[Update May 7, 2019]
Menu Labeling Compliance Guideline
Today marks the first anniversary of menu labeling compliance and begins official enforcement of the law. Restaurants with 20 or more locations operating under the same name, should currently be complying with menu labeling regulations. However, during the past year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) focused on education and worked with establishments to help them comply with the menu labeling regulations.
The National Restaurant Association developed resources to help members understand the regulations and comply; download the Menu Labeling Compliance Guide.
[Posted May 7, 2018]
Menu Labeling Regulations Effective
The final rules for menu labeling apply to restaurants and similar retail food establishments if they are part of a chain of 20 or more locations, doing business under the same name, offering for sale substantially the same menu items and offering for sale restaurant-type foods. Read the latest update on guidance for the rule: FDA Finalizes Guidance to Help Food Establishments Meet Menu Labeling Requirements.
The FDA has stated their intention to educate restaurants and foodservice establishments during this first year of implementation without issuing penalties.
In May 2017, based on comments received, FDA is extending the compliance date for menu labeling requirements from May 5, 2017 to May 7, 2018. This extension allowed for further consideration of what opportunities there may be to reduce costs and enhance the flexibility of these requirements beyond those reflected in the final rule. For more information see, the Federal Register Notice Announcing the May 7, 2018 Compliance Date.
See also National Restaurant Association's issue paper on Menu Labeling.
NOTE: This position statement was drafted by local restaurateurs and foodservice operations doing business in Hood River County and as a result reflects the official position of our statewide association on their behalf.
Hood River County needs a solution to their budget shortfall, but this is an ill-conceived way to do it. There is still a three-year runway to find a financial solution and this measure is fundamentally flawed. Measure 14-66 is bad for Hood River County for the following reasons:
Bad for Businesses
- Entire tax burden carried by just one business segment – this is not a fair tax.
- Restaurants are seasonal and already struggle in the winter.
- Already hit by massive cost increases from higher minimum wages and unequal share of business property taxes.
- Restaurant sales taxes are shown to shift demand to large corporate chains and grocery stores, hurting local restaurants and farms.
- Tax is complex and hard for small restaurants to implement and comply with.
Bad for Workers
- Will reduce overall income and overall employment opportunities.
- Will reduce tip income as customers will tip less to offset additional tax cost.
- Restaurant employees already struggle with affordable housing and this will compound that, especially in winter months.
Bad for Residents
- Residents will shoulder most of the tax burden as they eat in restaurants all year long. Tourism is only a factor for a few months of the year.
- Residents want to support and access local farmers and locally sourced food. This tax creates a headwind for that.
- Restaurant sales plummet during economic downturns, making this an unstable source of income for the county.
Let’s ask Hood River County to bring a fair and sustainable option for raising these funds.
Best Practices for Reducing Employee Turnover, an Oregon Perspective
The Bottom Line. Those are perhaps the three most powerful words in any industry, but especially in hospitality where profitability margins can be paper-thin. While competitive wage, insurance, and health costs seem uncontrollable, the cost of recruiting and training new employees due to turnover can be minimized. Turnover cost savings drop to the bottom line the same as increasing sales or prices. The strategy of focusing on employee retention rates can also have a longer-term effect on overall labor costs, and the increased capabilities that veteran employees provide can positively affect guest loyalty and therefore increased profitability.
Pay Now or Pay Later. “Those managers who understand the value of employee retention and structure their organizations’ compensation systems and management practices to reinforce retention will outperform the competition… Any company that is experiencing a high degree of turnover is incurring unnecessary financial costs as well as decreases in service quality and the quality of work life.” (The Cost of Turnover: Putting a Price on the Learning Curve, The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 2000)
Ideas That Work. ORLA’s Education Foundation commissioned Oregon State University’s Hospitality Management department to conduct research to identify and highlight organizations in Oregon who have created innovative practices that have resulted in improved employee retention. The study’s format is user-friendly and is presented as a series of short video interviews with eight companies who recognized the need to transform their view of the company’s relationship with their employees. Take a look at the videos posted on ORLA’s website at OregonRLA.org/workforce.
Todd Montgomery M.B.A, the research project’s lead, explained that they discovered a key commonality among each employer, “Leaders implementing best practices realize the current labor market and trends are unsustainable. Adapt or die, literally.” While best practices highlighted in this study range from first year engagement tactics to experiential training, and data-driven employee culture that leverages technology to mentorship programs, there were several common threads recognized among the companies interviewed. Commonalities include;
These numbers represent the average cost of turnover by position for two different hotels. The costs associated with turnover were higher than previous estimates, taking into consideration training and lost productivity due to a learning curve.
