’s employer is only required to permit Seth’s use of paid sick/safe leave while he is working in Seattle, not Spokane. 11. Are independent contractors covered by the ordinance? No. The ordinance applies only to employees. Note of Caution: The designation of an individual as an independent contractor or as an employee depends on a variety of factors. Improperly classifying workers as independent contractors can lead to severe penalties. Please confer with legal counsel before classifying a worker as an independent contractor. 12. Does coverage include undocumented employees? Yes. All employees who perform work in Seattle are covered, including employees who are not legally authorized to work in the United States. 13. Can employees waive their rights to protections of the ordinance? Generally, no. Employees can only waive their rights as part of a bona fide collective bargaining agreement. A collective bargaining agreement is the only exception. Waivers by individual employees or general statements of waiver in an employee handbook or manual are not allowed and will not be enforceable. 14. I don’t provide other benefits to my employees, such as vacation leave or medical benefits. Do I still need to provide sick and safe leave under the ordinance? Yes. An employer is required to provide paid sick/safe leave as provided in the ordinance even if the employer does not provide other benefits to employees.

B. First Course: Accrual of Paid Sick/ Safe Leave 1. When do covered employees begin accruing paid sick/ safe leave? Covered employees who are working on Sept. 1, 2012, when the ordinance goes into effect, will begin to accrue paid sick/ safe leave immediately on that date. Accrual rates do not apply to hours worked before Sept. 1, 2012.

Covered employees hired after Sept. 1, 2012, will begin to accrue paid sick/safe leave from the employee’s start date of employment. 2. What is the accrual rate for paid sick/safe leave under the ordinance? The accrual rate for paid sick/safe leave is based on the tier into which the employer falls, as determined by the number of FTE employees the employer has. Tier One – Employers with more than four, and fewer than 50, FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year. Tier Two – Employers with at least 50, and fewer than 250, FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year. Tier Three – Employers with 250 or more FTEs on average per calendar week during the previous calendar year. For employers falling in Tier One and Tier Two, employees must accrue at least one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked. For employers falling in Tier Three, employees must accrue at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. 3. How much paid sick/safe leave can an employee use in a calendar year? Here again, the number of hours of paid sick/safe leave that an employee may use in a calendar year is determined by the employer’s tier: Tier One:

40 hours or less per calendar year.

Tier Two:

56 hours or less per calendar year.

Tier Three:

72 hours or less per calendar year.

Tier Three with a Universal PTO policy: per calendar year.

108 hours or less

4. My employee wants to borrow paid sick/safe leave that has not yet accrued. Do I have to allow the employee to do so? The ordinance permits employers to allow an employee to use paid sick/safe leave before it has accrued; however, the employer is not required to do so.

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Example: Herb is a server at I Love Olive Mediterranean Kitchen. Herb has accrued 24 hours of paid sick/safe leave. Herb is having outpatient surgery and knows he will need to miss 32 hours of work, and would like to “borrow” 8 hours of paid sick/safe leave that he has not yet accrued. I Love Olive may permit Herb to borrow eight hours of paid sick/safe time that has not yet accrued, but it is not required to do so under the ordinance. Keep in mind, however, that even if I Love Olive does not loan eight hours of paid sick/safe leave to Herb, it may still have an obligation to provide Herb with unpaid time off under other federal and state laws. 5. How much accrued but unused paid sick time may an employee carry over into the next calendar year? Employees are permitted to carry over unused hours to the next calendar year, depending on the employer’s tier size: Tier One:

40 hours or less.

Tier Two:

56 hours or less.

Tier Three:

72 hours or less.

Tier Three with a Universal PTO policy: per calendar year.

7. How do seasonal employees accrue paid leave under the ordinance? If an employee is laid off and rehired by the same employer within seven months of separation, the previous period of employment will be counted toward the employee’s eligibility to use accrued paid sick/safe leave. The total time of employment must have occurred within two calendar years. Example: Meegan is a student at the University of Arizona. During her summers off and her Christmas breaks, she returns to Seattle and works full time at Bobby Sox, a 50s-themed diner in University Village. Meegan will retain any previously accrued hours of paid sick/safe leave as long as the time between her departure and return to work is no longer than seven months. Meegan will also continue to accrue paid leave as she continues to work for Bobby Sox. 8. I provide universal paid time off (“PTO”) to my employees, which they can use for sick, vacation or any purpose. Do I need to provide additional paid sick/safe leave in order to comply with the ordinance?

