Democrats introduce bill to raise federal minimum wage | N.Y. Assembly sends minimum wage measure to Senate | Charlotte restaurants support tax to keep team
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March 6, 2013
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On the Front Burner
Democrats introduce bill to raise federal minimum wage
Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin and California Rep. George Miller introduced the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 on Tuesday, a bill that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour by 2015, and tie future increases to inflation. Massachusetts Rep. Joe Kennedy III signed on as a sponsor of the bill, which would also raise the minimum wage for tipped workers. The Washington Post/The Associated Press (3/5), Taunton Daily Gazette (Mass.) (3/5)
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N.Y. Assembly sends minimum wage measure to Senate
The New York State Assembly passed a bill Tuesday that would raise the state's minimum wage to $9 per hour and tie future increases to inflation. The measure now heads to the Senate, where Republican lawmakers may look to strike a compromise to win approval for a package of employer tax cuts. The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.)/The Associated Press (3/5)
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Restaurant News
Charlotte restaurants support tax to keep team
Tom Sasser, president of Charlotte, N.C.-based Harper’s Restaurant Group and head of the town's restaurant trade organization, told lawmakers in a letter that he and other restaurateurs would support a new food-and-beverage tax to pay for stadium improvements to keep the Carolina Panthers in town. The team seeks public money to fund $300 million in improvements at 17-year-old Bank of America Stadium. American City Business Journals/Charlotte, N.C. (3/5)
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Other News
Leading Voices
Chains grow more socially creative
Subway is going virtual with a new contest that aims to meet the socially savvy entrepreneurs of the future where they live. As social media becomes a bigger part of daily life, restaurant chains are growing more creative in how they communicate with the public. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Food & Beverage (3/6)
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Can digital signage boost your restaurant's sales?
Quickservice chains have reaped rewards from installing digital signage and menu boards, but it's less clear whether investing in digital signage is right for full-service and fast-casual operations. Digital signage can help restaurants modernize their look without complete remodels and help upsell and develop repeat business, said consultant Lyle Bunn, whose free e-book aims to help restaurateurs decide if digital is right for them. (3/4)
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Dining Out For Life turns 20
Restaurants in cities around the country will celebrate the 20th annual Dining Out For Life event on April 26, vowing to donate the day's proceeds to local HIV/AIDS causes. Spokesman, cookbook author and "Chopped" host Ted Allen was drawn to the cause in its early days, he said. "A fundraiser like this is so great because it allows anybody to make a meaningful contribution with a completely minimal amount of time and doing something we have to do anyway, which is eat." St. Louis Post-Dispatch (3/5)
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Texas chef banks on social media success
When chef Jason Dady isn't busy running three restaurants in San Antonio and south Texas, he's creating a large following on Facebook and Twitter by broadcasting personal and professional content and selling tickets for exclusive dinners on Facebook. "[Selling out events online] reaffirms that my core customers want new, interesting events, and that they live in this digital space," he said. American City Business Journals/San Antonio/Social Madness blog (3/4)
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Culinary Spotlight
Cracker Barrel tests low-cal comfort food
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, the chain known for its indulgent comfort food, is testing a menu of lower-calorie options developed by a registered dietitian. The new menu, designed to broaden the chain's appeal and boost sales, will likely be added at all 621 restaurants this summer, said CEO Sandra Cochran. The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Ky.) (tiered subscription model) (3/5)
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Some burger chains court gluten-free guests
While many burger chains offer celiac sufferers and others who avoid gluten the option of a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, some are going further. Hopdoddy Burger Bar bakes gluten-free buns in-house, and The Counter has created a separate menu that includes gluten-free appetizers, beer, wine, shakes and a build-your-own burger option. (3/5)
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Food for Thought
The world is much more interesting than any one discipline."
-- Edward Tufte,
American statistician and professor
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