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Winter Edition 2013






How labor management can make this holiday season your best yet

Plus... Chef training takes center stage Save time, save money, get compliant









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A schedule for success This holiday season, rethink the way you’re scheduling your workforce and reap the benefits to your bottom line.


Chef training takes center stage The Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor program keeps chefs in-the-know on the latest trends, techniques and flavor profiles. Find out how to get your chef connected.


Save time, save money, get compliant The WRA’s Education Foundation is zeroing in on workplace safety, and saving you plenty of time and money in the process. Learn about the newest addition to the EF’s lineup, Jan. 2014.


Other stories




Winter Edition 2013













How labor management can make this holiday season your best yet


Lex on Tech: How iPhone users can live in Android and vice versa


News Briefs


New challenges and greater opportunities call for more collaboration


The 2013 Election Results


Get Hill Climb & Taste Our Best 2014 on your calendar— preparations already underway


Current state employment trends indicate strength in restaurant hiring


Management Liability Program


Calendar/New Members




The easiest way to make money through the holidays

On the cover

From scheduling tips, to festive cocktail ideas and gift card marketing strategies, this edition of WRM will get you ready to impress the holiday crowd.

Plus... Chef training takes center stage Save time, save money, get compliant

NOV_DEC_2013.indd 1

11/7/2013 12:26:49 PM

Winter Edition 2013 | 5

EDITORIAL STAFF Anthony Anton, Publisher Lex Nepomuceno, Executive Editor Heather Donahoe, Managing Editor David Faro, Contributing Editor Sheryl Jackson, Research Editor Lisa Ellefson, Art Director Tony Buhr, Copy Editor WRA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Jim Rowe, Chair Consolidated Restaurants, Inc. Phil Costello, Vice Chair Stop n’ Go Family Drive In Mark Chriest, Secretary/Treasurer Oki Developments, Inc. Bret Stewart, Immediate Past Chair CenterTwist, Inc. Gary Sutter, WRAEF President Northern Quest Resort & Casino WRA EXECUTIVE TEAM Anthony Anton President and CEO Teran Petrina Vice President Bruce Beckett Director of Government Affairs Lex Nepomuceno Director of Communications & Technology Lyle Hildahl Director of Education Victoria Olson Director of Business Development Susan Howe Director of Internal Operations 510 Plum St. SE, Ste. 200 Olympia, WA 98501-1587 T 360.956.7279 | F 360.357.9232

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

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Lex on Tech Worlds colliding: How iPhone users can live in Android and vice versa By Lex Nepomuceno, Executive Editor You’ve probably seen those television commercials where iPhone users duel with Android users over different features of their respective phones. The commercial eventually ends in fisticuffs with the Windows phone users smugly sitting in the background. Unfortunately for Microsoft, iOS and Android still make up 80 percent of the smartphone market, so the commercial accurately reflects the respective user-bases. Also it accurately reflects the passion each side has for their platform. However, there is a growing group of users who are walking away from smartphone monogamy and embracing the use of both operating systems. As someone who has owned every iteration of the iPhone, I recently dove into the Android world by purchasing one of the latest Android tablets (Nexus 7). The device is impressive and runs the latest Android operating system; it also comes with the highly “coveted” retina display and was significantly less expensive than an iPad Mini. The Nexus 7 was so good it forced me to find a way to effectively live in both operating systems seamlessly. In order for iOS users to be able to work in Android and vice versa here are some tools and strategies that help address the major areas of concern for most users: Email—Whenever possible use the IMAP email protocol on your email accounts. Users get asked if they want to set up POP, IMAP or Exchange when opening up an email account on a phone. If you want to see the same emails on your iOS device as your Android device be sure to use either IMAP or Exchange, this will allow emails to sync across all devices. So when an email is deleted on one device, that deletion will occur across all your devices. Calendar—If you need to see your Google calendar on your iPhone it is as simple as turning on the “Calendar” switch when you set up your Google account on the phone. However, if you need to see your iCloud appointments on an Android device, you will need to get the SmoothSync for Cloud Calendar app through the Google Play store. There are other apps that do similar things, but this is the app I found to work the most reliably. Also, if you are an Exchange user, calendar items will sync automatically if the feature is enabled on your Android calendar app. Contacts—Similarly, if you need to sync your Google contacts onto your iPhone, you will just need to turn on “Contacts” in your Google account settings on the iOS device. You will need to install SmoothSync for Cloud Contacts in order to see iCloud contacts on an Android device and have the data sync both ways. Again, if you use an Exchange server you are all set as you will only need to enable Contacts syncing under settings of the Android device. Browser and bookmarks—Use either Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your main browsers for all of your devices. You want to avoid browsers that just work on one type of device, such as Safari for iPhones or Samsung’s browser for their phones. Chrome and Mozilla both have cross platform bookmark syncing capabilities that allow you to share bookmarks across all phones and computers that you are logged into. Files and other data—Use any of the following programs to share and sync files between your computer and all of your devices: Dropbox, SugarSync, Box.Net, SkyDrive and/or Google Drive. All of these programs have apps that work on both iOS and Android platforms and all of the programs do a fine job syncing files in the background.

