Tuesday, April 30, 2013

High School Civics class revisited

by Wendy Waren, VP of Communications
I don’t know about you, but I’ll be celebrating (or commiserating) my 20 year high school reunion next year. That’s seems like light years ago, as I vaguely recall the lessons of my civics teacher—Coach Rousell. In high school, I didn’t much care for civics or politics, but in everyday life, it’s really important to know how to advocate on your behalf or on behalf of your career, business, community and even family.

Recently, the 2013 Louisiana Legislature kicked off and top of mind is the $1.3 billion budget deficit and which programs will be on the chopping block. Some bills introduced, monitored by the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA), have resulted in phone calls to the office, some of which were members requesting a refresher course on the legislative process.

As someone who spends much of my time during session tracking bills through the process, here’s my overly simplified version. You may refer to the old School House Rock video if you seek a little entertainment while learning.

A bill is filed by a legislator and then assigned to a committee, determined by its respective topic relative to a specific committee. There are 17 standing senate committees and 16 standing house committees.

The full committee decides whether to "kill" the bill or send it to the floor of its chamber for approval. For example, a senate bill will go through the senate committee and then to the floor and if it passes favorably, it move to the corresponding house committee, then to the house floor for a full vote.

The last step before becoming law is a signature by the Governor. 

This year, the session is two weeks shorter than 2012’s Session and runs through June 6.

Friday, April 26, 2013

NRA seeks participants for 2013 Restaurant Industry Operations Survey

While last year’s business revenue and expenses are top of mind from this year’s tax season, the National Restaurant Association encourages restaurant operators to share some of that information in its new survey of restaurant operations.
In partnership with Deloitte & Touche LLP, the NRA has launched an update of its Restaurant Industry Operations Report, one of the industry’s most widely used tools to help restaurateurs gauge how their financial performance compares with operations of a similar profile.

The 2013 edition of the report will include valuable information to help operators sharpen their financial performance, detect potential problems, and measure data in new ways. The report will also have specifics by state and region, as long as the sample size is large enough – more operators participating in each state will lead to stronger breakouts of data when the report is published.

The report analyzes operations data for several restaurant profiles. Within each profile, the report also analyzes data by restaurant type, location, menu theme, sales volume and ownership. Cost categories match up with those presented in the NRA’s The Uniform System of Accounts for Restaurants.
Operators who complete the survey by May 31 will receive a free copy of the 2013 report, to be released later this year, as well as state- and region-specific data (sample size permitting).

Participants may also enter a drawing for one of three $500 gift cards.  Take the 2013 Restaurant Industry Operations Survey online.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Senators introduce 15-yr. depreciation bill

Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) have introduced a bill to make permanent a 15-year tax depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements and retail improvements.
The National Restaurant Association supports the bill, which would allow restaurateurs, landlords and other owners of commercial property to continue to write off property improvements and the cost of new restaurant construction over 15 years. Without congressional action, the current 15-year depreciation schedule will expire and revert to a 39-year schedule at the end of the year. NRA research shows that restaurants undergo significant renovations every six to eight years, on average.

“Restaurants experience heavy wear and tear serving 130 million guests a day at nearly 1 million establishments nationwide,” said Scott DeFife, NRA executive vice president, policy and government affairs. “Making the 15-year depreciation provision permanent provides restaurant operators with the predictability needed to plan for future investments, and we commend Sens. Casey and Cornyn for their leadership on this critical issue for our industry.”

"Small businesses are the backbone of our economy," Casey said. "We should provide them with the certainty they need to grow."

The original cosponsors of the bipartisan legislation are Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.).

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Health Care Knowledge Center to debut at NRA Show

Industry operators seeking answers on how to comply with the 2010 Health Care Act can obtain information at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show’s Health Care Knowledge Center, May 18-21, at McCormick Place in Chicago.
The knowledge center will offer show attendees the opportunity to meet one-on-one with independent, restaurant-focused, health care reform consultants who can address the challenges related to the law.

“The impending implementation of the health care law is raising a lot of questions,” said Jeffrey W. Davis, CEO of the United States Beef Corporation and convention chair for this year’s NRA Show. “Whether you’re an owner-operator, a franchisee, or a human-resources executive at a chain restaurant, you need to understand how it applies to your operation and how to prepare for it. That’s why we have assembled a team of experts with more than 120 years of health care and employee benefit experience to tackle those questions for you   so you can go home confident and ready to take care of your business and employees.”

