Industry News Archive

Airbnb quietly tries a new approach to selling tours and activities

May 12, 2014 - tnooz

Airbnb is struggling to stay out of the news with various regulatory issues.

Battle in Seattle: Operators face $15 minimum wage

May 7, 2014 - Restaurant Hospitality

Operators there say this rate would strike a mortal blow to their unit economics.

Is new supply ‘the biggest disruptor coming our way?’

May 5, 2014 - Hotel Management

No matter what the future, the best course of action is to ensure rates are optimized.

Liquor privatization ballot should include 'imposes wholesale tax'

May 1, 2014 - The Oregonian

The proposed measure would allow grocers to cut their own deals with liquor manufacturers.

Portland named best beer city in America

April 30, 2014 - The Oregonian, the hotel-rating website, placed Portland in the No. 1 spot.

Cover Oregon moves to the federal exchange

April 25, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Moving to the federal site posed "the lowest risk option to the state".

Wine growlers are legal again in Oregon

April 25, 2014 - The Oregonian

Feds backed off ruling where selling wine in refillable containers was illegal.

Cover Oregon moves to the federal exchange

April 25, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Moving to the federal site posed "the lowest risk option to the state".

Airbnb: No 'onerous' new regulations, fees

April 24, 2014 - KGW

The OTC is not opposed to new rules that might regulate and tax their short-term rentals.

Heartbleed a ‘significant’ threat to hotels

April 21, 2014 - HotelNewsNow

The Heartbleed virus poses a serious threat to hotel company technology infrastructures.

Beer prices could go up under FDA rule that angers brewers

April 18, 2014 - The Oregonian

The proposal would classify companies that distribute spent grain to farms as animal feed manufacturers.

Report: Restaurants struggle with traffic despite rising March sales

April 15, 2014 - Nation's Restaurant News

Restaurant same-store sales rose 1.8 percent in March, improving from last quarter.

Travel industry applauds tourism bill

April 10, 2014 - Travel Pulse

Travel Promotion, Enhancement and Modernization Act of 2014, will reauthorize Brand USA.

Oregon brewers: Composting rules would cost the beer industry millions

April 14, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Senator asks to change proposed rule on use of brewery byproducts for feed.

More restaurants adopting no-tipping policy

April 9, 2014 - CBS MoneyWatch

Uncommon no-tip restaurants are starting to take hold across the country.

U.S. specialty brewers catching up to Oregon counterparts

April 9, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

The brewing industry employs more than 5,000 workers in Multnomah County.

Airbnb’s initiative spawns paid hotel taxes

April 1, 2014 - tnooz

Accommodations booked through hosts on Airbnb will soon be charged hotel taxes in Portland.

Governor Hotel earns new name

February 28, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Provenance Hotel Group has changed the name of the updated Governor Hotel.

One lottery bill survives, one doesn't

February 26, 2014 - The Oregonian

ORLA's Bill Perry talks about the group's concerns with lottery reform legislation.

Eugene eyes sick leave law

February 25, 2014 - The Register-Guard

City Council to study an ordinance that would require time off with pay.

ProStart alumnus finds success in Bend's restaurant scene

February 24, 2014 - YouTube

Genaro Vargas is making a significant contribution to the restaurant industry in Bend.

Bill to allow hard liquor sales in grocery stores fails

February 13, 2014 - The Statesman Journal

Liquor privatization bill transforms into a task force to study the issue.

How latest change in healthcare bill impacts restaurants

February 11, 2014 - Nation's Restaurant News

Employers now have the final rules and an employer mandate delay.

Proposed union rules would reduce employer rights

February 13, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

NLRB has resurrected its push for sped-up union elections.

Bill to allow hard liquor sales in grocery stores fails

February 13, 2014 - The Statesman Journal

Liquor privatization bill transforms into a task force to study the issue.

How latest change in healthcare bill impacts restaurants

February 11, 2014 - Nation's Restaurant News

Employers now have the final rules and an employer mandate delay.

HQ hotel: processing of petition signatures may begin

February 10, 2014 - The Oregonian

Judge weighs arguments over public backing can be referred to voters.

Laws on paid sick leave divide businesses

February 5, 2014 - The Wall Street Journal

Critics say the laws unnecessarily raise costs for small employers.

NRA urges Congress on definition of full-time legislation

February 4, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

Legislation would raise the definition of a full-time employee from 30 hours per week.

How to overcome potential glitches on Valentine's Day

January 31, 2014 - Restaurant Hospitality

Restaurant owners know the stakes are high on Valentine’s Day.

Google, Facebook, TripAdvisor tout benefits

January 28, 2014 - HotelNewsNow

Three of the largest distribution disruptors say their efforts can benefit hoteliers.

Tip reporting: what to know about Form 8027

January 22, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

The IRS uses Form 8027 to flag where tip income may have been underreported.

3 steps to guard against 'password apocalypse' in wake of breaches

January 22, 2014 - The Business Journals

Recent data breaches indicate passwords ineffective at protecting information.

Restaurants enter 5th year of real sales growth

January 16, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

Industry sales are projected to exceed $683 billion in 2014.

OLCC presents bill to sell liquor in grocery stores

January 15, 2014 - Statesman Journal

Oregon lawmakers started work on how to modernize the state’s liquor sales.

Crater Lake faces 'death by a thousand cuts'

January 14, 2014 - Sustainable Business Oregon

Crater Lake may be in jeopardy if full federal funding isn't restored.

Pros and cons of buying vs. leasing space for restaurants

January 24, 2014 - The Lease Coach

Should you purchase or lease commercial space for your restaurant?

The key hotel trends of 2014

January 13, 2014 - Hotelier

Attracting young, affluent travelers a key trends emerging in 2014.

Support or not, paid sick leave has arrived

January 2, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Quick reminder on which businesses must comply and which employees covered.

IRS rule on automatic tips could impact restaurants

January 2, 2014 - Nation's Restaurant News

Rules on automatic gratuities may change how tips for large parties are handled.

Convention center hotel opponents get OK to gather signatures

January 7, 2014 - The Oregonian

Project opponents sought to have voters weigh in on a proposed funding mechanism.

Effect of new minimum wage up for debate

December 27, 2013 - The Register-Guard

There's continued debate on the state’s minimum wage hike to $9.10 per hour.

Distillers keep spirits high as political fight bubbles

December 26, 2013 - Portland Tribune

Groups' initiatives to privatize liquor sales stir opposition, debate.

Support or not, paid sick leave has arrived

January 2, 2014 - Portland Business Journal

Quick reminder on which businesses must comply and which employees covered.

Multnomah Co. shuts down convention hotel foes' referendum attempt

December 31, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Group is not allowed to put the issue of a convention center hotel to voters.

Effect of new minimum wage up for debate

December 27, 2013 - The Register-Guard

There's continued debate on the state’s minimum wage hike to $9.10 per hour.

The sun is shining on Oregon destination resorts

December 27, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

After years of financial hardship, good times are returning to the resorts.

Distillers keep spirits high as political fight bubbles

December 26, 2013 - Portland Tribune

Groups' initiatives to privatize liquor sales stir opposition, debate.

Headquarter hotel to the ballots?

December 19, 2013 - The Oregonian

Oregon Convention Center hotel opponents want to refer public backing to voters.

Grocers file petition to privatize OLCC

December 16, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

The Northwest Grocery Association looking to privatize OLCC.

Headquarter hotel to the ballots?

December 19, 2013 - The Oregonian

Oregon Convention Center hotel opponents want to refer public backing to voters.

How would a 30-hour work week impact restaurants?

March 31, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

The House is expected to vote on legislation to change the ACA’s definition of “full-time.”

New path to healthcare tax credits

March 28, 2014 - Cover Oregon

Oregon small businesses can still take advantage of the IRS Small Business Health Care Tax Credit.

Health insurance deadline extended 1 month

March 27, 2014 - ORLA

Oregonians have until April 30 to apply for health insurance.

Airbnb near deal with Portland over short-term rentals

March 26, 2014 - The Oregonian

Online vacation-rental service Airbnb close to deal on collecting taxes.

City Council candidate talks up minimum wage

March 26, 2014 - The Portland Mercury

Portland challenged with pre-emption trying to raise minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Small businesses can still get healthcare tax credits

March 14, 2014 - The Oregonian

Small businesses can qualify for tax credits without going through Cover Oregon.

