Restaurant and Hotel Industry Members Honored by Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
[Wilsonville, OR] – The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) honored four members of Oregon’s foodservice and lodging industry as the 2022 Oregon Hospitality Industry Award recipients earlier this month. Jodi Doud with So. Oregon Elmer’s was named Employee of the Year, Nick Pearson with Jupiter and Jupiter NEXT hotels in Portland was named Lodging Operator of the Year, Emma Dye with Crisp restaurants was named Restaurateur of the Year, and Matthew Lowe with Jordan Ramis PC was named Allied Partner of the Year.
Recipients were recognized among their peers and over 270 delegates of ORLA’s Hospitality Conference on September 11, 2022, at the Graduate Eugene. These statewide awards recognize the outstanding contributions of individuals and businesses serving the hospitality industry and communities throughout the state.
“Oregon’s hospitality industry is overflowing with individuals who contribute significantly to the health of the trade,” says Jason Brandt, president and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “These recipients represent not only some of our industry’s most dedicated leaders and advocates, but also the exemplary service that sets the high standard for the entire industry to achieve.”
Employee of the Year: Jodi Doud, Server, So. Oregon Elmer's
With over 20 years working for So. Oregon Elmer’s, Jodi knows how to win over customers for life by providing exceptional service and bringing her kindhearted demeanor to every customer, during every shift. Being able to make positive, lasting connections with her customers comes naturally and she has played an integral role in helping create memorable experiences for her customers time and again. Beloved by the staff as much as her customers, Jodi epitomizes hospitality and reaffirms how frontline employees truly are the heart and soul of our industry.
Lodging Operator of the Year: Nick Pearson, General Manager, Jupiter & Jupiter NEXT
During the first weeks of Covid shutdowns, Nick and his team collaborated with local municipalities to convert the original Jupiter hotel as a temporary voluntary isolation shelter for houseless folks who were experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 to rest, recuperate, and receive treatment. In addition to supporting local community programs, Nick continuously engages with organizations like ORLA and participates in activities that foster growth for Oregon hospitality. He’s being recognized not only for his outstanding contributions to the industry but also for exemplifying exceptional leadership among his peers.
Restaurateur of the Year: Emma Dye, Founder + Chief Salad Officer, Crisp
When Emma founded Crisp, her passion was to provide better food options for as many people as possible while keeping their carbon footprint and environmental impact minimal. Emma’s first priority, however, was to provide a place that is welcoming, respectful, and safe for her employees as well as for every customer that walks into the door. Emma and her staff are very proud of the culture at Crisp and the fact that it is a woman-owned, local startup that gives back to the community. Her vision and message about inclusivity also resonates through partnerships with locally owned businesses and nonprofits where Crisp contributes 10 percent of sales every month. Emma is recognized with this hospitality award not only for her accomplishments as a successful restaurateur, but also for the exceptional culture she’s created in her restaurants.
Allied Partner of the Year: Matthew D. Lowe, President, Jordan Ramis PC
Matthew’s passion for hospitality can be seen in every interaction with his clients, having dedicated over 20 years helping restaurant and lodging operators achieve success in their endeavors. As President of Jordan Ramis, he consistently demonstrates outstanding service, and under his leadership, the firm continues to make innovative contributions to support Oregon’s hospitality industry. Matt and his colleagues work hard on behalf of the lodging industry keeping local jurisdictions accountable in how they expend lodging tax dollars. He is recognized as a friend of the industry by his clients, proving time and again the value of his representation on critical issues impacting Oregon hospitality.
Click here to access photos from the event, view ORLA’s photo library. To watch the 4 award videos, visit www.oregonrla.org/nominate.
For more information on the ORLA Hospitality Awards, visit www.Oregonrla.org/nominate.
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which provides over 150,000 paychecks to working Oregonians. Currently ORLA represents over 2,800 members and advocates for over 10,000 foodservice locations and more than 2,000 lodging establishments in Oregon. The affiliated Oregon Hospitality Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, supports the workforce, educational, training, and philanthropic needs of Oregon’s hospitality industry through educational opportunities and job training programs.
Gubernatorial Candidate Events / Oregon PFML / ORLA Conference
Gubernatorial Candidate Events
The Oregon Beverage Alliance (OBA) is hosting three events with Oregon’s Gubernatorial candidates coming up in the next several weeks. This is a unique opportunity for our industry to have an audience with the future Governor to talk specifically about the hospitality sector, our force as an economic driver for the state, and the importance of considering the impact of policy decisions on our sector. Having a large presence at these events will help ensure that Oregon’s next Governor understands the depth, diversity, and strength of our voice. These events provide a forum for open dialogue on issues of importance to our group. The events are all free of charge and will be held at Columbia Distributing, 27200 SW Parkway Ave, in Wilsonville, Oregon.
Oregon's Paid Family Medical Leave Program
Oregon’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance program (PFMLI) goes into effect January 1, 2023, and is funded by employer and employee contributions. Employers with less than 25 employees are not required to contribute to the program, but their employees are. Employers will be required to participate in the program or provide an equivalent plan. ORLA is actively looking into private sector solutions right now. Here are some key dates:
Still Time to Register for the Conference
ORLA is excited to have both Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association joining us in person as keynote speakers at the ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene. This will mark the first time in ORLA’s history where both national CEOs will be present for a gathering of our members. All details relating to the conference can be viewed on our designated conference site. View the “Sessions” tab on the following website to review the flow of the conference and reach out with any questions. This is a great time to bring key staff and those you’re looking to develop as part of your long term sustainability plan for your operation.
Affordable Housing / Economic Report / Per Diem Increase / Oregon Hospitality Heroes
‘People for an Affordable Oregon’ Involvement
ORLA is part of a broader business coalition challenging the latest rulemaking conducted by the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) without appropriate levels of public input. There’s potential that legal action may result out of this movement: the business coalition challenging the lack of public process within the rulemaking effort and municipalities questioning DLCD’s authority over local zoning controls. To learn more about this developing issue visit:
Operators Endure Weaker Business Conditions
The costs of goods restaurateurs need most have continued to accelerate, and according to a new survey released today by the National Restaurant Association, 46% of operators say business conditions are worse now than they were 3 months ago. More than 80% of operators say the cost of food, labor and occupancy are higher than 2019; 94% say operating costs in general are higher. 85% report profits are down. See full survey results and the press release.
