Refresh your knowledge on service charges, + get ready for the Western food expo

The Source

Tue, May 23, 2023


The mission of the California Restaurant Association is to be the definitive voice of the California foodservice industry.

Service Charges: Definitions and Guidelines

More and more restaurants have adopted service charges as a way to offset the dramatically rising costs – particularly labor costs – they face today. However, service charges are regulated by law, and it is all too easy to mislabel them on a guest check or utilize them incorrectly. If you are considering adding this charge to guest checks, it’s best to talk to an attorney first. Meanwhile, the CRA’s legal partner Wilson Elser recently updated our Industry Insight on this topic, and for a limited time, it is available here to non-members as well as members.

View Industry Insight

Settlement clears way for José Andrés restaurant to cook with gas in Palo Alto

The city of Palo Alto has found a way to allow celebrity chef José Andrés to use natural gas in a new building because development plans were underway before the city’s electrification ordinance was finalized. However, that won’t help other restaurateurs looking to do the same thing. The city is moving ahead with enforcing its ordinance, which is the same type of gas ban that violates federal law, according to a recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Ninth Circuit ruled in favor of the CRA in a case against the city of Berkeley. If you are impacted by a ban on natural gas in your area, the CRA would like to hear from you. Please contact our Vice President of Public Affairs Sharokina Shams at

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Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo: Register Today

It is not too early to register for the Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo, which is being held in Anaheim this year. Each year, the show gives thousands of attendees access to education, legal resources and connections to producers of innovative products and services meant to make operations easier and more profitable.

Early bird pricing is available for a limited time and CRA members receive one complimentary show admission for each $100 in membership dues paid.

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Learn, network and repeat at this workers comp conference

If you want to connect with industry peers on the subject of workers’ compensation, this annual conference put on by the California Coalition on Workers’ Compensation is the place to do it. Wait, there is a group called the ‘Coalition on Workers Compensation?’ Yes, there is, and attendees of the event are pros in human resources, health and safety, and risk management.

Learn more


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38th Annual Gold Medallion Title Sponsor: Rincon Tribe

Rincon Tribe is a sovereign government recognized by the United States. The Tribe owns Harrah’s Resort SoCal and uses profits from this and other commercial enterprises to provide government services.

Rincon’s tribal enterprises are significant contributors to the San Diego County economy through job creation, purchase of local products and services and charitable donations.

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FDA voluntary sodium reduction compliance about a year away

The FDA has issued its final guidance for voluntary sodium reduction targets in the food industry, which includes restaurants. Average sodium intake in the U.S. is 3,400 mg per day while dietary guidelines recommend that people limit their consumption of sodium to just 2,300 mg per day.

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Key small business tax bill introduced, would help most restaurants

Under the “Main Street Tax Certainty Act,” nine of 10 restaurants would see a permanent 20% tax break for qualified income. The law would make the 20% deduction of qualified business income permanent for pass-through businesses. The bill’s author says pass-through businesses represent 98% of all businesses in the country and employ about half of American workers. The U.S. Senator who introduced the bill, which would apply nationwide if it passes, is from Montana.

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Bazaar del Mundo Restaurants banner ad

Diane Powers’ Award-Winning Bazaar del Mundo Restaurants

Casa de Bandini in Carlsbad, Casa Guadalajara in Old Town and Casa de Pico in La Mesa capture the warmth and romance of traditional Mexican haciendas, complete with lavish dining rooms, enchanting lighting and lush landscaping. Enjoy an extensive selection of delicious, award-winning regional recipes that emphasize flavor and freshness.

Learn more

Learn more about CRA's Restaurant Employee Development Training.


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Save up to $3,000 per unit on high-efficiency equipment

You can save up to $3,000 instantly on energy-efficient foodservice equipment when you purchase from participating dealers. You’ll find a full list of eligible equipment AND participating dealers near you. Skip the paperwork and save instantly on your foodservice equipment.

Find out more

CRA News

News You Need to Know: Bills we oppose, bills we support this year

In this edition of the News You Need to Know, hear about key bills that face votes in the coming days. Sabrina breaks them down into two categories – the ones opposed by the CRA, and the ones we support. Each and every one of these bills will impact California restaurants. CRA members, for our handy, updated “Hot Bills” list that you can print out and refer back to, click here.

Remember to click ‘Log in CRA Content’ at the top right of our website to access that document.

Watch now

Meet our 2023 Restaurants Care Champions!

These are the companies investing in Restaurants Care’s mission to care for the people at the heart of California’s restaurant community. Their support will power grants to 366 independent restaurants and over 100 food and beverage workers this year. Thank you to the many volunteers, advocates, donors, and Champions who are working to expand this critical safety net!

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Partner Content


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Wilson Elser is the nation’s preeminent defense litigation firm

For more than four decades, our litigation and trial lawyers have gained a well-earned reputation for defending major insurance carriers and their insureds in every conceivable type of civil dispute. We have vast experience with the restaurant and hospitality industries with respect to premises liability, employment and related claims.

Thank you for being a sponsor of the 38th Annual Gold Medallion!

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Create more smiles with every sip and every bite

PepsiCo is a proud sponsor of the CRA – San Diego Chapter! They work with local restaurants to support their beverage needs and build lasting partnerships.

Thank you for being a sponsor of the 38th Annual Gold Medallion!

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Event Calendar

MAY 24

9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

CRA Marketplace Partner Webinar with Workstream: Learn how to attract loyal hourly workers by diversifying your sourcing strategy

More Info

Register now

JUN 02

6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

2023 LA Chapter Elizabeth Burns Lifetime Achievement Award Gala

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Register now

JUN 05

9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

San Diego: ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Training & Proctored Exam(IN-PERSON)

More Info

Register now

JUN 07

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Fisher Phillips LLP Webinar: International Data Privacy: Beyond the CCPA and GDPR

More Info

Register now


Educate Yourself with Partner Education Events. Learn more.