108 hours or less

6. I have several employees who are “salaried, exempt” employees, as defined in the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”). Do exempt employees accrue sick/safe leave under the ordinance and if so, how? All employees, including employees properly classified as salaried/exempt for purposes of the FLSA or the Washington State Minimum Wage Act, accrue sick/safe leave under the ordinance. However, exempt employees do not accrue paid leave for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. Thus, if an exempt employee’s normal work week is 40 hours or more, the employee accrues leave based on a 40-hour work week. If the exempt employee’s normal work week is less than 40 hours, then the employee accrues leave based on the employee’s normal work week. Example: Carlos works as a manager at the Space Needle restaurant and is properly classified as exempt. Under the terms of his employment agreement with the Space Needle, Carlos’ “normal work week” is 37 hours per week. Occasionally, Carlos works more than 37 hours per week; occasionally, he also works less than 37 hours per week. Under the ordinance, Carlos will accrue paid leave based on his regular 37 hour work week.

No. Employers who have a PTO policy that combines sick and vacation time do not need to provide additional paid sick/safe leave. However, the PTO policy must provide accrual and the use of paid leave for the same purposes and under the same conditions as the ordinance. 9. How do I inform employees of how many hours of paid sick/safe leave they have accrued? Employers must provide employees with the amount of their available paid sick/safe leave each time that wages are paid. Employers may choose a reasonable system for providing this information, such as a statement with available paid sick/safe leave on each pay stub or an online system where employees can access their own paid leave information.

C. Second Course: Use of Paid Sick/ Safe Leave 1. Is there a waiting period? The length of the waiting period depends on whether the employer is a current employer as of Sept. 1, 2012, when the ordinance takes effect. Employees of current employers have a waiting period of 180 calendar days after the commencement of the employee’s

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employment, regardless of the number of hours worked by the employee. (Remember, the hours threshold only applies to employees who “occasionally” work in Seattle.) Example: Pies Like Us hired its first employee in 1999. Marcus began working for Pies Like Us in 2009. Because more than 180 days will have passed since Marcus’ date of hire when the ordinance goes into effect on September 1, 2012, Marcus may use his paid sick/safe leave as soon as it accrues. Employees of new employers in Tier One and Tier Two can use accrued paid leave after 24-months have passed from the hire date of the employer’s first employee. Example: Soup For You hired its first employee on Nov. 1, 2011. Filipe started working for Soup For You on Dec.1, 2011. Filipe starts using his accrued paid sick/safe leave on Nov. 1, 2013, 24 months after Soup For You hired its first employee. 2. When can an employee use paid sick/safe leave for “sick time”? An employee can use leave for paid “sick time” for the following reasons:

ƒƒ For the employee’s own mental or physical illness, injury

or health condition; ƒƒ For the employee’s own need for medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; ƒƒ For the employee’s own preventive medical care; ƒƒ For the employee to provide care to a “family member” with a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; ƒƒ For the employee to provide care to a “family member” who needs medical diagnosis, care, or treatment of a mental or physical illness, injury or health condition; ƒƒ For the employee to provide care to a “family member” who needs preventive medical care. 3. Who is a “family member” for the purposes of paid sick time under the ordinance? For the purposes of paid sick time, the ordinance borrows the definition of “family member” from the Washington Family Care Act. The Washington Family Care Act defines “family member” as a child, grandparent, parent, parent-in-law, spouse and registered domestic partner. Under the ordinance, “domestic partner” includes partnerships registered with either the City of Seattle or the State of Washington.

