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Category Archives: Newsletter

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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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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Taste Utah!



 Take a bite out of Utah’s food culture with this entertainment / travel weekly series on ABC4 Sundays at 9:30 AM.

Join Katy as she showcases Utah’s vast culinary landscape and proudly highlight contributions to food through agricultural practices, conventional & unconventional farming methods, food communities, vacation destinations and what each unique local dining culture offers. Utah dining is the destination!

Taste Utah also offers an interactive website to inspiring culinary destinations and grow Utah’s food tourism to the world.  Visit for Utah’s food inspiration!

taste-utahFollow us on IG, Twitter and FB @TasteUtah, and stay tuned for upcoming episodes and features to come!

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October President’s Message

I am thrilled to personally invite you to Taste Utah!
Taste Utah is the Utah Restaurant Association’s 2015-2016 marketing campaign, branding the great state of
Utah as the dining destination.
LEO_Logo_COLORS_vCS2Dear Utah Restaurant Association Members,

I am thrilled to personally invite you to Taste Utah! Taste Utah is the Utah Restaurant Association’s 2015-2016 marketing campaign, branding the great state of Utah as THE dining destination.

We’ve been in production this summer for our first leg of the campaign, a reality culinary competition show, “Utah ProStart Teen Chef Masters” based on our Utah ProStart Program. Utah ProStart is one of the most successful programs in the nation and we are excited to highlight it. This show will feature mentor chef ‘s Chef Viet Pham, Chef Logen Crew, Chef Briar Handly and is hosted by URA board member Matt Caputo. The winning teen chef will receive a four-year scholarship to Johnson & Wales University.


In conjunction with this exciting new TV show “Teen Chef Masters” is our new 2015 “Let’s Eat Out” commercial campaign encouraging consumers to “Get Tasting Utah!” In January 2016 the URA will invite the world to Taste Utah, in a new television series highlighting “dining is the destination” as representatives from the URA visit many of you around the state to share (on TV) all the incredible culinary offerings throughout the great state of Utah.

Of course, we are always working tirelessly to represent you on all fronts with top state officials, policymakers, and local political leaders discussing issues affecting our industry.

The URA is working on the 2013 food code which includes meeting with state and local health departments. Adoption of the food code will create uniform food safety regulations for the entire state to include procedures for food handler permits and training. The URA is building industry together.Our ServSafe classes are always available to you every Wednesday, and ServSafe Food Handler Permits are nearly ready for on-line accessibility.

*Additionally stay tuned as we reveal an exciting face lift coming to our website and the BIG CHANGE


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