We hope that you find our new work helpful as you consider your own operations and workforce challenges you may be facing. We welcome your comments as well as suggestions for other best practice research your organization would find valuable. Feel free to reach out via email at WPopkin@OregonRLA.org | Wendy Popkin
Wendy Popkin is the Executive Director for ORLA’s Education Foundation (ORLAEF), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting the educational and training needs of the hospitality industry. Wendy is a 32-year career veteran who describes herself as “fanatically enthusiastic about helping others enjoy the same type of fabulous career opportunities I have enjoyed in the hospitality industry.”
Business Association Letter to the Revenue Committees
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is one of 22 business associations who signed the following letter submitted to the revenue committees on March 21, 2019.
As representatives of Oregon’s leading private-sector employers, we recognize that the Legislature intends to pass significant new taxes this year, most of which will fall on Oregon’s businesses, small and large.
As we consider tax proposals, our organizations will be guided by the following principles:
Nine Schools Competed in Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation’s Statewide Competition Showcasing the Hospitality Industry’s Future Chefs
The challenge for the student chefs was to prepare a three-course gourmet meal with only two butane burners in under an hour. Willamette High School pulled this off with excellence, taking first in the culinary competition at the ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco Portland. South Salem High School placed first in the management competition, developing a concept for a new restaurant and presenting it to judges from the industry and post-secondary education.
Willamette High School’s winning menu included ricotta mascarpone quail egg ravioli, pan seared wild Sockeye salmon with a fish velouté sauce and rosemary Parmigiano-Reggiano polenta, and mascarpone vanilla bean panna cotta.
Both first place teams will head to the 2019 National ProStart Invitational® May 8-10, 2019, in Washington, D.C. on sponsorship from ORLAEF. These Oregon champions also receive a share of over $547,500 in scholarships from local and national culinary schools to help further their careers in the restaurant and foodservice industry.
“It is with great pleasure Sysco Portland is once again the leading sponsor of the ORLAEF ProStart program,” said Bobbie McDonald, Vice President of Merchandising & Marketing at Sysco Portland. “These young culinarians from our state are building skills that are foundational to their careers in the hospitality industry. This year we are extremely excited to announce the additional support of honoring two students with a scholarship to help guide them on their culinary journey.”
Final results for the culinary competition:
Final results for the management competition:
Additional awards presented at the event:
A huge thank you to all the judges for this year's Oregon ProStart Invitational! They participate because they believe in these students, and want to celebrate their successes.
Eric Aebi, Ethos Hospitality
Dori Brattain, Bread & Salt Catering
Rachel Leo, The Leo Company
Angela Miles, Travel Salem
Pat Morrill, SAIF
Paul Paz, Waiters World
Tamara Roberts, Martin North
Pat Snyder, Industry Representative
Holly Stirnkorb, Metro
Anne Walton, Zena Learning Center
Students from Cascade Culinary Institute
Hans Afshar, CEC, Bentleys Grill
Chris Allen, CEC, Food Services of America
Matthew Anderson, Ecolab
Matt Bennett, Sybaris Bistro
Ryan Bleibtrey, Sysco Portland
Barry Bowers , Pro Chefs Oregon
Kara Campuzano, Salem Convention Center
Michael Chamberlain-Torres, Hospitality by Torres, LLC
Soraida Cross, Bentleys Grill
Glenn Dettwiler, CEC, Le Mieux Foods
Andrew Farr, University Club of Portland
James Nowlan Fowler, Devil's Food Catering
Natalie Frajola, Pro Chefs Oregon
Treva Gambs, Gamberetti's
Seth Gruschow, Togather Restaurant Consultants
Sergio Gutierrez , Ecolab
Ken Henson, Pelican Brewing Company/Meridian Restaurant + Bar/Stimulus Bakery
Erik Jarvey, Ecolab
David Jenks, Sysco Portland
Kevin Jordan, Restaurant Professional
Josh Kolb, Ecolab
Sam La Duca, CHE, COCC - Cascade Culinary Institute
Douglas Lang, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Karen Malody, Culinary Options Consultancy
Tim McDonald, Food Services of America
Steve Moore, Philadelphia's Steaks & Hoagies
Ken Narcavage, Oregon Culinary Institute
Dennis Prime, Sysco Portland
Rex Robertson, Little Lois Cafe
Janel Rupp, CFSP, Performance Reps NW
Cory Schreiber, CEC, Sysco Portland
Thomas Semke, Newport Meat Pacific NW
Jay Skowron, Hospitality Defender, LLC
Samuel T. Spencer, CEC, American Culinary Federation
Mark Swenson, Shepherd's Grain
Jordan Snyder, Gecko Hospitality
David Trask, COCC- Cascade Culinary Institute
Randy Torres, CEC, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
Brian von Eggers, CEC, American Culinary Federation
Chad Warneke, Sysco Portland
Laura Williams, CEC, Oregon Coast Culinary Institute
Justin Wilson, Newport Meat Pacific NW
Eric Wynkoop, Rouxbe
Anjali Wynkoop , Oregon Culinary Institute
Lottery App: The Oregon Lottery has released a new smartphone app providing players with a way to scan tickets to see if they are winners, finding the closest Lottery retailer, and giving players information about Oregon Lottery games and promotions. In addition to the game-related features, the Lottery has purposefully included responsible gaming aspects in the mobile app.
