Lawsuits Against Hospitality Companies

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					                                                                                  May 21, 2007

                                  Hospitality At-a-Glance

Legislative Update

Credit Card - Display of Credit Card # On Receipts
We wanted to call to your attention a troubling new development on an issue facing retailers
nationwide. Confusion over the requirements of a federal law restricting the display of credit- and
debit-card digits and expiration dates on customer receipts has resulted in a wave of class-action
lawsuits against restaurant companies and commercial retailers. The Fair and Accurate Credit
Transactions Act (FACTA), passed by Congress in 2003, requires that "no person that accepts
credit cards or debit cards for the transaction of business shall print more than the last 5 digits of
the card number or the expiration date upon any receipt provided to the cardholder at the point of
sale or transaction."

This provision of FACTA took full effect Dec. 4, 2006. The clarity of the FACTA language has been
called into question. Specifically, legal issues have arisen in litigation filed under FACTA on
whether the measure requires businesses to both cut the number of digits and remove the
expiration date. The only court to have ruled on this issue so far - a federal district court in
California, whose decision was released April 5 - said the language was clear and that businesses
needed to take two steps: restrict printed card digits on receipts to five or fewer and get rid of the
expiration date.

About 130 lawsuits have been filed across the country seeking class-action status to sue restaurant
companies and commercial retailers for alleged noncompliance with FACTA. In most cases these
lawsuits seek statutory damages of between $100 and $1,000 for each instance of alleged "willful
noncompliance with FACTA. "

The cases are just beginning to make their way into the courts. In the case of a high-volume
restaurant with lots of debit- and credit-card transactions, this could add up to millions of dollars
in damage claims. Operators with questions about how to handle their receipts under FACTA
should consult with their attorneys.

For more information, please visit:

Food Safety Update: Fish Exposed to Feed Contamination
The media released news about U.S. health officials learning that some farmed fish in the U.S.
were inadvertently exposed to feed contaminated by an industrial chemical (melamine) linked to
the recent pet food recall. The contaminated ingredient from China led to the recent massive pet
food recall. U.S. government officials from numerous agencies are in consultation on this issue
and will continue to track the distribution of contaminated feed batches and assess the need for
any testing of feed and/or fish. It appears that a limited amount of fish feed reached the U.S. with
some used at state public hatchery facilities rearing salmonid species. FDA has stated the
contamination level in fish is expected to be too low to pose a danger to humans. The fish feed
was manufactured in Canada and the feed manufacturer has issued a recall of the known batch of
contaminated feed shipped to the U.S. No U.S. fish feed manufacturers have been implicated in
the use of this contaminated ingredient.

Fish is the third food animal in which the contaminated product was used to make commercial
feed sold in the U.S. Recently, some pork and poultry were also inadvertently exposed to small
amounts of contaminated feed. A risk analysis referenced below in yesterday's government press
release reached the conclusion that in the case of pork and poultry, the exposure of the
contaminant posed a very low risk for human health. Quarantined animals can be released for
slaughter and sale.

Article from Phil Ventresca, ESI Qual, Inc.

USDA Clears Swine for Processing: Human Health Risk Assessment
WASHINGTON, May 15, 2007 - Testing confirms that meat from swine fed rations
supplemented with pet food scraps containing melamine and related compounds is safe for
human consumption, prompting the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to allow swine held
on farms to be released and approved for processing.

To read the complete article, please visit:

Article from Phil Ventresca, ESI Qual, Inc.

News & Information
Are You Taking Advantage of RIHTA's Member Benefits?
We want to remind you of the discount programs and benefits you are eligible for as a RIHTA

1. Christopher and Regan Insurance - will provide a competitive rate on Workmen's Comp.
Insurance and Property Liability insurance rates. Please call Dan Lemay at 885-4460 to learn
more about what your company can save.

2. Heartland Payment Systems - can compare your current credit card statement with discount
rates at any time. Please call Nancy Abdalla at 996-5623 for specialized "Association Pricing."

