Marta – NY’s Biggest Fall Opening so Far

So yes, I went to Marta twice in one day. And yes, it was their first day. But I needed to try both the pizza and the grilled items, and I thought each warranted their own meal. My good buddy Robert Sietsema did a great post today that sums up the restaurant well. (http://ny.eater.com/archives/2014/09/marta_on_my_mind_can_roman_pizza_make_it_in_new_york.php)

For me, the best pizza was the zucchini flowers and anchovy and I liked the chicken a bit less than he did. Oh, and their winelist has some huge steals on it. Has anyone else from the group been? Share your thoughts!

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NYCHG Member featured in U.S. Hotel Magazine for Affluent Chinese Investors as EB-5 Specialist

Steve Maggi has been featured in Luxury Hotels of America magazine, China’s leading luxury travel publication for  affluent Chinese travelers planning a luxury leisure or business trip to the Unites States

http://issuu.com/chinaelitefocus/docs/luxury_hotels_of_america_summer_201_487788fee7a78a

Please see pages 63-66.

 

 

 

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NYC Foodservice Operators Have Spoken: ‘We Do Not Need More Expensive Garbage.’

Weighing in on the potential ban of polystyrene in New York City is sensitive topic to say the least.  New Yorkers are passionate about their business, and when the government forces them to dig into their pockets…they’re going to ask questions.

 By NYC Pulp Staff

Let’s break the ban down, on one hand of the debate we have the environmental advocates rallying around Bloomberg’s claim that PS Foam is ‘environmentally destructive’ and should go away like lead paint.  On the other hand, small businesses and taxpayers in NYC metro are debating the economic validity of the ban.  In an article written by Ben Messenger of Waste Management World, Ben projects the ban on PS Foam would cost local businesses over $100MM in alternative foodservice packaging options.

As representatives of a foodservice packaging distributor it is difficult to take a stand and fully support either side of the debate.  To be honest each position presents excellent points on the good and evil of banning polystyrene.  What it boils down to, in our opinion, is the fact that food service operators find it difficult to accept that the alternative materials to PS Foam – that claim to be sustainable – are actually going to save the environment.

We can appreciate the conviction in the NYC Council’s position to ban PS Foam, but we have to wonder if enough research has been done and if the hard deadline of July 15 2015 is an adequate window to prove the feasibility of a recycling program.  Polystyrene manufactures, like Dart Container, have successfully implemented recycling programs in other cities.  The infrastructure of a city like New York has more complexities to deal with when instituting a new recycling program.  This is not only specific to foam recycling, but also to compost reclaimers.  For example, a large percentage of foam packaging alternatives claim to be compostable, however under the fine print that packaging must be disposed under controlled environments.  Meaning if it ends up in the same waste can as everything else, it will remain in the landfills just like everything else.

Where is the NYC Council position on implementing more composting facilities and programs with local foodservice operators?  We are starting to see the rise of the third waste bin for compost, but this is trending predominately in educational and institutional facilities.  Independent operators who make up a big chunk of the NYC foodservice pie are agitated because they are left to deal with the additional cost in materials and are not seeing the support on the streets.  Where’s Bloomberg’s pilot curbside food-composting program when you need it?

It’s like the old reality versus perception debate: it’s easy to support a politician who wants to better the environment, but if landfills are going to be swapping out polystyrene for another alternative material, what’s the point?  We do not need more expensive garbage.  What we need is real support from local governments in order to help us make a measurable impact on this issue.  What we do not need is a perception driven campaign that maneuvers around the issue.  If we are not reducing waste, than what are we really doing?

 

About NYC Pulp Staff

A collection of the top problem-solving experts in the foodservice supply industry, the NYC Pulp staff specializes in harmonizing everyday pain-points with product solutions and services.  With over 35 years of experience servicing metro New York, the NYC Pulp and Borax Paper Products, Inc. continually look for new ways to support the economic development of local businesses in tri-state metro New York.  

 

References:

American Recycler (2014, March 18).  “Misinformation, Stereotypes Influence Majority Foam Ban Decisions.” Retrieved from www.newyork.gofoam.org

Ben Messenger (2013, March 21).  “Study: New York’s Polystyrene Packaging Ban Could Cost $100M Per Year.”  Retrieved from www.waste-management-world.com

Esmé E. Deprez (2013, December 20).  “Plastic – Foam Container Ban Approved by New York City Council.”  Retrieved from www.bloomberg.com

Warren Robinson (2013, June 12).  “NYC Introduces Polystyrene Foam Foodservice Ban Despite Mounting Concerns Over Impact to City’s Small Businesses and Taxpayers.”  Retrieved from www.americanchemistry.com

 

 

 

 

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Hoteliers Be WARNed

The sale/purchase of hotels remains vibrant in the NYC metropolitan area.  While such transactions are designed to bring about profit, many hoteliers – including both the owners of the hotel and the management companies – often overlook their obligations under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“WARN”) and the New York State Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (“NY WARN”).  Simply stated, if the sale/purchase/closure of a hotel is going to result in employees being laid off, the buyer and/or seller may be required to give the hotel employees advance notice of their layoff.  Further, if the employer fails to to provide advance notice of the layoff, it may be liable for backpay and other penalties.

