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For media inquiries, please contact Janet Isabelli of Isabelli Media Relations at janet@imrchicago.com.

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IRA News
Monday, December 17, 2018
IRA on Tight Labor Market in Restaurant Industry »
The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the hospitality industry's labor crunch. IRA President and CEO Sam Toia weighed i...
Sunday, December 16, 2018
Thank You, Chicago Restaurants »
Thank you, Chicago restaurants. Home to 40+ James Beard Foundation Award Winning Chefs and Restaurants 22...
Tuesday, December 11, 2018
James Beard Awards in Chicago Through 2027 »
This week, the James Beard Foundation announced that Chicago will continue to host the James Beard Foundation Awards, an a...
Friday, December 7, 2018
IRA Joins Governor-Elect Pritzker, IBIC to Call for Pragmatic Immigration Reform »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia recently joined Governor-elect JB Pritzker and the Illinois Business Immigration Coalitio...
Monday, December 3, 2018
Sam Toia Named to Governor-elect Pritzker's Economic Development Committee »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia has been named to Governor-elect JB Pritzker's Job Creation and Economic Opportunity Comm...
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
*Updated Alert* Outbreak of E. coli in Romaine Lettuce Linked to California; Check Sourcing »
*UPDATE*  Based on new information, CDC is narrowing its warning to consumers. CDC is advising that U.S. consum...
Friday, November 16, 2018
IRA on Mental Health Concerns in Restaurants; Increasing Access to Services »
CBS 2 Chicago recently aired a segment on local restaurants' efforts to address mental health and substance abuse in the i...
Monday, November 12, 2018
IRA on Plastic Straw Ban Non-Binding Referendum: Sustainability, Flexibility are Key for Restaurants »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia shared his insights on the recent non-binding referendum in the City of Chicago that aske...
Friday, November 9, 2018
Sam Toia: Restaurant Industry Needs Immigrants to Grow and Succeed »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia was recently quoted in Modern Restaurant Management on the crucial importance of the immi...
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
October Restaurant Rundown - The News You Need to Know »
Check out this month's edition of the IRA's Restaurant Rundown monthly newsletter featuring the latest Association updates...
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
IRA Welcomes EMPLOYERS as Workers’ Compensation Endorsed Partner »
The IRA is thrilled to welcome EMPLOYERS as our workers’ compensation Endorsed Partner. Eligible IRA members can now rec...
Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Sam Toia on Chicago Gourmet 2018, Proposed Restrictive Scheduling Ordinance »
Earlier this week, IRA President & CEO Sam Toia joined Rick Pearson on the WGN Sunday Spin radio show to discuss Bon...
Friday, September 14, 2018
New Chicago Health Code in Effect: What Restaurants Need to Know »
Effective July 1, 2018, the City of Chicago began enforcement of the 2013 FDA Food Code regulations. On the first inspecti...
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
IRA on Mayor Emanuel's Impact on Chicago's Restaurant Industry »
Eater Chicago shared insights from the restaurant community of Chicago on the news that Mayor Rahm Emanuel will not seek r...
Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Food Newsfeed Highlights New IRAEF Executive Director Terrell Johnson »
Food Newsfeed recently highlighted the announcement of Terrell Johnson as Executive Director of the Illinois Restaurant A...
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
IRA on Proposed Scheduling Mandate Ordinance in Chicago City Council »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia recently co-authored a letter to the editor in the Chicago Sun-Times that breaks down why...
Thursday, August 23, 2018
Sam Toia on Restaurant City of the Year Long-Term Benefits »
Congratulations to Portland, OR for recently being named Bon Appétit's Restaurant City of the Year. IRA President & CE...
Friday, August 3, 2018
Governor Rauner Signs IRA-Backed Local Liquor License Exemption Legislation »
This week, Governor Rauner signed legislation that grants authority to local liquor control commissioners to give exemptio...
Friday, July 27, 2018
IRAEF Field Trip to Legends Farm Highlighted in Sun-Times »
This week, the IRA Educational Foundation hosted a field trip for ProStart® students to Windy City Harvest’s Legends Far...
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia on Plastic Straw Bans »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia shared his insights on proposed legislation in various municipalities around the country...
Tuesday, June 26, 2018
IRA on Immigration, Scheduling Mandate Ordinance on Sunday Spin »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia joined Rick Pearson on the WGN Sunday Spin radio show to discuss the Trump administration...
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sam Toia on CLTV: Time is Now for Pragmatic Immigration Reforms »
This week, IRA President & CEO Sam Toia joined Rick Pearson to discuss national immigration policy and enforcement iss...
Monday, June 18, 2018
*REMINDER* Regulatory Updates Effective July 1, 2018 »
There are several regulatory updates impacting restaurants effective July 1, 2018, including: minimum wage increases, paid...
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
IRA Testifies on Year-Round Sidewalk Cafes, Ordinance Advances »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia, Advisory Council member Erik Baylis of Big Onion Tavern Group , and Advisory Council me...
Saturday, June 9, 2018
Sam Toia on the Loss of Anthony Bourdain »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia shared his thoughts on the loss of culinary icon Anthony Bourdain with the Chicago Sun-Ti...
Friday, June 1, 2018
City of Chicago Tipped Wage: $6.25; Cook County Tipped Wage: $5.10, Effective July 1, 2018 »
The City of Chicago has announced the new minimum wage rate for tipped employees, effective July 1, 2018: $6.25 per hour...
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
IRA Advisory Council Member Alpana Singh to Return as Check, Please! Host »
Congratulations to IRA Advisory Council member Alpana Singh (The Boarding House, Terra & Vine) on her upcoming return...
Friday, May 25, 2018
May Restaurant Rundown - The News You Need to Know »
Check out this month's edition of the IRA's Restaurant Rundown monthly newsletter featuring the latest Association updates...
Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Sam Toia on WTTW: Sanctuary Restaurants Send Message of Support to Immigrant Community »
WTTW Chicago Tonight recently examined the concept of sanctuary restaurants in a segment featuring IRA President & CEO...
Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Chefs Graham Elliot and Matthias Merges Talk Chicago Gourmet, Grand Cru on NBC5 »
Chef Graham Elliot and Chef Matthias Merges highlighted Chicago Gourmet and The Grand Cru in a live interview on NBC 5...
Thursday, May 17, 2018
Taste of Chicago Food Vendors Lineup Announced »
This week, the City of Chicago announced the full lineup of food vendors at the 28th Annual Taste of Chicago, coming to Gr...
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Sam Toia in Sun-Times: IL Hospitality Industry Needs the Work Ethic Immigrants Bring to the Job »
IRA President & CEO Sam Toia contributed an op-ed to the Chicago Sun-Times on the need for pragmatic immigration refor...
Friday, May 11, 2018
IRA Launches Windy City Works to Protect Flexible Schedules in Chicago »
Yesterday, the Progressive Caucus of the Chicago City Council announced their renewed push for a "Fair Workweek" ordinance...
Tuesday, May 1, 2018
Tip or No Tip Policies? IRA in Champaign News-Gazette on Tipping Practices »
The Champaign News-Gazette recently examined the concept of no tipping policies at restaurants around the country. ...
Friday, April 27, 2018
Sam Toia in Chicago Sun-Times, ABC 7: Year-Round Cafes, Pop Up Permitting Great for Industry »
The Chicago Sun-Times and ABC 7 spoke with IRA President & CEO Sam Toia about the prospect of year-round sidewalk cafe...

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