4. When can an employee use paid sick/safe leave for “safe time”? An employee can use leave for paid “safe time” for the following reasons:

ƒƒ The employee’s place of employment has been closed by

order of a public official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin or hazardous material; ƒƒ The employee needs to care for a child whose school or place of care has been closed by order of a public health official to limit exposure to an infectious agent, biological toxin or hazardous material; ƒƒ For reasons related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking that affect the employee or the employee’s “family member,” including but not limited to seeking legal or law enforcement assistance, preparing for or assisting in a civil or criminal proceeding, seeking treatment from a health care provider for physical or mental injuries, participating in safety planning, relocating activities or other actions to increase the employee’s safety or the safety of the employee’s “family member.” Domestic violence means: physical harm, bodily injury, assault or the infliction of fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury or assault, between family or household members; sexual assault of one family or household member by another; or stalking of one family or household member by another family or household member. 5. Are there circumstances when employees are not entitled to paid safe time? Yes. Inclement weather (i.e. snow days), loss of power or loss of water resulting in a closure of an employee’s place of business, or closure of school or place of care of an employee’s child, are not acceptable reasons for the use of paid safe time. 6. Who is a “family member” for the purposes of paid safe time under the ordinance? For the purposes of “safe time,” the Ordinance borrows the definition of “family member” from RCW 49.76.020: spouse, domestic partner, former spouses, former domestic partners, persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together at any time, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past and now have or have had a dating relationship, persons sixteen years of age or older with whom a person sixteen years of age or older has or has had a dating relationship, and persons who have a biological or legal parentchild relationship, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren.

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7. If an employer has a universal PTO policy, can an employee use all of his or her accrued leave for vacation and not leave any “cushion” for paid sick/safe leave? Yes. Under an employer’s PTO policy, employees can choose to use their paid leave as vacation, sick or safe leave. 8. Must an employee use paid sick/safe leave in hour-long increments? Generally, no, but it depends on whether the employee is exempt or non-exempt. For exempt employees, employers should make deductions of paid sick/safe leave in accordance with the FLSA, so as to not risk losing the exemption.

11. Is an employee who is on sick/safe leave entitled to tips that he or she would have earned if at work? No. Employees are not entitled to lost tips or commissions during use of paid sick/safe leave. 12. Does an employee accrue sick/safe leave while using sick/safe leave? No. Employers are not required to permit accrual of paid sick/ safe leave. 13. Must I “cash out” an employee’s unused paid sick/safe leave when the employee leaves his or her job?

For non-exempt employees, employers can require the use of paid sick/safe leave in hourly increments. However, an employer may choose to permit employees to use paid sick/ safe leave in less than hour-long increments if the employer so chooses.

No. Employers are not required to pay for unused paid sick/ safe leave upon an employee’s termination, resignation, retirement or other separation from employment. However, cash out of unused sick/safe leave upon an employee’s termination, resignation, retirement is allowed.

9. Can an employee trade shifts or work additional hours instead of using paid sick/safe leave?

14. I disagree with this ordinance! Can I retaliate against an employee for requesting or using paid sick/safe leave?

Yes. If both the employer and the employee agree, the employee may work additional hours or shifts during the same or next pay period instead of using paid sick/safe leave.

No. Retaliation is illegal. Employers are prohibited from taking an adverse action or discriminating against an employee for exercising in good faith his or her rights under this ordinance. These rights include (but are not limited to): ƒƒ Using paid sick/safe leave. ƒƒ Informing an employer, union or legal counsel about alleged violations of the ordinance. ƒƒ Filing a complaint about alleged violations of the ordinance. ƒƒ Participating in an investigation of alleged violations of the ordinance. ƒƒ Informing other employees of their rights under the ordinance.

Specific to “eating and drinking establishments,” employers may offer substitute hours/shifts to employees who request paid sick/safe leave. If an employee chooses to work substitute hours/shifts, the employer may deduct paid sick/safe leave in accordance with Ordinance requirements. Employers are advised to keep a record of each instance this agreement occurs. Example: Bindu works for a restaurant as a server. When Bindu becomes sick with the flu just before her 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. shift, she may stay home and use paid sick leave for the four hours she misses from work. With mutual consent between Bindu and her employer, she also may stay home and then make-up the missed hours from work in a substitute shift during the same or next pay period. For example, Bindu could work the following Wednesday in a substitute shift from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. To pay for her work in this substitute shift, Bindu’s employer may use four hours of her accrued paid sick leave. 10. What do I pay an employee who is taking paid sick/ safe leave? Employers must pay employees for sick/safe leave at the same hourly rate and with the same benefits, (including health care benefits) as during regular work hours.

