Why should you join the New Mexico Restaurant Association? It shows your customers you are a leader in Safety and Service, and that you’ve invested in bettering your business and the community.   Together, we are stronger, and you’ll be joining over 1,200 restaurants and foodservice locations in your industry!  The benefits of belonging are many, and it will be a game-changer for your restaurant.

Here are some of the advantages you gain as a member of NMRA:

1. National Membership – Our restaurants that have a membership with NMRA also receive membership with the National Restaurant Association.  The NRA is an invaluable resource for anyone in the industry.  Their website provides articles, tools, information, and education that you need to run your restaurant.  One of the perks that comes with membership at the national level is one free ticket to NRA Annual Show, valued at $129. The trade show is the pinnacle of restaurant events, providing you the opportunity to network and gather resources from innovators and industry standard bearers.

2. Food Safety Education – While it is true our ServSafe classes are available to the general public, our members also receive discounts on classes that are only available by joining. Every member employee taking the manager certification class get $50 off taking the price from $175 to $125 and the online food handlers class is 20% off!. Even for the staff of a small restaurant that has 2 managers and 10 crew members that is $200 saved, well worth the price of membership alone. NMRA members also have access to webinars, blogs and our food safety expert, Brianna Dennis, an industry leading educator in the field. The resources on the NMRA website cover many topics and answer the most asked question, but if you can’t find what you are looking  for, you can always call our office or send us an email and we will make sure you get the answers you need.

3. Management Resources  – We know running a successful restaurant is no easy task, so we do our best to provide resources to take some of the burden off your back. As a member you will have access to powerful tools such as a free employee handbook prepared by restaurant legal experts, payroll and employee benefits management, workers’ comp insurance and guidance from our skilled membership expert, Dionne Bower. We will be your first call to handle issues such as:

     Calculating overtime for tipped employees

     Clarifying comments from the environment department on your inspection

     Finding a vendor who specializes in just what you need

     Understanding liquor laws and requirements

We encourage our members to think of us as their own personal assistant. We are standing by to serve you.

4. Discounts and Savings – In addition to the other savings mentioned, NMRA members are eligible for deep discounts on many products and services vital to restaurant operation. Through partnership with our associate members, we are able to offer exclusive deals on natural gas services, music licensing, point of sale systems and much more. For more information on how much our programs and discounts will save you, check out our Membership ROI Calculator ( https://www.nmrestaurants.org/nmra-roi-calculator/) and answer the questions for your restaurant to get a better picture of what you are gaining.

5. Strength in Numbers/Representation – This may be the most important benefit of membership; to know you have someone fighting for you. As an association we are able to band together and tackle large problems together for the benefit our industry. Representation should not be taken for granted, it is a powerful thing. This past year we have seen firsthand how we can rally around a cause and achieve victory through solidarity. During the 2019 legislative session, we worked with advocacy group, restaurants, servers and politicians to keep the tip credit in New Mexico, and through our overwhelming show of unity we were victorious. We again came together, albeit on a more local level, to guide the Albuquerque City Council in their decision to carve restaurants out of the plastic ban. It is hard to put a price tag on freedom from unfunded mandates, but we have been told by members that it is priceless.

Membership is not for everyone. Some people prefer to do things the hard way, and that is fine too. Just consider if you have ever struggled over any of the points covered in this blog, there is help out there, and we are ready to serve you! For any question on membership please reach out to Dionne at communication@nmrestaurants.org or 505-343-9848.