3. Sprague Energy - provides "Members Only" pricing on natural gas. Call Diane Van Pelt for
more information about pricing structure and discounts: 413-436-7043. Pricing structure is
dependent on the commodities market.

4. Prescription Drug Discount Card Program - can save your employees and their families up to
30% on prescription drug costs. Please call Marissa Mossberg at RIHTA to receive your
complimentary cards today, 401-223-1120. Only while supplies last.

5. Thrifty Car Rental - offers RIHTA members discount pricing on car rentals throughout the
United States. Call RIHTA at 223- 1120.

6. BMI - offers up to a 20% discount on music licensing fees for restaurant establishments only.
Call RIHTA at 223-1120.
9th Annual Restaurant Neighbor Awards for
Community Service: Win $5,000
Is your restaurant one of the 90% of restaurants doing charitable work
in their community? Maybe your restaurant hosts an annual fundraiser
to benefit disabled children. Or perhaps you coordinate a toy drive to
make a needy child's Christmas special or mentor young people in your
restaurant. Tell us how your restaurant gives back and you could be
eligible to win $5,000!
Each year, the National Restaurant Association and American Express
awards $5,000 each to four restaurants - one small business, one mid-
size business, one large business/national chain and one Humanitarian
of the year - through its Restaurant Neighbor Award, an awards
program that recognizes outstanding community service efforts among our nation's 935,000

To apply for the award or to nominate a restaurateur who is actively involved in his or her
community, please contact:
Heather Singleton


Apply online:

The deadline to apply for the award is June 15, 2007!

AH&LA Summer Summit 2007
Networking, knowledge, business building - plus a bit of Nashville-style entertainment
rounds out the summer's must-attend summit for the lodging industry. Join the sector's top
leaders as we bring in the experts for our industry's special interests and segments. Don't miss
this gathering of the industry's best.

Summer Summit 2007
June 11 - 14, 2007
Loews Vanderbilt Hotel
Nashville, TN

To Register Online:

To View Brochure:

Restaurant Start Up & Growth Magazine: Uniforms Create Positive 'Halos'
for Workers
If your staff isn't wearing a uniform to work, you may want to reconsider-even if their uniform is
nothing more than a golf shirt with your restaurant's name and logo on it. That's because studies
show that consumers view employees who wear uniforms as more professional, organized and
reliable than their nonuniformed counterparts-and that they regard companies with uniform
programs as having workers who are properly trained to do the job right. These positive
impressions mean uniforms ultimately have the ability to have a tangible effect on a company's
bottom line.
The attributes consumers associate with uniforms were underscored in a study conducted by J.D.
Power and Associates that showed consumers overwhelmingly prefer to do business with
companies whose employees wear uniforms.

What the "halo effect" translates into is a competitive edge for companies, says Robert Isaacson,
marketing director at UniFirst Corporation, a leading provider of uniforms and work clothing. "By
outfitting their employees in image-enhancing uniforms, companies differentiate themselves and
are more able to attract the consumer's attention. It's no wonder that the ever- growing numbers
of companies with managed uniform programs seem to have an "aura of success" about them.

Events, Training & Seminars
Economic Outlook Breakfast Series 2007

June 5, 2007
State of the Restaurant Industry update on Food Trends & Food Safety Issues

Avian Influenza and Pandemic Flu Preparations and Planning; Nutrition Issues; Trans fats and
Menu and Allergen Labeling; Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG); State Food Code Implementation;
Safe Food Act; Produce Food Safety

Location: Rotunda-5th Floor-RI Convention Center

Time: 8:30am-10:30am

Donna Garren, Ph.D, Vice President, Health and Safety Regulatory Affairs
Hudson Riehle, Sr. Vice President, Research and Information Services National Restaurant
Ernest Julian, Ph.D. Chief, Office of Food Protection, RI Department of Health

Registration: $25.00

To see the complete schedule for a registration form, please visit:

Co-Sponsored By:
RI Convention Center
Heartland Payment Systems
Warwick Tourism, Culture and Development Department
Newport CVB
RI Division of Tourism
Providence Warwick CVB

4th Annual Women in Hospitality and Tourism Council 9-Hole Golf
June 4th, 2007
Midville Country Club
West Warwick, RI
8:30am Registration
9:00am Shotgun Start

Men are welcome to join us - however, they must be open to one of the following: Dress as a
woman to golf or Caddy for one of our women golfers
Sponsorships are Available!

