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Archive for May, 2017

FPL Food’s Fresh Idea

Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

It’s only a five-hour drive from FPL Food’s Augusta headquarters to Thomasville. Through a few small towns, green forests and expanses of farmland, you’re finally greeted with a similarly innocuous building: the FPL Food Further Processing facility, humming along and changing the beef industry in the Southeast.

“Grilling is a tradition in Georgia,” remarks FPL Food Founder and President François Léger. “In the evening, when it’s cooler outside, you can smell the charcoal wafting on the air in my neighborhood. We can’t exactly be the Southeast’s local beef without burgers.”

The Thomasville location is a natural extension of Léger’s vision for Georgia-born, bred, fed and processed cattle, sold direct to regional retail and foodservice operations—a vision that has transformed FPL Food into the number-one privately owned processor of fresh beef in the region.

The system is simple: FPL Food takes quality raw material from right down the road and processes it to meet every customer’s needs. Portion control steaks, marinated items, private label and branded products…it’s all done here. A point of pride for Léger, though, is their fresh and frozen patty capabilities.

“Grinds are a priority,” Léger says. “It’s all about freshness and for freshness, location is everything. The efficiency we have, the quality we have—there’s nothing like it in the area.”

It’s a distinction in quality that’s drawing a growing base of customers from foodservice and retail to FPL Food. “It’s my mission to get beef on all those grills,” Léger laughs. From the look of things, he’s well on his way.


Kennesaw State University – College of Continuing and Professional Education

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017
KSU College of Continuing and Professional Education –  Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate

The Culinary Apprenticeship Certificate is an in-depth 8-month program designed for aspiring culinary professionals. Creatively modeled after the European approach of culinary education, this innovative program combines classroom instruction and practical application. Students are placed in an authentic kitchen environment learning and working alongside professional chefs.

KSU College of Continuing and Professional Education also offers:

  • Meeting and Event Management Certificate
  • Restaurant Operations and Management Certificate
  • Baking Fundamentals
  • Cooking fundamentals
  • Artisan Bread Making
For more information, visit or call 470-578-6765.  

Brew at the Zoo

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

May 27, 2017, Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta. For more information, visit Brew at the Zoo


6th Annual GRA Golf Invitational

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

May 22, 2017, Hawks Ridge Golf Course, Ball Ground. For more information, visit Georgia Restaurant Association


International Wine, Spirits & Beer Festival at the NRA Show

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

May 21-22, 2017, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit National Restaurant Association


National Restaurant Assoc Show

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

May 20-23


Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

May 20-21, 2017, Public Square, Dalhonega. For more information, visit Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival


Gluten Friendly and Allergen Friendly Expo

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

May 20-21, 2017, Cobb Galleria Centre, Atlanta. For more information, visit Gluten Friendly and Allergen Friendly Expo


National Restaurant Association Show

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

May 20-23, 2017, McCormick Place, Chicago, IL. For more information, visit National Restaurant Association


Atlanta Restaurants Post Negative Sales Trend in Q1 2017

Friday, May 19th, 2017

By Robert Wagner, CPA

Atlanta Q1 2017 restaurant sales volume shrank 0.7% vs. Q1 2016. For the quarter ended March 2017 negative sales trends were reported at 59% of the 118 independent Atlanta restaurants surveyed.

National Trends:

In its survey of national restaurant sales TDn2K’s Black Box Intelligence, a restaurant sales and traffic- tracking company, reported national restaurant Q1 2017 revenues declined by 1.6%. This was the fifth consecutive quarter of negative sales results nationally. Restaurant traffic declined 3.6% nationally in Q1.


Robert Wagner, NetFinancials president states that, “Established Atlanta restaurants were under significant sales volume pressure in Q1 2017. That pressure is not economic as evidenced by the fact Metro Atlanta unemployment dipped in March 2017 to an unprecedented 4.6%. Since March 2016 total Metro Atlanta jobs have grown by 103,100 according to the Georgia Department of Labor. Rather the pressure on established Atlanta restaurant sales is competitive. Carl Muth of FoodService Resource Associates LLC who tracks restaurant activity in Atlanta notes that 500+ new restaurants opened in Atlanta in 2016. Even though there has been robust growth in good paying jobs in Atlanta, there has also been substantial growth in the number of restaurants bidding for consumers’ dining-out dollars.

At the moment, Atlanta has not reached an equilibrium where solid, thoughtful restaurant operators can expect to grow their sales as we typically saw before 2016. Eventually job growth and restaurant unit growth will attain equilibrium. At that point restaurant comp sales growth will return. We just do not know when that equilibrium will reappear.”

The Sample: The 118 non-franchise restaurants were drawn from the metro Atlanta market. Total survey sales volume was $81 million for Q1 2017. The survey includes restaurants in Atlanta’s fast- casual, casual and fine-dining segments opened at least 15 months.

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