Sports Betting: Back in May 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could offer sports betting, overturning an earlier decision by the Third Circuit Court of Appeals prohibiting such activity. Oregon was one of four states outside of Nevada that were grandfathered in to allow sports betting under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last May.
With that decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Oregon Lottery has decided to bring sports betting to the state ahead of the 2019 NFL season. To start, players will be able to place bets via a mobile app and will only be able to pick the winners of one sporting event or another, either outright or against the spread. Additional betting options are planned to be rolled out at a later stage.
The app will also accept bets on other professional sports but gambling on collegiate sports will not be available via the app. The Oregon Lottery’s future plans include the authorization of in-game wagering at betting kiosks located at bars and restaurants around the state.
March 2019 - Now that tip pooling is legal with back of the house employees, ORLA has launched a Restaurant Compensation Solutions Committee to review various tools being implemented in restaurant operations across the state. These tools include mandatory service charges, tip pooling policies based on sales that assist in compensating kitchen staff, and dual tip lines notating tip options for both servers and kitchen staff.
ORLA is in the process of exploring these various options with a plan to upload examples of these various solutions in the coming months. Stay tuned for more information this Summer and Fall.
> Download ORLA's Tip Pooling info sheet
> NRA Webinar: Tipped Employees and Side Work Under the FLSA
June 2018 - Employers are once again allowed to expand tip pools and share tips among a broader range of employees including back-of-the-house employees. Although the Supreme Court denied our certiorari petition in the National Restaurant Association et al v. U.S. Department of Labor et al case, the decision leaves in place a lower court ruling affirming the tip rule’s legality.
A federal spending bill passed March 23rd abolished a 2011 federal regulation that prohibited tip pooling in all circumstances with non-customarily tipped employees. Employers are once again allowed to expand tip pools and share the tips among a broader range of employees in states where employers don’t take a tip credit. This change now allows tip sharing among both customarily and non-customarily tipped employees, including dishwashers and cooks.
However, there is one area still of concern to our industry, the words “supervisor” and “manager” were not defined in this spending bill. A number of industry members have hybrid approaches to their service positions. Supervisors and managers in some of Oregon’s smallest restaurant operations commonly serve guests and have participated in front-of-the-house tip pools as a part of a team approach to foodservice.
The Department of Labor (DOL) is moving forward with the process to roll-back the Obama-era rule with its recent release of a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB), which provides our industry with much needed clarity. The FAB instructs employers to use the “duties test” to determine who qualifies as a supervisor or manager, and establish tip pool eligibility. Essentially, if an employee earns most of their pay through tips, but also has a limited supervisory role, they are still allowed to participate in a tip pool.
Given the ambiguity from DOL, tip pooling policies should be carefully reviewed with counsel before implementation to insure compliance with all applicable requirements.
For additional questions, contact Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, at 503.682.4422.
Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) announced the 2019 state winners of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s (NRAEF) Restaurant Neighbor and Faces of Diversity Awards. Three restaurants, Block 15 Brewing Company (Corvallis), Bentley’s Grill (Salem), and Mo’s Restaurants were named state winners for the Restaurant Neighbor Award. Luis Perez, franchise owner/operator of Elmer’s Breakfast-Lunch-Dinner in Corvallis, was named Oregon’s Faces of Diversity winner.