The question of “who is the employer” will largely depend on the facts, but it is certainly possible that both the hotel owner and management company could be deemed a single employer.  An employer’s WARN and NY WARN liability requires detailed analysis, but, for background and educational purposes, here is a brief summary to get you started:

  • NY WARN applies to      private employers with 50 or more full-time employees, whereas federal      WARN only applies to employers with 100 or more full-time employees.
  • Under NY WARN, an      employer is required to provide 90 days’ notice of an employment loss      (which could come in the form of a mass layoff or plant closing), versus      federal WARN, which requires only 60 days’ prior notice.
  • NY WARN defines “mass      layoff” as a reduction in force of at least 25 full-time employees and 33%      of the workforce, or at least 250 employees.  Federal WARN defines      “mass layoff” as the layoff of at least 50 full-time employees and 33% of      the workforce, or at least 500 employees.
  • Under NY WARN, “plant      closing” is defined as the permanent or temporary shutdown of a single      site of employment, if the shutdown results in an employment loss for 25      or more full-time employees in a 30-day period.  Federal WARN defines      “plant closing” as the shutdown of a facility that results in an      employment loss for 50 or more full-time employees in a 30-day      period.  Significantly, as stated, NY WARN does not expressly require      a covered employer to provide 90 days’ notice of a plant closing.       However, given the broad definition of “employment loss”, covered      employers are well-advised to give 90 days’ advance notice of a plant      closing, as defined in the statute.  NY WARN does require 90 days’      notice for a “relocation”, defined as the removal of all or substantially
    all of the industrial or commercial operations of an employee to a      different location 50 miles or more away.
  • Providing the same      information required under federal WARN within the time limits      required by NY WARN should satisfy an employer’s obligations under NY      WARN; however, NY WARN requires a covered employer to provide affected      employees and their collective bargaining representatives with the      requisite notice.
  • NY WARN permits an      aggrieved employee to seek relief through either the New York State Department      of Labor or through a private lawsuit, whereas, federal WARN only provides      for a private lawsuit.

As for penalties, employers who violate NY WARN can be liable for backpay up to a maximum of 60 days (defined as calendar days) or one-half the number of days that the employee was employed by the employer, whichever period is smaller.

For more information, contact John D. Horowitz, Esq., at jhorowitz@hsiglaw.com, or (917) 331-9053.

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U.S. Hospitality Employers – H1B Quotas Met in One Week, Signalling That It Is Time to Implement Plan B

Due to a lack of Congressional action on comprehensive immigration reform, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced yesterday that the congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 H-1B petitions for fiscal year (FY) 2015 has been met. USCIS has also exceeded the limit of 20,000 H-1B petitions filed under the U. S. advanced degree exemption.

USCIS will finish the initial processing of all filings turned in by April 7. It is currently too late to submit a petition until next year, unless there is an exception.

In the next phase, a computer will select 65,000 petitions at random for the general category and 20,000 under the advanced degree exemption, respectively. USCIS has said it is not yet able to announce the date on which it will conduct the random selection process because of the volume of petitions.

All petitions which do not get randomly selected will be rejected and the filing fee returned.

The advanced degree exemption lottery will be processed first so that unselected petitions can become part of the random selection process for the general 65,000 limit.

Note: The caps will have no effect on foreign nationals who have already obtained H-1B visas to extend their stay, change employers, change the terms of their employment, or obtain a concurrent H-1B position.

This is not necessarily the end of the road for employers who seek to sponsor foreign nationals for employment. There are alternatives to the H-1B visa. Click here to view my series of articles on other steps that businesses can take to sponsor a foreign national for employment.

For official bulletins or anouncements, visit www.uscis.gov or follow them on Facebook (/uscis), Twitter (@uscis), YouTube(/uscis) and the USCIS blog The Beacon.

Steve Maggi, Esq.

SMA Law Firm

smaggi@smalawyers.com

(212) 402-6885

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BenefitMall partners with Avero

Happy to announce this partnership between BenefitMall and Avero- to benefit the hospitality industry by reducing the time that it takes to process payroll! This discussion started in Las Vegas at the Restaurant Finance Conference that I attended with Derek Sherman and Sam Goldfinger and I am really proud to have been a part of it! Check it out:
http://www.benefitmall.com/News/Pages/Press-and-Media-Center/Press-Releases/BenefitMall-Partners-with-Avero-to-Improve-Restaurant-Payroll-Automation

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