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Do More 24
United Way of the National Capital Area is gearing up for Do More 24 – a one day online fundraiser that will be held on June 19th to support area nonprofits.   Give back to your community and participate as a Do More 24 restaurant sponsor. Team up with local nonprofits and donate a portion of your sale proceeds to Do More 24. Participating restaurants will be recognized on the Do More 24 website.   Be a part of something bigger and let’s show how generous the restaurant community can be! For questions or to learn more, contact restaurants@domore24.org.  
By Ryan Sharrow and Tucker Echols, Washington Business Journal On the last day of the 2014 General Assembly, state lawmakers gave final passage to a bill that will eventually  raise the Maryland minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, eased the penalties for possessing marijuana, but were less generous to production companies that choose to film in Maryland. The minimum wage bill, previously passed by the Senate Saturday, was approved Monday by the House and heads to Gov.Martin O'Malley for his final signature. The wage will...
Updates on the Green Dot Money Pack/Pepco Scam RAMW has been in touch with Pepco and they are aware of the Green Dot Scam.  If you receive a call from a person claiming to be from Pepco or any other service provider it is important that you: take precautions to verify the person is affiliated with the company, especially if that person is requesting an immediate credit card or cash payment.  Pepco will never ask a customer to provide a specific form of payment and always offers customers multiple payment options. ask for official photo identification from any person who shows...
Cohn Reznick
In the restaurant industry, success depends on a strong brand concept that is successfully executed, tightly managed for profitability, and delivers a consistent customer experience. The challenge facing the leaders of food and beverage operations is how to successfully align leadership, management, and staff in accomplishing these objectives. In our experience, the most successful organizations have maintained competitive advantage and realized profitable revenue growth by establishing core values that help everyone make decisions that best support the brand.   Core values are the...
Restaurants consume five to seven times more energy than other businesses. From long operating hours to energy-intensive food preparation, it’s easy to see why restaurants use such a high amount of energy. Unfortunately, this means that restaurants also waste more energy than a typical business. In fact, according to Pacific Gas and Electric, the food service industry wastes around $8 billion in energy every year. In the District, the DC Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU) offers rebates on everything from energy-efficient stoves and fryers to refrigeration and HVAC upgrades that can...
By Betsy Craig (CEO and founder of MenuTrinfo®) A senate bill was passed on January 23rd, 2014 in Maryland that mandates all commercial kitchens to have allergy awareness training . Beginning March 1st, 2015, it will be mandatory for food establishments in Maryland to have one employee  on the premises at all times who have completed a food allergen awareness training course and passes an accredited test approved by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Of those individuals who have gone through training, one employee must be available to discuss meal options with customers...
This is a guest post for MenuTrinfo® by Alison Baumgartner, a former waitress. For a long time, I was a career waitress who worked pretty much everywhere in the United States. I worked for high-end, local, and chain restaurants, and while they were all very different, I found that they had one similarity: inefficiency when it came to knowing exactly what was in the food. And by that, I mean there was too little nutritional labeling, no awareness of potentially allergenic ingredients and no information on what foods that contain gluten for all levels of the staff. In the end, it was...
One hour.  Sixty minutes. 3,600 seconds.   Lunch break. Pilate’s class. An episode of The Bachelor (don’t pretend you don’t watch).   In one hour you can get a haircut or pedicure, take a nap, or ride the metro from Franconia-Springfield to Silver Spring. In sixty minutes you can bake a cake, write a letter, or (start to) work on your taxes. Or, in one hour you can save up to three lives.  That’s right.  For a simple one-hour investment you can make a life-giving difference to those in need.  January is National Volunteer Blood...
By Julian Hattem, The Hill The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is backing down from a fight over a contentious regulation that would have required most businesses to display posters about union rights.   Two federal appeals courts struck down the rules in separate cases last year, ruling that they amounted to an overreach from the labor rights agency. The NLRB’s last recourse to save the rules was to appeal to the Supreme Court. On Monday, it declined to take that step, effectively killing the regulations for good. Read More.    
The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) will host a wholesale local food trade show on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. The purpose of this Expo is to provide an opportunity for Maryland growers, producers, and processors to connect with buyers from grocery retailers, restaurants, schools, institutions, and other venues. The Registration deadline to be included in the 2014 Directory is January 7, 2014 In 2013, there were more than 300 registrants, including produce farmers, artisan cheese and ice cream producers, beef and bison farmers, grocery store representatives, chefs, school nutrition...
The season of giving is quickly winding down.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or Festivus – it’s likely you made your lists, checked them twice, and set out to secure gizmos, gadgets, thing-a-ma-jigs and whatcha-ma-call-its for those you know and love.  Gifts are tokens of appreciation designed to convey value and worth, but sometimes they fall a little short of that goal.  No doubt you have opened an ugly sweater, tacky tie, box of fruitcake, or other gift that has forced you to smile politely and remind yourself that it’s the thought...