Primary Source of Information | News Briefs State minimum wage to increase by 13 cents in January Washington’s minimum wage will increase to $9.32 per hour beginning Jan. 1, 2014, the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced in early November. L&I calculates that the state’s minimum wage each year as required by Initiative 688, approved by Washington voters in 1998. The 13-cent-per-hour increase, from $9.19 to $9.32 an hour, reflects a 1.455 percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI‑W) over the last 12 months ending Aug. 31. The increase was announced by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Check out the full story at http:// Restaurant job growth projected to top 3 percent in 2013 The delayed September jobs report offered little clarity on the direction of the economy, as overall job growth remained relatively tepid. According to preliminary data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) the private sector added a net 126,000 jobs in September, which followed gains of 100,000 and 161,000 jobs in July and August, respectively. Taken together, the third quarter’s net gain of 387,000 jobs was the softest performance since the private sector added 350,000 jobs in the second quarter of 2012. For the full story, go to Coming soon! The Hospitality Industry Workplace Safety Orientation & Training Guide Three things are vitally important to any restaurant owner: time, money and compliance. In 2014, as part of the WRA’s commitment to helping our members succeed, Member Services will be offering a tailor made safety and training program developed by the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This program will be offered free of charge to all RETRO participants in January 2014. The Hospitality Industry Workplace Safety Orientation & Training Guide was created in conjunction with guidance from Labor and Industries and restaurant operators and covers all aspects of workplace safety in a restaurant environment. For details go to

New research shows consumers want a side of technology with their meals As technology is becoming a part of the daily lives for many Americans – and a critical tool of convenience for more than a few – the desire to use options like touch-screen ordering, smartphone apps and mobile payment when dining out is growing. New research from the National Restaurant Association released at the 2013 Restaurant Innovation Summit shows that the majority of Americans have used such tech-based options and even more are interested in doing so if provided by their favorite restaurants. For details, go to http:// Growth of Franchise Business Index Slows The Franchise Business Index (FBI), an index of the economic health of the franchising industry, rose 0.2 percent in September to 110.7 (Jan 2000=100), according to the International Franchise Association (IFA). Growth of the index slowed as the component measuring employment in franchise-intensive industries showed no monthly gain for the first time in over three years and the small business optimism index declined. “While we are pleased the index grew for the fifth consecutive month, we remain concerned about the overall rate of growth in both new business formation and job creation,” said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.

Winter Edition 2013 | 7

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Industry Outlook | WRA President & CEO

New challenges and greater opportunities call for more collaboration

The sands of time are shifting. Rapidly. Political issues are migrating from the capitol to city halls across the state. Unions are merging, uniting and spending millions trying to adopt extreme labor laws. Business owners are being pushed to the limit by national, state and local laws. And to compound matters, new issues are emerging and being considered by policy makers all in the space of a few months—not years. Our industry and its workforce are evolving quickly, rendering any data older than five years irrelevant. We need new research and information systems. Just like your business, associations must lead and innovate, or risk irrelevance. While more is demanded of us, we also realize that because dollars are tight, we must first look at how we can squeeze the most efficiency possible from existing resources. For nearly 100 years, the Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) and the Washington Lodging Association (WLA) have served the needs of their respective industries. Over time, these two have found that the challenges, threats and opportunities we face unite us far more than our differences divide us. Now may be the time to join forces to maximize resources, protect and advance our industries and deliver even greater benefit— together-- to help you, our members, succeed. It was in this spirit of collaboration that late last year, the boards of the WRA and WLA began exploring whether a joint association might allow us to more effectively and efficiently serve our collective industries. Both associations dedicated a team of volunteer leaders and professional staff that met regularly over the last ten months. We discussed our common ground and how we might work together for the benefit of our members. We looked at how our collective strength could result in more favorable outcomes in the legislative, regulatory and legal arenas. We talked about leveraging member benefits and programs and the economies of scale that we might achieve in working more closely.

