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4 Congressional Rulings to Watch

Our vice president gives an update on legislation affecting the restaurant industry

By Sarah Ann Noel - October 23, 2017

The restaurant industry is a multi-faceted one, covering business, creative, and regulatory fields. It can be tricky to keep up with all the necessary components to running a successful, up-to-regulation restaurant; but our restaurant consultants have their fingers on each of these pulses and more. Today, our vice president shares a legislative update for this fall, to make sure that you understand how Congress is affecting the way you do business.

"No matter your political viewpoints, there are political agendas that affect the food service and hospitality industries. Keep up, stay aware, and be involved," advises Weil.

One of the biggest topics at the state houses this fall is that of legalized marijuana. "With more states legalizing, there is a push to allow edibles or marijuana use in restaurants," says Weil. "This potential mix of alcohol sales and marijuana presents large opportunities for restaurants and bars. But adding a marijuana component creates many additional challenges to an already difficult area of compliance." Weil explains that the addition of marijuana only adds to problem areas such as under-aged drinking, over-serving, and drinking-and-driving. 

Up next, with regards to tipping, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of the restauranteur. "The most recent ruling states there is a 'property right' to tips paid as a result of customer service so long as the employer pays the employees minimum wage or more," explains Weil. He also mentions that this ruling will likely lead to more appeals, however this did overrule prior Department of Labor rulings.

Thirdly, there are laws being pushed toward restrictive scheduling, requiring employers to give at least 7-14 advanced notice of schedule, along with overtime pay components. National Restaurant Association is monitoring this activity, for more information.

"Finally, there continue to be conversations about paid sick leave, higher minimum wages, and menu labeling," says Weil. While there are no new hard and fast rulings on these matters yet, should decisions be made, they will heavily influence the business side of your restaurant. "It's important to stay active with your local restaurant association, as well as the National Restaurant Association," Weil says. "These are great sources of information and support."

If you have questions about these or other laws affecting your restaurant, contact our restaurant consultants today. We are active members of various restaurant associations and can help you find the answers and understanding you need.

Photo by Michael on Unsplash