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Category Archives: Restaurant Industry News

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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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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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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The EMV (that’s EuroPay, MasterCard and Visa)
Liability Shift Will Take Place Oct. 1, 2015.


By Chester Ritchie, NCR Merchant Solutions

After the date above, restaurants that do not have EMV-enabled payment terminals will be liable for chargebacks on counterfeit chip cards used in their establishment. Between the bank that issued the card, the restaurant accepting the card and the payment provider processing the card, whoever is least prepared to accept EMV will be held accountable.


Unfortunately, the impending EMV transition has turned into a market grab. Third-party payment companies, solution providers and hardware manufacturers are using the liability shift to spread false information and scare restaurant owners into rushing purchasing decisions they aren’t ready to make. Those decisions could have harmful, long-lasting implications on their operations.
While it’s important to eventually make the transition to EMV to avoid liability and minimize risk, restaurant operators should proceed with careful consideration to avoid falling for third-party scare tactics.

Here are the Top 5 restaurant EMV myths, debunked:

MYTH 1: EMV is required and will be enforced by a government or security agency.

If you’re a restaurant operator in the U.S., no government agency or industry association requires you to implement EMV. You will not be fined if you do not integrate EMV terminals by the Oct. 1 “deadline date.” It is your decision as a business owner whether or not, when and how to implement EMV.

MYTH 2: EMV is required for restaurants looking to become PCI-compliant.

You do not need to implement EMV to be compliant with Payments Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS). While EMV can be one component of a larger data security strategy, it is neither required nor mandated by PCI DSS. Implementing EMV also will not automatically make you PCI compliant.

MYTH 3: Once a restaurant implements EMV, it can no longer accept mag stripe cards.

Magnetic stripes on credit cards are going to be with us for quite some time. In fact, new chip cards will also have magnetic stripes for this very reason. If you’re EMV-ready and a customer pays with an older mag stripe card, simply swipe it through your new payment terminal’s card reader. Regardless of whether or not you’ve integrated EMV into your POS, you’ll be able to take all credit cards in your restaurant.

MYTH 4: EMV protects restaurants from a data security breach.

Implementing EMV alone will not protect your restaurant from a potential breach. While EMV helps to prevent counterfeit card use, it’s not the end-all, be-all of restaurant data security. There are measures you can put into place beyond EMV – such as encryption, tokenization and automated fraud checks – that will give you better protection and peace-of-mind.

MYTH 5: EMV will achieve rapid, widespread adoption by both card issuers and other restaurants.
Industry experts estimate only 20 to 30 percent of cardholders in the U.S will have new EMV-ready cards by Oct. 1. Moreover, it will take at least three to five years for EMV to reach full acceptance in the U.S., and in Europe, adoption took much longer. Know that it will take a while for everyone to finally transition to EMV, and that you won’t be left behind if you choose to wait until after Oct. 1. You assume greater liability, but you can also assume more control over the transition to EMV than some would want you to believe. It’s important to separate fact from fiction and make the right decision for your establishment.
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URA’s Industry Expo & ProStart State Finals


Tuesday March 17, 2015  9:00am-4:00pm Expo & ProStart® State Finals

5 Classes/Panel Discussions

  The URA is honored to host 5 prestigious panel discussions with several of Utah’s leading professionals in specialized fields related to the food service industry.  The panel discussions are available free of charge for all industry professionals to attend.

Don’t  miss this rare opportunity to grow your business with tools & information that will make the difference!


Utah Liquor Laws 101

Meva Sine President Of The Utah Restaurant Association
Julie Wilson Of Deer Valley Resort
Fred Boutwell Of Gastronomy & Chairman Of The Industry Advisory Committee
Marketing Strategies Playing The Field

Beth Young From FOX 13
Doug Kruith From City Weekly

Toby Eborn Of Pole Vault Media


Industry Trends And What’s Hot

Featuring :
Matt Reynolds from U.S. Foods
Craig Romney from Nicholas & CO
Duane Reed from Sysco


Regulatory Agencies Sustaining The Industry

Stephne Hanson From UDABC
Kelly Christensen From Utah Health Department
Derrick Smith Of The Presidio Group
Dennis Brunetti Of Renegade Oil


Scholarships / Culinary Education Panel
Kim Mediana From Johnson & Wales University
Bob Bourdette From SLCC
Tuesday March 17, 2015  9:00am-4:00pm  FREE ADMISSION
Exhibit At The Expo
 Experience The Expo
 Education & Community At The Expo

 ProStart State Championship

Office: 801.274.7309
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