Anthony Anton, president and CEO

We will be continuing those meetings, with the support and directive of our Boards, to seriously address the possibilities of formalizing our collaboration, which could include merging our two organizations. We are not alone in seeking efficiencies and strength by working together. Now more than half of the state restaurant and hotel associations around the country have merged. Those efforts in other states provided us with valuable roadmaps, learned lessons and possible best practices on potential decisions here in Washington. As we continue to discuss the possibility of merging, the two organizations will assess how the resources and strengths of each association can best be leveraged. We’ll draw up the blueprint for a new entity that is much more beneficial to its members. It is important to note that this is not a “done deal.” The boards will pragmatically review the progress made toward the goal each quarter and have a chance to “unplug” the effort if due diligence dictates that a united industry does not improve each association’s ability to help their members. So why tell you about it now – if there is still so much work and due diligence to be done? One of our key objectives is, “do the right thing, the right way at the right time.” That dictates that this effort is done with complete transparency and member input. We are your voice to the public, we are your shield from those who want to harm your business, we are your primary source of information. We take these roles seriously and we want to make sure nothing in this process catches you by surprise. If you want a voice in this process, we want to make sure you have an opportunity to be heard. If you have an opinion, concern or idea, or would like to be involved in helping us form a new association for a new era, please e-mail us. We really would love to hear from you. 

Winter Edition 2013 | 9

The 2013 Election Results


he votes have almost been finalized and the dust has started to settle.

This year’s 2013 elections have just about drawn to a close and the Washington Restaurant Associations has fared very well, but seen some challenges looking forward. In Seattle Senator Ed Murray has now become Mayor Murray after handily beating incumbent Mayor Mike McGinn. Murray has long been a supporter of the WRA and restaurants in Seattle and will remain a great resource and partner. The WRA looks forward to working with Mayor Murray as he examines wage and employment issues in Seattle. In the state senate races Rep. Jan Angel (Rep.), who the WRA endorsed, has defeated Sen. Nathan Schlicher (Dem.) in the 26th District. Additionally, WRA endorsed candidate Sen. Sharon Brown (Rep.) has maintained her seat in the 8th District. In the 7th District Candidate Brian Dansel (Rep.) surprisingly beat out Sen. John Smith (Rep.). Smith has worked closely with WRA in his short tenure in the Senate.

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With Senator-elect Angel now elected to the Senate, the business friendly Majority Coalition Caucus gained a seat and currently holds a 26-23 seat majority. SeaTac’s Proposition 1 has been one of the most intriguing, and nerve wracking, elections that WRA participated in this year. The race has crept from the, “Yes,” side leading by 261 votes out of about 3,400 on election night, to a mere 141 three days later with many ballots left to count. Since election night the No votes have exceeded 55 percent and so the election remains a wait and see situation. No one is yet calling this race; there are too many votes yet to be counted. Also initiative I-522, the labelling of genetically modified foods, was defeated by voters 54 percent to 46. Thousands of votes remained to be counted, but pundits believe the gap will be too big to close. WRA opposed the measure because of the inconsistency of labelling required under the initiative. The initiative drew millions of dollars, breaking records in campaign spending in Washington. For questions or comments, please contact WRA’s Bruce Beckett at 

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Get Hill Climb & Taste Our Best 2014 on your calendar—preparations already underway New location for Taste Our Best! By Heather Donahoe, WRM managing editor

As 2013 winds down, the WRA is already hard at work organizing the industry’s most important day of the year in Olympia— Hill Climb and Taste Our Best 2014, scheduled for Monday, Jan. 27. This annual day-long event gives restaurant operators an opportunity to interact one-on-one with legislators, express their concerns and offer their perspective as business operators. The WRA is also excited to announce that for the first time ever this year’s Taste Our Best Legislative Reception will be hosted in a new location. Join at the spacious and impressive Hands On Children’s Museum for an evening of the state’s most tantalizing food and beverages from restaurants, wineries and breweries throughout Washington.

their meetings. It’s the perfect way to ensure your legislator knows exactly what you need to be successful.

Running a businesses isn’t always easy and state lawmaking can sometimes make it even more difficult. That’s why the WRA organizes Hill Climb and Taste Our Best each year. Throughout the day business owners meet with lawmakers in Olympia from their district to discuss business outlook, special challenges and to communicate the state of this industry.

Later in the evening, the Taste Our Best legislative reception brings together restaurateurs and legislators for a night of the industry’s best food and finest beers and wines. This relaxed environment gives industry leaders a chance to socialize and visit with the state’s elected leaders.

The WRA government affairs team does all the work, from setting appointments with legislators, to providing simpleto-read talking points for WRA members to use during

Monday, Jan. 27, 2014

12 |

This event is FREE for WRA Members!