President directs DOL to revise overtime-pay rules

March 13, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

Washington proposes revisions to federal overtime regulations.

Restaurant sales remain dampened in February

March 13, 2014 - National Restaurant Association

NRA economist breaks down the latest retail sales figures.

IRS releases final ACA reporting rules for employers

March 5, 2014 - US Dept. of the Treasury

Rules detail how IRS will enforce compliance with individual and employer mandates.

Grocers file petition to privatize OLCC

December 16, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

The Northwest Grocery Association looking to privatize OLCC.

DOR releases tax FAQ on travel intermediaries

December 16, 2013 - Oregon Department of Revenue

Information regarding travel intermediaries now available online.

Sysco to Buy US Foods

December 9, 2013 - ABC News

The addition of US Foods is expected to boost annual sales by 46%.

Kitzhaber to run for fourth term

December 9, 2013 - The Oregonian

Governor John Kitzhaber will run for re-election in 2014.

New director has plans to help Oregon Lottery

December 6, 2013 - The Oregonian

Roberts says the Lottery is "widely misunderstood."

Online hotel bookings up big over last year

December 3, 2013 - Travel Pulse

OTAs experienced a big increase in bookings compared to last year.

What’s hot in 2014 culinary forecast

December 2, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

NRA's culinary forecast predicts menu trends for coming year.

Oregon earned sick leave bill not on February agenda

November 26, 2013 - The Oregonian

Interim work group not considering statewide paid sick leave legislation in February.

Oregon earned sick leave bill not on February agenda

November 26, 2013 - The Oregonian

Interim work group not considering statewide paid sick leave legislation in February. enrollment extended

November 22, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Deadline for individuals to enroll in a health insurance plan has been extended.

OTCs sue to evade Oregon's hotel tax

November 18, 2013 - The Oregonian

A group of online travel companies are suing to avoid the tax.

Island wary of Lottery Row shuffle

November 14, 2013 -

Under a new state regulation, the number of Lottery Row retailers must drop.

OLCC work group says Oregon liquor rules must change

November 7, 2013 - The Oregonian

Work group finalized recommendations to increase consumer access to spirits.

Owner of Oregon's BHG Hotels named chair of IHG Board of Directors.

IHG Owners Association's new chair Bakulesh “Buggsi” Patel

October 29, 2013 - Digital Journal

Owner of Oregon's BHG Hotels named chair of IHG Board of Directors.

Move over, Kickstarter: 5 new crowdfunding sites for entrepreneurs

October 28, 2013 - American Express OpenForum

More startups are emerging to help innovators get their ideas funded.

A sick leave reprieve for Portland employers

October 25, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Portland businesses will get extra time to figure out the city’s new sick leave requirements.

Attempt to prevent Oregon Driver Card qualifies for ballot

October 18, 2013 - Willamette Week

An effort to repeal a legislative bill that would have allowed driving privileges to migrant workers.

Kitzhaber names Jack Roberts to run Oregon Lottery

October 18, 2013 - The Oregonian

Former state Labor Commissioner Jack Roberts has been picked to run the Oregon Lottery.

Groups oppose costly, legally invalid Low Carbon Fuel Standard

October 21, 2013 - Digital Journal

A statewide coalition of business groups opposes an unnecessary, costly and legally invalid Oregon 'low-carbon fuel standard' (LCFS).

TravelClick finds record use of GDSs for hotel bookings

October 14, 2013 - Travel Pulse

Travel agents are using GDSs to book hotels more than ever.

Restaurateurs keep up the fight on healthcare

October 11, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Legislation to change the ACA’s definition of a full-time work week is still alive.

Kitzhaber set to replace Oregon lottery director

October 14, 2013 - The Oregonian

The director of the Oregon Lottery announced he will retire end of next month.

Restaurateurs keep up the fight on healthcare

October 11, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Legislation to change the ACA’s definition of a full-time work week is still alive.

AH&LA calls for end to federal shutdown

October 10, 2013 - The Hill

Major hotel chains are imploring Washington to end the government shutdown.

Exploring the future of restaurant service

October 11, 2013 - Nation's Restaurant News

By 2020 service will fall into two categories: served-service and self-service.

E-Verify unavailable during shutdown

October 2, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

The Department of Homeland Security has suspended E-Verify’s “three-day rule.”

Hoteliers feeling effects of US shutdown

October 2, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Hardest hit are hotels that rely heavily on national park business.

Tax discussions delayed, not derailed

October 1, 2013 - The Register-Guard

The Oregon Legislature’s special session got bogged down in delays on Monday.

City Council approves hotel tax plan

September 25, 2013 - KOIN

Portland City Council approves deal allowing room taxes to fund HQ hotel.

Oregon's minimum wage up 15 cents to $9.10 in 2014

September 17, 2013 - OregonLive

Oregon's hourly minimum wage will climb to $9.10 in 2014, up 15 cents from today's base.

Need a sample health insurance notice? Notifications due October 1st

September 14, 2013 - ORLA

Less than a month remains for employers to give written notice to employees about health exchanges.

September is Food Safety Month

September 8, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

NRA seeks to build public awareness of allergens and the industry’s commitment to food safety.

Oregon has second-highest minimum wage

September 18, 2013 - The Observer

Oregon announced plans to exceed that, setting a minimum wage of $9.10.

Congress considers limits on federal meetings

September 2, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

The travel industry is fighting legislation that would limit travel by federal employees.

Preparing for restaurant workers strike

August 28, 2013 - ORLA

Tomorrow, on August 29, numerous labor protests are planned in cities around the country.

A fast food strike staged to benefit a rich union

August 27, 2013 - Real Clear Markets

This Thursday we'll see a different kind of strike - planned by paid political activists.

Surprise! Mandatory paid sick leave has real costs

August 26, 2013 - Cascade Business News

While the law sounds well intentioned, it is poised to damage the businesses that employ them.

Budgeting is a local affair, so understand your market

July 15, 2013 - Hotel Management

It is important to appreciate how the overall market in which you operate is expected to perform.

The evolution of hotel room distribution

August 21, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Revenue managers are shifting their focus to the channels that are growing the fastest.

Oregon small business owners favor universal healthcare

August 19, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

A majority of Oregon’s small business owners support universal health care.

Automatic tips may be off the table

August 15, 2013 - Orlando Sentinel

If you dine out in a big group, chances are you've had an automatic tip tacked on to your bill.

ACA requires employers to notify employees about exchanges

August 15, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Employers must provide notice to existing employees by October 1, 2013.

Group recovery begins to strengthen

July 25, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Up to this point, transient demand has led the industry’s recovery.

Mobile, tablet apps could change industry

August 7, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

The explosion in mobile devices has created a new distribution channel for hotels.

New 40-hour bill introduced in House

August 2, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

New legislation could change the 2010 healthcare law’s definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours.

Court rules in favor of merchants on swipe fees

July 31, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Restaurateurs won a major victory when the US District Court ruled on debit-card transaction fees.

Liquor privatization battle brewing in Oregon

July 30, 2013 - The Oregonian

The Legislature's failure to loosen state laws could lead to an initiative campaign to privatize sales of booze.

Despite ACA delays, hoteliers need to act

July 24, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Even with the delays marginal changes will be taking place hoteliers need to heed.

Patridge to lead liquor board on interim basis

July 20, 2013 - Mail Tribune

Rob Patridge was selected interim chairman of the OLCC until a permanent chair is named.

Metro sets open house on convention center hotel plan

July 19, 2013 - The Oregonian

Metro will hold an open house to answer questions about a proposed Oregon Convention Center hotel.

NRA takes part in key meeting on immigration reform

July 19, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

NRA met with senators to discuss strategies for moving immigration reform legislation forward.

Taxpayers not on hook for HQ hotel bond

July 10, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Portland-area taxpayers won’t have to repay debt if a HQ Hotel fails to generate revenue.

Healthcare reporting mandate delayed until 2015

July 2, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

The Obama administration announced it will delay employer reporting and penalties for another year.

Oregon slashes 2014 individual health premiums

June 26, 2013 - The Oregonian

The 2014 health insurance premium decisions provide indication of how federal changes will affect the individual market.

