Business briefs: Restaurant group partners with Guide Dogs

March 29, 2014 

PALMETTO -- Southeastern Guide Dogs and The Chiles Restaurant Group, which operates three waterfront restaurants, have entered a partnership designed to generate funds for Southeastern Guide Dogs' services to the visually impaired community.

The three restaurants -- the Sandbar on Anna Maria Island, the BeacHhouse in Bradenton Beach, and the Mar Vista Dockside on Longboat Key -- will offer patrons a convenient opportunity to donate to Southeastern Guide Dogs at the point of sale through the Dollars4 GuideDogs program. Diners will be presented with the chance to make a $1, $5, $10, or other donation to be added to their check at each of the restaurants. The initial goal of the Chiles Group is to raise $15,000 to sponsor and name three Southeastern puppies -- one for each of its restaurants.

The public is invited to an official Launch Party at the Sandbar on April 10 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., where Southeastern Guide Dogs puppies will be on hand to greet guests and spread tail wags all around. The event will take place in the Sandbar wedding pavilion adjacent to the restaurant, 100 Spring Ave, Anna Maria. Light refreshments and a cash bar will be available.

Restaurant association hosts seminars

SARASOTA -- Six chapters of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association are partnering to host customer service guru and author John DiJulius in a series of seminars April 9.

The live two hour presentation, "What's the Secret? To Providing a World-Class Customer Experience," is designed to create positive customer and employee experiences. This is the first time local FRLA chapters have come together to host such an event. DiJulius counts among his clients the Ritz-Carlton, Starbucks, Marriott, Cheesecake Factory and Chick-fil-A.

Attendees include the business savvy, from CEOs and entrepreneurs to front line employees, particularly those in the hospitality and tourism industry who depend on returning patrons. Tickets are $30 for FRLA members and $40 for non-members.

The seminars will take place April 9 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Selby Auditorium - USF Campus, 8350 North Tamiami Trail, and from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay, 2900 Bayport Drive, Tampa.

Chamber to host VIP breakfast

LAKEWOOD RANCH -- The Manatee Chamber of Commerce and Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation with Keiser University and The Mosaic Company inviteare hosting a VIP breakfast with Katherine Harris, Executive Chair of the Sarasota-Bradenton Pentathlon.

The former

U.S.Representative and Florida Secretary of State will appear at the breakfast designed to celebrate the upcoming 2014 Modern Pentathlon World Cup Finals. The continental breakfast will take place April 22 from 7:45 to 9 a.m. at the Manatee Chamber of Commerce Lakewood Ranch office at the McClure Center, 4215 Concept Court.

Bradenton-Sarasota will host the first Pentathlon World Cup Final to be held in the United States in more than 40 years.

The cost is $15 for Manatee Chamber and EDC members; $20 non-members. For more information or to reserve a seat, contact Lisa at 748-3411 or

-- Herald staff report

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