“The involvement and dedication these restaurants have shown in support of local philanthropy is commendable and exemplifies the spirit of our industry and our state,” said Jason Brandt, ORLA President & CEO. “It’s our honor to recognize these restaurants along with one restaurateur who has achieved success through perseverance and passion.”
Nine out of 10 restaurants give back to their communities through charitable activities. Restaurants also play an important role in providing a ladder of opportunity for millions of Americans to achieve the American Dream.
Each year, the NRAEF recognizes restaurants around the country for outstanding community service, diversity and lifetime achievement. These prestigious national awards honor restaurants that go above and beyond in supporting their community and inspiring others with their stories of success.
All state winners were forwarded to NRAEF in consideration for national awards to be announced mid-March. Three national Restaurant Neighbor Award winners will receive a $10,000 award to help support their favorite charity or community project. National winners of the Faces of Diversity Award will have a $2,500 scholarship awarded in their name to an aspiring student from their state. In addition to the award, the national winners will be flown to Washington, DC to receive the award at a special banquet on March 27, 2019.
Oregon’s award recipients will be formally recognized among their peers at ORLA’s Hospitality Industry Awards presentation during the annual Convention, this year in Seaside, September 16-17, 2019.
For more information on Oregon's Restaurant Neighbor Awards, visit OregonRLA.org/restaurant-awards.
The Oregon Legislature is considering HB 3023 which will create statewide standards for rideshare companies, drivers, and vehicles in Oregon. ORLA supports this bill as it sets standards for driver background checks, vehicle safety, and insurance - important factors in providing affordable and safe transportation options.
Oregon’s lodging tax investments could be drastically reduced if Senate Bill 595 passes.
If successful, SB 595 would eradicate the critical lodging tax reforms of 2003 by taking 30% of our industry’s 70% of any new or increased lodging tax implemented since July 2, 2003, and allowing local governments to redirect those funds for “affordable workforce housing” projects. The result would allow only 40% of new or increased local lodging taxes to be protected for tourism promotion and tourism-related facilities.
ORLA was at the table in November supporting Measure 102, giving communities across Oregon greater flexibility to create the workforce housing they need. ORLA continues to be willing and ready to engage in productive conversations about alternative solutions that can benefit communities and foster economic development without targeting one industry.
The Senate Committee on Housing held a public hearing for SB 595 on February 18. We need lodging industry members to take action now!
Email members of the Senate Committee on Housing and tell them how important the 70% protections are to growing Oregon’s tourism economy. Urge them to consider alternatives to workforce housing initiatives.
• Senator Shemia Fagan, Chair: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Senator Dallas Heard, Vice-Chair: email@example.com
• Senator Jeff Golden, Member: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Senator Tim Knopp, Member: email@example.com
• Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Member: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the bills ORLA is engaged and/or tracking this session at OregonRLA.org/billtracking.
If you have any questions on this bill, please reach out to me via email at JBrandt@OregonRLA.org or call me directly at 503.302.5060.
House Bill (HB) 2020, the “Cap and Trade” bill, would raise prices on users of natural gas which include restaurants, lodging properties and manufacturers around the state. This legislation could increase the cost of living for Oregonians by $50 to $125 a month, give appointed officials the authority to increase taxes without a vote of the people or Legislature and drive thousands of jobs away from the state.
Oregon is one of the lowest carbon emitting states in the nation, and we’re getting lower. We just enacted ground-breaking new climate policies on transportation and electricity generation, we should give these new laws a chance to work.
Without an exemption for natural gas, hotels and restaurants will pay significantly more money. Along with increases in minimum wage, paid sick leave and possibly paid family leave, the hospitality industry is being crushed under over-burdensome regulations and there is no sign it’s going to end anytime soon.
Please consider emailing members of the Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction and let them know you oppose HB 2020 which will hurt your business and increase prices to customers. Urge them to Vote “No.”
To submit testimony to Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction:
ALERT 2.12.19 - The Joint Committee on Carbon Reduction announced four public hearing dates for House Bill 2020 - tell your lawmakers that we can’t afford cap and trade.
ORLA encourages restaurants and hotels to testify at the hearings about how this would impact their operations. More information about the proposal as well as talking points are available upon request. If you are interested in providing testimony, contact Greg Astley, ORLA Director of Government Affairs, at 503.851.1330.
