Industry News Archive
The Northwest Grocery Association looking to privatize OLCC.
Information regarding travel intermediaries now available online.
The addition of US Foods is expected to boost annual sales by 46%.
Governor John Kitzhaber will run for re-election in 2014.
Roberts says the Lottery is "widely misunderstood."
OTAs experienced a big increase in bookings compared to last year.
NRA's culinary forecast predicts menu trends for coming year.
Interim work group not considering statewide paid sick leave legislation in February.
Interim work group not considering statewide paid sick leave legislation in February.
Deadline for individuals to enroll in a health insurance plan has been extended.
A group of online travel companies are suing to avoid the tax.
Under a new state regulation, the number of Lottery Row retailers must drop.
Work group finalized recommendations to increase consumer access to spirits.
Owner of Oregon's BHG Hotels named chair of IHG Board of Directors.
Owner of Oregon's BHG Hotels named chair of IHG Board of Directors.
More startups are emerging to help innovators get their ideas funded.
Portland businesses will get extra time to figure out the city’s new sick leave requirements.
An effort to repeal a legislative bill that would have allowed driving privileges to migrant workers.
Former state Labor Commissioner Jack Roberts has been picked to run the Oregon Lottery.
A statewide coalition of business groups opposes an unnecessary, costly and legally invalid Oregon 'low-carbon fuel standard' (LCFS).
Travel agents are using GDSs to book hotels more than ever.
Legislation to change the ACA’s definition of a full-time work week is still alive.
The director of the Oregon Lottery announced he will retire end of next month.
Legislation to change the ACA’s definition of a full-time work week is still alive.
Major hotel chains are imploring Washington to end the government shutdown.
By 2020 service will fall into two categories: served-service and self-service.
The Department of Homeland Security has suspended E-Verify’s “three-day rule.”
Hardest hit are hotels that rely heavily on national park business.
The Oregon Legislature’s special session got bogged down in delays on Monday.
Portland City Council approves deal allowing room taxes to fund HQ hotel.
Oregon's hourly minimum wage will climb to $9.10 in 2014, up 15 cents from today's base.
Less than a month remains for employers to give written notice to employees about health exchanges.
NRA seeks to build public awareness of allergens and the industry’s commitment to food safety.
Oregon announced plans to exceed that, setting a minimum wage of $9.10.
The travel industry is fighting legislation that would limit travel by federal employees.
Tomorrow, on August 29, numerous labor protests are planned in cities around the country.
This Thursday we'll see a different kind of strike - planned by paid political activists.
While the law sounds well intentioned, it is poised to damage the businesses that employ them.
It is important to appreciate how the overall market in which you operate is expected to perform.
Revenue managers are shifting their focus to the channels that are growing the fastest.
A majority of Oregon’s small business owners support universal health care.
If you dine out in a big group, chances are you've had an automatic tip tacked on to your bill.
Employers must provide notice to existing employees by October 1, 2013.
Up to this point, transient demand has led the industry’s recovery.
The explosion in mobile devices has created a new distribution channel for hotels.
New legislation could change the 2010 healthcare law’s definition of a full-time work week to 40 hours.
Restaurateurs won a major victory when the US District Court ruled on debit-card transaction fees.
The Legislature's failure to loosen state laws could lead to an initiative campaign to privatize sales of booze.
Even with the delays marginal changes will be taking place hoteliers need to heed.
Rob Patridge was selected interim chairman of the OLCC until a permanent chair is named.
Metro will hold an open house to answer questions about a proposed Oregon Convention Center hotel.
NRA met with senators to discuss strategies for moving immigration reform legislation forward.
Portland-area taxpayers won’t have to repay debt if a HQ Hotel fails to generate revenue.
The Obama administration announced it will delay employer reporting and penalties for another year.
The 2014 health insurance premium decisions provide indication of how federal changes will affect the individual market.
Restaurateurs across the country are stepping up to publicly share their stories about how immigration affects their business.
Portland agency wants to tap tourism fund to pay for proposed headquarters inn.