Restaurateurs show support for immigration reform

June 14, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Restaurateurs across the country are stepping up to publicly share their stories about how immigration affects their business.

Metro takes new tack in hotel quest

June 20, 2013 - Portland Tribune

Portland agency wants to tap tourism fund to pay for proposed headquarters inn.

Bend room tax wrestling match far from over

June 20, 2013 - KTVZ

Bend city councilors still didn’t decide whether to send a proposed 2 percent room tax hike to voters.

New model allows broader member engagement

June 19, 2013 - AH&LA

Move enables to transition from a dual membership organization to a platform of broader engagement.

Oregon liquor board rejects 25-cent-a-bottle surcharge

June 12, 2013 - The Oregonian

OLCC rejected a proposed additional surcharge on spirits, making it more difficult for budget negotiators.

New research on source of Americans' calories

June 10, 2013 – Food Navigator

A new analysis of where Americans are getting their calories from has surprising results.

Metro responds to HQ hotel foes

June 12, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Metro to share financial information about Convention Center hotel - after the deal is made.

New research on source of Americans' calories

June 10, 2013 – Food Navigator

A new analysis of where Americans are getting their calories from has surprising results.

Agency finds violations on minimum wage, overtime

June 6, 2013 - KTVZ

An ongoing enforcement initiative by the U.S. DOL focuses on the restaurant industry in Oregon.

Final rule on small business health exchanges released

June 5, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

The U.S. Department of Health released a final rule explaining the operation of SHOP exchanges.

Bill for statewide paid sick leave policy dies

June 5, 2013 - The Oregonian

House Bill allowing employees to accrue 56 hours of paid sick leave a year, died Wednesday.

Gary Fish wins Entrepreneur of The Year

June 11, 2013 - Cascade Business News

Deschutes Brewery founder and CEO, Gary Fish, was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.

How restaurants can prepare for health care mandate

May 19, 2013 - Nation's Restaurant News

It’s important for restaurateurs to get a firm understanding of the Affordable Care Act and what it requires.

How restaurants can prepare for health care mandate

May 19, 2013 – Nation’s Restaurant News

Restaurateurs need to get a firm understanding of the PPACA and what it requires.

50 million adults dine out on Father’s Day

June 4, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Father’s Day is the third most popular dine out holiday, after Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

OLCC chair resigns

May 14, 2013 - The Oregonian

Cassandra Skinner, chair for the past three years, will resign effective June 30.

Healthcare notice language released

May 9, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Department of Labor released the FLSA exchange notice temporary guidance and templates.

NLRB required poster ruled invalid

May 8, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Federal appeals court threw out a rule that would have required businesses to post notices advising employees of their union-organizing rights.

Lodging taxes need legislative clarification in online age

May 6, 2013 - The Oregonian

House Bill 2656 would clarify the rules for the collection of online lodging taxes.

Several factors play into political climate

May 5, 2013 - Statesman Journal

Factors including Democrat majorities contributed to two bills that were celebrated at a May Day rally.

Dark times no more as empty Portland restaurants fill up

May 3, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

One of Portland’s most prominent restaurant buildings sold last week.

Insurers skip Oregon's small employer insurance exchange

May 2, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Insurers say most demand for health coverage will come from individuals, not small business.

Take the Restaurant Industry Operations Survey and get a free report

April 29, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Report provides data on cost of sales, gross profit, direct operating expenses and other performance.

Bill allowing four-year driver's cards passes Oregon House

April 30, 2013 - Statesman Journal

Backed by ORLA, SB 833 allows four-year driver’s cards, instead of regular eight-year licenses.

ORLA partners with Succeed Management to provide resource members

April 30, 2013 - PRWeb

Resource Manager assists members in HR administration, training, and risk management practices.

Take the Restaurant Industry Operations Survey and get a free report

April 29, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Report provides data on cost of sales, gross profit, direct operating expenses and other performance.

OLCC rejects a curfew on bar patios

April 25, 2013 - Willamette Week

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission won't be restricting bar-patio hours.

Oregon ProStart team competes nationally

April 24, 2013 - ORLA

Seaside H.S. culinary team takes 14th at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore.

Four-year university could boost central Oregon tourism

April 21, 2013 - The Oregonian

Expansion of OSU-Cascades Campus into a four-year university could enhance local tourism.

ORLA co-recipient of Travel Oregon's Tourism Development Award

April 15, 2013 - The Wall Street Journal

Travel Oregon announced its recipients of the 2012 Tourism and Hospitality Industry Achievement Awards.

Driver's license debate continues

April 11, 2013 - Statesman Journal

Senate Bill is less about proof of legal presence in the U.S. and more about proof of driving knowledge.

Hoteliers bottle more business in wine country

April 18, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Guests travel to popular wine destinations for three things: wine, restaurants and entertainment.

Customization key to developing kids' meals

April 3, 2013 - Nation's Restaurant News

Foodservice brands focus on customization and variety when developing kids’ menus.

Restaurant chains cut estimates for health-law costs

March 27, 2013 - The Wall Street Journal

Some operators say the law may not be that costly after all.

Portland City Council Votes to Require Sick Leave

March 14, 2013 - ABC News

City Council voted unanimously to make Portland the fourth U.S. city to mandate paid sick leave.

New I-9 Forms Published

March 8, 2013 - USCIS

The revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 includes new fields, improved readability.

Rising beef prices worry restaurateurs

March 8, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the average price of beef rose 25 percent between 2005 and 2012.

NY beverage ban squashed

March 11, 2013 - The Wall Street Journal

A Supreme Court Judge ruled the proposed NY beverage ban on sugary drinks invalid.

Notice of Visa/MC class action settlement

February 13, 2013 - ORLA

Recently merchants have been notified of a proposed class action settlement.

Despite criticism from industry, Portland sick leave moves forward

March 7, 2013 - The Oregonian

Business representatives appreciated the process, but still feel the proposal falls short.

New FMLA Poster Available

March 5, 2013 - AH&LA

Employers must post an updated version of the Labor Department's Family & Medical Leave Act poster.

Restaurant job growth hit 17-year high in 2012

February 7, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

The restaurant industry was an engine of growth for the nation’s employment recovery in 2012, and the trend is expected to continue in 2013.

Facebook ramps up hotel industry presence

February 6, 2013 - HotelNewsNow

Whether hoteliers greatly anticipate or desperately fear the day social giant Facebook ramps up its hotel industry presence, it’s clear that day has come.

How restaurants can make the most of Valentine's Day

February 6, 2013 - Nation's Restaurant News

Valentine’s Day, typically one of the busiest days of the year for restaurants, falls on a Thursday this year — which has operators seeing dollar signs instead of hearts.

Americans with Disabilities Act opens pools to disabled swimmers

February 1, 2013 - CNN

Some 23 years after Congress used federal muscle to open jobs, public transportation and public accommodations to disabled Americans, another venue has come under the federal mandate -- swimming pools.

Proponents talk up sick-leave plan at council hearing

January 31, 2013 - Portland Tribune

The city of Portland will establish a task force of citizens, including business representatives, to fine-tune a proposed sick-leave mandate for employers, in hopes of sending it to the Portland City Council for a vote on March 6.

Social Security tax restoration will hurt restaurants

January 14, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

The restoration of the full Social Security deduction will impact a major tenant class. Every restaurant will be affected as consumers pull back spending in light of the return to full Social Security deductions.

Oregon lottery bills target problem gambling

January 25, 2013 - The Oregonian

Rep. Carolyn Tomei has no illusions that she can stop Oregon's state-sponsored gambling, which pumps $1 billion into the state's general fund every two years. But she's on a mission to do just that when the Legislature convenes next month.

Even if it enrages your boss, social net speech is protected

January 21, 2013 - The New York Times

As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.

Portland Commissioner Fritz releases sick leave plan

January 17, 2013 – The Oregonian

Portland businesses that don't already give time off to employees would need to provide sick leave under a proposal released Thursday. If approved, it would only take effect if the Oregon Legislature doesn't pass a statewide law governing sick leave.

Cover Oregon lands $226 million for health exchange

January 17, 2013 – Portland Business Journal

The group overseeing Oregon’s health insurance exchange has received a giant federal grant to help administer it. Cover Oregon will collect $226.4 million to help the exchange, which will provide a health plan marketplace, become fully operational.