D. Third Course: Requesting Paid Sick/Safe Leave and Medical Documentation 1. My employee handbook has a notice policy for absences and leave requests. Does an employee have to follow this policy when requesting sick/safe leave under the ordinance? Generally, yes, so long as the employer’s policy does not interfere with the purpose of the leave. For leave that is foreseeable, a written request should be provided at least 10 days ahead of time (or as early as possible),

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unless the employer’s customary notice policy requires less advance notice. For unforeseeable leave, the employee must provide notice as soon as is practicable and must generally comply with an employer’s customary notice policies and/or call-in procedures. 2. Can I require an employee to provide documentation for use of paid sick/safe leave for the purposes of sick leave? An employee does not need to provide documentation for use of paid sick leave unless the employee is absent for more than three consecutive days. After three consecutive days, an employer may require documentation, such as a statement signed by a health care provider stating that sick leave is necessary. An employer cannot require the documentation to reveal the nature of the illness or other private medical information. 3. Who pays for documenting use of paid sick leave after more than three consecutive days? If the employee’s health insurance does not cover this service, the employer and the employee should each pay 50% of the cost of documentation. Expenses are limited to the cost of:

ƒƒ Services provided by health care professionals. ƒƒ Services of health care facilities. ƒƒ Testing prescribed by health care professionals. ƒƒ Transportation to the location where such services are provided.

If an employee has declined health insurance from an employer, the employee is not entitled to reimbursement for expenses. 4. Can I require an employee to provide documentation for use of paid sick/safe leave for the purposes of safe leave? An employee does not need to provide documentation for use of paid safe leave unless s/he is absent for more than three consecutive days. After three consecutive days, an employer may require documentation, as follows:

ƒƒ For documentation of the closure of a school or place of care, an employee can provide notice of the closure in whatever format the employee received it. ƒƒ For verification of leave taken for domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, an employee may provide a police report; applicable evidence from the court or the prosecuting attorney; documentation from an advocate, attorney, member of the clergy, medical or other

professional; or the employee’s written statement.

E. Dessert: Notice to Employees and Record Keeping Requirements 1. What do I have to do to provide notice of the ordinance to my employees? Employers are required to provide employees with notice of their rights under this ordinance, including employees’ rights regarding retaliation and the right to file a complaint or bring a civil action if paid sick/safe leave is denied by the employer. There are several things an employer can do to comply with this notice requirement: ƒƒ Include a paper or electronic copy of notice in employee handbooks or other written guidance. ƒƒ Distribute a notice to each new employee at the time of hire. ƒƒ Display a poster created by the Seattle Office of Civil Rights in a conspicuous and accessible place in the workplace. Such posters are available on the Seattle Office of Civil Rights web site: www.seattle.gov/civilrights. 2. Does the ordinance have any record-keeping requirements? Yes. However, employers are not required to change their record-keeping policies, as long as those records reasonably indicate: ƒƒ Hours worked by employees. ƒƒ Accrued paid sick/safe leave. ƒƒ Paid sick/safe leave taken by employees. An employer must allow the Seattle Office of Civil Rights access to these records in order to investigate potential violations and to monitor compliance with the requirements of the ordinance. 3. Do I have to keep employees’ records pertaining to sick/safe leave confidential? Yes. Employers must maintain the confidentiality of information provided by an employee who seeks sick or safe time. Such information includes: health information, the fact that an employee or the employee’s family member is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, or that the employee has requested or obtained leave. Like other medical records, the ordinance requires records related to medical certifications to be maintained in a file separate from the employee’s personnel file as confidential medical records. Employers cannot disclose information provided by the employee without the employee’s consent, unless ordered to do so by a court or administrative agency, or otherwise required by law. 

