FMA Charlie Award Winner 2012, 2013


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National Restaurant News

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Condé Nast Traveler: Top 20 Florida Golf Resorts

Readers Poll 2012

Congratulations to FRLA members named to this prestigious reader’s poll:

2. The Breakers, Palm Beach
3. Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples
5. Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
6. Ponte Vedra Inn and Club, Ponte Vedra Beach
7. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista
8. Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota
9. Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables
10. Gasparilla Inn & Club, Boca Grande
11. Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
12. Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando
13. JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes
15. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, Amelia Island
17. Westin Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood
19. PGA National Resort & Spa, Palm Beach Gardens
10. Renaissance World Golf Village Resort, St. Augustine


Top Food Trends from 2012 NRA Show

Single servings, sustainability and more were in vogue at this year’s event

By Charlie Duerr

This is part of NRN’s special coverage of the 2012 NRA Show. The show is held in Chicago, May 5-8. Follow all coverage on NRN’s ‘At the Show’ section, check out NRN blogs, Reporter’s Notebook, and Tweet with us using #NRNatNRA.

Low pricing was not the top priority for restaurateurs attending the 2012 NRA Show, said suppliers who were displaying their wares at the annual event.

Pre-portioned single-serving desserts are intended to make the end of a meal easier for restaurant operators. This year, many suppliers at the show said quality, not price, was the first concern of restaurant operators visiting their booths — a change in attitude from recent years — as those operators sought to distinguish themselves from the competition.

Whether it was super-premium Ibérico de bellota — Spanish pork from free-range hogs that had fattened themselves on acorns for at least 18 months — or single-origin coffee, premium products were a top food trend on display at the show this year.

Here are the rest of the top 10 trends from this year’s show:

  1. Back-to-basics, indulgent, desserts, like sheet cake, were popular at the show.Miniature or single-serving desserts. As operators sought ways to make their desserts unique and customizable, but also more healthful, they sought out single-serving items and miniature portions. Suppliers said slightly unusual flavors, such as ginger, pomegranate-berry or English butter toffee caught restaurateurs’ attention.
  2. Indulgent desserts. Sheet cakes, premium ice cream and big cookies also garnered interest, suppliers said.

Click to read more ...


Cool Web Pages: has redesigned its website and it looks great!  Built by Miles Media specifically for Miller’s Ale House, the webpage seeks to “focus on customer engagement and information, ease of navigation, and enhanced Internet and smart phone discoverability.”

Along with the enhanced webpage, each Miller’s Ale House location will have its own independent page off the main site to announce specials, regional or store events and pertinent store information.

Check it out!


Heartland Payment Systems Launches Mobile Restaurant Payment Solution

Mobuyle enables restaurateurs to accept credit, debit and gift card payments through smartphones and mobile devices. Currently, Mobuyle Restaurant is available for Android devices – smartphones and tablets – and will soon be available on the Apple iOS platform for iPhones, iPads, etc. Heartland’s Mobuyle solution for retailers is currently available for both Android and Apple iOS platforms. Getting started is easy. Download the free Mobuyle app from the Android Market or Apple App Store and contact Heartland to get your Mobuyle encrypting reader that plugs into your device’s audio jack.

Designed for restaurant environments with features like tip adjustment, Mobuyle’s capabilities allow restaurateurs to expand their payment options to coincide with their business offerings, including:

  • Tableside card payments – reducing the opportunity for skimming and increasing customer confidence, as the card never leave the customer’s sight.
  • Curbside pickup – speeding up the transaction process by allowing food runners/servers to accept car-side payments without having to go back into a restaurant to process a payment.
  • Catering – enabling restaurateurs with catering services to accept card payments onsite during an event and the embedded Store and Forward functionality is beneficial at isolated or remote locations/venues.
  • Delivery services – instead of paying more for card-not-present transactions, restaurateurs can now equip their delivery drivers with Mobuyle to accept payments at the door of a food delivery.


For more information please visit


Food & Menu Top Trends*

Preparation Methods

  1. Pickling
  2. Fermenting
  3. Sous Vide
  4. Liquid Nitrogen chilling / freezing
  5. Oil-poaching

Culinary Themes

  1. Hyper-local sourcing (e.g., restaurant gardens)
  2. Sustainability
  3. Children’s nutrition
  4. Gluten-free / food allergy conscious
  5. Farm / estate-branded ingredients

Kids’ Meals

  1. Healthful kids’ meals
  2. Whole grain items in kids’ meals
  3. Fruit / vegetable children’s side items
  4. “Mini meals” (e.g., smaller versions of adult menu items)
  5. Oven-baked items in kids’ meals (e.g., baked chicken fingers, oven-baked fries)

Source:  National Restaurant Association,
“What’s Hot in 20212: Chef Survey, 2011


Capital City Beer Fest

The Capital City Beer Fest was held in Tallahassee in mid-April at FSU’s University Center Club and raised $15,000.00 for the Dedman  School of Hospitality!

Attendees were able to sample a wide variety of American craft beers and International ales and lagers, from a collector’s glass, while overlooking Bobby Bowden field and enjoying live music.


Capital Cuisine

Several restaurants in Tallahassee joined together in April to celebrate Capital Cuisine Restaurant Week. From April 12 – 22 participating restaurants provided special offerings at both lunch and dinner to guests. The offerings were priced at $15 or $25 each. Restaurants that were involved in the program fell it was “a success and each business saw an increase in patrons to their restaurants.”

Capital Cuisine Restaurant Week is slated for May 2013!


Lime Fresh

Ruby Tuesdays recently acquired “Florida-based” FRLA member Lime Fresh Mexican Grill chain to shore up its future in the fast casual market.  Lime Fresh, which got its start in South Florida, is a hot concept that has gone national.


Florida Restaurant Industry at a Glance

  • In 2012 Florida’s restaurants are projected to register $31.5 billion in sales.
  • Every $1 spent in Florida’s restaurants generates an additional $.97 in sales for the state economy.
  • In 2012 restaurants in Florida employ 841,900 people. (11% of employment in Florida).
  • In 2022 restaurants in Florida are expected to employ 974,800 people (15.8% job growth - 132,900 new jobs).

Source: National Restaurant Association.
(Includes all restaurant and foodservice occupations. Employment figures are projected.)


Levy Restaurants

Levy Restaurants was recently recognized for the “Best Responsible Alcohol Service Training Program” at the VIBE (Very Important Beverage Executives) Conference.  Levy has partnered with FRLA and RCS, along with the National Restaurant Association for years on this effort.

Submissions were independently judged by top beverage directors of the on-premise restaurant chain community and Levy was chosen for this recognition for their comprehensive risk strategy and training.