The joint committee will host public hearings where Oregonians will be able to voice their opinions and ask questions about the bill. Additionally, there will be a public hearing on February 25 where the Salem-based committee will accept live, remote testimony from around the state.
Reasons to Oppose House Bill 2020: Cap and Trade:
The five dates and locations are listed below:
These feedback opportunities are in addition to two public hearings on February 15 and 18 in Salem before the committee.
High school teams from around the state will compete in statewide culinary and management competitions at Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Educational Foundation’s 2019 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, sponsored by Sysco. Culinary students prepare a three-course gourmet meal in 60 minutes in front of a crowd using only two butane burners, without access to running water or electricity. Management teams will develop a restaurant concept and present to a panel of judges at a simulated business exposition in the management competition.
2019 INVITATIONAL TEAMS:
Century High School, Hillsboro
Teacher: Kristi Moe
Mentor: Keith Folkestad, Old Spaghetti Factory
Culinary Team: Lauryn Richardson, Markus Cadiz, Maliya Saephanh, Marvin Madarang, Bethany Gold
Management Team: Marc Velicaria, Damon Latimer-Marquez, Anthonette Molo
Crook County High School, Prineville
Teacher: Macy Hagensee
Mentor: Doug McFarland, Brasada Ranch
Culinary Team: Tabitha Post, Samantha Bond, Mackenzie Sutherlin, Carlos Vaca, Hayden Benson
McMinnville High School, McMinnville
Teacher: Krista Carpino
Culinary Team: Bryan Lara-Barragan, Harper Eacret, Finn Reuter, Melea Wilder, Ryan Bebout
Management Team: McKenna Carlson, Ricardo Morales, Ailie Johnson
McNary High School, Keizer
Teacher: Wendy Bennett
Mentors: Irina Bakun, former ProStart student and Austin Stinson, Sybaris
Culinary Team: Madelyn Hurst, Rebecca Hall, Isaac Mallery
Newberg High School, Newberg
Teacher: Jane Eilert
Mentor: Val Daniel, Newberg School District Nutritional Services
Culinary Team: Rohan Hansen, Aiden Hansen, Sean Vriese, Jadon Lutz, Calista Mault
Management Team: Payton Madarieta, Donovan Lewis
North Salem High School, Salem
Teacher: Maryann Davis
Mentor: Alejandro Hernandez
Culinary Team: Ester Angulo, Melissa Salgado, Ashley Smith, Carmen Guerro, Josh Black
Seaside High School, Seaside
Teacher: Chelsea Archibald
Mentor: John Newman, Newmans 988 and Geoff Gunn, Pacific Way Café
Culinary Team: Gavin Meyer, Mason Shamion, Cyrus Knox, Luis Moreno, Shelby Rhodes
South Salem High School, Salem
Teacher: Laura Hofer
Culinary Team: Kristen Derting, Helen Taylor, Max Rock, Anthony Salisbury
Management Team: Samantha Martin, Connor Richman, Malachai Carter
Willamette High School, Eugene
Teacher: Martha Humphreys
Mentor: Cole Barnhardt, former ProStart student
Culinary Team: Shane Wilder, Logan Weller, Samantha Thompson, Makayla Schweitzer
Management Team: Jessica Barnhardt, Miriam Gutierrez, Taylor Woolett, Makenzie Crawford, Kacie Padilla
For more information, visit the ProStart Invitational page. If you'd like to volunteer at the event and be a judge, complete the application form or contact Wendy Popkin for more information.
Protecting Our Industry
During this session ORLA will be tracking several bills and engaging on those particularly to the hospitality industry. Members are encouraged to stay informed and engaged on the issues by subscribing to ORLA communications. If you have any questions, contact Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, at Astley@OregonRLA.org.
Restaurants Who Sell Elouan Wine Should Consider Risks
The OLCC has determined wine producer Copper Cane of California to be misrepresenting Oregon wine geographic designations on its Elouan packaging and sales material, recommending revocation of their Certificate to ship wine into Oregon for resale. Widespread news reports now give restaurateurs knowledge of these misrepresentations and thus liability under the Unlawful Trade Practices Act. The wines are made in California and are not legally eligible to state or infer Oregon American Viticultural Areas on their labels, packaging or advertising material. You may want to consider this risk in selling this product in your restaurants.