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WRA introduces new claims management company, ERNWest Effective August 1, 2012, ERNWest will assume all of our Retro member’s claims services for our entire Retro Program. This change is the result of an extensive evaluation by your Retro Task Force, MSC board and several member risk managers. The WRA launched the Retro Task Force as a means to ensure our members are getting the greatest value and the greatest service from our providers, which resulted in an in-depth review of our program. The entire process took 12 months, and after careful consideration of several key factors, the MSC Board has decided to switch from Integrated Claims Management (ICM) to ERNWest. It is important to note that while we appreciate the great service from ICM, ERNWest’s proposal offered many more member benefits for you. ERNWest’s fundamental philosophy toward claims resolution will benefit your company. They believe in proactive claims management, and dedicate themselves to reducing time loss, fighting every frivolous claim, and working with doctors and L&I to get employees back to work. They strive to reduce your costs, and will do everything in their power to accomplish this goal. Retro programs in Washington are moving into new era, with new rules and new calculations. We believe ERNWest will help us navigate these new rules with a sense of urgency, and will

create innovative ways to help you manage your claims. Looking ahead, starting August 1, 2012, you will notice a few changes in the claims process that will bring additional benefit:

ƒƒ You will have online access to ERNWest’s claims

management system,providing transparency in the process and allowing you to know what is going on at all times. ƒƒ You will start to receive all documentation associated with every open claim at your establishment from L&I. ƒƒ You will have twice the number of dedicated staff available to handle claims. ƒƒ You will also have a dedicated staff person handling the claim from its beginning to resolution. Please feel free to contact ERNWest or Jessica Woods, the WRA’s Retro Coordinator, at 800.225.7166 extension 115 with any questions or concerns you may have. We are confident this move will enhance the WRA Retro program and help your business succeed. We appreciate your willingness to assist us as we work through this change. We are dedicated to making the transition as seamless as possible, so please do not hesitate to contact us immediately with any issues or concerns. 

Thank you ERNWest for your help during this transition. Partnering with ERNWest can transform Washington’s unique, frustrating and sometimes costly workers’ compensation program into one that is understandable, efficient and cost effective. www.WRAhome.com

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Reach out and hire a ProStart Student By Lyle Hildahl, director of the Education Foundation As I was preparing for this article on mentoring and making connections to students in high schools and colleges in hospitality training programs, I wondered how many readers of my article on the same subject last year, actually were motivated to take action and mentor a student. I thought it was a pretty good article, but did it make a difference in your decisions on hiring and mentoring students of hospitality programs? I would love for any of you that read this article to reach out to me and share your experience in mentoring and or hiring a student in hospitality training programs.

last year, along with a couple quotes from industry leaders that have gained valuable experience from connecting to these students. I hope in some way I have connected to you on the value of mentoring.

I’m sure many of you remember the individuals who influenced you along your career path. Your mentors and role models who coached and counseled you in becoming who you are today. My mentors included coach Don Smith, who taught me the value of time; Master Ahpo, who taught me the value of respect and discipline; my dad who taught me the value “The ProStart program is not something that can be easily of starting strong and described; it must be experienced—educators, restaurateurs finishing strong; Mr. Bud and suppliers coming together to mentor high school Gould, who taught me students in culinary arts and hospitality management – what the value of a budget an amazing adventure!” in running a business. Dr. Nancy Swanger, FMP, Director, School of Hospitality Business The list goes on. I want Management, Washington State University to share with you an opportunity to positively influence the life of “ProStart is a chance for me to give back to an industry that a young adult, who is I love and has treated me very well over the years. We try and just starting out in our give the students as much real-life experience as we can, and industry. Becoming a they leave ready not only for a job in the service industry, but for the “real world” in general. I feel very fortunate to be able mentor in the ProStart to give this time and energy to the students, and I get back far program will give you that chance. more than I could ever give to them.” Eric Hellner, Executive Chef, The Metropolitan Grill The NRA/WRA 2012 ProStart Mentor of the Year Education Foundation ProStart program links In my own experience as a restaurant classroom experience with on-the-job owner, I found it more successful training for high school juniors and working with high school students in seniors. Skills learned at the workplace ProStart than college students because are reinforced through practical the college students except in rare cases, classroom instruction. The students who were usually not very teachable. That successfully pass two comprehensive doesn’t mean I am dissing the value of exams covering culinary foundations, hiring a college student, because I am customer service, marketing, cost not. I ran a college culinary program for control, human relations and job years and found the more an industry readiness, plus 400 hours of industry leader was connected with the program, internship, are rewarded with a national the more aware the student became certificate of achievement by the on just how much more they needed National Restaurant Association. to learn in all environments, especially the workplace. I hired a graduate of ProStart’s success depends on you. As a college program who became my a mentor and/or ProStart worksite, executive sous chef in less than a year. you help create solutions to key human resources challenges. This role also gives The following is the article I wrote you the unique opportunity to recruit 24 | www.WRAhome.com