Oregon Health Exchange could serve 471,000 users by 2016

January 10, 2013 - Portland Business Journal

Oregon's health insurance exchange could serve as many as 471,000 state residents by 2016.The exchange is a federal health reform-driven initiative that aims to provide a transparent marketplace for small business and individual insurance buyers.

FDA proposes new rules to food-safety act

January 7, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed two additional rules to the Food Safety Modernization Act that it says would help prevent the spread of foodborne illness. The new rules are part of an ongoing effort focusing on safety and prevention methods associated with domestically produced and imported foods.

Fiscal deal offers some benefits to restaurateurs, NRA says

January 3, 2013 - National Restaurant Association

Congress's passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act has not only averted the so-called "fiscal cliff," but also tax increases for many individuals and small business owners, like restaurateurs, the National Restaurant Association said.

Can restaurant operators ban guns on their property?

December 31, 2012 - ORLA

With the recent gun violence sweeping across the nation, questions have been raised on whether restaurateurs can ban guns on their private property. As private property and business owners, they should be able to legally bar or allow guns on their premises.

EB-5 program raises questions

December 28, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

When Homer Williams and his development team broke ground earlier this month on the Pearl District’s first hotel, the $49 million Residence Inn by Marriott, it became the first Oregon construction project funded by foreigners through the federal government’s EB-5 immigrant investor program.

Health care remains top concern for 2013

December 27, 2012 - Nation's Restaurant News

Health care reform and costs rose by a wide margin as the top concern of respondents to an pre-Christmas poll on business concerns in the year ahead.

Businesses Receive Extension to Comply With Tax Treatment of Tips

December 14, 2012 - Internal Revenue Service

According to the IRS, businesses have until Jan. 1, 2014, to comply with previous guidance on the proper treatment of tips and service charges. IRS issued guidance June 20 that included a series of questions and answers laying out the characteristics to use in determining whether payments are tips or service charges.

Kyle Walker joins Oregon Travel Experience as CEO

December 14, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

Oregon Travel Experience, a semi-independent state agency managed by the 10-member Travel Information Council, has hired Kyle Walker as CEO. Oregon Travel Experience supervises rest areas through the state and oversees the highway signs, plazas and kiosks that link travelers to essential services.

What’s Hot in 2013 culinary forecast predicts menu trends

December 4, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

The NRA each year prepares its “What’s Hot in 2013” culinary forecast of menu trends for the coming year. Survey results identified children’s nutrition and local sourcing will continue to be the hottest trends on restaurant menus in 2013.

FTC targets hotels in investigation of add-on or "resort" fees

November 30, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

The Federal Trade Commission targeted 22 hotel companies during an investigation into resort fees that are not disclosed at the time of booking. The target was a result of consumer complaints and an expectation for more transparency in mandatory fees.

Convention hotel hung up on 'funding gap'

November 30, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

The decades-long quest to construct a headquarters hotel at the Oregon Convention Center is hung up on a funding gap. Metro reports it will not sign off on a hotel at the Oregon Convention center this year, citing lack of progress in negotiations with Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Restaurant Performance Index fell to lowest level in 14 months

November 30, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

Due in large part to restaurant operators’ dampened outlook for sales growth and the economy, the Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) fell sharply in October.  The RPI stood at 99.5 in October, down 0.9 percent from September. 

Activists aim to get paid sick leave for Portland workers

November 23, 2012 - The Oregonian

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last March that nearly 40 percent of private-industry workers lacked paid sick leave. But a coalition of activists would like that to change in Oregon, starting in Portland.

Do hotels need to green up, make their guests happy and healthy?

November 22, 2012 - Reuters

Properties have been responding to consumer demand as they adapt to becoming the venues in which environmentally aware, health conscious people want to stay, eat, play, exercise and relax.

Hotels need carbon monoxide alarms

November 16, 2012 - USA Today

Few of the United States' roughly 51,214 lodging properties with at least 15 rooms have alarms. Only a handful of state or municipal laws require them, although more than 1,300 people were evacuated nationally from hotels because of high CO levels in recent years.

OSU-Cascades to offer  new hospitality degree

November 14, 2012 - The Register-Guard

OSU Cascades Campus in Bend plans to launch a four-year hospitality degree program, after receiving gifts totaling $320,000 from the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and hospitality-related businesses across the state.

Minimizing the risk of an ADA lawsuit

November 14, 2012 - Gales Creek Insurance

Properties should realize that anyone in the hospitality business can be subject to an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) complaint or lawsuit. By employing simple risk management techniques along with ensuring you are in compliance, you can protect your property on many levels.

Sources predict quick adoption of agency model with OTAs

August 29, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

After 10 years of learning how to operate effectively under merchant-model agreements, many parties across the distribution landscape might find themselves having to learn the ins and outs of the agency model sooner rather than later.

Gallup poll confirms Americans view restaurants in positive light

August 27, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

The restaurant industry was again found to be one of the most highly regarded business sectors in America, according to a recent Gallup survey. Restaurants came in second only to the computer industry, with retail ranking third.

Health exchange could be costly

August 24, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

Rocky King admits he’s a “sky falling kind of guy.” But even for somebody with a half-empty outlook, his predictions for what’s going to happen on Jan. 1, 2014 are dire.

Restaurant Owners: Negotiate Your Commercial Lease

August 17, 2012 - Dale Willeton

cRestaurant tenants may go through the leasing process once or twice in their entire lifetime – yet they have to negotiate against seasoned professionals who negotiate leases every day for a living.

Emerging, evolving channels could benefit ADR

August 1, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

As hotel rates continue to climb toward previous peaks, suppliers must be cognizant of new and emerging channels within the distribution space, according to panelists Tuesday during an HSMAI webinar titled “Leveraging Emerging Channels.”

Portland-based website helps restaurateurs find help

July 30, 2012 - The Oregonian

The site, launched about a year ago, allows qualified applicants to post résumés and hiring managers to more easily screen hopefuls for relevant experience. The two brothers that started the site hope it will streamline the hiring process and fill a gap in an industry famous for its high and relentlessly constant turnover.

Restaurant job growth outpacing economy in 35 states

July 30, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

In 35 of the 47 states for which the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports data, eating and drinking place employment outperformed total job growth in the state during the last 12 months. Oregon has seen a 3.3% increase in new restaurant job growth, seeing 4,100 new jobs this past year.

New FDA Food Code in effect July 1 for Oregon

June 21, 2012 - Oregon Health Authority

The Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division is proposing to adopt the 2009 US Public Health Service FDA Food Code by reference with additions and amendments. The Food Sanitation Rules are currently based upon the 1999 FDA Food Code and the food safety standards are being updated to the most current version. Visit OHA's website for food code changes.

Portland City Council approves new tourism tax

June 20, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

The Portland City Council approved a new hotel tax Wednesday to fuel visitor promotions. The council gave its unanimous blessing to a Tourism Improvement District proposed by hotel operators. The district will assess a two percent fee on 91 hotels in the city representing more than 13,000 rooms. Funds will be used to enhance marketing efforts and raise the city's visibility with out-of-state visitors.

New conference to focus on present, future of fast casual segment

June 18, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association, in partnership with Technomic and Digital Coco, has created a new industry event focused on the fast casual industry segment. The National Restaurant Association Fast Casual Trends & Directions conference will be held Oct. 3, 2012, in Dallas.

Date Night Initiative Helps Promote Local Restaurants

June 18, 2012 - Date Night Portland

Looking for a promotion strategy that results in millions of dollars in increased revenues for local venues and doesn't cost your company anything? August 2012 is Date Night Month, an initiative with events and promotions that encourages people to “Get their date on!”

Health Care Watch: With minimum value's rules, the devil may be in the details

June 13, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

In talking to restaurant operators about the health care law, two questions always come up: what does the law require me to do and how much will it cost to comply with these new requirements? But primarily they want to know what the premium is for a plan they're now required to offer and how much they can ask their employees to contribute.

New hotel tax would pay for tourism advertising

June 11, 2012 -

Room rates for most Portland hotels would increase under a new tax to help pay for a blitz of tourism advertising, according to a proposal headed to the Portland City Council on Wednesday. The tax would apply to hotels with more than 50 rooms, with a 2 percent increase charged to overnight guests.

