Attendance at this year’s 83rd annual New York State Restaurant Association membership meeting grew by more than 15% as the Association members traveled to beautiful, but chilly Lake Placid, NY. The three-day event was held at the Whiteface Lodge on October 21-23.
On Sunday night, all in attendance were treated to a once in a lifetime cocktail reception at the top of the Olympic Ski Jump. The views of the surrounding mountains were spectacular and those brave enough ventured out onto the observation deck 120 meters off the ground! Monday morning gave NYSRA attendees an opportunity to discuss challenges and solutions as owners, operators and managers discussed best practices for running a successful restaurant.
The Association was pleased to welcome Commissioner Roberta Reardon of the New York State Department of Labor to address the group. The Commissioner spoke for about an hour on Monday morning and addressed a number of important issues that affect the industry. The key takeaway from the discussion is that Commissioner Reardon mentioned several times she would like to work more closely with the NYS Restaurant Association and its members to better understand the issues facing the industry and help identify solutions that work for all parties.
The Commissioner and her staff also provided a series of updates on pertinent regulatory issues:
- Tip Credit – The DOL staff is still reviewing the thousands of pieces of testimony that were provided at the hearings and submitted separately. No further timeline was given on when we should expect to see recommendations to the Governor on this important issue.
- Sexual Harassment Prevention Training – Commissioner Reardon credited NYS Restaurant Association President & CEO Melissa Fleischut with helping create a more manageable timeline for compliance when it comes to the training schedule. The Department also mentioned that compliance materials are now available on the DOL Website.
- Workforce Development – With low unemployment the DOL recognizes how difficult it is for restaurants to fill open positions. To help aid with this growing problem the Department mentioned that they continually collect resumes and would be happy to link candidates with eateries who have positions to fill.
The meeting continued with a brief rundown of all of the Association’s member benefit programs. We then had the pleasure to listen to Hudson Riehle of the National Restaurant Association as he presented industry trends for 2019.
An optional tour in the afternoon took attendees on an Ice and Brew tour. Everyone had the chance to try curling on the Olympic Ice Rink followed by brewery tours at NYSRA members Big Slide and Adirondack Steak and Seafood.
Tuesday was the annual membership meeting and state board of directors meeting. Association staff reported on the exciting plans for 2019 with new staff members and new initiatives to continue to unite New York restaurants and give them the power to succeed.
For more information on NYSRA, visit our website at www.nysra.org.