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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New Booking App “Resy” Monetizes Hard to Get Reservations

Resy Mobile App  | Twitter

Resy Mobile App | Twitter

Reservations at top new restaurants are always a hot commodity, but are they worth paying for?  New booking service app Resy sure thinks so. Creating a business model that sells hard to get reservations at some of the best new restaurants, Resy hopes to profit off of consumers’ desire to skip the wait. 

To operate, consumers sign up for a Resy account and download the mobile app.  Reservations are sold based on demand pricing and while some reservations do not cost anything, most range from $2-$50 dollars. Founder Ben Vaynerchuk argues that “people value time more than anything” and claims that consumers will pay to avoid waiting for a table.    

Launched in June of last year, Resy has already enlisted 80 participating restaurants in both New York and Los Angeles and with over 250,000 users, the app is currently in the process of expanding into other markets, including Washington D.C. Resy is also partnering with a car service that will allow users to simultaneously book a table and a car to take them there.    

However, this is not the only app on the market offering services like this, I Know the Chef is also a membership that allows users to make last minute reservations with a VIP experience. So this shows that third-party companies have recognized that consumers are willing to pay extra for these perks. Read More

Fifty Seven: The Future Model of Restaurant Success?

Fifty Seven: The Future Model of Restaurant Success?

By Allison Levine, Foodable Contributor

With the emphasis on the foodie culture, dining out is no longer for special occasions — many of us eat out more often than we eat at home. City living offers a vast selection of restaurants to try, but with so many choices, how do we choose? Is it the favorite neighborhood place where you order the same thing every time you go? Or, is it the newest spot that opened up across the city that you will fight rush hour traffic to get to since you made your reservation a month ago? What motivates us to choose one place over another?

Chefs have been coming up with new ways to attract customers that visit not just once, but come back repeatedly. Los Angeles is an exciting culinary destination that is not afraid to experience with ideas and concepts. As diners, we love following chefs to their newest spots, trying seasonal menus and experiencing tasting menus. And, the new restaurant Fifty Seven in downtown Los Angeles may have created the next idea by mixing all of these things together.

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Introducing Our Newest Foodable City: Dallas

In typical Texas form, Dallas is doing it up big on the dining scene. And we’re not just talking steakhouses. Though a bit under-the-radar compared to other food cities, Dallas should not be one to go unnoticed; it’s more progressive than you think. And beginning today, we’re bringing it on as our new city-level blog (joining Chicago, L.A., Las Vegas, Miami, New York City, San Francisco, Portland, and Washington, D.C.). Scattered throughout the many boroughs of Dallas are notable chefs worth talking about. We’ll be cooking up heaps of food news, highlighting food trends, mixology trends, restaurant news, openings & closings, and the chefs who helm the kitchens in the Dallas area. Dallas will be our newest Foodable Top 25 city, as well, so be sure to look out for that within the next month.

As always, we pride ourselves on having an ear to the ground in each of our major food cities covered, and are continually looking for Foodable Stars. So, if you’re a Dallas-based food blogger, chef, mixologist, baker, or just the person all your friends go to for new, hot restaurants as well as hidden gems in your city, make sure to submit here.

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Foodable WebTV Network

Menu Trends: Keeping Up with Consumer Expectations

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With social media and the Internet, consumers now have more of a voice to choose and compare restaurants and menus, demanding a certain degree of transparency as well as heightening competition to keep up with and meet consumer demands. 

With that being said, being mindful of menu trends is more important than ever. According to Nancy Kruse, president and restaurant industry analyst at The Kruse Company, "The bar is constantly being raised in terms of customer expectations and all of you have to be on top of your games." There are certain menu 'must haves' that restaurants must deliver in order to stay relevant in the game. Read More