Music is All Around Us – Is your Music License Up to Date?

January 30, 2019

You know that music makes all the difference when it comes to keeping your customers happy and coming back for more. But using music in your business is more complicated than just turning on your radio. Our friends at BMI have created a video as a helpful reminder to check in about your music license.

It’s easy to play music in your business while also ensuring music creators are paid for the music we all love.


Are you taking advantage of your CRA membership benefit?

BMI offers restaurants a 10% discount with their Timely Payment Discount program? On top of that, CRA members are eligible for a 10% savings on their BMI Music License. This means that you can save up to 20% on BMI fees! Are you taking advantage of this member benefit?

Winter Vehicle Kits to Keep Your Drivers Safe

December 10, 2018

We know budgets are pinched, but strongly consider investing in winter vehicle emergency kits for your fleets or workers on the road. They can be purchased for $35 to $70. They’re portable and convenient, and you’ll likely spend less time outfitting your drivers with them than in building customized kits of your own.
Most of the items we list come in ready-made kits, but we’ve suggested alternatives and extras we believe will enhance your employees’ safety on snowy, icy roads. The goal of a well-stocked winter kit is to (a) enable the driver to dig out and get to the destination or (b) contact and wait for roadside assistance safely and with warmth and nourishment.

Winter car kit items:
• Battery booster cables or a portable jump-starter.
• Ice scraper, preferably a snow brush/scraper that clears accumulated snow as well as ice.
• Portable shovel to dig out when stuck or to clear space around the tailpipe.
• Bag of sand for traction for spinning tires.
• Spare tire and aerosol can of tire sealant for punctures. (Or call roadside assistance.)
• Flashlight with extra batteries.
• Signaling cones, flares or roadside triangles.
• Reflective safety vest.
• Basic first-aid kit.
• Cellphone and charger.
• Gloves, hat, poncho, winter boots, packable down coat and blanket.
• Moist wipes and clean rags.
• Tow strap for pulling vehicle from ditch.
• Fire extinguisher. (Caution workers to step away if they are imperiled. Property’s salvageable; lives aren’t.)
• Plenty of water, granola and protein bars.

Pinnacol and other resources
The Old Farmer’s Almanac offers a more exhaustive list of items for winter vehicle kits. The Knowledge Center on Pinnacol’s website provides a host of resources on driving safety, including a link to OSHA’s webpages of winter driving information and resources. Through our partnership with J.J. Keller, we offer an online, self-paced driving safety course, and you’ll find this and many other employee education materials and links at Pinnacol’s Knowledge Center.
We’re here to help. To learn more, contact Pinnacol’s Safety On Call at, 303.361.4700 or 888.501.4752.

Steve Kanatzar, The Airplane Restaurant – Richard P. Ayers Distinguished Service Award

October 12, 2018

In honor of the late Dick Ayers, the Richard P. Ayers Award for Distinguished Service is the Colorado Restaurant Association’s highest achievement award. After a long career in foodservice, Dick decided to specialize in restaurant real-estate, and he became a legend for his ability to determine an appropriate sales price for restaurants. In 2007, Dick passed away, but this award is part of his legacy of service to the Colorado Restaurant Association. The Richard P. Ayers Award for Distinguished Service is given to those individuals who have contributed and served the Colorado Restaurant Association and our industry far above and beyond the call of duty.


Steve Kanatzar has been a longtime supporter of the hospitality industry and has been involved with the CRA for many years. He served as CRA 2016-17 Chairman of the Board and has served on the Pikes Peak Chapter Board since 2005 and the Executive Committee since 2011. He has worked diligently to help the CRA and hospitality industry battle through some tough economic and political times. He is passionate about ProStart and is always amazed with ProStart’s positive impact on students.

As stated by Paul Aylmer, the 2017 DSA recipient:

Steve is the epitome of hard work and dedication.  Beside starting the Airplane Restaurant in 2001, Steve served for years on the CO Springs Chapter Board and the CRA Board before becoming a member the CRA Executive Committee and eventually its Chairman.  The Executive Committee meets once a month in Denver and Steve, to the best of my recollection, never missed a meeting, despite the sometimes brutal commute.


