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food family

Message from the CEO

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Thank you for stopping by our website! The Utah Restaurant Association has been representing the food service community in Utah since 1943. Back then, several community-minded restaurant owners wanted to give the industry a voice and a place to gather and help navigate unique obstacles and challenges that we face each and every day in our profession. We are very proud of our thriving and diverse restaurant culture in Utah! Our industry is constantly evolving and the Utah Restaurant Association works diligently to represent the entire spectrum of restaurant operations, professionals and those who provide services and products to restaurants. Everyone is welcome amongst the membership of the URA and we provide invaluable resources and education to our restaurant community. We are honored to represent the voice of our food family in Utah and work tirelessly toward our mission: the success and future of every restaurant owner and food-service operator in our great state. We pride ourself in spending 100% of our resources to represent you, because together we are shaping the future of the industry. We provide many valuable educational opportunities, community events and legistlative representation! Here are a few ways working together as the Utah Restaurant Association creates enormous impacts for our community.
The URA created the present tax policy for the UDABC, restaurants do not have to pay taxes when purchasing product and only pay sales tax on the sale of alcohol products, translating to millions of dollars in savings for our restaurant owners. We were instrumental in the initial elimination of the Zion Curtain, and the subsequent grandfathering compromise for the "serving, dispensing and storage in view of the public" regulation. Although the issues regarding the sale and service of alcoholic beverages in restaurants is a dynamic one, the URA continues to pursue legislation that will assist restaurants in providing for the request of their patrons and guests with the most hospitable and reasonable practices possible. We continue to be instrumental in maintaining the “tip credit” for restaurants and maintain an “entry level wage” in Utah which allows the free enterprise system to function. The URA passed valuable legislation that cites and towns in Utah cannot create their own minimum wage and must reflect the state/national standard. Restaurants offer the wage the market place dictates. We’ve also passed legislation to prevent “frivolous” lawsuits regarding obesity and prevented a mandated “menu labeling" of calorie contents on menus in restaurants. Individual restaurants have the freedom to choose to make this information available but is not mandated in Utah to provide this information on a menu. The URA passed legislation regarding uniforms, an employer can now charge a fee that is more in-line with the actual cost of the uniform.The URA saved the restaurant industry over $2,000,000.00 in premiums that were being paid on overtime and works diligently to keep employer mandates out of legislation that created Utah’s Healthcare Exchange. 
Our URA ProStart program is heavily engaged in preparing the next generation of dedicated and passionate culinary professionals acquiring masterful foodservice skills in over 65 High School’s throughout Utah. Utah ProStart sets the National standard for achievement in the culinary field and provides curriculum-based education to more than 1500 teens per year with the foundational knowledge required to have successful careers within the foodservice and restaurant industry. Utah ProStart students are your future well trained and qualified managers, chef’s and employees. Uniting the talented leaders of today as you craft our industry that will be sustained by our up and coming leaders of tomorrow. Together, we are creating a stronger industry for everyone!

Keep in mind we are partners with the National Restaurant Association which means membership in the URA is also membership in the NRA. We offer ServSafe food handler's and food safety manager training and certification. Money saving programs through the URA include credit card processing, along with a full service insurance buffet to include workers compensation and workplace safety training programs. The Association sends out email blasts and communicates with a monthly email newsletter and currently has the first edition of our quarterly industry trade magazine “Taste Utah” being printed and are in the process of completing year one of our Taste Utah marketing campaign. We host and sponsor events for the industry including our golf tournament, annual meeting, trade show, awards banquet, educational symposium, etc. We are a valuable resource for you at any time you need. Please call our offices if you need help resolving issues, representation, or have any questions, there are lots of ways for you to be involved - we hope to see you at our community events!