GSA Increases Per Diem rate
The FY2023 standard per diem rate will increase to $157 for the continental U.S., and rates for the 316 non-standard areas will be at or above FY2022 rates, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced this week. This is extremely welcome news for the hospitality industry as our recovery continues. By increasing the standard rate and setting a floor at pre-pandemic rates for NSAs, GSA has ensured fair increases in markets that warrant them while also avoiding hurting hotels in markets that have taken longer to recover. See Oregon rates.
ORLA Hospitality Award Winners
We will celebrate four hospitality heroes Sunday evening, September 11 at our Awards Dinner during the annual Conference in Eugene. Congratulations go to Nick Pearson (Jupiter & Jupiter NEXT) as the Lodging Operator of the Year, Emma Dye (Crisp) as the Restaurateur of the Year, Jodi Doud (Elmer's Roseburg) as Employee of the Year; and Matthew D. Lowe (Jordan Ramis) as the Allied Partner of the Year.
As always, please let us know if you have any questions by emailing email@example.com.
In the News / Sports Economy / Reigniting Travel / Worker Shortage
ORLA's professional staff is in full swing as we turn the corner on event season and gear up for our final productions – Swig & Savor August 12 at the Nines in Portland and the ORLA Hospitality Conference at the Graduate Hotel in Eugene in September. See below for our latest association updates:
Media Coverage – State of Sport
The Portland market and secondary markets in Eugene and Bend are working collectively to amplify the State of Sport within Oregon’s economy. Findings of a recent report launched intentionally in advance of the World Athletic Championships in Eugene elevates the identity we have in Oregon around sports and recreation companies. Of course the hospitality industry benefits greatly as we continue to develop a more comprehensive identity around sports and recreation. The Oregon Hospitality Foundation, ORLA’s 501 c(3) arm, financially supported the creation of the study and continues to be involved in the ongoing task force work. Here are some of the media pickups resulting from the collaborative work.
Reigniting Travel Press Event
Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association joined ORLA alongside Travel Portland and the Portland Business Alliance in holding a press event July 22 about reigniting travel in the Portland region. Here’s a sample of some of the coverage:
Where Have All the Workers Gone?
Almost everyone in the industry still needs more help to meet demand. And there are some misunderstandings about how much our workforce has been effected by Covid compared to trends that started long before the pandemic hit. If you haven’t already, read the Wall Street Journal's article, The ‘Great Resignation’ Started Long Ago, it’s worth your time. Something to ponder: "There are more than 11 million job openings in the U.S. but only six million unemployed workers. So what’s happening?"
ORLA Hospitality Conference
Both Chip Rogers, President & CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association and Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO of the National Restaurant Association will join us in person as keynote speakers at the ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene. This will mark the first time in ORLA’s history where both national CEOs will be present for a gathering of our members. This is a great time to bring key staff and those you’re looking to develop as part of your long term sustainability plan for your operation.
Questions? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us.
Industry Awards / Whiskey Event / Sports Economy / Job Fairs
ORLA's Hospitality Conference in Eugene will include recognition for our Restaurateur Of the Year, Lodging Operator of the Year, Employee of the Year, and Allied Member of the Year. Nominations are open until end of day on Monday, July 11 so please submit a nomination form if you know of a deserving candidate.
Swig & Savor
ORLA’s public-facing high-end Swig & Savor liquor event has opened ticket sales! This is a unique event featuring top-shelf whiskies for tastings, educational seminars, and allocated and rare products–an opportunity that does not currently exist in the Pacific Northwest market. VIP participants will automatically entered into a raffle with drawings for hard-to-get allocated bottles.
Sports Economy and Jobs
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation contributed to the production of the economic report released last week by the Portland Business Alliance in partnership with U.S. Bank. Oregon: The State of Sport highlights the economic power and competitive advantage in Oregon stemming from the athletic, outdoor, team, and recreation industries. The report’s initial focus was on the Portland Metro area, Eugene, and Bend, but there is widespread recognition that Oregon’s strength in this space is truly statewide. The report articulates what many of us already knew: if you want to be in this ecosystem as an entrepreneur, employee, or even customer…Oregon is the place to be. The report and key findings can be found here.
Youth Job Fair
The Oregon Hospitality Foundation will be doing more work to elevate workforce development efforts from partners and stakeholders around the state in the coming years. We look forward to documenting our success in getting industry professionals sharing their stories in high school and community college classrooms, assist with lining up student job shadow experiences with industry professionals, and build out more options for educators to take their students on experiential field trips of industry businesses when it makes sense. Our work also includes shining a brighter light on youth job fairs and other events focused on connecting employers with prospect employees.
Questions? Send us an email or give us a ring at 503.682.4422.
Leveraging Oregon’s Leadership in the Sports Ecosystem to Boost Workforce Opportunities
This July, the World Athletics Championships come not only to the United States for the first time, but to Oregon. We are a leader in track and field with Hayward Field consistently hailed as an elite track and field venue, but we are also a global leader in the “sports adjacent.” In the area forming Eugene to Bend to the greater Portland area, there are over 800 sports apparel companies and thousands of sports related manufacturers, therapists, coaches, semi professional and professional athletic teams, Olympic trials, skiing, outdoor adventure, mountains, rivers, fields, venues, hopes, and dreams. Where else in the country can you engage in the quality of recreation and athletics, live in the region where those amenities already exist, and make a living at the very activity that brings us joy?
When the World Athletics Championships meet later this month, they bring with them media opportunity from around the globe. We have a rare opportunity to tell the world that Oregon is much more than Nike, Hayward Field, Portland Thorns, and Trailblazers. We are a state dedicated to sports and everything that supports those sports. That is why ORLAs’ Hospitality Foundation (OHF) has partnered with the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) to bring into focus the major impact that sports and recreation have on the economy and workforce of Oregon. As OHF is digging deep into workforce development for our industry, it seemed logical that we needed a voice at the table to be a part of this important work.
PBA has completed an economic analysis and is in the process of naming what we will eventually promote as a brand for Oregon’s sports related economy, but what good does a bunch of data do except tell us what we already know? The truth is, not everyone knows, and we are going to tell the world. This is about, creating awareness for existing investment and attraction of additional sports opportunities. We need to engage in legislation at every level of government to get traction for investment in our state and local sports economies. From workforce development to infrastructure, it is time to leverage our leadership in outdoor recreation and sports and and get creative with how we use it to make everything in Oregon more attractive and inclusive.