For a registration form, please visit:

                               ServSafe Classes: Don't Miss Out
                               ServSafe Food Safety Training Schedule 2007

                               For 2007 Schedule, please visit:

To learn more about our ServSafe Online Training Courses for food safety, please

If you have any questions, call (401)223-1120.

Member Announcements
25th Anniversary Toga Party: Thank You!
On behalf of the entire planning committee of the 25th Anniversary Toga Party we would like
to thank all of the members that supported this event. In total, $116,000 worth of products,
services and in-kind support was donated by over 135 members of our Association! We would like
to publicly thank event co- chairs Bill Pinelli and Steve Marra of the Pinelli Marra Restaurant
Group for their commitment and leadership. We are so very proud to represent such an amazing
group of hospitality and tourism professionals.

Allied Council Meeting: June 2007
Tuesday, June 5th, 2007
The Cuban Revolution
50 Aborn Street
Providence, RI

To RSVP or If you have any questions, please contact:
Marrissa Mossberg
401-223-1120, ext. 19

Ambassador's Council:
The Ambassador's Council has rounded out Phase I of their membership drive with 18 New
Members, from the start of the membership drive on Feb. 26, 2007 until May 16.

Thanks to Committee members: Tom Mancini, Bindi Desserts; Nancy Abdalla, Heartland
Payment Systems; Ann Marie Rathbun, Lombardi's 1025; Dan Lemay, Christopher and Regan
Insurance; Ron Campellone, New England Pest Control and Paul Filippi, Ballard's.

Are you willing to make some telephone calls for RIHTA? We are joining ranks and getting ready
for Phase II of the Ambassador's Council.

If you are interested, please contact Elaine Wilcox at the RIHTA office: 223- 1120 or

New Members: Box Seats, Smithfield; McFaddens; Chef Ho; SS Dion;
Tav Vino; Don Jose Tequila; Vincent's On The Pier; Napa Valley Grille;
The Glass Onion;WRIK DJ; Local Hero Deli; Estrela Do Mar; El Tapatio;
Restaurant Oak; Sawadee; Celtica Pub; Rhumbline; Enterprise Business Solutions;
3 Steeple Street

Thank you to Michael Solomon for hosting our Ambassador's Council meetings at Wes' Rib

New Direct Dial Accommodations Reservation Program
Make a room reservation at the Rhode Island Welcome Center!

The Rhode Island Welcome Center located along Interstate 95 in Hope Valley is now offering a
new direct dial accommodation reservation program to hospitality industry partners. Reach
nearly one million travelers who visit the Welcome Center this year to plan their Rhode Island

During the busy travel season, the Welcome Center averages more than 3,000 visitors per day
with totals surpassing 9,000 on weekend days.

Highway signage will inform travelers as they approach the Welcome Center about the direct dial
accommodation reservation service. In addition, the state's official tourism web site, will promote the Welcome Center's new service.

Sales package options are available.

Space is limited, so sign up today!

If interested, please contact: Rhode Island Tourism Division, Amanda Silvia
401-539-3031 ext. 303
Fax: 401-539-3032

U.S. Small Business Administration: 2007 Rhode Island Salute to Small
The week of May 21-25, 2007 the U.S. Small Business Administration will be holding the 2007
Rhode Island Salute to Small Business'.

Free Small Business Workshops are available throughout the week at different locations.

For more information on the Workshops, log on to
or call: 401-732-1100.

Radisson Hotel: Father's Day Feast to Go
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Radisson Airport Hotel Providence
Dinner Serves 8-10 People

Must place order by June 14, 2006

For more information contact Lori Leonardi at 401- 739-3000
or To see the complete menu visit:
         Contact Information
           phone: 401-223-1120

           phone: 401-223-1120


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