Visit the website for more information on the Health Care Knowledge Center or to apply for a free appointment. Also, read more about how to prepare for the health care law here.

In addition to showcasing the knowledge center, three health care-focused education sessions will be offered twice each during this year’s show to maximize attendance. The sessions will provide big-picture knowledge as well as detailed overviews based on operation size. Visit the Education page for a full list of sessions and times.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Restaurateurs push La. Congressional Delegation for more info on healthcare

Last week, nearly 50 Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) members attended the NRA’s Public Affairs Conference. Healthcare was no doubt the featured topic of discussion of the more than 550 attendees that gathered from across the nation in Washington, DC.

As a result of our group’s frank dialogue in meetings with the Louisiana Congressional Delegation about the need for more information, particularly about the Health Insurance Marketplace (also known as exchanges), LRA members are invited to participate in a stakeholder consultation teleconference Monday, April 29, 2013 at 1 p.m.

James Randolph Farris, MD, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Consortium Administrator and Marjorie McColl Petty, U.S Dept. of Health & Human Services (HHS) Regional Director will update participants on policies and the operations of the Marketplace and take stakeholder comments, questions and answers. The feedback will be used in the development of the Marketplace.

Date: 4/29/2013
Time: 1 p.m. (CDT)

Registration is required. Register here.  

For more information on the Affordable Care Act and the Health Insurance Marketplace, please visit our Partner Resource page at marketplace.cms.gov.

Restaurants donate food & beverage to event benefiting military services group

The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) would like to extend its deepest gratitude to the Greater Baton Rouge businesses who donated food and beverages to “Truce for the Troops,” a friendly flag football game that pitted Republican and Democratic Louisiana legislators against each other for a great cause.  

The event, spearheaded by Representative Nick Lorusso and sponsored by the LRA Self Insurer’s Fund, was April 21, 2013 at LSU’s Tiger Stadium and benefited Operation Homefront Louisiana, an organization that provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of service members and wounded warriors. Lorusso currently serves in the Army Reserves with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  

“I would like to thank the Louisiana Restaurant Association and its members for their generous contribution to the ‘Truce for the Troops’ flag football game,” said Rep. Lorusso. “This is a cause that is near and dear to me. The reception after the game featured great food and drinks that added to the celebratory (and bipartisan) event.”

Those restaurants and beverage companies that donated product were:

The flag football game, which saw the Democrats win 28-21, was open to the public and raised $16,150 for Operation Homefront Louisiana.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

NRA continues push for permanent 15-year tax depreciation schedule for restaurants

The National Restaurant Association today applauded Senators Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) for introducing legislation (S. 749) to make permanent a 15-year tax depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements and retail improvements. 

Under the bipartisan bill, restaurateurs, their landlords and other commercial-property owners could write off the cost of improvements to property, as well as the cost of new construction for restaurants, over 15 years, which is more in line with marketplace reality rather than 39 years. The current 15-year schedule for these investments is set to expire at the end of 2013.

“Restaurants experience heavy wear and tear serving 130 million guests a day at nearly one million establishments nationwide,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs, National Restaurant Association. “Making the 15-year depreciation provisions permanent provides restaurant operators with the predictability needed to plan for future investments, and we commend Senators Casey and Cornyn for their leadership on this critical issue for our industry.” 

National Restaurant Association research shows that restaurants undergo significant renovations every six to eight years, on average.

DeFife added that the measure would help create jobs beyond the restaurant industry, as construction spending has a significant ripple effect throughout the rest of the economy. The industry spent $6.1 billion on new construction in 2011, adding approximately 172,000 jobs to the economy.

The quicker depreciation schedules would apply to new restaurant construction as well as investments in property such as interior walls, wiring, partitions, plumbing, and energy-efficient heating and cooling systems in restaurants, offices and other commercial space.

The National Restaurant Association is a leader of the Depreciation Fairness Coalition, a group of restaurants, trade associations, and other organizations that support permanent extension of the 15-year depreciation schedule for restaurant improvements and new construction, leasehold improvements, and retail improvements.

The following Senators are original cosponsors of the legislation: Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), David Vitter (R-La.), and Roger Wicker (R-Miss).

Are you a "Star of the Bar?"

Sponsored by American Harvest Organic Spirit, Star of the Bar pits maestro mixologists head-to-head right on the floor so recipes, skills and egos can do battle.