While we are unsure exactly how the messaging will be employed, we know that the powerful information this provides us would be lost if we don’t use it to leverage into real actionable help for our restaurants and lodging partners in Oregon. How can we use this information to bring economic relief to workforce development, engage housing initiatives, affect transportation, food security, lift BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women-run business voices, help with houselessness, mental health, and addiction and recovery services? Right now we are meeting and talking through how to use this data to best affect the State of Oregon.
Watch for more information on the analysis and branding as we welcome the world into our homes for the World Athletics Championships. Let’s be ready to tell the narrative that Oregon is the leader in sports, outdoor recreation, and the opportunity it provides us all. | Ken Henson, Vice Chair, Oregon Hospitality Foundation
This article originally published in the July issue of ORLA Magazine.
Third Party Deliver Fee Cap / Hotel Loading Zones
Recently, the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) went to bat on a couple of issues affecting restaurants and lodging properties in Portland and we came away with two huge wins!
On the restaurant side, ORLA was instrumental in securing an extension of the 10% Delivery Fee Cap for an additional eight months. The ordinance takes effect June 29 when the ordinance from 2020 was set to expire. ORLA will now work with restaurant owners, the City of Portland, the third party delivery companies and other stakeholders on a proposal around a permanent delivery fee cap within the city limits. A huge thanks to the restaurant operators who testified and shared their stories to City Council.
On the lodging side, ORLA reached out and communicated with Commissioner Hardesty’s office about proposed changes to hotel loading zones that would have turned the current 15-minute zones into 3-minute zones. Our discussions were successful in maintaining the 15-minute loading zones. ORLA pointed out that as Portland hotels continue to recover from the last two and a half years, making it more difficult and less welcoming for visitors to enjoy our city is the opposite of what we need to be doing.
Advocacy on behalf of the hospitality industry and our members is at the core of what we do at ORLA and we appreciate your involvement and your support as we continue to fight on your behalf.
Questions? Contact ORLA Regional Representative Steven Scardina or ORLA Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley.
Inflation / Job Loss / Travel Forecast
More than two years into the pandemic and we're still realizing the effects of Covid on travel, supply of goods, and inflation. We appreciate the work our national partners do to provide valuable insights and data highlighting the ongoing economic issues facing our industry.
This week, the National Restaurant Association released an updated summary of the Misery index based on the May jobs and sales reports. While job growth is still slow, sales are continuing to grow. American restaurant owners and operators are experiencing the impact of several global factors influencing food supply. The war in Ukraine, India’s record heat wave, and delayed planting in China last year mean that wheat is in short supply. With wholesale food prices already up nearly 18% in the last 12 months, the growing list of unavailable or items in short supply is adding pressure to an already strained industry.
Highlights from the June 2022 Misery Index:
A recent survey commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) shares how new concerns about gas prices and inflation are impacting Americans’ travel plans in a variety of ways. Majorities say they are likely to take fewer leisure trips (57%) and shorter trips (54%) due to current gas prices, while 44% are likely to postpone trips, and 33% are likely to cancel with no plans to reschedule. 82% say gas prices will have at least some impact on their travel destination(s).
The survey of 2,210 adults was conducted May 18-22, 2022. Other key findings include:
AHLA recently relaunched its Hospitality is Working campaign with a focus on reigniting travel across the nation and highlighting hotels’ positive economic impact in cities across the country. With travel ramping back up, hotels have embarked on an unprecedented hiring spree to recruit hundreds of thousands of workers for more than 200 hotel career pathways.
Bottom line, restaurant and lodging operators are feeling the same economic pressures that our customers and guests are, and we’re always going to work hard so we can keep serving them, our employees, and our communities.
Stay strong, serve well!
ERC Eligibility / National CEO Presence / Board Nominations
Eligibility Clarification for 2021 Q3 Employee Retention Tax Credits
The law states there are two criteria by which an employer may qualify for the Employee Retention Credit:
AHLA and NRA CEOs to Speak at ORLA's Hospitality Conference
Mark your calendars and plan on attending the ORLA Hospitality Conference September 11-12 in Eugene. We are excited to host both CEOs from our national affiliates for the first time at an ORLA event. Michelle Korsmo, President & CEO for the National Restaurant Association and Chip Rogers, President & CEO for the American Hotel & Lodging Association will be speaking in person during the kickoff lunch on Sunday. This is a rare opportunity to hear insights directly from these industry leaders on legislative activity in Congress, industry trends, emerging issues, and projected industry recovery. In addition to the general sessions, we have eight breakout sessions including two that will offer a deeper dive on restaurant and lodging advocacy.
ORLA Board Nominations Committee Convenes in July
Active ORLA members provide the backbone for all association efforts and we remain fortunate in having committed restaurant, lodging, and allied members who serve on ORLA’s Board of Directors. The ORLA Board is made up of 10 restaurant member representatives, 10 lodging member representatives, and 3 Allied member representatives. Board members serve 3 year terms and attend 4 board meetings each year. Those serving are eligible to serve two consecutive terms before reaching their term limit. For ORLA’s upcoming fiscal year beginning October 1 there are 3 openings on the board due to term limits – 1 restaurant, 1 lodging, and 1 allied position. If you are interested in being considered for ORLA Board service please reach out to ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt.
Sysco Sponsors Teacher Flex Fund
Thanks to our partners at Sysco, the Oregon Hospitality Foundation had the opportunity to extend a small grant application in support of the ProStart program across the state. The Oregon ProStart Teacher Flex Fund encouraged teachers to apply for a $500 grant for to prepare for the 2022–2023 school year. At the teacher's discretion, these funds can be spent on much-needed products or equipment within the classroom to help facilitate their culinary program. Allocations from the $5,000 Flex Fund were made on a first come, first serve basis, and will be dispersed later this month. To learn more about how ProStart is helping foster our next generation of industry leaders, or to see how you can support this valuable career technical education program, visit OregonRLA.org/prostart.
Questions? Feel free to contact your association.
Lodging operators are optimistic about leisure travel returning to Oregon. In addition to Oregonians traveling locally around the state, the World Athletic Championships - Oregon22 should bring visitors from around the globe to experience Oregon’s unique hospitality.