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Winter Edition 2013 | 13

Current state employment trends indicate strength in restaurant hiring By Sheryl Jackson, WRA director of information services Fall is the time of year where the WRA looks at trends throughout the industry, including employment patterns. According to WRA’s sources, Employment Security, Bureau of Labor Statistics and the National Restaurant Association, Washington’s foodservice industry continues to be a viable and strong employment opportunity. The WRA compared Washington’s job growth rates to Washington and national total employment numbers.

Through 2011, Washington foodservice followed the same loss of jobs arc as both total employment numbers. However in 2012, Washington foodservice rebounded faster, at 2.9 percent, versus than the total Washington and US employment both at 1.7 percent. Looking closer at Washington’s most recent foodservice total employment released for August, Washington employs over 211,000, a 5.2 percent increase over same month in 2012.

Job Growth rates since 2007

4 3 2 1 0 -1 -2 -3 -4 -5

Washington Eating & Drinking

Washington total

US Total Employment

If seasonal hiring projects are correct ESD expects hiring to be at the same level as last year, with hiring starting now.


of tableservice casual operators expect to devote more of their resources to training


of quick service operators expect to devote more of their resources to training

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Listen from noon until 1:00 p.m. every Wednesday on KLAY Radio, 1180 A.M.

Scheduling Seasonal Success

This holiday season, focus on labor costs for optimal profit By Kathy Groff, Restaurant Solutions

Labor is the largest line item cost for the majority of restaurant operators. With Washington state having the highest minimum wage in the nation it’s doubly important for restaurateurs to really zero in on labor management within everyday operations. As the holidays approach business volumes tend to increase and often the model for scheduling is different than in prior months. There are many special events, private parties and functions and operators often run longer meal periods to accommodate guest requests. This makes it even more important to understand how managing labor effectively can help drive additional profit dollars to you. I have put together in this article an

overview of how to build a “manning graph.” In addition, I have included a sample of how it works. I hope this is helpful for now as you approach the holidays and for managing labor daily in your business. Enjoy the season, have fun, offer great food and beverage and many holiday smiles to go along with them! Manning graph overview The manning graph process is a very valuable process in managing your labor on a daily basis. Part of the process involves gathering of data and the rest of the process is forecasting based on your sales and count assumptions. The best way to manage the manning graph process is to look at each program individually. Each manager should have current wage information and sales and count goals for their programs. You are looking for a “base line” of volume to project staffing levels. Often times you don’t need to add staff to do additional counts if your base line number is sufficient (ie: if you are fully staffed on the line, you can probably do an additional 30-50 counts without adding cooks). Manning graphs can be very effective in taking the “emotions” out of scheduling. By using actual crew body counts for business volumes you build your labor goals managing around the work to be done, versus trying to schedule around the people. When you have built a manning graph around the work pieces then you can schedule the individual players into the time slots. It’s important to look at trends in your operation and build manning graphs for “like” business volume days. For instance, if your Friday and Saturday night business volumes are similar, you need only build one manning graph and it can be used for both nights. Similarly, if your Monday through Friday lunch volumes are about the same, you can build one graph for weekdays and perhaps a separate one for Saturday if you do lunch. The way an individual restaurant could look for a week is as follows:

ƒƒ 1 manning graph for M-F lunch (175-225 counts) ƒƒ 1 manning graph for Sat lunch (closed on Sunday) ƒƒ 1 manning graph for Sun-Thurs dinner (180-230 dinners)

ƒƒ 1 manning graph for F/St dinner (275-325 dinners)

As you can see, we are grouping business volumes together rather than trying to establish a manning graph for every little fluctuation in volume. Depending on your market and seasonality the graphs might need to be adjusted three to four times each year or only built once. Once the manning graphs are built initially they don’t need to be rebuilt until the volumes of business change appreciably. They can just be “tweaked” as needed for fluctuations. When you schedule to the actual manning graphs you can see where hours need to be trimmed when overspent and make daily decisions to influence the goals. For instance, if

you need to send a cook home early to make up labor you should send the more expensive per hour person as your savings will be greater. The key to effectively managing labor in this manner is assuring the schedules actually match up to the manning graphs. Keep the manning graphs handy so if you need to cut a few hours (or add some) you can extend them out on paper before scheduling actual people to meet your needs. Your wage rates need to be current, and again, it’s important to keep your crew out of overtime! Practice the process a few times as a group so you’ll all be familiar with how to build these graphs.

Sample Manning Graph Tool Friday/Saturday nights Dinner program Hours 5-10 for the dining room, bar until midnight Position



4 p.m.





Asst. Host


5 p.m.