This is the competition that drives cocktail innovation—pushing palate boundaries with curious ingredients and unexpected combinations. The masses make the call as savvy restaurateurs, bar and other professionals taste and judge. The greats emerge. And finalists duke it out LIVE at the Restaurants Rock after-party with special guest judges, master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim, celebrity chef, personality and culinary author Anthony Bourdain and Todd Richman, Corporate Mixologist, Sidney Frank Importing Company for bragging rights and $5,000 cash.
Special guest judge
Tony Abou-Ganim

 Do you have what it takes? Know someone who does? Throw your hat in the ring for a chance at glory.

Review the rules and requirements; then submit your recipe and a YouTube video of you creating your signature cocktail using American Harvest Organic Spirit by April 19, 2013. 

Enter the 2013 Star of the Bar Mixology Competition!

About American Harvest Organic Spirit
Newly introduced and award-winning American Harvest is an American-made, organic vodka to which a proprietary blend of organic ingredients has been added, creating a truly unique vodka specialty. It's a revolutionary way to look at the vodka category and boasts a distinctive, smooth, clean and crisp taste.

American Harvest is handcrafted in small batches from organic winter wheat grown on a family owned and sustainably managed American farm. It is distilled and bottled in Rigby, Idaho using water from aquifers deep beneath the Snake River plain.

American Harvest has been developed with great care for the quality, organic nature and sustainable growing practices of all of its ingredients. It has no artificial additives or preservatives and is produced with a continuous column distillation process and charcoal filtration to ensure the integrity and purity of the spirit. The American Harvest Distillery is independently owned and operated and is USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth.

In addition to being a finalist at the 2013 Ultimate Spirits Competition, American Harvest has already received top honors and accolades such as a gold medal at The 2013 Spirits of the America's Competition, a gold medal from The Beverage Tasting Institute, a double gold medal from The 2012 San Francisco World Spirits Competition and The Tasting Panel Seal of Excellence Award for outstanding quality.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Tales of the Cocktail invites you to submit your signature Rickey

A winning Rickey recipe can earn you a cash prize of $1,250, publication in Mutineer Magazine and the recognition of creating the "Office Cocktail" of the 2013 Tales of the Cocktail.

For our 11th anniversary, Tales of the Cocktail is shaking things up with its annual cocktail competition. If you think your skills are up to the challenge, they invite you to create a Rickey that can be use as its official cocktail at this year’s event, July 17-21, 2013.

A Rickey is defined by three over-arching characteristics: (1) it must be tart; (2) It must have a carbonated element; and (3) it must be refreshing–it’s a drink designed, after all, to cool a person during the notoriously muggy summers of Washington, D.C. Think of it as a swizzle meets highball. However, you may use any combination of spirits as the base. Colonel Joe Rickey, whom it was named after, liked Bourbon whiskey. Shoomaker’s, where it was invented, served it with rye whiskey and, throughout the country, it became famous with gin.

"Tales is an internationally-recognized event and being the winner, or even placing in the competition, would be a tremendous accomplishment," said Wendy Waren, VP of Communications, Louisiana Restaurant Association. "The bounty of ingredients and talented, creative professionals paired with the need to refresh the masses during the long, hot, humid summer days, will surely give Louisiana bartenders an edge in the competition."

So, with that in mind, any base spirit will do. You must also use a citrus element. The Rickey adds both the juice and shell of a lime. Any equivalent citrus is fine and, while in the shell is important in the original, it’s not necessary in your creation. You may use other garnishes.

You should, however, add no more than a modicum of sweetener. In a drink with 2 oz. spirit, 1/2 oz. lime juice and 4 oz. sparkling water, generally you shouldn’t use more than a 1/4 oz. of sweetener. However, with that in mind, any sweetener is permitted as long as the final drink remains tart.

The sparkling element is another ingredient where you can be creative. Just be careful of sweet sodas. The Ideal Bartender (1917) author Tom Bullock used ginger ale for his Bliz’s Royal Rickey. However, the drink turned out much sweeter than it’s predecessor. Here is a helpful list of criteria:
  • Base Spirit: Any spirit is fine, provided it’s over 40% alcohol.
  • Citrus: Equivalent to half of a lime, squeezed and dropped into glass.
  • Sweetener: Any sweetener, but be sparing.
  • Carbonation: There must be bubbles, soda or otherwise.
  • Service: In wine goblet or highball, served over ice.
Don’t over think it. This drink is simple and refreshing. If you wouldn’t drink a glass of your creation on a sweltering day with the air conditioning broken, then please don’t submit it. Also, remember that while the politicians of Washington never agree on anything they did put aside their differences long enough to pass a proclamation that the Rickey is delicious and the Nation’s Capitol’s native drink. Now that’s bipartisanship!