According to a recent survey conducted by Morning Consult and commissioned by the American Hotel & Lodging Association, nearly seven in ten Americans (69%) report being likely to travel this summer, with 60% saying they are likely to take more vacations this year compared to 2020-21.
The survey of 2,210 adults was conducted May 18-22, 2022. Other key findings include:
As business and leisure travel continue to rebound from the last two and a half years of restrictions and shutdowns, lodging operators in Oregon are looking to in-state travel as well as the boost from over 200 countries and their fans coming to our state for the 2022 World Athletic Championships. Although the competition is in Eugene, there’s no doubt visitors to Oregon will take the opportunity to explore every corner of our state and take advantage of the natural beauty and hospitality our industry and others will offer.
You can find much more information on the World Athletic Championships on Travel Oregon's website. An industry-facing toolkit has also been developed to provide additional information, resources, broadcast-quality b-roll and hi-res images, as well as inspirational trip ideas and media contact information. Questions can be directed to Jaime Eder, Industry Communications Manager at Travel Oregon. | Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, ORLA
RRF / Elections / Liquor Privatization...
Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) Senate Vote – Oregon Senators Voted Yes
Yesterday, the U.S. Senate was unable to overcome a filibuster on a motion to begin debate on a $48 billion bill that would have replenished the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). The vote to invoke cloture and overcome the filibuster failed by a vote of 52-43 (60 votes were needed to prevail). Read the press release from the National Restaurant Association for more information. Highlights of the vote from yesterday:
Primary Election Roundup
There has been an increase in the number of industry members who have expressed a willingness to run for office. ORLA members Cheri Helt (BOLI Commissioner candidate), Daniel Nguyen (State Rep Candidate), Janelle Bynum (Current State Rep), and former ORLA staff member Christine Drazan are all working to bring more industry expertise to our policy making decisions. Here are a few highlights from this week’s primary election on state races:
Portland Lodging Alliance (PLA) Statement on Portland City Budget
ORLA was involved in group discussions on the City of Portland's budget earlier this week. Generally, the high level social service and public safety investments and content within the budget seem on point. What continues to plague Portland are the deficiencies in management and a desire by our members to see consistent progress on the streets. One of ORLA’s local groups is called the Portland Lodging Alliance and current ORLA Board Members George Schweitzer and Daryn White Cyrus sit on the PLA Steering Committee. Joining them in leadership are Brandon Carter of the Bidwell downtown and Martin McAllister who runs the waterfront Marriott Hotel. This coming week the Portland Lodging Alliance is submitting comments on Mayor Wheeler’s proposed budget to the City through their online public comment portal.
Liquor Privatization Off the November Ballot
There’s one less thing to worry about on the November ballot now that the Northwest Grocers Association have pulled their initiative petition from the signature gathering process to qualify as a state measure. Initiative Petition 35 would have opened the door to liquor sales in grocery stores here in Oregon. Although the convenience may seem enticing on its surface there are far ranging implications if the current alcohol system were to be disrupted with cost escalations on liquor inevitable for ORLA members. See the story summing it all up here on OPB. ORLA has been an active part of the opposition campaign to this effort ever since our Government Affairs Committee voted unanimously to oppose these efforts when this was attempted the last time.
Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us via email.
Paid Family Leave / Governor's Race / 'Hospitality is Working'
Paid Family Leave Rulemaking
Paid Family Leave passed in the long legislative session of 2019 before Covid and has been in a delayed planning state ever since. The law is now getting more attention as the Oregon Employment Department and their new Paid Family Medical Leave Insurance Division (PFMLI) work to launch the new program in 2023. The program is ambitious and requires a 60/40 percent employee/employer split in contributions to a new fund for specific family and medical leave needs. ORLA’s Director of Government Affairs serves on the rulemaking committee; we'll keep members informed of paid family leave updates.
Governor’s Race & GOP Polling
Recent polling for the Governor’s Race shows former Oregon Restaurant Association staffer Christine Drazan may have a good shot at securing the GOP nomination for Governor in the upcoming primary. Most political pundits continue to believe the Democrat primary win will go to Tina Kotek although Tobias Read has been making a considerable push to gain more favor within the party.
Hospitality is Working Campaign
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) relaunched its Hospitality is Working campaign seeking to reignite travel nationwide and showcase the economic and community benefits hotels provide in neighborhoods across the country. Hospitality is Working showcases the broad range of benefits hotels provide the communities they serve while highlighting the industry’s strong commitment to investing in its workforce, providing quality career opportunities, and protecting employees and guests as more and more Americans begin to travel. The campaign will include television and digital advertising as well as AHLA events around the country alongside local hoteliers, economic development organizations and community groups.
Have questions? Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us if you have any questions. Happy Friday!
Local Lodging Tax Watchdog Work / The Fate of RRF / Workforce Storytelling / 77% of the Way
Yesterday, the House of Representatives approved a bill to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Details on what to expect in DC as well as other updates from the week are below. Don’t forget to sign up and support our largest ORLAPAC fundraiser of the year, One Big Night. If you haven’t already, register to attend and/or consider donating an auction package and help us make a difference in the upcoming election cycle in support of our industry recovery efforts.
Local Lodging Tax Watchdog Work
ORLA’s successful win in court at both the Circuit Court and Oregon Court of Appeals level has helped usher in a new chapter of relevance for the association in ramping up our watchdog role for our lodging members and the broader tourism industry. As a reminder, ORLA won on all counts against the City of Bend which helped cement our legal standing in holding local governments accountable for how they expend local lodging tax dollars even though ORLA itself does not collect local lodging taxes directly. With the help of legal counsel, ORLA is actively seeking more transparency in the Cities of Gladstone, Gresham, Cannon Beach, and Albany. Watch ORLA's explanatory video as a refresher on how local lodging taxes are to be spent. This video has proven to be a helpful resource to help educate newly appointed local elected leaders or city administrative staff so please share with your contacts whenever helpful.