6 p.m.

7 p.m.

8 p.m.

9 p.m.

10 p.m.

11 p.m.

12 a.m.

1 a.m.


$72 3



$30.00 Server #1


$450 sales


Server #2


$500 sales


Server #3


$700 sales


Server #4


$650 sales


Server #5


$600 sales


Server #6


$750 sales


Bus/Asst. Ser.


Bartender #1


$950 sales


Bartender #2


$575 sales





















x x


Total spent:


Revenue generated




9 7


x x


Note: I have rounded to the nearest dollar. The beauty of no names at this point is you aren’t locked into who needs/wants how many hours. If your sales are softer than goal you can bring in someone later, send someone earlier, etc. All of the emotion is taken out by graphing. You would make these graphs for “like” meal periods. Maybe Sun-Thurs and the one above for dinners. Lunch might be M-F and then Sat/Sun. Once the graphs are made they only need to be changed for seasonal fluctuations. You would make a similar graph for your kitchen using food sales to figure your % vs. total sales.

Winter Edition 2013 | 17

Preparing for the holidays By Arnold Shain, The Restaurant Group

Winter is coming and so are the holidays. Families and friends will be gathering for warmth around a good meal. And what better place to celebrate than a favorite restaurant? Is your restaurant ready? Here are some suggestions for preparing for the holiday season. Spice up your winter drink list Create a special drink list for the holidays. Offer six to eight drinks which include your restaurant’s inventions, as well as some old standbys. Think warm. Think colorful. When your customers see a steaming drink topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings go by they will want one too. Homemade hot buttered rum batter is always a favorite. Create a table tent to feature these drinks—make it festive and eye-catching Many breweries offer seasonal and holiday beers that are often darker and heartier that the year-around beers. Adding seasonal beers to your list makes this time of year special. Treat your customers to “BiFrost Winter Ale” made by The Elysian Brewing Company in Seattle or “Wassail” by Full Sail Brewing Company in Hood River, Ore. Wine is the perfect complement to a hearty winter meal. Promoting local wines enhances your customer’s identity to the region and the season. The Washington State Wine Club’s featured wines for Nov. 2003 include Kestrel Vintners 2000 Estate Chardonnay from Prosser, WA and JM Cellars 2001 Merlot out of Woodinville, Wash. Evaluate your fresh sheet Your fresh sheet is another place to emphasize seasonal and holiday themes. This actually goes hand in hand with increasing your guest check average and therefore your sales. ƒƒ Review the presentation—is it easy to read? Is it attractive? Are the menu items compelling?

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ƒƒ Make your descriptions sound

delicious and inviting. Inform your customers of seasonal items such as “Washington Hood Canal Oysters” and “locally grown porcini mushrooms.” ƒƒ Are you changing out the items often enough? ƒƒ Are you testing them for flavor and presentation? Is the staff doing this on a daily basis, so they are not only well-informed, but also in favor of the items? I’ve seen special sales be as high as 35 percent of item sales with the right items. ƒƒ Track the sales every day on the staff bulletin board. People want to see the results of their work. ƒƒ Remember that your fresh sheet can help define the restaurant for better or worse. Put the energy into this. Don’t be afraid to experiment. We learn by our errors. Marketing and promotions The holidays are a great time to reach out to your customers through simple advertising and promotions. Promote gift certificates and gift cards, holiday parties and specials through guest check stuffers, table tents and emails to your mailing list. Be prepared to make your restaurant a memorable place to celebrate the season. Service Upgrades Earlier in November management and staff need to really get on the same page on the level of service given to guests and putting the restaurant’s best foot forward. It is time to review server sequence, hospitality attitude, staff appearance, specials, gift certificate opportunities and the like. Create your own list of the critical few that are important to you and further those initiatives.  Kathy Groff and Arnold Shain are both part of the WRA’s Consultant Network. Call 800.225.7166 for access to 30 minutes of free consulting a whole slate of the industry’s top experts.


Let your voice be heard loud and clear, come educate your legislators about the importance of your business.

Join us for this year’s Hill Climb and tell your Legislators how they can help your business succeed.