Are your GAS and ELECTRICITY costs hurting your bottom line?  Let's see if we can help you reduce your costs, increase profits and potentially earn FREE ENERGY. As Independent Consultants with Ambit Energy, we offer you the opportunity to reduce your cost with competitive rates and potentially FREE ENERGY.  There is NO COST to taking advantage of the savings we offer.  Our goal is to help you save money and earn FREE ENERGY! For a free evaluation of how much you can save, e-mail Clayton or Alva Bourges at usave12@gmail.com.  You may also call us at 703-863-4086 or...
Bethesda, MD (PRWEB) October 29, 2013   Streetsense, a multidisciplinary firm specializing in retail, restaurant, hospitality, and real estate solutions, announced today that it has acquired two firms – Food Culture of Miami, Florida and Financial Foods of Bethesda, Maryland – to create a new line of concept development and operational consultancy services for restaurant and hospitality clients. Antoni Yelamos of Food Culture and Adam Williamowsky of Financial Foods will serve as the co-directors of Streetsense’s Eat+Drink consultancy group. With the...
Business owners can reduce operating costs by evaluating energy expenses. A new report, Best Practices: Electricity Procurement, discusses the major impact that electricity costs have on middle-market operating budgets. View the report for information and best practices regarding how to select the right electricity supplier, what to consider before signing a contract, and which hidden items impact your final electricity bill. You can also benchmark your energy usage and costs, and become better equipped to make smart energy-related decisions. View the report. 
Jason Dangle, Fishbowl SM3 Team It happens to every restaurant at some point. A bad day has led to a displeased guest. In the old days, you might have to deal with negative word of mouth. But, with the rise of websites like Yelp, a bad review can have a boomerang effect, impacting the bottom line of a restaurant substantially over time. Fishbowl’s SM3 team works with restaurants every day to alleviate the damage a bad review can create. Over time, they’ve developed a system of best practices to give you the confidence to deal with harsh criticism. We sat down with SM3...
Tony Ventre, Heartland Restaurant Solutions Insights For restaurateurs, mobile payment acceptance solutions are giving new meaning to the saying “think outside the box.”  By transforming smartphones and tablets into mobile point-of-sale systems and providing the freedom to accept credit/debit/gift card payments from anywhere at any time, mobile payments enable you to take your business beyond your four walls. With the use of mobile payments, many restaurateurs are taking advantage of untapped sales opportunities. Consider utilizing mobile technology to facilitate...
Julie Jargon, Wall Street Journal Gratuities Added for Larger Groups Will Be Taxed as Service Charges   An updated tax rule is causing restaurants to rethink the practice of adding automatic tips to the tabs of large parties. Starting in January, the Internal Revenue Service will begin classifying those automatic gratuities as service charges—which it treats as regular wages, subject to payroll tax withholding—instead of tips, which restaurants leave up to the employees to report as income. The change would mean more paperwork and added costs for the restaurants—...
Michelle Basch, WTOP Nearly a year and a half after Montgomery County's 5-cent bag tax took effect, a public hearing was held Tuesday night to consider possible tweaks. A bill being considered by the Montgomery County Council would scale back the tax so it only applies to food stores. A food store would be defined as any retail store where food makes up more than 2 percent of gross sales by dollar value. The bill would make takeout food bags exempt from the tax.   Read more: http://www.wtop.com/41/3362788/Exemptions-proposed-to-Montgomery-Countys-bag-tax  
When Is a Tip Just a Tip?                                                                                    Tipping in the hospitality industry is considered the normal course of business.  However, the IRS considers tipping, in certain situations, to be taxed differently through payroll.  Employers in this industry now need to be diligent in their recordkeeping.  ...
You ask and we answer. The following questions and answers are a result of responses we received from the earlier round of FAQs. Health Care FAQ's For Restaurants My restaurant has fewer than 50 employees and I offer insurance but only to my senior staff. Since we’re under 50 and exempt from the employer health care mandate, can we continue to offer to only some of our staff? There are five restaurants trading under the same name in our group but each restaurant was set up individually with a different mix of...
Below you will find an FAQ session that will help update you on the health care mandate. We would like to continue with frequent updates based on what you need and want to know. So please, send us your questions for the next FAQ session to betsy@ramw.org:   Health Care FAQ's For Restaurants Will all restaurants have to offer health benefits to their employees? What are my options for offering health care to my employees? Am I OK with the insurance I have now? I have restaurants in DC, Virginia and Maryland...
Scott Attman, Acme Paper & Supply Co. for Franchise Times Now that the Federal Trade Commission’s new Green Guides are in effect, restaurant industry and other franchisors can expect big changes in several elements of their business. For starters, marketers who pitch products as environmentally friendly have to back up their claims or face fines. If the FTC finds product marketing misleading, it will begin filing suits against the companies in question, just as it does for health claims made by food manufacturers. Precise verbiage in product descriptions will be important...

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