MN Hospitality Advocate

Legislative Agenda – We Play Defense

Posted in Lodging Issues, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, State Laws, Tourism Issues, Uncategorized by hospitalityminnesota on October 26, 2009

With the state facing a projected $7 billion budget deficit, and the DFL party handily in control of both the House and Senate, it’s likely that most business groups will be playing defense this coming legislative session.

While we would like to achieve a sales tax exemption on capital equipment, or employee meals, for example, it’s highly unlikely given that the state has no money.

We’ll be firming up this legislative agenda in the next several weeks as we prepare for our new session in February. The Minnesota Restaurant Association has gathered feedback through a series of regional meetings and will be conducting a legislative survey of members shortly.

The Minnesota Lodging Association has been working closely with the Minnesota Association of CVBs on lodging tax issues, which appear to be its key issue in the session ahead.

The Minnesota Resort and Campground Association is looking at issues such as vacation home rentals, shoreland management, school levies and property tax rates.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations

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Associations Provide 2009-10 Annual Law Review

Posted in General Advocacy, Lodging Issues, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, State Laws, State Rules by hospitalityminnesota on September 7, 2009

Wow, the 2009-2010 Annual Law Review is now complete and has been sent to all Association members. This 148-page reference is the bible of laws and regulations affecting Minnesota’s hospitality industry. Topics covered include:

  • OSHA requirements
  • Minimum wage and tip credit
  • Proper employee termination
  • Lodging tax law
  • Health laws and codes
  • Sales tax fact sheets
  • State versus Federal statutes
  • Overtime
  • Much more

As a hospitality operator, this review can literally save you thousands of dollars in fines and headaches. There is no more comprehensive overview of both the federal and state laws that impact you every day.

You can access the law review with your member login. If you can’t remember your login, please contact Carrie Burinda at (651) 925-4016.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Assocations

National Restaurant Association Launches Health Care Site

Posted in Lodging Issues, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, Uncategorized by hospitalityminnesota on September 4, 2009

As we’ve conducted sessions around the state, it’s clear that health care reform is very much on the mind of small business owners. They are fearful they will be mandated to provide coverage, or face penalties if they do not. Not a one that we’ve talked to doesn’t want to provide the coverage, but the issue is cost.

To gain more information on key health care principles for the restaurant industry, see the National Restuarant Association’s new site at http://www.restauranthealthcarereforminfo.com/page.asp?content=startpage&g=nra_hcare

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Assocations

PCI Compliance and Data Truncation

Posted in Lodging Issues, Resort Issues, Restaurant Issues, Uncategorized by hospitalityminnesota on September 4, 2009

We received a call this month from a restaurant operator who is facing a class action lawsuit for failing to remove the expiration dates from the credit card receipts he provided to patrons. This is a very serious situation. A reminder here to all restaurant, lodging and resort and campground operators — your credit card receipts must truncate the number (revealing only the last four) and cannot contain expiration dates.

Your point of sale system vendors can likely help you with this conversion if you are not presently in compliance. Our advice is to get on this right away. Check the recently mailed Annual Law Review for more information about PCI compliance and credit card data. The Law Review can also be viewed online at our member website, www.hospitalitymn.org in the government affairs section.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Assocations