Register now at:

Winter Edition 2013 | 19

Worlds of Flavor offer strategies for cooking for tomorrow By Anne E. McBride

Now in its 16 year, The Culinary Institute of America’s Worlds of Flavor® International Conference & Festival (WOF) is a proven training ground for chefs from all sectors of the industry who come together for three days to learn from some of the world’s leading chefs and culinary experts. The conference offers demonstrations, presentations on trends, tastings, seminars, kitchen workshops and the opportunity to mingle up close and personal with both their colleagues and the presenters. With the theme of Kitchens Connected: Linking Emerging Appetites and Culinary Innovation in an Era of Global Flavor Discovery, this year’s conference—which was held Nov.14-16 in St. Helena, Calif.—had a particularly relevant package of training for chefs looking to hone in on the latest creative strategies, technologies and flavor trends. Presenters from Scandinavia and Latin America—including Denmark-based Claus Meyer, who co-founded noma and is now working in Bolivia as well—where the eyes of the food world have turned in recent years when looking for the best and most imaginative cooking, detailed how they reconcile hyper-local cooking philosophies with a taste for exploration and adventure. It’s not all about foraging, but rather about looking inward at traditions and cultural elements that make a cuisine, and distilling those into a model that can be applicable anywhere in the world. Connecting it close to home, this approach is also that of Blaine Wetzel, chef-partner at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island, whose cuisine is rooted in the ingredients he finds right around him on the Washington state island. He is also influenced by the relationships he has with chefs around the world, which includes inviting them to cook in his restaurant and by working abroad in the winter, as he recently did with fellow WOF presenter Virgilio Martinez of Lima, Peru. Maxime Bilet, the co-author of the groundbreaking Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking who calls Seattle home, has pushed the boundaries of technology in recent years and now uses a perfect balance of nature and nurture in his cuisine, as he will demonstrate during a kitchen workshop on advanced fermentation techniques. Being able to learn from chefs who come from halfway around the world and others who

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know first-hand the challenges distinct to this state is one of the distinctive features of WOF and one that maximizes the learning value of the conference for American chefs. Other kitchen workshops and seminars will focus on topics such as basic and advanced sous vide techniques; cuts of meats and varieties of fish, including discussions of value; ingredients from Japan, Australia, Mexico, Spain and much more and their use for American menus; food and wine pairings at the world’s best restaurant (El Celler de Can Roca in Spain); and sustainable practices with an eye on the artistry of a dish. Millennials find great importance in healthful foods, as demographic and trend experts will discuss, so sessions will offer strategies for cooking with fruits and plant-based proteins, the science behind and savory applications for yogurt, and the use of world flavors to expand one’s repertoire of vegetable dishes. Experts will also distill the other key elements that millennials look for when deciding whether or not to patronize a restaurant or food company, such as value alignment and convenience. On the business and technology side, attendees will learn about the latest technologies, both operational and informational, to put to use in their business from those who are already working with them. Be they independent chefs or the global foodservice team at Google. They will also hear from app creators on how to use technology to bridge the gap between chefs, companies and consumers and build strong, honest relationships at all points of interactions. Attendees of WOF generally feel that they learn more in three days than they do all year, thanks to all the stimulation and innovation brought by more than 60 chefs from all corners of the world—not to mention the specialty ingredients they get to taste. This year again, they will find that it is the perfect place to charge their creative battery and obtain actionable strategies for the upcoming months of menu research and development.  Visit for more information.

Management Liability Program

The Washington Restaurant Association has partnered with The Hanover to bring qualified members employment practices liability protection.

directors & officers and trustees. Special terms have been negotiated to expand that coverage to include third parties, such as guests and vendors when they are onsite.

Employee-related lawsuits are at their highest in 20 years. Cases involving job discrimination, harassment and other employee complaints can cripple your business’ finances. Even allegations that are proven frivolous can cost tens of thousands of dollars to defend. Examples of potential lawsuits include:

Additional expanded benefits include access to a toll-free employment practices prevention hotline, to assist in avoiding employment pitfalls; access to online bulletins which detail trends and developments in labor law, explained in practical and straight-forward terms; and risk management seminars that provide a three to five percent renewal credit for attendees.

ƒƒ Gender, race or age discrimination from a current employee or terminated employee

ƒƒ Hostile work environment ƒƒ Emotional distress, humiliation or defamation as a result of the Wrongful Employment Act

This program offers broad coverage for full- and parttime employees, temporary workers, committee members,

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In addition to enhanced, industry-specific employment practices protection, WRA members also have access to Hanover’s fidelity & crime liability, fiduciary liability coverage and directors & officers liability coverage. To learn more visit the program page at http:// or contact Chris White at 800.442.1281. 

