Promoting, educating and advocating for Delaware’s restaurant industry since 1965.

FOOD AND HEALTHY LIVING

Menu Labeling Passes Senate
SB81 Heads to House

A bill to require restaurants with 20 or more locations (at least one location in Delaware) to post calories on their menu’s and menu boards has cleared the Senate with a 15-5 vote. The bill’s sponsor, Senator Dave Sokola (D-Newark) calls the bill a €œconsumer awareness measure aimed at fighting the obesity epidemic. (SB81 Amendment 5)
SB81 could affect chain restaurants as well as convenience stores, ice cream shops, deli’s, bakeries, fast food outlets and any establishment trading under the same name in Delaware or nationally with 20 or more locations.

The Delaware Restaurant Association (DRA) opposes this legislation. €œThis will affect our local businesses such as Grotto Pizza, Capriotti’s and Bruster’s Ice Cream, said Carrie Leishman, DRA President/CEO. €œMenu labeling laws are best handled on a federal level, she stated. (DRA POSITION)

The DRA supports federal legislation sponsored by Senator Tom Carper which advocates for a national standard in menu labeling. The Labeling Education and Nutrition Act has since been rolled successfully into the federal health bill and has support from both the House and Senate.

The bill now heads to the House Economic Development, Banking and Insurance Commerce Committee. It could be considered in March. DRA members are urged to contact their House Member to oppose a state mandated menu labeling bill.

House Economic Development Committee:

Byron Short (Chairman) 475-2252
DE Williams (Vice Chairman) 373-0115
E Bradford Bennett 697-8110
Gerald L. Brady 655-1373
Gerald W. Hocker 539-4140
Deborah Hudson 651-9571
Helene M. Keeley 655-7071
Gregory F. Lavelle 478-6128
Michael Ramone 737-7529
John J. Viola 832-2209

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND PROFITABILITY

Alan Levin, Secretary, Delaware Economic Development Office
Addresses Members of Delaware Restaurant Association at Annual Membership Luncheon

Highlighting the importance of helping small business to the state of Delaware, DEDO Director, Alan Levin spoke to a group of DRA members promoting Governor Jack Markell’s LIFT Program€”a $5 million dollar loan subsidy for small businesses. Businesses who apply and receive LIFT subsidy will repay the money to the state after two years, with the individual business owners themselves giving personal guarantees as part of the program.

€œSmall businesses need to be an engine driving our economic recovery, €œLevin said. To qualify for LIFT, a small business must be in operation for at least three years and can have as many as 50 employees. Participating banks agree to defer principal payments during the two years the state is subsidizing the interest. For more information on LIFT go to dedo.delaware.gov/pdfs/business/Business_LIFT_program.pdf

The Delaware Restaurant Association, National Restaurant Association and Heartland Payment System Align to Deliver Best-In-Class Business Services to Restaurateurs

New Partnership Delivers First-Ever Unified Payments Processing Platform to Restaurants

The National Restaurant Association, Delaware Restaurant Association and Heartland Payment Systems®, one of the nation’s largest payments processors, are forming a strategic partnership that will deliver the first-ever unified payments processing platform to the restaurant industry. This alliance will provide restaurateurs nationwide with effective tools, solutions and resources that will help them reduce their expenses, improve operations and increase profitability – all from one source with integrated technology product platforms.

The partnership’s “Full Course Business SolutionsSM” offering is initially launching with an exclusively endorsed suite of payments products – including card processing, payroll, check management and tip reporting and compliance services.
For more information contact the DRA at 302-738-2545. http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/pressrelease/?ID=1880

Jobs and Careers

Delaware Restaurant Association Speaker’s Bureau
DRA President to address Culinary Graduates

Carrie Leishman, DRA President/CEO will address the Delaware Food Bank’s Culinary School Graduates on February 14th at the Food Bank Headquarters in Newark. The Culinary School at the Food Bank of Delaware provides valuable job training to unemployed and underemployed individuals. The 12-week program includes 10 weeks of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling and life skills. The 10-week training culminates with a two-week paid internship at a food serve company, restaurant or catering company.

The school is a certified trade school by the Delaware Department of Education. The mission of the Culinary School is two-fold. First students are taught skills that are highly desirable to employers in the food industry and second, these newly developed skills have the potential to lead to jobs in the industry that provide job security and economic sustainability. Under the direction of the Food Bank’s Executive Chef, Noah Mathay, and Production Manager and Chef Instructor, Nick Durbin, students are introduced to a commercial kitchen; learn culinary mathematics, basic cooking techniques, presentation and baking skills, knife handling basics, ServSafe® food safety skills and more.

For more information go to www.fbd.org/

Sustainability and Social Responsibility

Visit Restaurants for Relief-Haiti

See what the restaurant industry is doing for Haiti through the National Restaurant Association and Share our Strength. www.strength.org/get_involved/restaurants_for_relief/

Now, Claim a Deduction for Last Year

Americans have been given a special tax break for donations to help earthquake victims in Haiti, thanks to a new law signed by President Obama.

Leaders of the House Ways and Means Committee from both parties introduced a bill Tuesday that makes contributions made between January 12 and February 28 count toward an individual’s or family’s 2009 taxes. Normally, contributions are deductible for the year in which they are actually made. So without the special exception, you wouldn’t be able to claim deductions for this year’s charitable gift until you filed your 2010 tax return in 2011. The new law also allows taxpayers who donate via text messages to use phone bills as proof of a donation. Taxpayers can claim the deduction in either 2009 or 2010, but not both.

It is important to note that only monetary gifts made specifically to qualified organizations for Haiti earthquake relief are eligible for the accelerated tax break. Contributions to domestic charities that provide assistance to individuals in foreign lands, such as Haiti, can qualify as tax-deductible contributions for federal tax purposes — if the U.S. organization has control and discretion over the use of the funds. Domestic organizations are defined as those created under the laws of the United States or its possessions. Religious groups are also qualified charitable organizations. Direct contributions to foreign organizations are generally not tax-deductible, unless they are permitted by a tax treaty.

Keep in mind that charitable deductions, which reduce the amount of income subject to taxes, can only be claimed by those who itemize, rather than take the standard deduction.

Keep Records to Prove a Donation.
The IRS requires that you have a bank record or written acknowledgement from the charity before filing your return.

Where to Give:
There are numerous qualified charities collecting for Haiti victims. In a fund-raising appeal made last week, President Obama recommended Americans give to the fund created by former Presidents George Bush and Bill Clinton.

Stay away from unsolicited Haiti appeals. Contact reliable charities directly to avoid being caught in a scam. The FBI warns Internet users to “apply a critical eye” if they receive messages to donate money to help Haiti victims. “Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with crimnal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause,” the FBI stated. Don’t click on links, attachments or pictures in unsolicited messages because they many contain viruses.

For more information see IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions and Publication 3833 , Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations. To determine if an organization is a qualified charity visit IRS.gov, keyword “Search for Charities”. Note that some organizations, such as churches or governments, may be qualified even though they are not listed on IRS.gov.

Consult with your Tax Advisor to review the details of this legislation.

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Conserve: Solutions for Sustainability

The National Restaurant Association’s Conserve initiative is designed to inspire actions that improve a company’s bottom line, but also are good for people and the planet. Conserve explores conservation efforts being adopted by restaurants around the nation and offers suggestions and resources to help you reduce the cost of running your operation €” both to your bottom line and the environment.