January 13, 2014
Happy New Year!

AH&LA Launches Gratuity Guide
New Mandatory Gratuity Tax Rules
Hero2Hired Program
AH&LA Members Can Save with UPS
Controlling Alcohol Risks Effectively
Promote the Lodging Industry as the Career of Choice
STR Lodging Comparison Report: December
ServSafe Courses Through the End of the Year


AH&LA Launches Gratuity Guide

AH&LA has created a Gratuity Guide providing suggested rates for a broad range of service areas, including parking attendants, doormen, housekeepers, and room service. The guide provides recommended tip amounts for services rendered by hotel staff throughout a guest's stay. A downloadable copy of the guide is available here, and it is also available from the Travel Resources section of the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Alliance.

New Mandatory Gratuity Tax Rules  (Back to Top)

Be aware of the new mandatory gratuity tax rules. At the start of the year, the IRS began classifying an automatic gratuity--the policy of adding an automatic tip to the bills of large parties of diners--as a service charge instead of a tip. The IRS regards service charges as regular wages, which must be reported for payroll tax withholding.

The IRS ruling on automatic gratuities isn't actually new, having been issued in June 2012 as part of an effort to update earlier tax policies on tips. Implementation was delayed up to now, however, so that restaurants and related businesses had more time to comply.

Mandatory gratuities are considered income to the restaurant. Most operators are familiar with this tax treatment when assessing a labor charge for banquets, but some are not aware that this concept extends to a mandatory tip amount or service charge.

The North Carolina Restaurant Association has compiled an information sheet. Please familiarize yourself with the information so that you are ready to adapt to the changes.


Hero2Hired Program (Back to Top)

The Hero2Hired program assists unemployed Reserve Component service members with job placement. The goal is to reduce the number of Reserve Component members who are unemployed by helping them find jobs.

Employers can sign up and post job openings to the H2H website. Features and benefits include unlimited free job postings, promotion of your company, and recruiting made easy.

Hiring a person with military experience can be a great benefit for your company. They are proven leaders who maintain professionalism and keep calm under pressure. Also, there are additional benefits for the company, including tax credits, expanded paid apprenticeship programs, and employees with education benefits.

To learn more about this exciting program, view the Employer Fact Sheet

AH&LA Members Can Save with UPS

Members of AH&LA can now save up to 36% on UPS' broad portfolio of shipping services, including air, international, ground, and freight. Receive these discounts even if you already have a UPS account. Plus, the more you ship, the more you can save with UPS. Click here to enroll and start saving, or call 800-MEMBERS (800-636-2377) Monday - Friday, 8am-6pm.

Controlling Alcohol Risks Effectively

Controlling Alcohol Risks Effectively® for Servers is a one day Seminar/Workshop that prepares servers with the proper knowledge of how to handle the challenges of responsible alcohol service. This training program was designed to help your establishment lower its risks of liability.  The participant materials help employees better visualize training concepts, while the DVD provides specific training examples.  Designed specifically for the lodging industry, the newly revised CARE program includes info on in-room dining service, minibars, retail outlets/gift shops, banquets, and other lodging-specific alcohol sales related compliance information. Visit AHLEI today for more information.

Promote the Lodging Industry as the Career of Choice

National Groundhog Job Shadow Day (NGJSD), January 31, 2014, is a national campaign that gives hoteliers the opportunity to introduce high school students to the many careers available in the hospitality business. It's a great way to improve the industry's image and to get students on a career path in hospitality. For resources to help you prepare, plan, and participate, click here.

Lodging Comparison Report: December (Back to Top)

Report compares lodging statistics across the state of Alabama, looking at numbers from December 2012 versus December 2013. Brought to you by Smith Travel Research. Click here to access the report.

Report provided by STR. For detailed lodging performance data in your area, contact STR at 615-824-8864, extension 3504 or email info@str.com.

Upcoming ServSafe Courses (Back to Top)

Courses coming up as we begin a new year. For a complete listing, please click here.

January 27: Huntsville
February 5: Mobile
February 11: Montgomery


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