Steve has an undying passion for this industry and a goal to assure that the policies our lawmakers create for our state will keep our industry competitive and thriving.  He is determined to make our industry a good place to work in.


But most importantly and above all else, Steve is a kind man, an honest man, a man of high morals and integrity, a selfless man who doesn’t hesitate to give back to his community, a loyal friend, husband and father and a man we all respect tremendously.  I call him the voice of reason.


Congratulations Steve and thank you for your endless commitment and dedication to the CRA.  Indeed, you are well deserving of this award.

Steve worked for Specialty Restaurants, Sea Galley, and Red Robin before branching out into owning his own restaurant. He was able to establish a series of successful restaurants over the course of 35 years. Steve’s current concept, The Airplane Restaurant in Colorado Springs, has been an icon in El Paso County since 2002. That is when he was able to combine his experience of running restaurants with his love of aviation. His interest in cooking began while earning his degree in Chemistry at CSU. “My two housemates were food chemists so we were always experimenting with food and drink. Flying planes runs in my family so an aviation themed restaurant was a perfect fit.” Steve currently serves on the Boards of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau and the El Paso County Health Department, Food Safety Advisory Committee.

Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Thom Parker – Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame

October 12, 2018

The Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to honor those individuals who have served as an inspiration and example through their service and contributions to the industry.


Thom has had a distinguished career in the foodservice industry, most notably with Dean Foods, Robinson and Meadow Gold Dairies. He has been actively involved in the Colorado Restaurant Association in Government Affairs Issues and has served in leadership roles on the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee. He has been a supporter of the industry as a sponsor, and a strong contributor in numerous events and activities.

Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Rob Haimson – Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame

October 12, 2018

The Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to honor those individuals who have served as an inspiration and example through their service and contributions to the industry.

Rob Haimson has spent his career owning and operating restaurants such as Potato Brumbaugh’s, the Neighborhood Grill and Roadkill Sports Grill in Greeley. He has made significant contributions to the industry through restaurant ownership, teaching, and a long history of involvement in leadership roles with both the Colorado and National Restaurant Associations – and at the local level.


Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Joan Brewster – Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame

October 12, 2018

The Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to honor those individuals who have served as an inspiration and example through their service and contributions to the industry.

Joan Brewster leads the largest and most active chapter of the American Culinary Federation. Joan has served as Executive Director at the ACF Colorado Chef’s Association for more than 25 years. Prior to that she served as Development Director at the Colorado Restaurant Association. Joan has worked tirelessly throughout her career to support chefs, cooks, food purveyors and students in Colorado and to raise the level of culinary professionalism through education, professional interaction and networking.


Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Vilis Berzins – Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame

October 12, 2018

The Colorado Foodservice Hall of Fame was established in 1978 to honor those individuals who have served as an inspiration and example through their service and contributions to the industry.

Vilis began his restaurant design career with United Fixture Company in Montgomery, Alabama in 1963, returning to Colorado in 1969 to begin working independently under his own name. While he has done work in many states across the country over the last 55 years, he has been most prolific in Colorado and the Denver Metro area, where he has been instrumental in planning more than 1,000 restaurants, nightclubs and bars, several of which won awards for design excellence and historic preservation.


Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Jill & Larry DiPasquale – Noel & Tammy Cunningham Humanitarian Award

October 12, 2018

This award is one of our most prestigious awards and is named for Noel and Tammy Cunningham due to their dedication to serving their community through volunteer work, advocacy, leadership, and philanthropy in a significant way. Tammy Cunningham was at the ceremony to present the award.

Epicurean Culinary Group, was a small, family owned business and which turned it into a leading food service company. Both Larry and Jill DiPasquale hold a passion for the philanthropic arm of the company: Epicurean Cares. Giving back to society by not only feeding and providing hospitality to those less fortunate, but also engaging the community with respect, dignity, and care. Years ago Noel Cunningham presented a challenge to Larry, to be a “leader of the next generation of food service professionals that give back and have an impact on the community”. Larry and Jill have embraced the adage of when much is given, much will be required and championed this through philanthropic efforts.