Heathman Hotel's Erickson to lead MERC board

June 7, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

The Metropolitan Exposition Recreation Commission has named Chris Erickson, Heathman Hotel general manager, as chair of the group that oversees visitor venues in Portland. Along with Erickson, the group named DoubleTree by Hilton Portland GM Terry Goldman as secretary-treasurer.

Sunshine Dairy Foods Names James C. Noonan President & Chief Executive

June 4, 2012 - Sunshine Dairy Foods

Sunshine Dairy Foods announced today the appointment of James C. Noonan as President and Chief Executive Officer. The Karamanos family selected Noonan to head the family-owned dairy processor after John “Sam” Karamanos III passed away earlier this year.

Eugene Businesses Encouraged to Post Car Theft Prevention Posters

June 1, 2012 - ORLA

The Eugene Police Department is preparing for the 2012 Olympic Trials by educating area businesses on how to prevent property crime to the business, employees and guests. Businesses can download car theft prevention flyers to post inside the operations to inform guests and customers about the large scale event.

Summer Tourism Outlook Positive for Restaurants

May 25, 2012 - Nation's Restaurant News

The summer tourism season is beginning, and restaurant operators and analysts see smoother sailing this year than in the last several vacation seasons. Increased summer restaurant employment projections and improved confidence indexes signal a positive outlook for travel and tourism.

Pool Lift Deadline Extended to January 2013

May 18, 2012 - AH&LA

The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new ADA compliance date for existing pools and spas with ADA requirements for accessible entries of January 31, 2013. THe DOJ found that the delay will allow the Department to “continue to educate covered entities about their obligations under the 2010 Standards…and to address misunderstandings that could lead covered entities to take unnecessary and counterproductive steps….”

DOL Enforcement Audits Target Employee Classifications

May 14, 2012 - Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

US Department of Labor (DOL) has already begun enforcement audits in their declared target area of greater Portland - both restaurants and lodging operations. DOL is looking for common violations such as incorrectly classifying non-exempt employees. Employers should consider a few important questions before classifying an employee exempt or non-exempt.

Restaurants Face More Hiring Challenges

May 4, 2012 - Nation's Restaurant News

The People Report Workforce Index, which measures market pressures on restaurant employment, rose in the second quarter of 2012 to its highest level since 2007, an indication that operators will continue to face challenges regarding recruitment and retention.

DOL Targets Oregon in Enforcement Audits

May 9, 2012 - Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

ORLA discussed increased enforcement audits in the Ninth Circuit jurisdiction (which includes Oregon) with the US Department of Labor (DOL) recently. Most operators are aware that the DOL issued a bulletin stating that tip pooling could not be extended to back of the house employees. This change is in direct conflict to the Woody Woo case.

Lottery retailers urged to comment on proposed rule

May 3, 2012 - Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association

Lottery retailers are urged to contact the Lottery Commission and let it know that the proposed rule is overly broad and will negatively affect retailers across the state. If adopted, the rule will automatically close dozens of retailers, increase the state’s exposure to lawsuits, and decrease retailer confidence in the Lottery.

AH&LA Testifies in Support of Reasonable Pool Entry

April 24, 2012 - AH&LA

AH&LA testified today before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution in support of reasonable pool and spa entry requirements for travelers with disabilities and called on the DOJ to work for sensible measures that provide access while protecting children from harm.

Restaurant Industry Lobbying Efforts Focus on Tax Reform, Debit Fees, Labor

April 19, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

Restaurant operators and executives from across the country rallied Wednesday in Washington, D.C., to advocate for industry-friendly legislation and regulations surrounding tax reform, labor relations, and debit and credit fees.

OLCC Warns Liquor Licensees of Scam Calls

April 18, 2012 -

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission issued a scam alert Wednesday, warning to beware of callers to liquor licensees who are trying to rip them off. This scam uses computer prompts when you answer the phone asking if you need to update your OLCC posters. OLCC does not charge businesses for signs and publications.

Appeals Court Delays April 30 NLRB Poster Mandate

April 17, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

In a major setback for the National Labor Relations Board, a federal appeals court today officially put the brakes on a new poster mandate that the NLRB sought to impose on most U.S. businesses starting April 30.

How Will New Regulations Affect Food Carts?

April 17, 2012 - Neighborhood Notes

The food cart economy was able to flourish under a largely permissive regulatory structure by the city’s bureaucrats. However, recent developments have occurred that could challenge this permissiveness.

Raising the Floor on Pay

April 9, 2012 - The New York Times

As the nation’s economy slowly recovers and income inequality emerges as a crucial issue in the presidential campaign, lawmakers are facing growing pressure to raise the minimum wage, which was last increased at the federal level in July 2009.

Private Casino Backers Want State Vote

April 12, 2012 - The Portland Tribune

Backers of a huge private casino at the former greyhound racetrack east of Portland are shooting for another statewide vote, this time with sweeteners designed to woo voters who rejected their 2010 ballot initiative.

Restaurants, Beware: Hackers Want Your Customer Data

April 11, 2012 - Forbes

The simple fact is that cyber criminals today want information that they can use to make money. A recently published report found that nearly 90 percent of attacks were designed to steal customer information including cardholder data, e-mail addresses and account information.

Revenue Managers Adapt to Longer Lead Times

April 9, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

Booking windows continue to lengthen, shifting direction in 2011 and steadily increasing on both the business and leisure sides through the first quarter of 2012, a positive sign for the industry.

Restaurants Add 560,000 Jobs in Past Two Years

April 9, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association reports that restaurants have added more than 560,000 jobs since the beginning of the employment recovery, with more than 200,000 of those positions created in the last six months.

Protecting Your Small Business: How to Keep From Getting Sued

April 6, 2012 - Fox Business

When you own a business, especially a successful one, lawsuits are sometimes inevitable.  Small businesses are a popular target because people assume most will settle rather than go through the hassle and costs of defending a suit.

Selling America Abroad

April 3, 2012 - The New York Times

Time was when just the mention of the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Coast Highway or the New York skyline was enough to entice tourists from around the world. But that was before 9/11 and the rise of security barriers on entering the United States. And it was before Asia’s economic renaissance drew travelers there.

Healthcare Law: What's Next?

March 30, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

Last week the Supreme Court concluded an unprecedented three days of hearings on the 2010 health care law. This case is one of the most important for the restaurant industry in decades. The NRA continues to be active on all fronts in pressing for changes in the 2010 law. The Supreme Court’s decision is expected in late June.

February RPI edges up with stronger sales and traffic

March 30, 2012 -

Bolstered by positive same-store sales and traffic results and an optimistic outlook among restaurant operators, the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remained above 100 for the fourth consecutive month in February.

Nonprofit Fights to Keep Washington on Travelers' Radar

March 29, 2012 - The Oregonian

Under pressure to make painful budget cuts last summer, Washington ventured into uncharted territory, becoming the only state in the nation to close its tourism office. Washington business leaders were immediately aware of the sudden disadvantage they faced with the closure of the state tourism office.

AH&LA Takes Next Steps on Pool Lift Requirement

March 26, 2012 - AH&LA

AH&LA meets with White House this week on newly-drafted pool lift legislation, ‘Pool Safety and Accessibility for Everyone (Pool SAFE) Act’ that would provide a one-year delay for the ADA pool lift requirement, allow the use of portable lifts and sharing of lifts between pools, and protect hoteliers from being sued during the delay period. AH&LA urges hoteliers to share their stories with the DOJ in support of the new legislation.

Supreme Court Hears Health Care Law

March 23, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of the 2010 health care law March 26-28. The NRA filed its own amicus brief asking the Supreme Court to strike down the rest of the law if judges decide the law's "individual mandate" is unconstitutional. NRA will recap the hearing in a webinar free to NRA members March 29.

More Wings, Please: Signs Small Business Is Improving

March 21, 2012 - Huffington Post

Some diners had been limiting themselves to a small order of the chain's chicken wings and a glass of water. These days, many of them are upgrading to a bigger order. The evidence may not be a big economic report like gross domestic product, but small businesses have their own indicators that the economy is improving.

