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Recent Posts by Utah Restaurant Association

Tips for Evaluating Customer Intoxication


Food and alcohol safety in bar and restaurant settings dictates that those employees engaging in direct customer contact pay attention to potential intoxication. Bartenders and servers alike have an ethical and legal responsibility to refuse alcohol service to patrons who are already intoxicated. This presents a dilemma: they have to continually evaluate customer intoxication until a patron leaves the premises.

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Regulations Are One Reason for Utah Alcohol Certification

There are quite a few reasons for putting your bartenders and servers through Utah alcohol certification classes. At the top the list is regulation. Throughout the U.S., there are a myriad of laws pertaining to how alcohol can be served in bars and restaurants.

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Food Handlers Permit: Important Terms and Definitions

Food Handler

Certain kinds of food service workers in the state of Utah are required to have a food handlers permit in order to work. A permit indicates that a worker has undergone approved training in key aspects of handling food safely. We offer training for the food handlers permit online, as one of only a small number of organizations approved by the state to do so.

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5 Areas of Training for the Food Handlers Permit

Completing training for a food handlers permit in Utah makes food service workers eligible to receive their permits from local health departments. Training can be completed online or in person, offered through organizations approved by the state to provide training. The Utah Restaurant Association is one such organization. We offer training for food handlers online.

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Zion Curtain Fix: An Example of Why We Offer Alcohol Training

Importance Of Alcohol Training

Back in the ‘good old days’, Utah bars and restaurants were required by law to separate alcoholic drink preparation from patrons using permanent Zion curtains. Our illustrious legislators decided to fix that problem last year, but what they came up with is even worse. The whole, sordid affair is a great example of why we offer alcohol training.

The Utah Restaurant Association makes food and alcohol safety a priority. Through our alcohol training program, students learn how to safely serve alcohol and deal with the difficult situations arising from it. Establishment operators and their staffs learn how to maintain compliance with all alcohol-related laws.

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2018 Gala Awards, Utah Prostart, 2018 Golf Tournament

2018 Utah Restaurant Industry Awards Gala

The Utah Restaurant Association (URA) honored restaurant professionals all over the state at their annual Restaurant Industry Gala Monday, May 6, 2018 at the Grand America Hotel. The URA recognizes individual achievements; along with honoring restaurant concepts from quick service, fast casual, casual dine and fine dine. At the URA we know food is all about community and we feel privileged to be able to bring the entire industry together to celebrate one another and include every aspect of our dynamic and abundant industry! With over 500 attendees, the gala provides the URA the opportunity to recognize the incredible achievement of professionals both in the restaurant industry and those who contribute to the success of the restaurant industry from outside.

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Food Safety and Social Media: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Food Safety And Social Media

Few things have impacted modern society quite like social media. If something hasn’t happened on social media, it hasn’t happened, right? So many people depend on it as their primary source of information that it is impossible to ignore. Make no mistake, social media even effects society’s understanding of food safety.

The Utah Restaurant Association’s ServSafe training program is the antidote for social media. It is designed for food service managers interested in learning the latest standards and methodologies for maintaining food safety. Our program is accredited by the American National Standards Institute Conference for Food Protection.

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The Utah Restaurant Association is Thrilled to Announce a Partnership with WCF Insurance and A Workers’ Compensation Program Designed for URA Members!

A Workers’ Compensation Program Designed For URA Members


The Utah Restaurant Association has endorsed WCF Insurance (WCF) as the carrier for URA members’ workers’ compensation coverage.
By combining benefits designed to meet URA members’ needs with traditional services, the program offers the most comprehensive workers’ compensation package available.


Eligible and enrolled URA members qualify for a 5% discount on their workers’ compensation Premiums.


Members have account service teams that work with the company to develop and implement a custom-tailored service plan that meets your needs.


Participating URA members are required to comply with program provisions, including attendance at two industry-specific safety classes or seminars annually. To help meet this requirement, WCF’s Safety Department offers FREE seminars exclusively for members in addition to classes already offered throughout the year.


WCF offers the most convenient and exceptional claims management in the state. Claims can be filed at or by phone or fax. Members can also utilize WCF’s secure website to view filed claims, print loss runs and access other policy-specific information.


URA members are also eligible to obtain Employment Practices Liability Insurance and Data Breach Coverage.

Ask your insurance agent or marketing representative for more details.

Remember, the ONLY way your business is eligible for this incredible program is through membership with the Utah Restaurant Association. The URA values it’s members and strives to provide such incentives and programs through innovative and strategic partnerships as the Workers’ Compensation Fund.

Don’t hesitate to contact:

WCF Insurance

Katie Whited
Account Executive
100 West Towne Ridge Parkway
Sandy, UT 84070
Direct: 385.351.8339, Fax: 385.234.4314


Melva Sine
CEO / President

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The Utah Restaurant Association in partnership with Utah Business Magazine hosted the annual “Restaurant Industry Awards Dinner” Tuesday, May 24, 2016 in the Grand America’s Grand Ballroom. The Awards Dinner honors professionals working in the Utah Restaurant Industry. It also affords the opportunity for busy owners, chefs, operators, employees, vendors, ProStart teachers and students, businesses and industry allies to gather in support and celebration of one another and the food service industry. Below is a full list of award recipients for 2016. Congratulations to all our award recipients and our industry for an incredible year of growth, community and success.

