Food & BeverageLiving

Lifting Community Spirits: Stan Harris, President & CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association

Join us this week for Lifting Community Spirits with a toast to the New Orleans community at Andrea’s Restaurant located in Metairie, Louisiana. We will discuss the changes in the New Orleans culinary industry with the President and CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association, Stan Harris. During the happy hours, we will learn the secrets to how to make an Amara Andrea Cocktail in The Capri Blu Bar at Andrea’s Restaurant. 

Stan Harris is the CEO and President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. The Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA) was established in 1946 to serve the LRA members by advancing and protecting Louisiana’s restaurant and food service industry. The pandemic started for the LRA in early March and so much has changed in the last six months. The Louisiana Restaurant Association organization is available to anyone without any payment providing support, resources and most important information.

We embraced this [COVID-19 Pandemic] like any other natural disaster. The water will rise, the trees will fall. We will get them picked up, we will replace them, fix the things that need to get fixed, the water will go away and we will reopen. Unfortunately, this is one we really cannot see. We know it. We can see the head count. We see the unfortunate deaths that have occurred from this. We have been focused on how do we keep our industry connected, how we get them the right information and how do we connect to the decision makers. ~ Stan Harri, CEO & President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association

The goal of all of the decision makers and the LRA is to open safely and not move backwards. “It has been a real challenging time for our industry but at the same time for us as an organization,” Stan Harri, CEO & President of the Louisiana Restaurant Association. Orleans Parish is a different challenge compared to the rest of the state. When the Governor relaxes something, Mayor Latoya Cantrell of New Orleans will take a look at the change about two weeks after. This has been the pattern for New Orleans.

The LRA advocates for restaurants, bars, nightclubs and other venues that are trying to stay alive right now and keep their business going. These are industries that live off of cash flow and 20% plus of most of restaurant businesses are in person dining. The decision makers did not really understand the business model of these businesses and the impact some of the restrictions would have on them. If you look at the restaurant industry, 30% of costs are for food, 30% labor cost, 30% fixed cost, and maybe a restaurant can make about 10% or less. If you lose the top line of revenue, the fixed cost just gets higher. Some quick service restaurants with a service window are doing okay if not better, but full service restaurants are having more difficulties surviving.

The restaurant industry and bars are highly regulated. They are having to adapt very quickly to meet the new regulations. Many bars are converting to meet the food service permits requirements, and the LDR is helping them get the information and become compliant. Some restaurants are getting sidewalk permits to increase business. There is even a grant to help make this happen (Click here for more information). Restaurants are making menu changes, time changes, and seating changes all to adapt, to be safe for their customers.

Stan Harris and the LDR are working hard with all of the decision makers, restaurants and other organizations to save today and plan for tomorrow.

Andrea’s Restaurant

Andrea's Restaurant Soft Shell Crab Background, Stan Harris

Andrea’s Restaurant offers the finest in New Orleans seafood, authentic Northern Italian and Continental cuisine. Since 1985, Chef Andrea Apuzzo has been thrilling the New Orleans Metro area with his cuisine. “If I can’t serve it fresh, I won’t serve it at all,” says Chef Andrea Apuzzo, Andrea’s Restaurant. Chef Andrea Apuzzo has worked in kitchens all over the world preparing dishes for notables such as Queen Elizabeth, Clint Eastwood, Omar Sharif, and President Jimmy Carter.

My home is your home ~ Chef Andrea Apuzzo, Andrea’s Restaurant

Stan Harris

Some of the wonderful dishes that Chef Andrea Apuzzo presents today include the LA Crabmeat & Eggplant Crabcake Andrea made with Louisiana crabmeat, Osso Buco Milanese with saffron risotto, 9 oz Angus Beef Tenderloin Andrea, and the cheese and meat platter. But, this is just a small sample of some of the wonderful items that Andrea’s Restaurant has to offer to guests. See the entire menu – HERE. Mamma Mia!

Andrea's Restaurant Drink Specials - Megan, Stan Harris

This Week’s Happy Hour Cocktail Recipes

Megan from Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana will teach us how to make an Amara Andrea cocktail.

Amara Andrea Ingredients:

1.5 oz Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth; 1.5 oz Amaro (Amarogutta); 1/2 oz Fernet Branca; 2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters; 2 Dashes Bitters, Angostura; 2  Orange Wedges; and 1 Twist of a Lemon Peel


Take 1.5 oz of the Carpano Antica Formula Sweet Vermouth, 1.5 oz of the Amaro, 1/2 oz Fernet Branc, 2 Dashes Peychaud’s Bitter and 2 Dashes Bitters, Angostura and pour them all into a shaker. Add a mint leaf and 2 Orange Wedges and muddle them together. Add ice and shake. Strain into a cold martini glass and garnish with a twist of a lemon peel.

Chris from Andrea’s Restaurant in Metairie, Louisiana will teach us how to make a Disarrono Sour cocktail.

Disaronno Sour Ingredients:

1.5 oz Disaronno Originale; 1 oz Simple Syrup; 1/2 lemon fresh juice; and 1 maraschino cherry.


Start with 1.5 oz of Disaronno Originale (Italy’s favorite) and add 1 oz simple syrup. Then, add fresh juice of 1/2 of a lemon. Add ice and shake. Then strain into a rock’s glass filled halfway with ice. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

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