Compromise Secured on Pool Lift Requirement

March 15, 2012 - AH&LA

The White House issued a 60-day extension pushing the compliance deadline for pool lift requirements. DOJ will also publish a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on a possible 6-month extension to allow time to address misunderstandings regarding ADA compliance with these requirements.

Google offers free online service to small businesses

March 14, 2012 - The Oregonian

Google is offering free help to get Oregon small businesses online and help owners set up their own web sites, extend domain names, a business email account, and free web hosting services for a year. Google is hosting online business training sessions at the Ambridge Event Center in Portland March 26-27.

NRA Challenges Fed With Debit-Swipe Suit

March 9, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

When the Federal Reserve last year capped debit swipe fees for merchants at 21 cents per transaction, it significantly brought down debit swipe fees for many businesses, but some merchants - especially those with smaller-ticket transactions - have seen rates rise since Oct. 1.

High school chefs: 'You have to know what you are doing'

February 25, 2012 - KVAL 13

Willamette H.S. has had a culinary program for the last twelve years and students say they gain valuable skills that help jump start their career in the restaurant industry. "It's a career class," said Martha Humphreys, culinary teacher for the school, "It's just hard work, very hard work, but if they are passionate about it it will be very satisfying."

Lodging industry’s upswing likely to continue in 2012

February 24, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

Few people know the state of Portland and Oregon’s lodging industry as well as Steve McCoid. As president and CEO of ORLA, McCoid has access to plenty of statistics, projections and survey results. The Business Journal recently asked McCoid about the state of Portland’s lodging industry — how it’s performing and where it’s headed.

Oregon H.S. students compete for top chef honors

February 19, 2012 - The Oregonian

The phrase we expect the high school student serving food to say: "You want fries with that?" The phrase we don't: "For our appetizer, we'll be making a pan seared scallop with black cherry fruit caviar." And Jordan Selby of North Eugene High School was just getting started.

Special report: optimizing channel mix

February 18, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

While every distribution channel offers a unique value to a hotel, whether it's boosting occupancy, targeting specific travelers or pushing last-minute inventory, hoteliers need to better understand the complexities of hote room distribution.

New Food Code rules coming

February 17, 2012 - Oregon Health Authority

As Oregon Health Authority prepares to adopt the 2009 FDA Food Code, ORLA has been at the table making recommendations for the new rules that go into effect July 2012. Visit OHA's website for information on bare hand contact, allergens, and other proposed changes.

Food cart liquor licenses postponed

February 8, 2012 - KPTV

The OLCC was going to consider the application from the owner of a food cart lot on 82nd Avenue, but Portland's City Council passed a resolution Wednesday asking the OLCC to postpone granting licenses to carts until clear definitions and rules can be made.

Pool lift issue still "unfixed"

February 7, 2012 - HotelInteractive

The DOJs clarification on ADA regulations seems to have muddied the water even more. The daunting deadline of March 15 is now less than six weeks away, and these new regulations provide guidance for recreational facilities at lodging properties for the first time.

Technology is top trend for restaurants in 2012

February 3, 2012 - National Restaurant Association

Technology is finding its place at the restaurant table, according to the NRA's 2012 Restaurant Industry Forecast. Although high-tech items such as wireless payment and iPad menus aren’t commonplace just yet, there is strong consumer interest in such options.

Distribution Channel Analysis study released

January 24, 2012 - HotelNewsNow

To help hoteliers from all facets of the industry better understand the complexities of hotel room distribution, the AH&LA teamed with STR and HSMAI to publish a special report, “Distribution Channel Analysis; a Guide for Hotels.” The report discusses the effects of channel mix on profitability and what to expect.

Starbucks to add alcohol, food to more units

January 23, 2012 - Nation's Restaurant News

Starbucks will expand its offer of beer, wine and an expanded food menu to a handful of stores before the end of 2012. Five to seven locations in Chicago were already scheduled to offer alcohol and the expanded menu this year in a move to build evening daypart traffic. Currently, Starbucks offers the options only at five locations in Seattle and one in Portland.

Travel Lane County to launch new sports commission

January 12, 2012 - Travel Lane County

Under the corporate umbrella of Travel Lane County, Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports will launch a new commission designed to attract even more sporting events to the region. The group will collectively work to pursue and secure a variety of sporting events while leveraging the area's facilities and expertise.

Federal Tourism Initiative To Be Led By Travel Oregon CEO

January 19, 2012 - Oregon Tourism Commission

Following President Obama's Executive Order for a strategy on increasing international travel to the U.S., Travel Oregon CEO Todd Davidson was tapped as chair of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board to help implement a National Travel & Tourism Strategy and take advantage of the booming travel market.

Metro revives 'headquarters hotel' talks

January 18, 2012 - Portland Business Journal

Two years after Portland Mayor Sam Adams and other civic leaders shelved plans for a 600-room, Westin-flagged hotel at the convention center, the Metro regional government is reopening talks. This time around more effort is on winning political support and a private developer.

Restaurants' spending plans vary

January 11, 2012 - Nation's Restaurant News

Restaurant operators are looking to invest in remodels as well as equipment upgrades and additional marketing spending in 2012, according to the NRN Restaurant Operators Survey. Marketing took the top spot when the more than 150 respondents were asked where dollars will be allocated this year.

NLRB delays poster requirement again

January 1, 2012 -

The National Labor Relations Board last month pushed the compliance deadline for businesses to post a new federal workplace poster regarding employees' union-organizing rights to April 30, 2012. NRA and AH&LA along with the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace continue efforts to block the regulation.

Tourism industry calls for overhaul of visa-application process

December 28, 2011 - The Washington Post

The tourism industry, led by the U.S. Travel Association, is lobbying for changes in the tourist-visa-application process that would shorten the waiting time for prospective visitors. This would remove the largest hurdle facing foreign tourists to the U.S. and help boost employment and tourism revenue.

Food industry experts forecast 2012 trends

December 26, 2011 - Nation's Restaurant News

Nation’s Restaurant News asked some of the industry’s top trend-watchers to discuss what they expect in the year ahead. Some of the top predictions include continually high food costs, fast casual popularity, and franchising growth in 2012.

Moving from online channels to ecosystems

December 2, 2011 - HotelNewsNow

The future of online distribution lies not through channels but through ecosystems, distribution experts report. Revenue managers need to reach guests at the “zero moment of truth” — the online information-gathering stage that precedes a purchase.

Strategies for long-term customer loyalty

November 30, 2011 -

The key to growing a healthy business in a tough economy is to have a base of repeat customers providing a steady stream of revenues. And while many small businesses have sought new avenues of exposure through deal sites, some have found that such campaigns attract bargain-hungry consumers who use their coupons and never return. Good, old-fashioned customer service is what can differentiate your business from the big guys.

Restaurant Performance Index holds steady in October

November 30, 2011 -

The RPI – a monthly composite index that tracks the health of and outlook for the U.S. restaurant industry – stood at 100.0 in October, down 0.1 percent over September's 100.1 level. Restaurant operators’ outlook for capital spending rose for the third consecutive month.

Reporting of Employer Provided Healthcare Coverage

November 17, 2011 - Internal Revenue Service

The IRS recently posted a webinar for business owners on reporting employer healthcare coverage on Form W-2 (Affordable Care Act Provision 9002). The webinar illustrates what employers and employees need to know about the provision including changes and valuation methods.

OTA demand share increases in 2011

November 16, 2011 - HotelNewsNow

Online travel agencies continued to chip away at total U.S. hotel demand during the first half of 2011. The property direct/other category, which includes everything from walk-ins to group business, still captured the largest share of hotel demand by total room nights at 49.1% through June 2011.

30 million Americans to eat out on Thanksgiving

November 15, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The NRA estimates that 14 million Americans will visit a restaurant for a Thanksgiving meal this year, and in addition, 32 million Americans are expected to dine out while shopping on Black Friday, according to new research by the Association.

2012 trends focus on consumer needs

November 9, 2011 - Nation's Restaurant News

Seven emerging trends could help shape restaurant strategies in 2012, according to the foodservice research firm Technomic. Amid an uncertain economy, restaurants are challenged on many levels, and these trends have the common theme of staying relevant to one’s customer.

Ipads change economics, and speed, of hotel Wi-Fi

October 24, 2011 - The New York Times

Largely because of the broad use of iPads and other mobile tablets, the guest room Wi-Fi networks that most hotels thought they had brought up to standard just a few years ago are now often groaning under user demands.