While Tales invites inventiveness and creativity, drinks must also be delicious. Sounds odd, but how many “cerebral” cocktails have we all had which “read well” on paper, but far too often, just aren’t very good?

Criteria to keep in mind:
  • Drink must be delicious
  • Can you actually finish it?
  • Is it delicious enough to re-order?
  • Drink should stay true to the overall concept of a Rickey
The rules can be found here. Let the games begin!

Monday, April 15, 2013

NRA Show sessions to address sustainability

As part of its continuing effort to educate operators about sustainability and sustainable best practices, the National Restaurant Association will offer a series of sessions on the subject at this year’s NRA show in Chicago.
Education sessions at this year’s show, to be held May 18-21 at the McCormick Place conference center, will present such topics as the facts and fiction of food sustainability, saving money through sustainable best practices, sustainable foodservice design, how global leaders address sustainability in the food chain, and how to save money and create alternative revenue streams through recycling and composting waste material.

“We are very excited about this year’s slate of sustainable education sessions,” said Jeff Clark, director of the NRA’s Conserve Sustainability Education Program. “These types of professional examples will help inspire restaurateurs to operate better and more efficiently. Implementing what they learn will not only benefit their bottom lines, but also their customers and the communities in which they serve.”

Also, on May 21, entrepreneur and environmentalist Ted Turner and his business partner George McKerrow Jr., co-founder and CEO of the 44-unit Ted’s Montana Grill chain, will discuss “The Evolution of Sustainability,” which will highlight the environmental challenges threatening the planet and what voluntary initiatives they think would help conserve our valuable natural resources.

McKerrow also will explain what operators can do in their everyday operations to lessen their carbon footprints and create more sustainable businesses. The two will be joined by environmental journalist Todd Wilkinson during the presentation.

NRA's Marketing Executives Group announces its Chicago Spring Conference Agenda, May 15-17

Restaurant Marketing Professionals Gather to Exchange Ideas, Learn from Industry Experts, and Network Prior to the start of the National Restaurant Show

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) Marketing Executives Group (MEG) has announced its line-up of speakers for its spring conference, May 15-17, which takes place annually in Chicago prior to the start of the National Restaurant Show.   The conference, which takes place at the Westin Michigan Avenue, is $495 per person for NRA members, $995 non-members, and includes all meeting materials, meals and breaks with a special nightly conference rate available for attendees at the Westin Michigan Avenue. 

The three-day event features an array of industry influencers and tastemakers, proven leaders and consumer behavioral experts.  Branding and social media trailblazers will also be on hand to share their knowledge and expertise with attendees. 

This year’s Industry Keynote Speaker is Harald Herrmann, brand president of Yard House Restaurants.  Attendees will get a first-hand account and behind-the-scenes look at the Yard House brand and how it grew from a single location along the Los Angeles coast to 45 locations.  Named a Hot Concept! by Nation’s Restaurant News more than a decade ago, last year Yard House made headlines as one of the most newsworthy restaurant brand acquisitions.

Additional speakers include:

Harry Balzer, chief industry analyst and vice president of The NPD Group who will provide some insight into the Eating Patterns in America.  The NPD Group has been tracking the eating and drinking patterns of Americans for nearly 30 years. 

Wendy Clark, senior vice president, Integrated Marketing Communications and Capabilities of The Coca-Cola Company, and her team have a leading industry voice and will speak on how this international brand has fully embraced digital to redefine consumer engagement in the SoLoMo revolution.

Clarice Turner, senior vice president, Starbucks US, Clarice oversees the US retail operations and leads a $3.5 billion business of corporate and licensee-owned locations.  She pioneered “Starbucks Evenings,” the brand’s new wine, beer and small plates innovation. Her presentation will help inspire new business opportunities for her audience as she shares her compelling story on innovative marketing.  

David Witt, director, Global Digital Marketing and Brand PR of The Hershey Company, will share valuable insights and tactics on building online networks of brand advocates.

Jeff Fromm, co-author of The Millennial Consumer and Millennial Passions: Food, Fashion and Friends, will reveal what it is that makes Millennials unique, what tools to use to evaluate Millennial marketing, and models for creating guest engagement.  Jeff is also executive vice president of Barkley.

