When ICE Comes Knocking: Preparing Your Restaurant for Immigration Enforcement

When ICE Comes Knocking: Preparing Your Restaurant for Immigration Enforcement

The Trump administration has made no bones about its crackdown on illegal immigration. Earlier this year, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents swept into ninety-eight 7-Eleven stores across the country and demanded proof of employees’ eligibility to work in the United States. The sweep was part of the administration’s efforts to curb illegal immigration by targeting employers, and the message was clear: “Businesses that hire illegal workers are a pull factor for illegal immigration, and we are working hard to remove this magnet,” said Thomas D. Homan, Acting Director of ICE. “If you are found to be breaking the law, you will be held accountable.”

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Trump's New Tip Pooling Rule Means Harsh Fines for Rule-Breakers

Trump's New Tip Pooling Rule Means Harsh Fines for Rule-Breakers

First, the back story:  The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets the rules for paying minimum wage and overtime.  It allows employers to take a tip credit against its minimum wage obligations if certain conditions are met.  One of those conditions is that tipped employees must be allowed to retain all of their tips. There is one exception to this – that employers can require employees to participate in a valid tip pooling arrangement.  

There are various requirements for a tip pool to be valid but most importantly, the tips can only be shared with people who customarily and regularly receive tips. Typically, these jobs are in the front of the house.

The FLSA is silent as to whether these same restrictions apply to employers who don’t take a tip credit and instead just pay a full minimum wage.  In 2010, the Ninth Circuit ruled that they don’t apply if you don’t take the tip credit. In 2011, the DOL issued regulations saying that they apply whether you take the tip credit or not.

The Tip Pooling Loophole

In 2017, the Trump Administration proposed a rule that would clarify this issue.  

The rule sought to allow employers who pay a full minimum wage to include back of house workers in a tip pool.  But the rule as proposed left open a potential loophole – that in giving employers control over the tips (under the expectation that they would use them to pay back of house workers) that the rule would have also allowed employers to pocket the tips if they wanted to.  

This prompted an enormous uproar and ultimately the administration scaled back; the law would be revised to make clear that employers cannot under any circumstances keep any portion of their employees’ tips.

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The Facebook Data Debacle

The Facebook Data Debacle
  • 1:06 - The Story of Cambridge Analytica and Facebook

  • 4:44 - The First Violation

  • 5:52 - The Value Proposition of FB: You Cant Opt Out

  • 7:07 - The Rise of Social Media Data Gathering

  • 10:19 - The Impact on Restaurants

  • 11:25 - Foodable Labs Analyzes Facebook Engagement

  • 15:18 - Can Facebook bounce back?

  • 17:20 - Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos

  • 20:17 - Facebook Social Restaurant Visits DOWN 17%

  • 21:47 - Foodable Plus: 10 Tips for Preparing for the Mass Exodus of Facebook

Facebook has been dominating news headlines this week and for good reason. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been testifying to Congress on the topics of data security and how the social media giant has been trying to improve.

There’s a lot to consider here: How did this impact the election? Is my data safe? Is it finally time to get off the grid?

But before we take drastic measures, take a minute to join Paul Barron for a thought-provoking discussion about what happened and how this scandal may be affecting your restaurant. Didn’t think about that? No worries, we’ll cover everything from how users are engaging with your FB content to how this data debacle is impacting your restaurant sales.

Cambridge Analytica

This is where our story begins. Cambridge Analytica hired a professor to create a Facebook app that collected user data. You’ve seen those fun but useless personality quiz apps on Facebook, right? Right. Users who authorized this app gave the app access to their data like their "Likes". But not just their own data, the data of their entire friend network. This feature was removed in 2014 but the damage was already done.

The important thing to note here is that, up to this point, Cambridge Analytica hadn’t done anything wrong. This was completely legal and in line with Facebook's guidelines in 2014. But when the professor sold the data to Cambridge Analytica, that’s when they violated the Facebook user agreement, which prohibited the sale of Facebook data to third party companies. Facebook removed the professor’s app and demanded that he and all third parties immediately destroy the data but up until now it is believed that Cambridge Analytica still has some or all of the data.