Winter Edition 2013AM| 21 11/7/2013 11:16:39

Health care reform FAQ

Nondiscrimination provisions and employer exchange notification requirements By Donna Steward

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a non-discrimination provision for all employers providing health care. The provision prohibits employers from restricting participation based on salary and or from requiring lowwage employees from contributing more than higher salary workers. Employers in violation face a $100 a day penalty per employee. The Department of Labor (DOL) developed the rules in 2011, but they have not been finalized. In their absence no penalties will currently be assessed. The department though is considering additional rules to further define nondiscrimination. Such as whether employers not required to provide coverage to full-time employees can still provide select coverage. Currently small employers can choose to provide coverage to just managers or those who have met longevity requirements. Additionally, employers must notify employees of the exchanges, provide contact info and tell them about subsidies for low-income individuals, within 14 days of hiring. They also must provide a written notification that their average employee can understand. What if I am a small employer and not required to provide coverage, but want to provide coverage to long-time employees in recognition of their loyalty – is that allowed? While there is no requirement for small employers to provide coverage to their full-time employees, the DOL is still contemplating whether a small employer may offer coverage to only certain employees. Such employers can continue their current offerings until a final decision has been made. What about part-time employees – am I subject to these same restrictions if I offer coverage to my part-time employees? 22 |

Not at this time. The discrimination restrictions currently apply to coverage provided to full-time employees only. However, the DOL is still developing the final rules that will govern this issue and it is possible they will include requirements that extend to part-time employees as well. What information must be included in the employee notification of the state-based health insurance exchange? The notice to inform employees of the state health insurance exchange must include the following:

ƒƒ Information regarding the existence of the exchange,

as well as the contact information and description of the services provided in the exchange; ƒƒ Notification that the employee may be eligible for a federal subsidy if the employee purchases coverage through the exchange; and ƒƒ Notification that if the employee chooses coverage in the exchange, that he or she may lose the employer contribution (if any) to coverage offered by the employer and that all or a portion of such contribution may be excludable from income for Federal income tax purposes. How am I supposed to know how to write at the “level” in which my “average” employee can understand the written notification? The DOL has issued model language that employers are encouraged to use either in its entirety or as a guideline for how to draft a more tailored notification. Two versions are provided, one for employers that offer coverage and one for those that do not. The model language is provided in both English and Spanish versions. You may find the model language at: healthreform/index.html I offer coverage to some employees, but not others. Which model notice should I use? The DOL model notices are advisory only, employers are not required to issue those specific notices. Employers for which neither model notice addresses their specific situation can choose to write their own notices. To ensure that the notice meets the requirement to be written at a level your average employee can understand, copy and paste the relevant text from the model notice into the notice you intend to distribute. 

The big three: time, money and compliance By Lyle Hildahl, WRAEF director

I learned recently that a WRA member will attend a seminar or forum if it provides three things: money saving ideas, time saving tips and information on regulatory compliance. If those three benefits are present, this member not only will attend—they’ll also send their managers. Enter the WRA Education Foundation. When I teach a class in food safety or responsible alcohol service I usually open with this statement: “We have an obligation to the public we serve to provide safe food and alcohol, served responsibly in a safe environment.” Every team member in the hospitality industry signs on for that responsibility. ServSafe manager, the advanced food safety program, and ServSafe alcohol, the mandatory alcohol service approved training program, approved by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, helps the attendees meet that obligation, while saving them time and money and helping them achieve compliance. Until recently the workplace safety training component was managed by the WRA’s Member Services department. Soon, in a partnership with the Education Foundation, a safety training program will be available as an outcome of a safety health and investment project grant recently completed through the state Department of Labor & Industries (L&I).

members succeed, Member Services will be offering a tailor-made safety and training program developed by the Washington Restaurant Association Education Foundation. This program will be offered free of charge to all RETRO participants in Jan. 2014. The Hospitality Industry Workplace Safety Orientation & Training Guide was created in conjunction with guidance from L&I and restaurant operators, and covers all aspects of workplace safety in a restaurant environment. The online guide and training videos are a terrific tool for new hires and also for making sure that long term employees are up to snuff on the latest safety regulations. The guide will save you time. No longer will you have to look for expensive materials and do your own research. The guide will save you money. For one, it’s free, and secondly, accident prevention is the number one way that businesses can lower their workers’ comp premiums. The guide will also help keep businesses compliant with the latest workplace safety rules, while ensuring that their staff knows what a safe workplace looks and feels like. The guide will cement work safe procedures in the minds of your whole staff and inspire them to create a safe work environment every day. Plan on using this exciting new program in Jan. 2014! The Education Foundation is planning on presenting a series of hospitality breakfast forums in 2014. These will be regional roadshows with topics from the WRA that will save you time and money, and highlight ways to be in compliance with government agencies. Keep your eyes out for dates, times and locations. If you have questions about the The Hospitality Industry Workplace Safety Orientation & Training Guide please contact Kristina McLeod — Programs Manager for the WRA Education Foundation. 

