Washington Restaurant Weekly: Thank you, WRA members, for participating in the Liquor Control Board survey!

Washington Restaurant Weekly: Thank you, WRA members, for participating in the Liquor Control Board survey! https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/WARestaurantWeekly-388x198.jpg

Recently, 141 local restaurants completed a survey for the Liquor Control Board (LCB). Thank you for taking the time to help provide this important data! While the results weren’t surprising for us, they confirm what we have been explaining to the LCB about the impact its decisions will have on our members. Of the WRA members who responded, 69 percent employ 50 or fewer employees and could be considered very small businesses. More than 80 percent of respondents said the LCB’s proposal will cause a decrease in sales and/or revenue. And 34 percent of the respondents said the proposed rules could result in jobs lost. The WRA is continuing to compile the data ourselves (which is an open record) concurrently with the LCB examination of it. We look forward to seeing the outcome of the LCB decisions after analyzing the data. Please look for more information on the survey results to come your way soon!

WRA talks openly about PAC donations

Recently, WRA Government Affairs Director Bruce Beckett received an interview request from Austin Jenkins from NPR. The interview was on a sensitive subject – campaign donations. Many groups denied speaking with the media. But the WRA believes in our approach and support of political advocates for restaurants. Each WRA member is a stakeholder and represented by the comprehensive participation of our Government Affairs Committee (GAC). Our GAC is made up of individuals that represent every sector of our industry and every area across the state. The article is a well-balanced look at the large contrast between the dollar amounts given from the Service Employees International Union and state associations. We urge you to read the article and/or listen to the interview here. All WRA members are able to join the GAC. If you are interested in learning more, contact WRA’s Stephanie Davenport.

Minimum wage: What’s next? – Participate in an important webinar, September 10 at 2 p.m.

Changes to the minimum wage may be the single biggest issue facing restaurants in Washington today. We have insights for you! Please join us for a webinar to learn about what is next for minimum wage. You will also have an opportunity to ask questions and have a discussion with other WRA members and the Government Affairs staff. Please save the date – Wednesday, September 10, 2 p.m. If you’re interested in participating, RSVP to WRA’s Shannon Garland via e-mail or phone at (360) 956-7279, and you will be sent the log-in information.

Reminder for Spokane Chapter members: Meeting, September 9 – Please RSVP

WRA members, in the Spokane Chapter, should mark their calendars for Tuesday, September 9, when the chapter meets at the Red Lion Hotel River Inn (700 North Division Street, Spokane). We will be looking at health-care reform and its impact on restaurants. We will go over various strategies businesses can take that can help them be successful in dealing with all the changing rules and requirements. This presentation will educate and help owners and managers be aware of their options, the regulations, and possible penalties that challenge everyone trying to navigate through the Affordable Care Act. RSVP to WRA’s Erin Everhart. And before attending, please send us your responses to the following survey questions on a scale of 1 to 10: 1) How knowledgeable do you feel you are about the Affordable Care Act and health-care reform’s impact on you? 2) How many total employees do you have on your payroll? (Count everyone who receives a payroll check big or small.) 3) How many people do you insure right now? 4) If you have insurance, what company are you with?

Teens need not apply: Youth employment’s decline, its causes and consequences

Columnist Richard S. Davis does a great job of analyzingwhy teen employment has declined so precipitously in recent years. According to Davis, public policy plays a large part in this problem through minimum wages that price teens out of the market, and federal and state labor regulations restrict the age, hours and conditions under which teens can gain employment. Youth unemployment has serious long-term consequences. Teenagers once learned basic skills and responsibilities necessary to be a good employees in the entry-level jobs they took, and these lessons contributed greatly to their future career development. For its part, the Washington Restaurant Association has been advocating for measures like training wages to help bring teens back into the workforce where they belong. Davis concludes that reducing teen unemployment will require significant changes in societal attitudes and public policy, but the benefits of doing so would be very great.

Learn what restaurants are doing to feed the hungry at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission – only on this week’s Dine NW radio show, now online

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. First, host Paul Schlienz talks with Travis Rosenthal, owner of Seattle’s Tango and Rumba. We then shift gears for an inspiring chat with Terry Pallas of Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, who tells us how restaurants are helping his organization feed the most vulnerable populations among us, and how you, too, can get involved with the mission’s great work.

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Nothing sweet for restaurants in California honey shortage

The Golden State is in the midst of a brutal, three year long drought. More than 80 percent of the state is laboring under “extreme” or “exceptional” drought. This would be bad enough if only Californians were suffering through water shortages and inevitable impacts on agriculture, but one can never underemphasize that California is also the nation’s No. 1 agricultural producer. Big impacts on commodities markets and food prices have a ripple that goes far beyond the intensely cultivated croplands of the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys. And you can be sure that restaurants will soon feel the effects if they haven’t already. Among the products affected by California’s bone dry conditions is honey. California has traditionally been a paradise for beekeepers, possessing an enormous amount of crops and wildflowers that produce the nectar that bees turn into honey. Read more…

New health-care reporting requirements: Are you ready?

The IRS and Treasury Department have released draft forms providing businesses with an idea of the tremendous amount of data they’ll be required to start tracking under the Affordable Care Act in 2015 and 2016. The agencies haven’t yet released instructions for the forms, which the IRS says will be available soon, and are still collecting comments from the public about the draft forms.

Twenty great food safety tips to celebrate National Food Safety Month’s 20th birthday

Held each September, the National Restaurant Association’s National Food Safety Month (NFSM) is celebrating its 20th anniversary by featuring its top 20 food safety tips from the last 20 years. The National Restaurant Association created NFSM, in 1994, to foster awareness of food safety education and its great importance to restaurant operations. NFSM provides free resources at FoodSafetyMonth.com and will highlight helpful tips on topics like cross-contamination, cleaning and sanitizing, personal hygiene, allergens and time-temperature control.