Oregon Legislature to consider laws protecting wine industry (1.14.19 - Capital Press)
Copper Cane Controversy (11.1.18 - Oregon Wine Press)
Tackling Workforce Challenges is a Team Lift.
The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. - Chinese Proverb
It’s not just us. Historic workforce challenges currently face nearly every industry. Common reasons include the low unemployment rate and a growing mismatch between the skills needed and values desired by employers and the abilities and attitudes of prospective employees.
Many partners I speak with feel that the hospitality industry is particularly hard-hit, and the state’s third largest employer, as forecasted by the Oregon Department of Labor (2017-2027), doesn’t get the respect deserved.
And it’s true, we have been left out of strategic workforce development discussions and sector training funding grants targeted to help meet workforce needs. Why haven’t we been asked to participate?
Primarily because of the government, education system and public’s perception that we are a low wage/low opportunity industry. Public workforce investment and education are focusing on industries they believe have high wage/high opportunities so that investments produce significant ROI for individual opportunities and Oregon’s economic vitality. Many of us who have made rewarding careers in the hospitality industry may argue, but what can we as an industry actively do to change the perception that the industry isn’t worthy? How is that perception affecting us?
For example, Oregon’s recent Career Technical Education (CTE) Revitalization Grants, which focused on career readiness and ‘giving students access to hands-on learning programs’ totaled $10.3 million dollars. Grants were allocated primarily for training in manufacturing, engineering, agricultural science, aviation, robotics, forestry, construction and biomedical/health sciences. The state’s advocacy and advisory council included industry representatives from construction, manufacturing, healthcare, and plumbing/heating/cooling contractors, but not one representative from the hospitality industry. So too, none of Oregon’s nine Workforce Development Boards which receive federal monies to “develop strategies that leverage funding and resources within their local communities to prepare and match the skills of workers with the workforce demands of businesses” place a high priority on training for the hospitality industry, though at least Lane County identifies food service in one of its sector strategies.
Why? We weren’t asked to be at these tables, true, but neither did our industry prepare in advance as others had done to earn and ensure our own involvement.
Many industries planted seeds long ago when they began realizing that they were going to face shortages of skilled workers in the future if they didn’t proactively advocate and plan for their own employment needs. For example, with technology’s boom, here was some sentiment that blue-collar jobs were appropriate only for those that “couldn’t cut it” in the white-collar world. The trades understood that they needed to change that perception and actively recruit for their professions in order to encourage future generations to consider employment. They recognized the need for creative recruiting and helped fund entrepreneurial organizations such as the Oregon Tradeswomen, created 29 years ago “to offer innovative trades-based training programs, trades awareness activities and technical assistance to organizations seeking to be inclusive of women in their trade occupations.”
Other industries such as healthcare, high tech, and engineering companies formed coalitions even among competitors. These coalitions collaborated to create innovative tools they voluntarily funded and provided access to the education system. They supported apprenticeship programs and created awareness campaigns touting not only their economic value to the state’s economy but also the desirability of their jobs and ease of pathways to reach top pay.
The Time is Now
Would it be easier to catch-up if it were 20 years ago when we began? Sure. But with a combination of long-term planning and short-term strategies, and the active engagement by several partners, many of us believe the hospitality industry can work together to proactively tackle our workforce challenges.
You can start now, in a small but important way, by supporting our state’s ProStart Culinary and Management CTE Programs which offer career exploration skills and opportunities to 3,000 students in 36 schools throughout the state (see OregonRLA.org/ProStart). Needed are industry speakers, in-classroom skill mentors and field trip sites, as well as financial, food, and equipment donations. You can also participate in the upcoming ORLAEF ProStart Invitational as judge, volunteer, and/or sponsor. Get more information at OregonRLA.Org/Competition.
The industry needs champions like you to promote its opportunities and advantages, and to engage with workforce initiatives.
Where to Start
Consider Evaluating Your Own Organization: Are you spending time with your employees to understand their goals? Do you actively provide and coach internal and external pathways to success? This type of engagement has been shown not only to help reduce individual company turnover but also helps encourage employees to advance in the industry. Read more on best practices and tools for recruiting and retaining employees at OregonRLA.org/blog/workforce-20.
Make an Honest Assessment: As an industry we all need to look at our workplaces, their culture and demands. Are they in fact reasonable and desirable? Are we being realistic about what we are asking employees to do? Is our culture positive and supportive? Do schedule demands allow for personal and family balance? Do we need to make some changes? For example, check out how chefs are supporting other chefs to inspire a new kitchen culture at FairKitchens.com.