URA Heart Of The Industry Awards
Employee of the Year: Sasha Gray –  Lagoon
Employee of the Year – Front of the House: Maria Bawden – Litza’s Pizza
Employee of the Year – Back of the House: Kendra Begay – Even Steven’s
Chef of the Year: Chef Dave Jones – Log Haven
Bartender of the Year: Scott Gardner – HSL

New Concept Awards
Quick Service: Jersey Mike’s Subs
Fast Casual: Pizzeria Limone
Fine Dine: HSL Restaurant

Lifetime Achievement: Jeanie Palmer – The Pie Pizzeria
Golden Spoon Award (Restaurateur of the Year): Eric & Scott Slaymaker
Silver Platter (Industry Ally): Utah Business Magazine & Sam Urie
Hall Of Fame: Tom Guinney – Gastronomy Inc.
ProStart Teacher Of The Year: Rebecca Sagers of Fremont High School
Sysco Intermountain ProStart Scholarship: Hailey Jefferies of Bonneville High School


BAKE 360, Ballard Hog Farm, Beehive Cheese, Beltex Meats, Benja’s Thai & Sushi, Billy Blanco’s, Black Sheep Cafe, The Bluebird Restaurant, The Buffalo Grill, Chili Beak, Communal, The Copper Onion, Even Stevens, First Frost Farm, Grub Steak Restaurant, Handle,  J&G Grill, Log Haven, Malena’s Cafe, Maddox Ranch House, Mandarin, Market Street Grill, Mazza, Mesa Farm Market,  Milt’s Stage Stop, Milt’s Stop & Eat, Moab Brewery, Morgan Valley Lamb / Jones Creek Beef, Mountain View Mushrooms, Naked Fish Japanese Bistro,  Roosters Brewing Co, Rosehill Dairy, Slide Ridge Honey,  Solstice Chocolate, Stone Ground Bakery, Sunglow Cafe, Taqueria 27 and Tony Caputo’s Market & Deli.


Green Team Mentor chef: Briar Handly

Team:  Daniel Funk,  Darby Gundry,  Alex Ghilchrist, Nena Carlstrom


Blue Team Mentor Chef: Logen Crew

Team: Xander Melandez, Sage Rieben, Samantha Anderson, Katie Jensen


Red Team Mentor Chef: Viet Pham

Team: Hallie Mckell, Madeline Black, Lauren Ostler, Gabriel Orullian



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State Of The Industry : Legislative Session 2016


The 2016 legislative session has shaped up to be one of strong positioning for Utah restaurants. We had a bit of damage control to do early on in the session but are continuing to make lasting relationships of trust with our political allies at the Utah State Legislature. Please keep in mind that the URA is moving our issues forward with patience, understanding that the political process is one that moves slowly and must be handled with care and respect. The Utah Restaurant Association has been making a difference in Utah politics and for our industry for over 70 years. We understand the legislative process and represent you as one of the most respected trade organizations working with legislators on the hill today. We are taking proactive measures working with local organizations as well as state lawmakers to help protect restaurants best interests on a daily basis at the local, state, and national levels.

The issues to promote and protect the restaurant industry are broad and far reaching. The URA continues to address the need for meaningful improvements to Utah’s liquor laws. We are always arduously working on representing the restaurant industry in the finest light possible. We are also tracking nutrition bills, health codes, usage fees, taxes and we constantly and consistently tell our restaurant industry story as one of the strongest and largest contributors to not only Utah’s economy (4,600 locations with over 110,000 employees and sales that are now $3.4 Billion) but the world economy as a whole. The URA is well aware and fully understands the urgency at which small business owners, restaurateurs and patrons would like to see policy changed but this is a process. Working together as a strong united voice with respected representation the URA will do more than chip away or throw rocks, together we are strong enough to bring down any barriers that make it challenging to do business. I urge those of you that would like to understand more fully the legislative process to call our office and join our efforts.

The 2016 session was one of “do no harm”. With a $42 million dollar shortfall from expected revenues, lawmakers were scrambling to get a budget finalized. The budget was not actually approved until late on March 7, 2016. The URA ProStart program was highly prioritized and received full funding. ProStart is now fully implemented in over 62 of Utah’s High Schools and we have more requests for the 2016-2017 school year. The Utah Tourism industry maintained their $15 million dollar appropriation to promote the state of Utah. The URA sponsored legislation aimed at improving the issuance of a Utah drivers license. The request was to require that a young person must acquire an adult drivers license when they turn 21 regardless of when they receive their original license. If a young person obtains a license at the age of 16 then they must re-new when they are 21 and receive an adult license however if they wait past their 16th birthday, then they can still be using a MINORS drivers license even though they are an adult. The fiscal note on the bill was high and the bill was abandoned. HB 251 became very controversial and the restaurant industry in the state had very differing opinions on the use (or non-use) of non compete agreements. HB 251 was negotiated in the final days of the session and passed on the last day!

If you want information on these or other legislation of interest to you, don’t hesitate to call the URA office and we can provide you a status update. The URA is already working on issues for the 2017 session so please let us know if you have issues that you would like to be addressed.

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