The Fate of RRF Replenishment
As anticipated, the U.S House of Representatives passed H.R. 3807 - replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. The challenge of getting replenishment over the finish line continues to be in the Senate. On Tuesday, Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) introduced The Small Business COVID Relief Act of 2022 (SBCRA) (S. 4008). The SBCRA would allocate $40 billion for RRF replenishment and $8 billion for other small businesses impacted by COVID. It would partially offset (pay for) the $48 billion through $5 billion in unspent Payroll Protection Program funds. In the interim, we will encourage Senate Republicans and Democrats to reach an agreement on replenishing the RRF. The largest hurdle remains overcoming vast differences between the parties on whether the spending must be paid for, and how. If you haven't already, tell Senators to replenish the RRF. A special thanks to a contingent of ORLA current and past board members for joining ORLA President & CEO Jason Brandt and ORLA Director of Government Affairs Greg Astley at the National Restaurant Association Public Affairs Conference coming up at the end of this month in Washington D.C. RRF, as well as several other key issues will be a part of our discussions as we meet with lawmakers.
We have a big challenge at our doorstep which revolves around reclaiming the narrative around jobs and careers in the hospitality industry. There are incredible stories all around us about the positive and lasting impact hospitality jobs have for Oregonians from all backgrounds. The Spring edition of the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association magazine focuses in on the importance of mentors and the opportunities we all have to do more in sharing the opportunities in our industry with both high school and community college students. On page 24 is our Industry Champions article, The Essential Role Of Industry Mentors For High School Culinary Classrooms, where four of our ProStart mentors were interviewed. They each had great stories to tell, worthy of a broader share than just in print, so we repurposed the article as a blog post as well.
77% of the Way Back
The hardest hit sector, accommodation and food services, has regained 77% of the many jobs lost in the initial COVID crisis. In addition, the following article is featured on the Oregon Employment Department’s website regarding youth employment trends in our industry. It’s worth a read to learn about our history and our efforts to regain traction in employing high school youth over the course of the past decade.
Oregon OSHA Fixes Workforce Housing Caps
ORLA has been advocating for our hospitality businesses who provide housing for workers as a benefit of employment. This predominately impacts our resort members who leverage visas and provide work experience to citizens from other countries with those opportunities ramping up in the Spring and Summer seasons. Thankfully Oregon OSHA has answered the call to repeal the Covid rule that capped the amount of workers we were allowed to house in each dwelling unit due to concern over Covid spread. This will greatly assist members in controlling costs associated with the number of vacation homes/dwelling units that must be rented out for the purposes of workforce housing.
Give us a call at 503.682.4422 or email us if you have any questions. | ORLA
RRF Replenishment / OSHA Updates / H-2B Visas / US Labor Department Investments
We are seeing signs of sales getting close if not reaching pre-pandemic levels for some Oregon operators. Of course sales numbers don’t tell the whole story for our restaurants given the cost of goods and the ongoing impacts of a marketplace driven by historic leverage in the hands of employees. On the lodging side it continues to be a tale of two realities with operators seeming to do quite well in secondary markets with Portland still working to find its footing with the delay in corporate/conference travel. Spring/Summer live events and the return of the full fledged Rose Festival events for a month from late May through late June will certainly help Portland turn the page.
RRF Replenishment Votes Possible in House, Senate
The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on legislation to replenish the Restaurant Revitalization Fund as early as this Wednesday. Details on the size of the bill, and whether it is funded with new government spending or reallocating existing federal dollars remain unknown. Meanwhile, if the Senate is able to reach agreement on legislation to fund COVID treatment programs, Democrats are expected to offer an amendment to replenish the RRF. Senate Republicans have been clear in calling for any COVID spending to be fully offset by cuts in other government programs, and will vote against RRF replenishment if this condition is not met.
ORLA has been working with the National Restaurant Association on your behalf to urge that Congress not treat the 177,000 restaurants waiting for COVID grants as hostages to battles over government spending. The National Restaurant Association sent a letter to the Hill this morning in support of RRF votes and posted a press release urging support from Congress. We will keep you informed if a vote occurs and when the next grassroots activation will launch.
OSHA Update on Workforce Housing
One of the many unintended consequences of agency rules during Covid was the impact of workforce housing restrictions on our resort communities around the state. Oregon OSHA was focused on preventing the spread of Covid in agricultural worker housing specifically, but their rules also prevented resorts around Oregon from housing hospitality employees within residential vacation homes. The Covid rule limited the number of workers who can be housed in resort vacation homes–and those limits did not exist for vacation travelers from different households using those same homes. ORLA pointed out this inequity over the course of the past week and thankfully Oregon OSHA responded. OSHA just released a Workplace Advisory Memo on April 1, 2022, that removes these workforce housing limitations in our industry.
American Hotel & Lodging Association President & CEO Chip Rogers (who will be joining us in person at September’s ORLA Hospitality Conference in Eugene) shared the following good news this week on H-2B Visas. A number of ORLA members utilize Visas for seasonal employment needs and expanding capacity has been a priority for the industry.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) announced they would make available an additional 35,000 H-2B visas for the second half of fiscal year 2022 (FY22), which begins April 1. Of these, 23,500 visas will be available for returning workers, while 11,500 are reserved for nationals of Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. In December, for the first time ever the Departments released an additional 20,000 H-2B visas for the first half of the fiscal year. These additional visas will provide critical help to seasonal resorts as we enter the busy summer travel season, and they suggest that the Biden Administration recognizes the acute workforce shortage we are facing. AHLA will continue to push for legislation and policies that will help fill open jobs and keep us on the road to recovery.
US Labor Department Investments
This week the National Restaurant Association shared more details on President Biden’s federal budget proposal which includes an 18% increase in U.S. Department of Labor funding from 2022 levels ($2.2 billion more) with $400 million proposed to go towards the hiring of additional staff within the department’s workforce protection agencies. Here are the cliff notes from the administration's proposals that are more industry specific:
Labor & Workforce
Food Supply Chain and Competition
Technology and Competition
Access to Credit
For more information:
We look forward to sharing more about workforce development efforts in future reports. There is a lot of work going into improving connections between industry operators and high school/community college classrooms. Give us a call at 503.682.4422 if you have any questions. | ORLA
Food Scrap Policy, Customer Entitlement, and March Madness
Business Food Scraps Policy In Play – Implementation of a regional food scraps separation requirement went into effect March of this year and many businesses within the Portland Metro boundary will need to comply by 2023. Originally scheduled to begin in March 2020, the requirement was delayed by two years due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the region’s residents and businesses. The earliest any business must be in compliance is March 2023 and all businesses generating more than one 60-gallon roll cart of food scraps a week must be in compliance by September 30, 2024. View more information about the requirement and how to access resources for implementation on Metro’s website at Oregonmetro.gov/foodscraps.