NRA’s Health Care Knowledge Center offers members help and solutions

October 21, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

NRA has officially launched its Health Care Knowledge Center website offering tools and solutions to help restaurateurs understand the effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on their operations and comply with its requirements.

NRA fights unworkable marketing guidelines

October 13, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

Two U.S. House subcommittees held a hearing to scrutinize tough new proposed guidelines and restrictions for how restaurants and other food companies market food and beverages to children.

Hotel groups unite to reduce PCI scope

October 12, 2011 - HotelNewsNow

At least 16 hotel groups have expressed interest in developing an industry-wide solution to create a credit-card security framework. The solution HTNG would like to have the industry implement would get hotels' systems completely out of scope of the PCI.

Discover America partnership takes message to Capitol Hill

October 4, 2011 - AH&LA

The Discover America Partnership (DAP), a broad coalition spearheaded by the AH&LA, US Travel, the US Chamber of Commerce and other groups hosted a briefing for Congressional staffers focused on the potential for job growth through removing barriers to inbound travel.

Convention hotel proposed

October 7, 2011 - Portland Business Journal

Prominent developer Joseph Weston wants to build a $72 million, 312-room hotel one block east of the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. But no ground-breaking is scheduled anytime soon.

NLRB delays poster requirement

October 5, 2011 -

The National Labor Relations Board announced it is pushing back the date by which employers are required to post a new workplace notice of employees' right to organize into unions. The notice-posting rule will take effect Jan. 31, 2012.

Decline in higher-income households poses challenge for restaurants

September 15, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The fallout from the Great Recession continues to be felt long after its “official” end, as the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week that household income declined for the third consecutive year in 2010.

Integrating online reputation management into operations and culture

September 13, 2011 - Hospitality Net

Hoteliers should incorporate online reputation management across various departments that affect it, such as sales, marketing and human resources. The focus should be on shifting resources toward monitoring and responding to online feedback and ratings on online review sites.

Groupon's hidden influence on reputation

September 12, 2011 - Technology Review

A Groupon deal might boost sales but, it can also lower a merchant's reputation as measured by Yelp ratings, say computer scientists who have analyzed the link between daily deals and online reviews.

NLRB overrides employer concerns, mandates new workplace poster

August 25, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The National Labor Relations Board announced it will require nearly all private-sector employers to post a new federal workplace notice detailing employees' rights under the National Labor Relations Act to organize unions.

2011 Lodging industry profile released

August 19, 2011 -

Earlier this month AH&LA released the 2010 Lodging Industry Profile, which revealed pre-tax profits of $18 billion – up from $16 billion in 2009. With this slight uptick, the numbers finally show that we’re back on the road of profitability.

How mobile vouchers are transforming mobile marketing

August 18, 2011 - First Data

For merchants, there is a new type of mobile coupon that addresses accountability and provides far greater control than traditional paper coupons or interactive online advertising.

Fresh strawberries implicated in E coli outbreak

August 8, 2011 - Oregon Public Health Division

Oregon Public Health officials have identified fresh strawberries from a Newberg area farm as the source of a cluster of infections that sickened at least 10 people, including one who died. Read more from OHA.

Google's Hotel Finder added to the mix

August 5, 2011 -

The Attendees at the recent Hotel Data Conference discussed the role Google's Hotel Finder will play in channel management. In an industry where pricing has become so transparent, hoteliers need to evaluate which channel is going to get the best returns

Restaurant industry tackles full plate of issues

August 4, 2011 - Marketwatch

As the nation's appetite has grown for restaurant prepared food, whether takeout from a fast-food chain or an expensive sit-down meal, the political influence of the U.S. restaurant industry has also expanded.

NRA calls for withdrawal of proposed marketing-to-kids guidelines

July 18, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association last week called for a complete withdrawal of proposed federal principles that would set restrictive new guidelines under which restaurants could market food and beverages to children under 17.

Ruling could spell end of OTA merchant model

July 12, 2011 -

Online travel agencies lost a major case in Texas and at least one hotel distribution consultant says the ruling will set a precedent in how municipalities collect tax on hotel rooms sold through online merchant models.

Three industries condemn proposed E-Verify law

July 5, 2011 -

A mandatory E-Verify system for employers to check the immigration status of workers would have a negative economic impact on businesses in the agriculture, hospitality and manufacturing sector.

Anticipated tourism spike can boost restaurant sales

June 2, 2011 -

Recent Commerce Department travel projections could mean could good news for the restaurant industry. The agency recently announced that it expected international travel to the United States to grow significantly in the next five years.

Not All is Gloomy for Restaurants, Analysts Say

June 1, 2011 - Yahoo! Finance

High prices for gasoline and food and the lingering effects of the Great Recession aren't good news for restaurant chains, but two KeyBanc analysts say there's good news, too.

Corporate Travel Will Drive the Recovery

May 31, 2011 -

Depending on whom you ask, corporate travel actually has been back for some time now but there are some notable changes. The average spend is increasing as travelers try to cram more meetings and business into a single trip.

Continued Operator Optimism Keeps RPI Positive

May 31, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

Buoyed by positive same-store sales and solid optimism among restaurant operators for continued growth, the outlook for the restaurant industry remained positive in April.

Food Inflation to Quicken

May 25, 2011 - Bloomberg

U.S. food-price inflation may top the government's forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies to boost prices.

Trends Shaping Hotel Recovery

May 23, 2011 -

Demand growth will moderate throughout the year, which is a more a result of tougher comparables than slowing momentum, and corporate travel will drive the recovery.

Fastest Growing Chains

May 20, 2011 - Nation's Restaurant News

Growth chains of all kinds rely on menu innovation and differentiation to steal share from competitors as the restaurant industry's growth as a whole stalls.

Recession Changing Dining-Out habits

May 10, 2011 - Nation's Restaurant News

The Great Recession officially has been over since June 2009, but the effects of that downturn and the slow economic recovery have altered the dining-out habits of consumers — even affluent, optimistic ones — for years to come, The NPD Group said.

How to Maximize Hotel Revenue

May 10, 2011 -

Demands from day-to-day operations make it difficult to not only properly allocate room inventory and set rates, but also to stay informed about the actual demand patterns in any given hotel market. Hoteliers should know their sources of business and the reason guests are at their hotel.

Membership Means Business Blog

May 10, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

Restaurateurs can now follow the newly launched NRA "Membership Means Business" blog - a "how-to" guide with operational information and articles about how NRA products and services can help members grow their business.

Restaurant Performance Index Shows Gains

April 29, 2011 -

The National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) stood at 101.0 in March, up 0.3 percent from February, driven by strong gains in same-store sales and customer traffic levels. In fact, the current situation is the strongest in almost four years.

U.S. Restaurants Weigh Menu Price Increases

April 28, 2011 -

U.S. restaurants are weighing menu price increases to offset higher food bills against the risk of alienating diners as accelerating costs for beef, dairy products and other ingredients squeeze profits.

Soaring Gas Prices Affect on Travel

April 26, 2011 - Hotel Interactive

Veterans say the lodging industry has been down this road before and know what to do in terms of seasonal promotions designed to prevent market share erosion. Hotel owners and franchisors seem mindful of the need to protect room rates that are just starting to recover from 2009.

Restaurant Employment Trends Strengthen

April 22, 2011 - Nation's Restaurant News

All segments of the restaurant industry expect strong job growth in the second quarter of this year, which is beginning to put pressure on wages, according to recent People Report forecasts.

Final Rule Issued on Employment Eligibility Verification Form

April 14, 2011 -

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced a final rule that adopts, without change, an interim rule to improve the integrity of the Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) process.

Siskiyou Welcome Center Moves Forward

April 21, 2011 -

Ashland City Council approved the proposal for a new Siskiyou Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center but with a few conditions including limited water use and an onsite OSP substation. Several industry partners attended the Council meeting, providing testimony on the positive impact it would have for the region.

Restaurants Fueling Job Creation

April 19, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The restaurant industry is not only an important source of jobs and careers, it is vitally important to the success of many other industries in the economy. The NRA has compiled a report of its research on the latest restaurant industry employment trends and the unique upward mobility that the industry offers.