Jeff Harvey, president and CEO of Burgerville, who will share how Burgerville has defied conventional perceptions of what it means to be a quick-service restaurant by being at the forefront of sustainable business practices that go well beyond trendy catch phrases.  Their motto, Serve With Love, has guided every business decision Burgerville has made.

Erik Wahl is an artist and motivational speaker will unleash the creativity from within showing attendees new ways in which they can make their organization more creative, innovative and profitable.

Adrienne Weiss, founder of her own namesake company, will illustrate how a company’s voice makes them standout from their competitor.  Her session will challenge attendees to find the voice of their brands and shout it from every brand touch point. 

Kicking off the three-day event is an opening dinner and reception at the Westin Michigan Avenue on Wednesday, May 15.  The conference closes with an evening cocktail party on Friday, May 17.  To learn more about MEG’s spring conference, go to www.restaurant.org.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Operators’ confidence in the economy is tenuous

In his latest commentary, the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist Bruce Grindy breaks down the latest labor indicators.  Both the restaurant industry and overall economy added jobs in March at their slowest pace since mid-2012.  While the business environment remains generally positive for restaurants, operators’ confidence that it will remain that way is tenuous.

Due largely to softer sales as a result of the payroll tax hike, job growth in the restaurant industry slowed in recent months.  Eating and drinking places added a net 13,000 jobs in March on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the smallest gain since May 2012 (12,000 jobs), according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

The March slowdown was even more pronounced in the broader economy.  The overall economy only added a net 88,000 jobs in March, down from a gain of 268,000 jobs in February and the weakest growth since June 2012. 

Looking beyond the March numbers, restaurant industry job growth outpaced the overall economy in recent months.  Between the first quarters of 2012 and 2013, eating and drinking places added jobs at a strong 3.1 percent rate, nearly double the 1.6 percent gain in total non-farm payrolls during the same period.

The National Restaurant Association expects restaurant job growth to outpace the overall economy by a full percentage-point in 2013, and the first quarter results indicate that there is substantial upside to this outlook. 

Overall, the restaurant industry has been one of the top job creators since the end of the recession.  In the three years since the beginning of the jobs recovery in March 2010, eating and drinking places added a net 856,000 jobs, ranking only behind the professional-and-business services (nearly 1.8 million jobs) and health care and social assistance (949,000 jobs) sectors. 

While job growth in the restaurant industry slowed in the first quarter, average weekly hours of restaurant employees remained on par with 2012 levels, which suggests that the full-time/part-time mix of the industry workforce hasn’t changed to this point.  Non-supervisory employees at restaurants worked an average of 24.2 hours in February, unchanged from the February 2012 level.  (Note that industry-level wage and hour data are one month lagged from the employment data.)

Although the economic environment remains generally positive overall, restaurant operators’ confidence that it will stay that way is tenuous.  In the Association’s March 2013 Restaurant Industry Tracking Survey, only 25 percent of restaurant operators said they expect economic conditions to improve in the next six months.  Twenty percent of operators expect economic conditions will worsen, while 55 percent think conditions will remain about the same.  However, this is still an improvement over their outlook in late-2012, when confidence was decidedly pessimistic due to the uncertainty surrounding the fiscal cliff.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Eat Free for a Year, Support Future Foodservice Professionals

LRA Northwest Chapter holds 52 Weeks 2 Dine Raffle, with proceeds benefiting the LRA Education Foundation’s ProStart® program
The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) Northwest Chapter is holding a raffle, 52 Weeks 2 Dine, to benefit the LRA Education Foundation and its ProStart® program, which includes four Northwest Louisiana schools—Caddo Career Center, Mansfield High School, Negreet High School and North Caddo High School.

The mission of the ProStart program is to increase student awareness of careers in the restaurant/foodservice industry and to provide the restaurant industry with a forum to present and recruit ProStart students. Participating students complete a nationally-endorsed, dynamic and comprehensive curriculum which encourages them to learn all aspects of operating and managing a restaurant or foodservice and hospitality establishment, in school and in structured hands-on worksites.

The winner of the raffle will receive 52- $100 gift certificates to area restaurants—enough to eat at your favorite establishments once a week for an entire year! Each ticket is $10 and can be purchased until June 16, 2013 at the following restaurants:

  • Ernest’s Orleans Restaurant, 1601 Spring St., Shreveport
  • Monjuni’s, 1315 Louisiana Ave., Shreveport
  • Notini’s Restaurant, 2013 Airline Dr., Bossier City
  • Quiznos, 1898 Airline Dr., Bossier City
  • Texas Roadhouse, 1005A Gould Dr., Bossier City

The drawing will be held Monday, June 17, 2013 at Albasha Restaurant in Shreveport. Winner need not be present. Contact LRA Member Services Coordinator Patsy Rials for more information, (318) 355-5301, or prials@lra.org. For credit card purchases of more than $50, please contact Patsy.