Photos can be found on our Facebook page

Live Music Leaves Lasting Memories…for Customers and Businesses

July 11, 2018


Whenever songwriters play gigs, they invariably interact with the audience. That’s because live music encourages the whole crowd to participate. People ask to hear cover songs, as well as originals, and when that happens, it’s a beautiful sight for bar and restaurant owners because studies show that customers stay longer, spend more and have lasting impressions of establishments when live music is played. And what business wouldn’t want to be remembered for being a place where customers had a good time? Especially when date night, happy hour with coworkers, or a night out with friends comes around.

Erin Leon, Managing Director of Sales at Waterfront Brewery in Key West, FL agrees with these findings saying, “Music is everything. Live music brings people in the doors and keeps people there.”

Leger, The Research Intelligence Group, also proved the point in a study1 they did on live music in conjunction with BMI. The data shows that for respondents between 18-49 years-old², 85% enjoy their bar or restaurant experience more when live music is performed, 83% are more likely to return to an establishment with live music as opposed to one without, and 82% would recommend a bar or restaurant with live music to their friends.  Other findings show that 80% of customers will stay longer in a bar or restaurant if there is live music, while 70% spend more money on food and drinks.

So, what do songwriters contribute to live music? The songs!

Country artist RaeLynn, who is also a BMI singer-songwriter, had this to say about songwriters behind the scenes writing hits that people come out to hear: “All of us artists are always in the spotlight, but the songwriters are the reason why we are what we are so I think it is super important to highlight them.”

As for festivals, songwriters whose names you might not know but whose music you do, have been rocking them annually for years. And each year, bar and restaurant owners look forward to these events and the revenue they bring to the whole area. From Maui to Chicago and every place in between, live music rocks towns, beaches, street fairs and stadiums – there’s no place too big or too small when it comes to entertaining a crowd and leaving a lasting impression – both on the audience and the business owner whose establishment plays a part of that lasting memory.

So now the question is, how do songwriters live on what they make playing gigs? They belong to performing rights organizations like BMI that license their music and pay them royalties when their songs are played publicly. These performance fees generally make-up the majority of a songwriter’s income, especially for those who are not well-known artists, of which there are thousands. BMI’s mission is to ensure that these songwriters are paid for their efforts so that the creation of music in all genres continues for all of us to enjoy and benefit from. As a non-profit-making performing rights organization recognized in the U.S. Copyright Law as a licensor of music, BMI distributes 88% of all licensing fees to the songwriters we represent so they can keep on creating the music that they, and we, love. Take a look at some of the highlights from the Key West Songwriters Festival to hear from them, as well as listen to what some in the F&B industry had to say about live music and why they have a BMI license.

For more information about how to license your music use, visit or call a BMI representative at 888-689-5264.

The Germs that Kill Your Business

February 15, 2018

By Jim Malcolm, Enviro-Master Services of Denver  | Vendor Bylines —

This headline regarding the flu is alarming:

The Flu is Killing up to 4,000 Americans a Week (Bloomberg, 2/10/18)

Additionally, hepatitis A outbreaks in Colorado are also on the rise. This begs the question: is your restaurant protected from diseases that drive away customers and reduce productivity of your workforce?

Public restrooms harbor contaminants such as e-coli, salmonella, streptococcus, influenza, and staphylococcus, and these same restrooms are the distribution centers for the flu, norovirus, and hepatitis A, if not properly sanitized. The toilet plume, which sprays from a toilet when flushed, launches airborne bacteria across the restroom up to 20 feet. Obviously, the restroom requires attention to keep businesses out of the negative headlines.

Prevent the Spread of Disease

  1. Wash hands frequently – a must for employees!
  2. Add additional hand sanitizers to your restaurant
  3. Keep surfaces and door handles disinfected – applying a germicidal sealant is best practice!
  4. Schedule seasonal deep cleanings – especially during and after flu season
  5. Spray all restroom surfaces with a hospital-grade germicide. Remember the toilet plume? Bacteria and viruses are covering every surface.
  6. Be proactive and have a plan. Don’t hesitate to enlist outside help!

Stay out of the headlines by preventing the spread of disease at your restaurant!

Enviro-Master is the #1 trusted partner for restroom health and safety, as they provide comprehensive solutions to prevent the spread of disease and control odors. (303) 895-6422