tomorrow’s managers today, enhance the restaurants and foodservice industry image, invest in our nation’s future and earn recognition as an industry partner.

Ways you can get involved ƒƒ Become a ProStart worksite and mentor students

ƒƒ Mentor a student team for culinary

and restaurant management competition ƒƒ Give a classroom presentation ƒƒ Invite students to your restaurant for a tour ƒƒ Coordinate field trips to your vendors’ facilities ƒƒ Make a financial contribution as a sponsor ƒƒ Be a judge in the annual Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational All restaurant and food service industry stakeholders who have a vested interest in America’s youth and the future success of the industry will benefit from partnering with a ProStart program. The WRAEF currently partners with 38 high schools. Please let us know how you like to get involved. Contact Jennifer Dixon at 877.695.WREF (9733) ext. 127. 

Oak Harbor competes in the 2012 Boyd Coffee ProStart Invitational.


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The conserve Sustainability education Program : delivering value and providing solutions Conserve uses a variety of easy-to-implement methods developed with subject matter experts from industry and authorities in environmental sustainability to help improve your operation’s efficiency every day while boosting your bottom line.

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INDUSTRY CALENDAR

Visit www.WRAhome.com/calendar for a full list of events.

Training | Meetings | Events | AUGUST/SEPTEMBER Training

Meetings

Aug. 20

ServSafe®, Everett

Aug. 8

Retro Investment Meeting

Aug. 28

ServSafe®, Kent

Aug. 8

Retro Trust Meeting

Aug. 28

ServSafe Alcohol Train the Trainer

Sept. 4

ServSafe®, Seattle

Aug. 14

Executive Committee Meeting

Sept. 10

ServSafe®, Kent

Aug. 14

Spokane Chapter Meeting

Sept. 18

Allergy Certification

Sept. 4

Executive Committee Meeting

Sept. 20

ServSafe®, Tacoma

Sept. 5

Seattle Restaurant Alliance Meeting

Sept. 11

Spokane Chapter Meeting

Sept. 18

Finance Committee Meeting

Sept. 25

Board Development Conference Call

Sept. 25

GAC Meeting

Oct. 2

HIHIT Meeting

Oct. 2

Executive Committee Meeting

Oct. 3

Seattle Restaurant Alliance Meeting

New Allied Members

New Allied Members Alpha Ecological Pest Control Jack Cagle 1200 NE 112th Ave Vancouver, WA 98684-4953 360.885.4000 Jack.cagle@sayfrog.com www.sayfrog.com Our trademarked “Green Approach”, using Integrated Pest Management (IPM), practices to focus on four levels of pest management: 1) Exclude or deny access to the pest, 2) Modify the harborage that allow pests to enter your facility, 3) Use mechanical means of controlling pests, 4) Use pesticides only where needed. ezFoodOrder Jim Lange 5614 Alora Loop Anchorage, AK 99504-1050 888.610.3025 jim@ezfoodorder.com myezfoodorder.com We help operators obtain best of market pricing on all of there inventory items. Gecko Hospitality Kevin Kalstad 7234 Shag Oak Dr Noblesville, IN 46062-7407 424.224.5095 kevin@geckohospitality.com www.geckohospitality.com Since 2000, Gecko Hospitality has been a pioneer in the hospitality recruiting industry. The value that

