Why You Must Become an Employer of Choice

The pandemic shocked the hospitality industry and caused a shortage of employees during a critical time in recovery. Restaurants are extremely short-staffed, which means restaurant owners are spending all their time working in the business and can’t be strategic. Restaurant managers and existing employees are overworked, and it all affects the guest experience. While the situation was unexpected for restaurant owners, it has raised good points about what keeps employees in the hospitality industry. Hear from the Restaurant Coach, David Scott Peters, about where as an industry we went wrong when it came to taking care of our employees, the truth behind what it takes to become an employer of choice, and how to ensure you never again burn out your employees, managers and yourself.

Supply Chain Solutions & Creative Ways to Improve Operations

Hear from Wendie Huffman, New Business Development Manager for Sysco as she discusses a topic that is all too relevant in today’s climate – supply chain solutions.

The 411 on the Employee Retention Tax Credit

Eligible restaurants can now access ERTC for 2020 and 2021 for eligible employee wages as long as these specific payroll wages and/or group benefits were not directly paid with Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds. Employers can access up to $5,000 per eligible employee in 2020, and up to $7,000 per eligible employee for each calendar quarter in 2021. Hear from CPA Patrick Gros to help you determine if you are eligible for ERTC and what to expect from the application process.

What to do BEFORE You Increase Menu Prices

Menu engineering is absolutely awesome. You can reduce your food costs by three to seven points when done correctly the first time you use it. Right now, that probably seems like exactly what you need. But beware: menu engineering is not your secret weapon to lowering your food costs. You can’t just raise prices on your menu willy nilly. Before you can engineer your menu for max profitability, including increasing prices, there is a series of steps you must follow. Tune into hear David Scott Peters, the Restaurant Coach, provide guidance on:

  • Why menu engineering and increasing prices is the last step
  • 10 things you must have in place before increasing prices
  • The steps to take to find this information

Digitizing Your Back Office Does More Than Clear Your Desk

Adopting technology should not only give your team time back but provide real-time data to empower your business. Now, more than ever, having an in-the-moment view of your finances and operations allows you to stay nimble as our industry continues to recover. Hear from Bruce Earle with Margin Edge to hear how through technology you can: understand food & labor costs in real-time so there are no surprises at the end of the month, see changes in key ingredients and make adjustments, seamlessly maximize your offerings for profitability and create a digital central source of truth for plating, recipes and ordering.

RYRA: Take Advantage of Grants that Fund Training Wages & Apprentice Education

Did you know there are programs in Louisiana right now that can assist in offsetting the cost of training your new and existing team members? Hear from New Orleans Job 1 Center and David Emond of the Louisiana Restaurant Association Education Foundation about two specific grants available to complement your restaurant training programs.

Restaurant Youth Registered Apprenticeships: The Win/Win for Restaurant Managers and Staff

Hear from Darren Darby of Creole Bagelry and Greg Reggio of Taste Buds Management to learn how restaurant manager and line look apprenticeships create a pipeline of qualified team members.

Building a Culture That Attracts & Retains Talent

Hear from Bobby Fradella, Vice President of Training at Walk-On’s Bistreaux & Bar, as he discusses how to build a people-first culture that lasts – focusing on clarity of brand purpose, vision and mission. Dive into the relationships needed to live the Walk-On’s Way – WOW!

Capitol Connection 2021 – Episode 1

In this episode, Stan Harris discusses the $28.6 billion SBA-administered Restaurant Revitalization Fund which opens May 3; the third week of the Louisiana Legislature; and local industry issues in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.  

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 22

LRA President and CEO Stan Harris discusses the National Restaurant Association’s recent letter to Congress that recapped the recent COVID-19 impact survey. For months, Congress has been trapped in a political tug-of-war while restaurants continue to go dark. A group of moderate Democrats and Republicans last week unveiled a compromise plan that has brought both parties back to the negotiating table. They are calling for a $909 billion relief bill, including a second round of Paycheck Protection Program grants, which with improvements could provide immediate assistance to restaurants. We need Congress to pass our Blueprint for Restaurant Revival, but we also need to ensure that Congress at least makes a “down payment” on a relief plan before leaving town for the year. Our industry simply cannot wait for relief any longer. Efforts in Washington to find the “perfect” solution are laudable, but the lack of progress in the meantime has led too many operators to give up on the government and close down for good. We are pressing for an all-of-the-above approach from lawmakers – nothing should be off the table.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 21

In this episode, Stan Harris and Wendy Waren dish about the status of a next federal COVID-relief package, the Governor’s announcement that Louisiana will move to Phase 3 on Sept. 11; National Food Safety Month, the ServSafe Dining Commitment and the accompanying national advertising campaign to rebuild consumer confidence. Mayor of Lake Charles Nic Hunter gives an update on the progress (2 weeks post-Hurricane Laura) and tells you how you can help the recovery.  

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 20

During this episode, you’ll get an update on recovery efforts in the areas devastated by Hurricane Laura, and we chat with LRA Past Chair Rob King of Pitt Grills who reopened his restaurant this week using a generator and bottled water. We also talk to LCMC Health CEO Greg Feirn, who shares the news about Operation Bon Appetit, designed to reward their employees and support the restaurant industry.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 19

Hear from the National Restaurant Association’s Sean Kennedy on what’s transpired in the last 48 hours in D.C., what’s happening in the House this weekend and the Senate’s proposed “skinny” relief bill; LRA Member Brad Watts testimony before the Louisiana Economic Recovery Taskforce; and from LRA Hall of Famer Chef John Folse on how he’s handled the pandemic and what’s next for his restaurant, venue and food manufacturing company. He cannot predict the future, but he’s determined to stay positive no matter the outcome.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 18

In Episode 18, State Treasurer John Schroder joins host Wendy Waren to bust myths on who is eligible for the Louisiana Main Street Recovery Grant Program and what expenses are reimbursable. And just in, Governor Edwards gives an update from his August 13 (today) press conference on unemployment compensation.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 17

In Episode 17, we hear from Ernest Legier, the newly appointed Commissioner of the Alcohol Tobacco Control with details of the Conditional Restaurant Permit process. Award Winning Chef Frank Brigtsen reports on week one of reopening his small fine dining restaurant given the spacing challenges to meet social distancing requirements for kitchen staff. He’s also a culinary professor and started teaching in person at John Folse Culinary Institute at Nicholls State University; and virtually at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) this week.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 16

LRA President/CEO Stan Harris joins us with an update on where things stand in Louisiana and what restaurants need to do right now to avoid closures and reduce staff exposure to COVID. Sean Kennedy, EVP for Public Affairs for the National Restaurant Association brings us a report from D.C., where negotiations have stalled between Republicans and Democrats. Take action now and visit www.restaurantsact.com to send a pre-written letter to your Congressperson.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 15

National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy joined the podcast to explain the importance of the restaurant industry standing on a united front to get the attention our industry needs from policymakers. Right now, our short term focus is survival and our long term focus is revival. Listen in now.

Conversations in the COVID Crisis- Episode 14

Stan Harris and Wendy Waren are back in the office today talking about the National Restaurant Association’s Blueprint for Restaurant Revival plan. Stan also reminds us to practice “COVID Courtesy” and abide by Governor John Bel Edwards’ state wide mask mandate. Stay tuned to hear a little clip of Stan on the Governor’s talk show from July 15. Finally, the LRA Vice President of Membership Pam St. Pierre gives us an update on some exciting ServSafe® news– ServSafe® Foodservice Manager is now offered ONLINE! Purchase the online bundle for $134 through July 31st.