In 2014, as part of the WRA’s commitment to helping our Winter Edition 2013 | 23

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* New or renewing members are eligible when they sign up and are approved for a merchant payment processing account by 12/31/13 with First Data. Offer subject to change without notice. Some restrictions and limitations may apply. First Data will directly pay WRA the $250 towards membership. If you are an existing member and have already renewed, the $250 can be applied to next year’s dues payment upon verification. Other fees may apply. Offer may be extended, modified or discontinued at any time without notice. © 2013 First Data Corporation. All rights reserved. All trademarks, service marks and trade names referenced in this material are the property of their respective owners. 4402 0513

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ServSafe® Manager, Seattle

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Northwest Risk LLC, specializes in providing financial planning tools to restaurant employers in order to comply with the Affordable Care Act. Rainier Industries Tim Jacobs 18375 Olympic Ave S Tukwila, WA 98188-4724 425.251.1800 Rainier offers custom solutions for awnings, patio covers, patio enclosures and shade products. 10% discount off retail price on all screens and awnings Restaurant Rockstars, LLC Roger Beaudoin PO Box 159 Newry, ME 04261-0159 207.415.2363

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Ask the Expert | Restaurant Profit Coach

The easiest way to make money through the holidays By Rick Braa, CHAE


I forecast I’ll do about 35 percent of my sales during the holidays. What is the easiest way to take advantage of the significant increase in business?


During the holidays consumers spend more money. Many have budgeted and saved all year long in anticipation of purchasing gifts, shopping and dining out. Swarms of people visit malls, retail outlets and restaurants. This is the season for sales opportunities. The easiest way to make money during the holidays is by maximizing gift card sales. They carry an automatic profit margin themselves. Gift cards are smart to sell any time of year, but especially during the holidays. They rank as the second-most given gift by consumers, the most-wanted gift by women and the thirdmost wanted by males. In addition, it’s estimated as much as 20 percent of gift card value is not redeemed so selling $100 worth of gift cards results in about $80 of redemption with the balance either floating on a card or lost somewhere in the world. The highest redemption I’ve seen is 93 percent. Since this is such a windfall for restaurants and such a desired gift item for consumers be aggressive in selling them directly to the consumer. Set a goal to sell 50 percent or more gift cards this year than last year and don’t discount the cards. Many large chains will discount gift cards to sell more. Discounting is unwise when the consumer is geared to purchase a gift at full price. It’s much better to offer an incentive on top of a purchase than to discount it. Consumers have a budget in mind when they purchase a $100 gift card, it’s $100. You’ll make more money if you give a free $20 gift card to the purchaser than if you discount the original amount and you won’t cheapen your brand. The first place to offer a gift card is not in your restaurant; it’s on your website. A significant number of consumers use websites for reservations and menus. With a few modifications a website can be tuned to sell gift cards as well. Talk to your webmaster to make sure gift cards are featured on the home page of the website. The consumer should be able to click or fill out a simple form to order. A person at the front desk or an administrative person can address an

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envelope and send the card to the consumer directly in a personalized manner. A simple note of thanks will engage the guest to think again about ordering online or stopping by to pick up another one. The next place to offer a gift card is at the entry of the restaurant. Feature a beautiful sign offering to make holiday shopping easy by placing the order through the front desk and either fulfill the order for those running in and out or offer to complete the purchase when the guest check is presented. The third place to sell a gift card is at the table with a tastefully done table tent, coaster or any other piece of marketing collateral. As well as use the service staff to sell gift cards. The server should have an incentive to sell gift cards, run a contest and reward those selling the most gift cards in total but also per hour worked so those working slower shifts have an opportunity to “win” as well. Lastly, plan for gift card redemptions. A National Retail Federation survey of holiday shoppers found 36 percent of gift cards were redeemed within the first two weeks after the holidays. Be ready for the influx of people redeeming gift cards and get them to come back by offering to reload a card that has been redeemed. Since most gift cards are indeed gifts, keep your staff motivated to deliver top-notch service. Many restaurants are extremely busy during the holidays and there is a letdown after the crowds die down. It’s important to finish the holiday season strong by keeping a sense of urgency and focus after main holidays are past. A strong January can give a boost to a new year and keep the buzz of the holiday season alive all year long.  For a more information on improving profitability and driving sales, contact AMP Services at Rick Braa is the co-founder of AMP Services, an accounting and consulting firm specializing in helping companies grow profitability.

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Washington Restaurant Magazine Winter Edition  
Washington Restaurant Magazine Winter Edition  

From scheduling tips, to festive cocktail ideas and gift card marketing strategies, this edition of WRM will get you ready to impress the ho...