Embrace Innovation: Results come from a multi-faceted approach that includes utilizing technology to increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary, repetitive tasks. It’s true that younger generations are less willing to perform duties they consider unfulfilling. Using technology can not only improve job satisfaction but it can create more opportunity for employees to focus on the guest, a win-win for everyone. Here is one article for perspective: http://bit.ly/NewHospTech.
Engage with Available Workforce Training Tools: For examples and to learn more about the new apprenticeship programs for both food service and lodging, go to: http://bit.ly/RestaurantLodgingApprenticeships. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out online training programs such as those offered by the American Hotel & Lodging Association at http://bit.ly/ORLodgingCareers and Rouxbe.com. The Oregon Coast, Lane County, and Portland are actively engaged in various workforce development efforts and need industry partner participation. Success will rely on support in a variety of ways including strategic leadership, guest speakers/instructors, field trip sites, and employers who embrace training relationships.
Be an Industry Champion in Your Community: Become involved with your workforce board at http://bit.ly/ORWorkforceBoards or join the advisory board at your local high school or community college. Advocate for the economic contribution and job opportunities our industry offers using resources such as http://bit.ly/ORRestaurantData and http://bit.ly/ORHotelData. As the Oregon Workforce and Talent Board, which is responsible for advising the governor on workforce matter notes, “No sector strategy is ever successful without members of industry acting as leaders, informers and champions.”
ORLA Education Foundation’s mission is to help support the hospitality industry’s training and education needs. Recruiting, retaining, and helping its employees advance in their careers is an essential focus. With sponsorships from partners such as Travel Oregon, Sysco Portland, Metro, and Curtis Restaurant Equipment, as well as generous individual donations (see OregonRLA.org/SupportEF) we have been able to engage with, promote and advocate for many of the initiatives above.
We are always seeking partners to help us expand and represent our efforts and are also seeking those attracted to serving on an ad-hoc committee with our Board of Trustees to help us discern feasible, reasonable, and fundable strategies for future impact. Interested? Please contact me at WPopkin@oregonrla.org. | Wendy Popkin
Wendy Popkin is the Executive Director for ORLA’s Education Foundation (ORLAEF), a nonprofit foundation dedicated to supporting the educational and training needs of the hospitality industry. Wendy is a 32-year career veteran who describes herself as “fanatically enthusiastic about helping others enjoy the same type of fabulous career opportunities I have enjoyed in the hospitality industry.”
Update: Dec. 5, 2018 - Portland City Council passed a new ordinance to reduce the automatic distribution of single-use plastics in Portland. The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) worked with the Mayor’s office to research the policies of other cities, conduct a series of workgroup meetings, analyze community feedback and land on a policy recommendation.
The ordinance will include restrictions on plastic service ware (defined as straws, stirrers, utensils and condiment packaging) for the following situations, when applicable to the food and beverage order:
The workgroup consisted of a representative from ORLA, restaurant owners, wholesalers, a medical facility, American Disability Act (ADA) straw users, and environmental advocates. “The Portland restaurant community appreciates the City keeping the ordinance “by-request,” respecting the need for single-use plastics for our customers, especially those in the disabled community. Portland restaurants recognize the need to reduce plastics in the waste stream balanced with the needs of our guests,” noted Greg Astley, ORLA's Director of Government Affairs.
Notification and outreach to businesses will begin in January 2019, and the ordinance will go into effect on July 1, 2019.
Visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/reduceplastics for more information.
Nov. 30, 2018 - Three ORLA members recently served on a workgroup convened by Mayor Ted Wheeler to craft policy related to Single-Use Disposable Plastics (SUD’s) in the City of Portland. The workgroup also included members of the Surfrider Foundation, environmentalists, community members, members of the disabled community and city staff.
The Mayor tasked the workgroup with creating an ordinance around plastic straws but encouraged the group to look beyond just straws as well. Concerns about liability, lack of access to medically necessary plastic straws, and proceeding cautiously led to an “on request” policy for plastic straws for dine-in restaurants. For delivery and take-out orders, employees will need to ask if patrons need utensils or condiment packets before placing any in the take-out carrier or bag.
Specifically, all retail food and beverage establishments and institutional cafeterias, where beverages may be consumed at dine-in areas, shall provide plastic straws and stirrers only after customer request as of July 1, 2019.