26 | www.WRAhome.com

Gecko Hospitality provides to its Clientele is evident in the advanced networking and technology skills our professional recruiters possess in identifying qualified restaurant professionals. Nxgen Payment Services James Melcer 940 Spokane Ave Whitefish, MT 59937-2931 206.707.6112 mjaffe@nxgen.com www.nxgen.com Full payment processing services which also accepts Canadian interac PIN, debit cards, reflect credit card transactions in Canadian dollars that offers next day funding. Our objectives are to meet or beat your existing pricing program Oregon Point of Sale Eric Stobbee 8152 SW Hall Blvd Ste 128 Beaverton, OR 97008-6415 503.646.1383 eric@oregonpos.com www.oregonpos.com Oregon Point of Sale has been serving the Northwest hospitality industry since 2001. We specialize in hospitality point-of-sale (POS) systems, Digital Dining pos software, scales, inventory control solutions, kiosks, and wireless hand-held mobile solutions.

Seattle Times Steve Simmons 1000 Denny Way Seattle, WA 98109-5340 206.652.6885 ssimmons@seattletimes.com www.seattletimescompany.com/ advertise The Seattle Times has joined WRA to support restaurant industry growth. The Seattle Times Media Solutions provides a full range of products that deliver a large reach to very targeted segments. West Coast Cash Register System Craig Potter 9922 E Montgomery Dr Ste 1 Spokane, WA 99206-4158 509.921.5505 craig@wccrsystems.com www.wccrsystems.com Inland NW’s only factory certified dealer for the Aloha Touch Screen System, Keystroke Retail Point of Sale and the SPS-2000/530 Touch Screen System, Tec(POS and ECRs), and Samsung ECRs(complete line). 10 percent discount of software. WestCoast Contracting, Inc. Tim Modine 219 SW 41st St Renton, WA 98057-4930 425.207.5050 timm@westcoastbuilds.com www.westcoastbuilds.com WestCoast Contracting (WCC) is a is a full service construction,

remodel, renovation and finish out General Contractor serving Western Washington. Knowledge, Integrity, Creative Design Concepts, Superior Quality, Competitive Pricing, On Time Delivery and Customer Satisfaction makes WCC the General Contractor of choice. Wine World & Spirits David LeCaire 400 NE 45th St Ste 130 Seattle, WA 98105-6165 206.402.6086 davidl@wineworldspirits.com www.wineworldspirits.com Wine World & Spirits is centrally located at I-5 and 45th and is a locally owned source for all of your Class H and event needs. We carry a wide array of spirits, craft beer and wine, with over 2,000 options, specializing in bourbons, scotches, tequilas, rums, brandies, vodkas, and gins. Womple Madison Miner 114 E Chestnut St Bellingham, WA 98225-5601 360.329.2653 madison@womple.com www.womple.com We are a web-to-mobile solutions company, helping businesses convert their regular websites into professionally designed mobile websites and downloadable apps. Our built-in features are designed to help small and medium-sized businesses go mobile and stay connected with their customers.

New Restaurants Banyan Tree Restaurant, Kent Clover, Spokane Valley Demitris Woodstone Taverna, Edmonds Jai Thai Restaurant, Freemont Kafe Neo, Edmonds Kigo Kitchen, Seattle Loco Dogz, Spokane Valley Nibbana - A Thai Cookery, Bellevue Rivers Restaurant, Pateros Riverside Bar & Grill, Riverside Tablas Woodstone Taverna, Mill Creek The Ritz Roadhouse, Ritzville Whiskey Dick’s Irish Pub & Grille, Spokane


Marketplace CONSULTING AND BUY/SELL SERVICES

SELLING OR BUYING?

Thinking about selling or buying an existing restaurant, or adding a new location? Call Allan Boden, Sunbelt restaurant specialist at 206.229.4717, or email a.boden@sunbeltnetwork.com. Sunbelt has been serving clients since 1982 with offices nationwide. http://seattle1.sunbeltnetwork.com

25 Year CPA and former restaurant owner can help you increase your bottom line, improve efficiency, plan an exit strategy and provide selling or buying services. Affiliated with business brokerage/intermediary firm of William E. Pearsall, P.S. Excellent references. Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. Call Jean Klein (206)795-4443. www. smallrestaurantspecialist.com $ave a TON

CONSULTATION, PLANNING, AND CONCEPT DEVELOPMENT

Thinking about opening up a new restaurant, moving into an existing, or re-modeling? DYNAMIK will provide a complimentary initial consultation to review your project. Email Melanie@dynamikspace.com to determine a plan for your concept, design, schedule, and construction. RESTAURANT FOR SALE Owner ready to retire! Great opportunity to own an established, year round stable drive-in business. Prime location. Close to Ephrata High School & Sports Complex. Located on recreational hwy. Busy drive thru, RV parking, picnic area & large seating capacity dining room. Business has been a state wide favorite for over 40 + years. Please call Mr. Bauscher @ 509.662.9602 for more info.