Google, TripAdvisor Redefine Roles in Distribution

April 13, 2011 -

Although the most recent changes to the distribution landscape might not directly affect day-to-day operations today, experts say hoteliers should pay close attention as major players in the space are making moves that could shape the future.

1099 Repeal is Victory for Restaurants and Small Businesses

April 5, 2011 - Nations Restaurant News

The National Restaurant Association praised the Senate's action to repeal the unpopular 1099 tax-reporting mandate which was deemed as counterproductive, creating a paperwork burden for small businesses.

What the FDA Menu-labeling Regs Really Mean

April 5, 2011 - Nations Restaurant News

The FDA finally released draft regulations on April 1 regarding implementation of a new federal law that requires chain restaurants to post calorie data. NRN addresses some of the biggest questions operators may have on the rules.

FoodCALC Gives Confidence to Industry Re: Menu Labeling Law

March 29, 2011 -

Nutrition analysis experts at FoodCALC have announced a complete upgraded release to the MenuCalc nutrient database, cementing the role of web-based technology in the onslaught of menu labeling laws affecting the country. Now restaurant operators looking to provide nutrition analysis for their menu items need only to go online.

Roseburg Hotel, Motel Taxes to Stay with Chamber

March 29, 2011 - News Review

Roseburg City Council shot down a proposal to use lodging taxes to build a tourist attraction within the city limits, agreeing with the majority of attendees at Monday's meeting to leave the money with the Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce to spend on promoting tourism.

Hilton Teams up with Restaurants

March 27, 2011 - The Washington Post

Owners of Hilton Worldwide properties now have the option of choosing from a full menu of restaurant concepts for their hotels, including local restaurants. The web-based service helps hotel owners find concepts that are best suited for their properties, while offering restaurateurs a viable course for growing their footprint.

Calorie Postings May Alter Consumer Choices

March 22, 2011 - Nations Restaurant News

While drastic changes to customers' ordering and eating habits are not expected, NPD research found listed calorie counts could alter certain behaviors among restaurant customers.

Radiation Concerns Regarding Food Safety

March 18, 2011 - National Restaurant Association

The National Restaurant Association has compiled and provided a list of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) questions and answers regarding Japan and radiation concerns from a food safety and medical product perspective. FDA is closely monitoring the situation in Japan and working to ensure that imported food remains safe.

Restaurants are Poised for Success in 2011

March 17, 2011 -

NRA released the 2011 Restaurant Industry Forecast which includes economic, workforce, consumer and menu trends, as well as information for restaurant operators to overcome the current economic challenges and position themselves for future growth.

Hospitality Industry Predictions are Optimistic

March 16, 2011 - Hotel Interactive

The Cornell Center for Hospitality Research and SAS explored the industry's financial outlook for in a recent podcast. With the consensus being positive, experts shared their thoughts on moving beyond recovery encouraging hotels to re-evaluate their assets and become more transparent in pricing.

Rising food costs could force overhaul

March 7, 2011 -

Record-high food prices could be the tipping point this year for U.S. restaurants already struggling with high debt loads and tight-fisted consumers.

Cottage Grove rejects proposed restaurant tax

March 1, 2011 - The Register Guard

In the face of strong opposition from restaurant owners and ORLA representatives, city councilors rejected a proposal to place a 3 percent restaurant tax on the May ballot to help keep the community's aquatic center afloat.

Restaurant Sales Turn Positive

February 1, 2011 -

Restaurant industry sales are expected to reach a record $604 billion and post positive growth in 2011 after a three-year period of negative real sales growth.

Menu Labeling Update

January 21, 2011 – National Restaurant Association

FDA announced it is withdrawing its draft guidance document on implementation and instead, will complete the formal rulemaking process before initiating enforcement activity.

Restaurant Tax Averted

January 12, 2011 - The Register-Guard

A proposed 5 percent restaurant tax died a quick death before the Eugene City Council after hearing strong opposition from industry members and ORLA.

Robust hiring at bars and restaurants bodes well for jobs

January 11, 2011 - USA Today

The food services industry added 25,000 jobs last month and was the biggest contributor to employment for leisure and hospitality and the top job creator among 14 broad sectors the government tracks.

Restaurant closures a sign of the times for Portland

January 1, 2011 - The Oregonian

Restaurants from all corners of Portland closed this year. 2010 was the year of the modest: lauded chefs opening second restaurants with lower prices; former owners buying food carts.

2010 recap: Celebrating a year of wins for the restaurant industry

December 31, 2010 -

Even in an incredibly challenging legislative and regulatory environment for business, the National Restaurant Association was able to successfully advocate for the restaurant industry and come away with victories.

Analysts: Recovery picking up momentum

December 7, 2010 -

Securities analysts are reporting an "accelerating and broadening recovery" as restaurant sales continue to pick up steam as the year winds down.

IRS Helps Small Businesses Claim New Tax Credit

December 2, 2010 - Washington, D.C.

The Internal Revenue Service released final guidance and new forms for employers eligible to claim the new small business health care tax credit for the 2010 tax year.

OLCC Bans Alcoholic Energy Drinks

November 20, 2010 - Portland

OLCC voted 4-1 in favor of banning alcoholic energy drinks from being sold in Oregon. The temporary rule is effective immediately through May until permanent rulemaking is completed.

Statewide menu Labeling will not be Enforced Come January 2011

November 1, 2010 - Wilsonville

Oregon Health Authority announces it won't implement or enforce menu labeling on January 1 due to due the federal nutrition disclosure preemption.

Federal Jobs Act aims to free up funds for small businesses

October 18, 2010 -

Operators are hoping the Small Business Jobs Act will assist in obtaining capital to open or update restaurants.

IRS defers reporting health care benefits on W-2 forms until 2012

October 12, 2010 - Washington, D.C.

The IRS announced that it will defer the new requirement for employers to report the cost of coverage under an employer-sponsored group health plan, making that reporting by employers optional in 2011.

New Law Provides Potential Tax Benefit for the Industry

September 29, 2010 - Washington, DC

President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act, which included beneficial tax and lending provisions within Section 179 for the industry.

Oregon Restaurants and Hotels Urge a NO Vote on Measure 75

September, 2010 - Wilsonville, OR

Allowing a casino in the Portland area will draw customers away from local businesses and will drain discretionary spending from all retail business sectors in the metro area.

Hospitality industry wary of tax idea

The Bulletin - September 21, 2010

The League of Cities wants legislators to do away with provisions dedicating 70 percent of transient lodging tax revenues to tourism promotion and development and spend that money on operating municipalities. This proposal draws criticism from ORLA leadership stating it's a top concern facing the hospitality industry.

Travel Oregon Wins Top Prize at the U.S. Travel Association Mercury Awards

Travel Oregon blog, September 16, 2010 - Salem, OR

U.S. Travel Association recognized Travel Oregon as an innovative leader in state tourism marketing for its Oregon Bounty campaign. The 2009 campaign generated a 37% increase in response rates year over year, with its "Win an Oregon Bounty Cuisinternship" promotion.

State Economy Staggers

The Register-Guard - September 10, 2010 - Eugene, OR

After a brief upturn the UO Index of Economic Indicators shows a 2 percent decline in July. Unless the decline reverses itself in the next month, Oregon could face more economic duress in the next few months. "I don't think they have to have the recession officially end to acknowledge a continuing one," says Bob Jensen, Big Green Events and Wild Duck Catering.

Liberty Northwest Returns More than $2 Million in Retro Ratings

September 8, 2010 – Portland, OR

Hotels, eateries combine forces

Portland Business Journal - August 27, 2010

With Oregon's restaurant and lodging associations adopting the same position on industry issues a great majority of the time, combining the organizations was something of a no-brainer.

Students check in to OSU biz courses on hospitality; Campus in Bend offers undegrad, professional programs

August 27, 2010 – Portland, OR

OSU's Cascade Campus launched the first of three executive education courses for hospitality professionals.

National Restaurant Association Praises Senate Passage of Interchange Fee Reform

Drinks Media Wire - 07/16/2010, 01:34 am

Major victory for restaurants and other merchants means more reasonable costs for processing transactions (Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association today hailed a major victory for restaurants and other merchants with the Senate's approval of the interchange fee provision in the final financial reform bill.