(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association today announced a new addition to its lineup of Executive Study Groups. The new group will focus on licensing and compliance issues in the restaurant industry, including those dealing with liquor, health, tax and business registration and various permits. The group will also proactively engage state and local administrators in discussions about policies that impact restaurant operations.

“Keeping up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges in a specific field gives restaurant industry professionals the edge in their day-to-day operations, and our Executive Study Groups offer unparalleled opportunities to learn from peers in the same field,” said Steven C. Anderson, president and chief executive officer of the National Restaurant Association. “Licensing and compliance issues are part of every restaurant operation and I believe this new group will be tremendously beneficial to share information on how to handle related issues.”

Fired Up, Inc., the parent company and franchisor of Johnny Carino’s Italian restaurants, hosted a meeting of restaurant licensing and compliance professionals in early November at its corporate office in Austin, Texas. The 20 restaurant companies in attendance, which annually track and renew more than 44,500 licenses and permits, found it such a success that the Association and conference attendees created the new Executive Study Group to hold meetings on a regular, permanent basis.

The biannual Executive Study Group conferences are tailored to professionals in specialty fields-marketing, finance and tax, human resources, management information systems; quality assurance, internal auditing; risk management/safety; loss prevention; nutrition; and architecture, engineering and construction-to address the unique issues specific to these areas in the industry. Association members receive a substantial discount on registration as part of the Association’s comprehensive member benefits package.

Executive Study Group participants have access to innovative business strategies from top industry professionals through educational sessions, roundtable discussions and networking opportunities. The meetings explore best practices and lessons learned that helped leading restaurants position themselves for success, gain market share and boost their company’s bottom line. Many groups also continue its discussions year-round through listserves.

The Association’s Licensing and Compliance Executive Study Group is currently scheduling its first official meeting for the fall of 2007 (date and location TBD). For more information on all 11 of the Executive Study Groups, visit the Association’s Web site at www.restaurant.org/studygroups.

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