Further, as of July 1, 2019, all retail food and beverage establishments and institutional cafeterias, where customers may order take-out and delivery, shall provide plastic utensils and condiment packaging only after asking if the customer needs plastic utensils and condiment packaging and the customer responds affirmatively. This requirement applies to face to face, phone and electronic orders.
Plastic service ware is defined as single-use plastic straws, stirrers, utensils and condiment packaging. Condiment packaging is defined as plastic packaging used to deliver single-serving condiments to customers. This includes but is not limited to single-serving plastic packaging for ketchup, mustard, relish, mayonnaise, hot sauce, coffee creamer, salad dressing, jelly and jam and soy sauce.
For more information:
Update 2.13.19 - The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has officially declared the U.S. outbreak to be over; the FDA continues to recommend to suppliers and distributors that romaine lettuce be labeled with a harvest location and a harvest date, or labeled as being hydroponically or greenhouse-grown.
December 17, 2018 - The FDA, along with CDC, state and local agencies, is investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 illnesses linked to romaine lettuce grown in California. Restaurants and retailers should not serve or sell romaine from Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Barbara counties in California. Romaine from outside those regions need not be avoided.
On December 13, 2018, Adam Bros. Farming, Inc., in Santa Barbara County, recalled products that may have come into contact with water from the water reservoir where the outbreak strain was found. The firm recalled red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce and cauliflower harvested on November 27 through 30, 2018. According to the firm, cauliflower was distributed to wholesalers in the U.S.
The Adam Bros. recall has prompted a sub-recall by Spokane Produce Inc. of Spokane, WA. The firm recalled sandwiches and other products under the Northwest Cuisine Creations and Fresh & Local Sandwiches & Green Leaf Filets.
The CDC has posted additional guidance regarding the romaine lettuce recall:
National Restaurant Association guidance: 5 Tips to Follow When a Recall Happens.
2019 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational, Sponsored by Sysco
Download useful forms, templates and documents related to the 2019 ORLAEF ProStart Invitational.
Are you interested in transitioning to a CTE culinary program? ProStart® curriculum, hands on training, and experiences benefit your students as they learn how to choose items and make creative menus based on nutrition and budget, utilize safe sanitation techniques, and discover and practice important job readiness and ‘soft skills.’ These skills include communication, teamwork and decision-making, all while learning about the multiple high opportunity / high wage careers the food service industry offers. For general information, download the ProStart Overview.
“Foundations of Restaurant Management and Culinary Arts” was developed by subject-matter experts and is published by the NRAEF. The two levels of the curriculum – Level One and Level Two – are not designed to be sequential; this makes it possible for small schools with limited resources to offer the ProStart program to students. Learn about new curriculum and teacher resources at Textbooks.restaurant.org.
To order ProStart® curriculum for your school, contact Sue Smith at 800.462.0619.
NRAEF Summer Institutes
Work towards earning the NRAEF Certified Secondary Foodservice Educator certification. You will learn from faculty composed of nationally-recognized content experts, network among peers, and tour restaurant and foodservice facilitiesRegistration for the NRAEF Summer Institutes is now open. Learn more.
ProStart® prepares you to explore a wide range of career opportunities. Careers in nutrition, hospitality management, viticulture, product development, agriculture, culinary arts and customer service are just a few of the options for ProStart® students.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Education Foundation (ORLAEF) and the National Restaurant Association are proud to offer Oregon ProStart seniors a scholarship opportunity in support of post secondary education.
Industry-Related Programs and Courses
These facilities offer skills-based education for those looking to gain proficiencies to help them enter the hospitality industry as well as programs geared to those already employed who want to add credentials to their experience. See list of schools on ORLAEF's page.
View more information on Culinary Scholarships.
National Restaurant Association Education Foundation (NRAEF) Scholarships
Students, military servicemen and women and others can now apply for scholarship awards to pursue their dreams of becoming future leaders of the restaurant and foodservice industry. Awards range from $2,500 to $10,000 and can be used towards tuition and fees, books, room and board and other school-related expenses. The scholarships have no age restrictions. Individuals can apply at any age, whether they're recent high-school graduates or adults looking to make a career change. Learn more and apply.
Try a new and simple tool to explore a broad selection of restaurant and foodservice positions and chart a course that matches your skills with your career goals. Explore the tool.
Learn more about how ORLAEF partners with the industry to provide workforce development solutions.