Bend city councilors still didn’t decide whether to send a proposed 2 percent room tax hike to voters.
Move enables to transition from a dual membership organization to a platform of broader engagement.
OLCC rejected a proposed additional surcharge on spirits, making it more difficult for budget negotiators.
A new analysis of where Americans are getting their calories from has surprising results.
Metro to share financial information about Convention Center hotel - after the deal is made.
A new analysis of where Americans are getting their calories from has surprising results.
An ongoing enforcement initiative by the U.S. DOL focuses on the restaurant industry in Oregon.
The U.S. Department of Health released a final rule explaining the operation of SHOP exchanges.
House Bill allowing employees to accrue 56 hours of paid sick leave a year, died Wednesday.
Deschutes Brewery founder and CEO, Gary Fish, was awarded the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award.
It’s important for restaurateurs to get a firm understanding of the Affordable Care Act and what it requires.
Restaurateurs need to get a firm understanding of the PPACA and what it requires.
Father’s Day is the third most popular dine out holiday, after Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day.
Cassandra Skinner, chair for the past three years, will resign effective June 30.
Department of Labor released the FLSA exchange notice temporary guidance and templates.
Federal appeals court threw out a rule that would have required businesses to post notices advising employees of their union-organizing rights.
House Bill 2656 would clarify the rules for the collection of online lodging taxes.
Factors including Democrat majorities contributed to two bills that were celebrated at a May Day rally.
One of Portland’s most prominent restaurant buildings sold last week.
Insurers say most demand for health coverage will come from individuals, not small business.
Report provides data on cost of sales, gross profit, direct operating expenses and other performance.
Backed by ORLA, SB 833 allows four-year driver’s cards, instead of regular eight-year licenses.
Resource Manager assists members in HR administration, training, and risk management practices.
Report provides data on cost of sales, gross profit, direct operating expenses and other performance.
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission won't be restricting bar-patio hours.
Seaside H.S. culinary team takes 14th at the National ProStart Invitational in Baltimore.
Expansion of OSU-Cascades Campus into a four-year university could enhance local tourism.
Travel Oregon announced its recipients of the 2012 Tourism and Hospitality Industry Achievement Awards.
Senate Bill is less about proof of legal presence in the U.S. and more about proof of driving knowledge.
Guests travel to popular wine destinations for three things: wine, restaurants and entertainment.
Foodservice brands focus on customization and variety when developing kids’ menus.
Some operators say the law may not be that costly after all.
City Council voted unanimously to make Portland the fourth U.S. city to mandate paid sick leave.
The revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 includes new fields, improved readability.
U.S. Department of Agriculture reports the average price of beef rose 25 percent between 2005 and 2012.
A Supreme Court Judge ruled the proposed NY beverage ban on sugary drinks invalid.
Recently merchants have been notified of a proposed class action settlement.
Business representatives appreciated the process, but still feel the proposal falls short.
Employers must post an updated version of the Labor Department's Family & Medical Leave Act poster.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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'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.
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.
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.
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.
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 reform and costs rose by a wide margin as the top concern of respondents to an NRN.com pre-Christmas poll on business concerns in the year ahead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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….”
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.
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.
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 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
U.S. food-price inflation may top the government's forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies to boost prices.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
FDA announced it is withdrawing its draft guidance document on implementation and instead, will complete the formal rulemaking process before initiating enforcement activity.
A proposed 5 percent restaurant tax died a quick death before the Eugene City Council after hearing strong opposition from industry members and ORLA.
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.
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.
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.
Securities analysts are reporting an "accelerating and broadening recovery" as restaurant sales continue to pick up steam as the year winds down.
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 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.
Oregon Health Authority announces it won't implement or enforce menu labeling on January 1 due to due the federal nutrition disclosure preemption.
Operators are hoping the Small Business Jobs Act will assist in obtaining capital to open or update restaurants.
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.
President Obama signed into law the Small Business Jobs Act, which included beneficial tax and lending provisions within Section 179 for the industry.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
OSU's Cascade Campus launched the first of three executive education courses for hospitality professionals.
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.