Multnomah County Candidates Forum April 20 – There continues to be a lot at stake in Portland with how we are managing safety and security issues as we start getting a taste for what Spring and Summer looks like in the Portland region with the activity surrounding March Madness. Some of you are seeing sales numbers returning to acceptable levels as of this month for the first time in a long time. One of our goals is to not let our elected leaders off the hook in understanding the significance of our debt loads just to get to the point where we could be open and start seeing customer demand improve again. ORLA is co-hosting along with several other business organizations an upcoming forum on April 20 focused on Multnomah County Commissioner candidates. Visit Portland Business Alliance's website for details.
OTLA 3rd Year Class Launch – This past week the 3rd year class for the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy (OTLA) gathered in Sunriver immediately following the Oregon Governor's Tourism Conference. ORLA had the chance to sponsor one of the keynote sessions at the Conference and showcase a new promotional video to bring more awareness to the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy and opportunities for tourism professionals to get more involved in the program. Subscribe to updates on OTLA and view the new video.
Customer Entitlement? – A 2022 pilot study from OSU Cascades Hospitality Management program shared by the program's director, Todd Montgomery, confirmed what they have been hearing during focus groups and personal interviews for years: entitled customer behavior is getting worse, and it is impacting the desire of hospitality workers to stay in the industry. OSU Cascades will present a white paper on all of their results in the coming months where they will address workers perceptions of what is driving these customer entitlement events. In the meantime, you can view their latest infographic.
Learn more about how the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is protecting and promoting Oregon's hospitality industry at OregonRLA.org.
Press Release | Khan Properties Group
After 13 years of dedicated service, Masudur Khan, has withdrawn as a member of Seaside Lodging Hospitality LLC, Doel Hospitality LLC, and City Center Hospitality LLC, which operate the Inn at Seaside, River Inn, and the SaltLine Hotel. Khan will be focusing on new business ventures in real estate development and hospitality as the Founder and CEO of Khan Properties Group.
An award-winning hotelier and developer specializing in the hospitality and multifamily industries since 2009, Khan has grown his portfolio through dedication to providing the highest quality service to the hotel’s guests and developing properties to meet the current and future demands of the hospitality and housing markets. "We are deeply grateful for his skill, heart, and soul that he has put into developing and transforming our Seaside community. Now it's time for him to lead the way with his new ventures" says his current team at Khan Properties Group.
About Khan Properties Group:
Formed in 2020, Khan leads a team of industry experts he has formed to expand into the multifamily development and hospitality markets across the Pacific NW. Khan Properties focuses on a hybrid model of housing and hospitality specializing in renovation and expansion of existing properties as well as new construction projects. Additionally, Khan Properties Group has expanded its real estate portfolio into retail and food & beverage. Khan and his group are exploring partnerships with nationwide companies to further innovate and expand the residential and hospitality offerings in the area. Current projects and ventures include Ocean Crest Resort (Moclips, WA), Gilbert Block (Seaside, OR), and three multifamily developments in Seaside. The Ocean Crest Resort acquisition in Moclips, WA was awarded as a top three finalist for Acquisition of the Year by AHLA at the 2021 American Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS).
NOTE: ORLA's blog will be going offline for upgrades the last week in October.
[October 22, 2021] - Meals Tax Fight | Free Training | Continued Push for RRF
Local Meals Tax Fights Continue - We are neck deep in local opposition campaigns in both Cannon Beach and Newport in support of our local restaurants doing business in those communities. As you’ve heard before, we’ll most likely know later in the evening on November 2 whether either of these proposed 5% meals tax proposals pass by will of the voters. Here’s the latest media coverage from earlier this week.
Free Covid Online Training Extended – We have made the decision to extend access to the free online training we created at the association to assist restaurant and lodging operators and their staff with the challenging customer service dynamics when dealing with mask mandates across the state. We will keep these Guest Service Safety trainings (restaurant and lodging versions in both English and Spanish) available online for free through at least the end of the calendar year. Make sure to take advantage for your own operation and feel free to spread the word and share the following link so others in our industry can access this free resource thanks to a sponsorship from Anheuser Busch.
ORLA Media Event – Your state association in conjunction with several other state associations around the nation will be holding media events to continue pressing the need for restaurant revitalization funding for all eligible applicants. We want to thank Gabriel Pascuzzi, Chef & Owner of Mama Bird for stepping up and representing 2,592 restaurant businesses like his who remain out in the cold with no restaurant revitalization funding after applying for federal financial relief. We’ll do our best to make an impression in the media this coming week and keep the chorus going as we press federal elected leaders to make good on their promise.
Here for Oregon Partnership – The Oregonian is our latest sponsor of the Oregon Tourism Leadership Academy program and we want to thank Oregonian Media Group President John Maher and their Vice President of Brand and Strategic Partnerships Amy Lewin for thinking big and launching their “Here for Oregon” initiative. The Oregonian is launching this new effort to help share the good across our great state. Powered by the incredible teams and tools of The Oregonian/OregonLive, they are taking the stories created every day and building a new place dedicated to lifting and celebrating Oregon. This multi-media approach offers a custom blend of community-driven content that is distinctly Oregon. It's an extraordinary aggregate for joy, awareness, and connection across the state. Whether you live in Pendleton, Pleasant Hill or Portland, there’s a place for you here and we want to help celebrate what the Oregonian is working to accomplish. As they begin to roll out their efforts, John and Amy are inviting their community partners to join them in building, from the ground up, stories of the people, the places, the experiences and the diversity of culture and skills that inspire innovation and community. Share Oregon. “Like” and “Follow” @HereisOregon on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube Get the good stuff. Subscribe to Here is Oregon weekly e-newsletter. Show you’re here and tag good news in your community with #HereisOregon.
[October 4, 2021] - Foundation Updates | Industry Recovery Trends | OTLA
Oregon Hospitality Foundation Updates - This past week, ORLA’s Executive Director of the Oregon Hospitality Foundation Wendy Popkin announced she has accepted a new role with the Washington County Visitors Association as Vice President of Destination Sales. We hope you all join us in celebrating Wendy’s contributions to the Foundation over the past nine years. In conversations with Wendy and Foundation Board members, we are moving forward with a plan to hire two new full time positions in support of the hospitality foundation. One position will be an executive coordinator for foundation governance while also serving as our ProStart Liaison for Oregon’s 40 participating high schools. The other position will be a Workforce Development Coordinator focused on creating stronger connections between industry leaders and high school and community college classrooms – think guest speaking opportunities, job shadow coordination, career/job fair involvement, and experiential field trips. Reach out to ORLA if you know someone interested in these positions.