The Impact on Restaurants

Now people across the globe are understandably upset. There are a number of arguments to be made. But what does all this commotion mean for the restaurant industry? Well, as Paul explains, Facebook engagement is down meaning you’ll be having a harder time connecting with your audience using the platform. Social Restaurant Visits through FB are also down.

So, is it time to jump off the Facebook bandwagon? Listen in and find out!

And after you listen to this podcast, join us on Foodable Plus for 10 Tips to Prepare You for the Mass Exodus of Facebook.

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New Spending Bill Bans Restaurants From Skimming Tips

New Spending Bill Bans Restaurants From Skimming Tips

President Donald Trump just signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill into law Friday that included a section that addresses restaurants and makes it clear that employers may not pocket any portion of tips that diners have left for restaurant staff.

Saru Jayaraman, president of the nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Center said to CNN Money, “We beat them. I think they realized how outrageous what they were proposing sounded to the public, and basically they backed down.”

But that “them” Jayaraman was referring to must have been Congress, as Restaurant industry representatives also showed approval for the rule.

Angelo Amador, senior VP at the National Restaurant Association, argued that most employers wouldn't skim tips even if they were allowed to.

"A decision by a restaurant to retain some or all of the customer tips rather than distributing them to the hourly staff would be unpopular with employees and guests alike, and it could severely damage the public's perception of the restaurant," Amador wrote in his comment on the proposed rule.

The language in the spending bill also does another big thing: It allows employers to pool tips and distribute them among staff, as long as the employer also pays the full minimum wage. Many owners have long sought to boost the pay of kitchen workers and bussers by forcing servers to share their tips.

That's fine with labor advocates at the National Employment Law Project, who say that pooling tips is a good way to create wage equity, as long workers are paid the full minimum wage and tips aren't shared with managers or any other supervisors. "We enthusiastically support this compromise," said Judy Conti, the group's director of federal affairs.

You can read more about the new spending bill and its implications at CNN Money.

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After Campbell's CEO Steps Out from Advisory Panel, Trump Dismantles Boards Altogether

President Donald Trump has been lead to shut down two of his business advisory councils (Strategy & Policy Forum and Manufacturing Jobs Initiative) which were created to help generate jobs, cut down taxes and get rid of regulations preventing economic growth. This happened after executives from major corporations felt compelled to break ties with the controversial administration.

Trump Tweeted:

Trump’s failure to denounce the violent white supremacist rally in Virginia, where a 32-year-old woman was killed and 19 others were injured by a driver who rammed a car into a crowd of demonstrators, forced many leaders to rethink their relationship with POTUS. After backlash, business leaders, like Campbell Soup Company CEO Denise Morrison, decided to step back and disassociate the companies they represent with the White House.

Morrison said in a statement, minutes before Trump scrapped the advisory boards:

"Racism and murder are unequivocally reprehensible and are not morally equivalent to anything else that happened in Charlottesville.  I believe the President should have been – and still needs to be – unambiguous on that point.

Following yesterday’s remarks from the President, I cannot remain on the Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. I will continue to support all efforts to spur economic growth and advocate for the values that have always made America great."

Other business leaders, like PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, were also being pressured to #QuitTheCouncil through online campaigns by Color of Change, a nonprofit racial-justice group.

Rashad Robinson, executive director of the group, told Bloomberg:

"We let Pepsi know about 24 hours ago that we would be moving forward on them,” Robinson said in an interview on Tuesday [August 15th]. “They are a public-facing company that talks openly about diversity. Their role on this business council is that of an enabler, and they are an enabler to Donald Trump -- not just the policies but the practices that are putting folks in harm’s way."

In response to the unfortunate events from the "Unite The Right" rally, Nooyi tweeted:

As reported by Recode, the following prominent leaders had left the business councils before they were dismantled by Trump:

  • Brian Krzanich — CEO, Intel Corporation
  • Ken Frazier — CEO, Merck & Co., Inc.
  • Kevin Plank — Founder, CEO, chairman, Under Armour
  • Elon Musk — Founder and CEO of SpaceX and Tesla
  • Bob Iger — CEO of Disney
  • Travis Kalanick — Now-former CEO of Uber
  • Scott Paul — President, Alliance for American Manufacturing
  • Richard Trumka — President, AFL-CIO
  • Inge Thulin — Chairman, president, CEO, 3M