Why leave thousand$ of dollar$ on-the-table when money is so tight? MCM uses a 7 step business process to get you major league cash saving$. 100% Transparent 100% Guaranteed Contact Mike at (206)547-8277 mike@mckenziechase.com. Mckenzie Chase Management Celebrating 30 Years of Saving$ http://www.MckenzieChase.com $ave Healthcare$ Save thousand$ in healthcare dollar$ for your restaurant. Take a BIG bite out of your costs of Healthcare. 100% Transparent 100% Guaranteed Contact Mike at (206)547-8277 mike@mckenziechase.com. Mckenzie Chase Management Celebrating 30 Years of Saving$ in the Northwest and Nation Since 1982 http://www.MckenzieChase.com

Jobs for the Food and Drink Industry Staffing Solutions for Owners & Managers

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Remove the strings! How to build guest loyalty with email By Joe Gabriel- Fishbowl Marketing

Email

marketing has become a fabric of our industry’s modern marketing strategy. Open an email account, type an offer, add a couple of photos and links, click and send, and voila, new sales. Right? Not so fast. Restaurant operators have been encouraging their guests to “sign up” for their email program for well over a decade now. At Fishbowl, we currently manage a growing list of over 85 million unique email addresses on behalf of our restaurant clients. In fact, the average consumer today belongs to well over a dozen retail & restaurant email marketing clubs. Add the crowded online and social media marketing world to the mix, and it is becoming even more difficult to have your marketing message stand out and drive customer visits. So the question is, what can you do to stand out and generate customer visits utilizing your email club, and the answer is simple…build loyalty. So what has gone wrong? In today’s world of daily deals, it is incredibly easy for a restaurant consumer to find a “deal” or “discount” to your restaurant. Just sign up for Groupon, Living Social, Restaurant.com, heck, even listen to your local radio station, and offers are a plenty. But is offering a $5 discount on your next visit, or $10 off $25 really generating the type of business that you want to capture for your restaurant? Promoting the same type of offers through your email club is just adding your message to the mix, not rising above the crowd. The devil is in the details. A recent study by the HarteHanks Postfuture Index show that email marketing standard open rates in 2010 were around 17 percent. Fishbowl general open rates for restaurant specific email campaigns are just 30 | www.WRAhome.com

under 23 percent. What is staggering though, is that loyalty email messages sent by restaurants through Fishbowl (Welcome, Birthday, and Subscriber Anniversary) have a 52 percent average open rate. That’s almost 35 percent higher than standard email campaigns. Email is very permissive. Your guests are “opting in” to be a part of your restaurants community. So make sure you are taking every opportunity possible to thank them for that permission and provide them with a positive return on investment. Email is not as frequent as Facebook and Twitter. Also it is very much a push marketing tactic. So you need to put significant thought into the campaigns you are going to promote via email. Start with the welcome message. This may be the most important communication you send to a new email subscriber, as it is the first and only chance you have to reinforce the message you used to get the guest to sign up in the first place. Your welcome message should go out immediately after the guest sign’s up, and have a strong value to encourage that guest to return to your restaurant soon. Think free bottle of wine, or free entrée. But remove the strings from the message. Strings you say? What are they? Strings are all of the standard restrictions, or “fine print” that operators tend to add to their email message like “receive a free entrée with a purchase of $40 or more”, or BOGO, or “free appetizer with the purchase of two entrees”. What those “Strings” do is turn your loyalty building opportunity into a coupon. You don’t have to give away the house here, but two or three times a year, use your email program to truly thank those guests who have given you the permission to engage them via email. Think “gift” not “offer”. The results will amaze you. 


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Washington Restaurant Magazine August 2012