National Restaurant Trends - The latest economic trends in the restaurant survey based on a feedback from 4,000 restaurants across the nation. The NRA's infographic and associated letter sent to DC leadership focus on the importance of preventing new taxes on small businesses as our industry continues to grapple with the impacts of the enduring pandemic. Activity in DC continues to be touch and go and our Government Affairs team will continue keeping all lines of communication open with our partners at AAHOA, AHLA, and NRA as developments unfold.
[September 24, 2021] - Fight Against Meals Taxes / Chair's Getaway / Conference Program
Fights Against Meal Taxes Continue - The ORLA professional team led by Steve Scardina and Terry Hopkins in their regions of the state and supported by Greg Astley, Tom Perrick, and Glenda Hamstreet in our Government Affairs Department are working hard to defeat meals taxes appearing on the November ballot in the cities of Cannon Beach and Newport. Our websites for the campaigns are up and running and our success in defeating both proposals is largely dependent on our ability to keep local restaurants in both communities engaged and in the forefront. It is critical that ORLA take a back seat to the local names and faces that make up a local restaurant industry while fully leveraging ORLA’s association structure to assist our local members in fighting effectively against tax proposals when they are opposed by members in cases like this. In the past 4 years, we have successfully defeated two other restaurant tax proposals – one in Jacksonville and one in Hood River County. We hope to defeat these two tax proposals and should have results to share on November 2 or 3. Vote No Sales Tax on Meals!
ORLA Hospitality Conference Success - Earlier this week ORLA held a 2-day in-person conference for industry members at the Riverhouse in Bend. Feedback so far has been very positive, citing keynote and breakout session messages on target and insightful for the hard-hit hospitality industry. ORLA members also had the opportunity to vote in several new members of the Board of Directors. Save the date for next year's event on Sunday & Monday, September 11 and 12 at the Graduate hotel in Eugene.
Chair’s Getaway - We are off and running in creating a great experience on Oregon’s north coast for our Chair’s Getaway event on Sunday, November 7 which will be co-hosted by Incoming Chair John Barofsky and Outgoing Chair Masudur Khan. We want to take a moment to thank Shannon McMenamin and her team at the Gearhart location for working with us to put together the Reception and Multi-Course Dinner on site. Also, a big thanks to Outgoing ORLA Chair Masudur Khan for making the SaltLine Hotel available for overnight stays and our sponsors at US Foods (thanks Randy) and Pacific Seafood for their food donations. We also have America’s Hub World Tours joining us as a Transportation Sponsor this year for those who prefer a shuttle bus between the hotel and the restaurant. The Chair’s Getaway event has 50-60 people in attendance and is an opportunity to raise funds for ORLAPAC under the direction of Greg Astley, ORLA’s Director of Government Affairs. I hope you consider making a donation to ORLAPAC and join us for this great reception, dinner, and overnight stay following on November 7. Register here to reserve your seats – we expect this will sell out so act soon.
[September 17, 2021] - Win for Lottery Retailers / Vaccine Mandates / EIDL Updates
Win for Lottery Retailers – ORLA’s membership includes a segment that cares deeply about the association’s advocacy for lottery retailer issues. ORLA in partnership with many other stakeholders was able to secure a win with the Governor committing in writing to prohibit any expansion of state sponsored gambling on mobile devices with an exception for the options already available on cell phones. The following two letters spell out the request made by us and our partners to legislative leadership and the Governor’s response essentially putting a moratorium on any gambling expansions on cell phones for the duration of her term in office.
Vaccine Mandates – We expect to have our hands full in the coming months as the potential for emerging vaccine mandates continues to be debated primarily at the local levels of government outside of President Biden’s announcement this past week. We have been made aware that King County in Washington State will move forward with a vaccine mandate but has decided to again target specific businesses with the mandate as opposed to all businesses. It remains unclear how the new vaccine mandate will be enforced and how the role of restaurant and other industry operators will be defined for those industries impacted. The King County mandate will go into effect in late October. Our reports show the NYC mandate has a vaccine verification compliance rate of less than 30% meaning as many as 70% of operations were not verifying vaccine status at the door. In one of ORLA’s recent surveys we asked operators what types of mandates they would proactively comply with. Under 40% said they would comply with vaccine verification and we suspect the reason is driven by the challenges posed by putting our frontline staff in the position of asking for those verifications universally to dine indoors and the uncertainty of what happens when customers are denied indoor dining service due to a mandate.
As a reminder, we openly shared our survey results and our deep concerns about compliance rates with Multnomah County Chair Kafoury and the Governor’s Office. We’re hoping that step keeps the industry from being targeted while we continue our advocacy and support for vaccines and their importance.
EIDL Program Updates – The Small Business Administration’s Deputy District Director for Portland Sam Goldstein provided us at ORLA with the latest updates on EIDL. The SBA's COVID EIDL Program Summary serves as a review of where we are to date on EIDL expansion. Another webinar presentation is coming up on September 23; register here.
The SBA is continuing to accept loans and modification to existing loans. New applications and increases in existing loans resulting in total amounts to be approved >$500K can be submitted immediately. Decisions on requests >$500K will begin October 8, 2021.
Main Update: Increase in maximum loan amount from $500,000 to $2,000,000 (policy)
Key Changes in Effect as of September 8, 2021:
[Click the "Read More" link for archived blog updates]
Positive trends improve industry outlook; uncertainty and waning consumer confidence could impact long-term rebuilding
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vanessa Sink, Media Relations Director, National Restaurant Association
Washington, D.C. (August 31, 2021) – Today, the National Restaurant Association released a mid-year supplement to the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report, which illustrates the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the restaurant industry. The report provides an updated look at key indicators and trends influencing the industry’s recovery as of June/July 2021, including the current state of the economy, workforce, and food and beverage sales.