* ProStart is a registered trademark of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Program: Accepting Applications NOW!

Eligible Louisiana Restaurant Association members encouraged to apply today!

Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College is a practical business management education program that gives entrepreneurs valuable skills for growing their business, the opportunity to access financial capital, powerful networking opportunities and more -- at absolutely no cost to participants. 

LRA member Phil de Gruy, owner of Phil's Grill in Metairie, knew that participating in the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program would be an investment in his business's future. He was right! The knowledge de Gruy gained from the intensive business program has helped him maximize his restaurant's position in the market, manage his finances for greater profitability, and develop a more accountable and customer-focused workforce.

Small business owners selected to participate receive one-on-one business advising from dedicated professionals to help develop a tailored plan for growth. The program provides expert advice and technical assistance through partnership with national and local business organizations, professional services firms, and the people of Goldman Sachs.

"Being able to identify areas I needed to work on and take steps to put my business on track for growth was an invaluable product of my participation in the program," said de Gruy. "I learned the difference between running a restaurant and running a business."

10,000 Small Businesses graduates learn to translate the knowledge they garner from the program into increased revenue and job growth. The curriculum focuses on practical business skills that can immediately be applied by owners, including accounting, negotiating, marketing, and human resource management.
In partnership with Delgado Community College, the program is designed for owners of small businesses who:
  • generate annual revenues between $150,000 and $4 million
  • have been in business for at least two years
  • employ at least four people, including themselves (full-time, part-time and contractors)
  • operate a business that is poised for growth.
APPLY NOW!  Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses at Delgado Community College is currently accepting applications for 2013 classes beginning in July and November. To be considered for either cohort, please submit your completed application on or before Monday, April 29, 2013.  Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.
Accepted applicants receive a full scholarship from Delgado Community college, which is funded by the Goldman Sachs Foundation. HOPE Enterprise Corporation has partnered with Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses to provide loans to qualifying small businesses.

Monday, April 1, 2013

LRA Education Foundation Offers $50,000 in Hospitality Scholarships

Scholarship Fund to aid students for third consecutive year

The Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation (LRAEF), through its LRAEF Scholarship Fund, is accepting applications for its two scholarships—the LRAEF General Hospitality Scholarship and the LRAEF-National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) Co-Branded Scholarship.

The LRAEF Scholarship Fund was created in 2009 to provide an opportunity to further educate ProStart® students, culinary/hospitality students, industry employees and educators by giving financial support via scholarship funds with hopes that the recipients select the culinary and/or hospitality fields as a career choice or continue to work in the industry.

This Fund will allow recipients access to post-secondary education in the culinary and/or hospitality fields or special certificate programs for educators or industry professionals. The scholarships are awarded for one time financial assistance.

General Hospitality Scholarship applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted in a hospitality or culinary degree seeking program such as bachelor and/or associate. 

LRAEF-NRAEF Co-Branded Scholarship applicants must be currently enrolled or accepted in a hospitality or culinary degree seeking program such as bachelor and/or associate. They must also be currently enrolled as a ProStart student or have completed the ProStart Program. 

Both scholarship awards may vary based on available funds and are merit-based.

Available for download at www.LRA.org, both applications must be completed and postmarked by May 3, 2013.

With this year’s awards included, the LRAEF Scholarship Fund has gifted $130,000 to eligible students since its inception.

“The LRAEF is proud to offer monetary assistance to students both beginning and furthering their education in the culinary and general hospitality fields,” said LRAEF Executive Director Alice Glenn. “Louisiana is on pace to add more than 17,000 new industry positions over the next 10 years. Our goal is to continue attracting young people to restaurant careers and providing merit-based financial assistance whenever possible.”

The LRAEF, a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization, exists to enhance the restaurant community through expanded educational and career opportunities, the formation of strategic partnerships and the elevation of professional standards and practices. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Alice Glenn, aglenn@lra.org or (504) 454-2277, ext. 565.

The Louisiana ProStart program is grateful to its partners: Diamond- Acme Oyster House, Auto-Chlor Services and the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation; Platinum- Performance Foodservice Caro; and Gold- Louisiana Culinary Institute, Ocean Conservancy and Atmos Energy.