Key findings include:
“Faced with one of the most devastating and disruptive events of our lifetime, the restaurant industry has taken significant strides toward rebuilding over the first half of 2021,” said Tom Bené, President and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “Consumer expectations around dining out have changed, and the industry is continually adapting to not only meet, but exceed, these expectations. Restaurant operators, along with their partners throughout the supply and distribution chain, remain focused on providing diners with a safe and enjoyable experience, amid rising food and labor costs and challenges related to the pandemic. Given these factors, our outlook through the end of the year is one of cautious optimism.”
Labor and Food Costs Remain Top Challenges
July marked the seventh consecutive month of staffing growth, translating to a net increase of 1.3 million jobs in the first half of 2021. Despite these increases, eating and drinking places remain nearly 1 million jobs or 8% below pre-pandemic employment levels. Operators also continue to grapple with higher input costs, with wholesale food prices increasing at their fastest rate in seven years.
Technology, Outdoor Dining, and Alcohol To-Go Are Here to Stay
The pandemic catalyzed many changes in the restaurant industry including the rapid consumer adoption of technology for online ordering, electronic payment, and order pickup. Consumers want to see restaurants continue incorporating technology and are keen to continue using outdoor dining. In 31 jurisdictions, thanks to approved legislation, consumers will be able to continue ordering alcoholic beverages with their takeout.
The Threat of Delta
In the first half of 2021 industry trends were positive, but there is still a long road ahead. A National Restaurant Association survey, conducted Aug. 13-15, found that the delta variant of COVID-19 threatens to reverse the gains made in the first six months of the year.
“The trends from the first half of the year are promising, but a lot of uncertainty remains in regard to the delta variant, consumer confidence, and ongoing labor challenges,” said Hudson Riehle, Senior Vice President of Research for the National Restaurant Association. “We expect restaurant pent-up demand will remain high in the coming months. However, in this state of flux, maintaining the availability of on-site dining with few capacity restrictions will be critical to keeping the overall sales momentum going forward, especially for full service operators.”
The National Restaurant Association will continue to monitor the effect of COVID-19 on the industry in the coming months and plans a full State of the Restaurant Industry Report in early 2022.
Click here to download the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Mid-Year Update, sponsored by Sage Intacct.
About the National Restaurant Association
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.
Residents Should Have Say on Sales Tax on Meals
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 12, 2021
Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs, ORLA
503.851.1330 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Wilsonville, OR– The Cannon Beach City Council voted to approve a 5% sales tax on meals by a 3-2 vote, leading to a second reading on July 14th, 2021, to either ratify the sales tax or, if it fails, open the door for the City Council to place a measure on the ballot this November. The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) opposes the sales tax on meals in Cannon Beach and believes the residents of Cannon Beach deserve to have their voices heard.
“It’s unconscionable Cannon Beach City Council would even think about enacting a sales tax on restaurants after the last 16 months our industry has suffered through but it’s especially troubling they would choose to do so without asking for a vote of the people,” said Greg Astley, Director of Government Affairs for ORLA. “The restaurants fortunate enough to survive the wildfires, ice storms and global pandemic we’ve been through are still struggling to hire enough people to fully re-open and try to recover from their significant financial losses.”
Astley continued, “Although one City Councilor claimed residents would not be affected by the tax and therefore the sales tax on meals should not go to a vote of the people, nothing could be further from the truth. Residents will pay the sales tax on meals every time they go out to eat with friends and family unless they choose to stop patronizing local restaurants in favor of establishments outside the city limits.”
Beyond the obvious unfairness of asking one industry to shoulder the burden of paying for services everyone will benefit from, ORLA has outlined several other reasons why voters should be allowed to weigh in on a sales tax on meals:
Astley concluded, “At the very least, the people of Cannon Beach deserve to vote up or down on this sales tax on meals. An even better solution for the City of Cannon Beach would be to consider an Economic Improvement District or similar mechanism where the burden of raising revenue falls more broadly than on just the struggling local restaurants.”
The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association is the leading business association for the foodservice and lodging industry in Oregon, which before COVID-19 provided over 180,000 paychecks to working Oregonians.
[update 7.1.21] 2021 Legislative Win for ORLA
SB 317A – Allows holder of full on-premises sales license to make retail sales of mixed drinks in sealed containers for off-premises consumption.
Restaurants and Bars Among Hardest Hit by COVID-19 Pandemic
[July 20, 2020 - Wilsonville, OR] – The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA), in partnership with the National Restaurant Association, recently completed a statistically significant survey around To-Go Cocktails, drinks made with distilled spirits for takeout, pickup or delivery to go along with meals purchased by guests.
The survey, conducted July 3-6th, shows 72% or nearly three in four Oregonians, said they would favor a proposal allowing customers to purchase cocktails or mixed drinks (made with distilled spirits) with their takeout and delivery food orders from restaurants. This is in addition to beer and wine, which is currently allowed.
Support is highest among those between the ages of 24-39 at 83%, with respondents between the ages of 58-74 showing the least support at 66%. Twenty-eight percent of adults said they strongly favor the proposal. Fifty-nine percent of Oregon adults said they purchased takeout or delivery food from a restaurant for dinner during the week before they were surveyed.
ORLA President and CEO Jason Brandt said, “This is so encouraging for our members who have struggled just to stay open and keep people employed.”
Brandt continued, “This has been an incredibly difficult time when restaurants and bars have struggled to deal with the challenges of being shut down, having to pivot to offer only takeout, pickup or delivery and then trying to invite guests back into dining rooms and make them feel safe and comfortable. Knowing almost three out of four Oregonians support the option to purchase cocktails or mixed drinks to go with their meals means some restaurants and bars who might have previously had to close down actually have a chance to make it now.”
Allowing customers to purchase cocktails or mixed drinks (made with distilled spirits) for pickup, takeout or delivery requires a statutory change, meaning the Oregon Legislature would need to make the change to state law. Thirty other states currently offer To-Go Cocktails including Washington and California.
“From a public safety perspective, if more businesses are able to offer the service of delivery of alcohol to their customers, the need for those customers to physically go into stores and businesses is reduced, thus reducing the risk of community spread of COVID-19,” said Brandt.
Recognizing the need to help those who may have difficulty with alcohol addiction, ORLA’s website outlines a number of resources available to individuals, as well as training information to aid in prevention. More information on these resources and trainings can be found at OregonRLA.org/crisis-services-and-training.
For more information please contact Greg Astley, ORLA Director of Government Affairs at 503.851.1330.