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The unintended consequences of scheduling reform

Discussion of curtailing work-schedule abuses should not encumber the dreams of young people by eliminating the opportunities of part-time work. DESCRIBING the law of “unintended consequences,” author Rob Norton surmised that “actions of people — and especially of government — always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended. (Seattle Times)

Industry News

Controlling labor costs in the new $15 an hour minimum wage world: kiosks, robots, and housekeeping opt-out rewards

“We know from basic economics that capital and labor are substitutes in the production process, and the more expensive labor is, the more incentive there is for firms to substitute capital for workers. It should be no surprise then that restaurants across the country are suddenly more interested than ever before in investing in labor-saving technologies, self-ordering kiosks, automation, and robotics as they prepare to counteract the inevitable spike in labor costs from the $15 an hour minimum wage hysteria that is sweeping the country. (The Free Market Alternative)

Industry News

Hotels Gain Upper Hand Over OTAs

NEW YORK CITY—The balance of power has shifted in favor of US hospitality companies in their strained relationship with online travel agencies, according to Fitch Ratings. Solid industry fundamentals have allowed many lodging brand owners to negotiate more favorable commission rates and contract terms, and hotel brand consolidation will perpetuate this trend, the ratings agency says in a pair of new reports. (GlobeSt.com)

Industry News

Thorn and Kruse talk culinary trends from the NRA show

Kruse Company president Nancy Kruse says this was the year of the alternative. As I write this, Bret, my feet are aching and my head is spinning, both telltale signs that we’ve weathered another National Restaurant Association show. This year’s edition was a real doozy; with 2,200 exhibitors in a whopping 650,000 square feet, it was the best in recent memory. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

Industry News

Chefs lobby Congress for new policy on food waste

Chefs from across the country attended a House Agriculture Committee hearing Wednesday, hoping to raise awareness about the 70 billion pounds of food wasted each year in the US. They voiced support for a bill sponsored by Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, that would update food labels to encourage waste prevention. (New York Times)

Industry News

N.R.A. 2016: What’s driving menu trends

CHICAGO — An “unprecedented shift” in consumer attitudes and expectations toward menus, ingredients and transparency is affecting innovation across all segments of food service, said Nancy Kruse, president of The Kruse Co., Atlanta, during a presentation at the National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show, held May 21-24 in Chicago. “We really are operating in extraordinary times,” Ms. Kruse said. (Food Business News)

Industry News

New York to sue Domino’s as joint employer

NEW YORK SUES DOMINO’S AS JOINT EMPLOYER: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is preparing a lawsuit to hold Domino’s LLC liable as a joint employer with several New York franchisees in a case alleging “systematic wage underpayment totaling at least $565,000,” according to a statement from the office obtained by the International Franchise Association. “The lawsuit seeks, for the first time, a factual finding from the court that the franchisor, Domino’s LLC, is a joint employer of the workers at the 10 franchise locations, and is jointly liable for the wage underpayments to these workers,” the statement said. (Politico)

Industry News

New York City Can Enforce Salt Warnings on Menus, Court Says

Salt must soon be on the menu — very visibly — at hundreds more chain restaurants in New York City, after a court on Thursday cleared the way for the city to enforce a rule requiring many eateries to alert consumers to food items with high salt content. Some chains, such as Applebee’s, T.G.I. Friday’s and Subway, have voluntarily started including the menu icon — a saltshaker in a triangle — with an explanation that items that bear the symbol contain more than 2,300 milligrams, or about a teaspoon, of salt, the daily limit recommended by many nutritionists. (New York Times)

Industry News

4 tips for hiring seasonal employees

A peak in customer demand can be great for any business. But being staffed to meet that demand can be a key to success. (Restaurant Hospitality)

Industry News

Hospitality Needs to Double Down on the Human Touch

The Wall Street Journal recently documented Hilton’s research and development efforts with Connie, a two-foot tall robotic concierge, stationed at the concierge desk. IBM’s Watson powers the responses, which include cursory information about the hotel’s offerings and ostensibly more as it learns and crunches more data. (Skift)

Industry News

‘Clopening’ time: Seattle on the clock for secure scheduling

The subject has been bubbling up in Seattle public discourse for around six months now. Last fall, local progressive labor advocacy organization Working Washington and Starbucks baristas protested their inconsistent and unpredictable work schedules, which labor advocates say act as barriers for low-income workers to scheduling life necessities like college classes or childcare or budgeting living expenses. A few months later, in his 2016 state of the city speech, Mayor Ed Murray highlighted secure scheduling as a key low-wage worker equity issue and said his office would work with the City Council to address it. (Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)

Industry News

Controlling labor costs in the new $15 an hour minimum wage world: kiosks, robots, and housekeeping opt-out rewards

We know from basic economics that capital and labor are substitutes in the production process, and the more expensive labor is, the more incentive there is for firms to substitute capital for workers. It should be no surprise then that restaurants across the country are suddenly more interested than ever before in investing in labor-saving technologies, self-ordering kiosks, automation, and robotics as they prepare to counteract the inevitable spike in labor costs from the $15 an hour minimum wage hysteria that is sweeping the country. For example, Investor’s Business Daily reported recently that fast-food chain “Wendy’s said self-service ordering kiosks will be made available across its 6,000-plus restaurants in the second half of the year as minimum wage hikes and a tight labor market push up wages.” (American Enterprise Institute)

News Room Washington Hospitality Weekly

Weekly Update: Getting Ready for New Federal Overtime Rules

New Department of Labor rules regarding overtime pay exemption thresholds were announced by the White House on Wednesday, May 18.

Blog - Seattle Chapter Full Service Lodging News Room Quick Service

Seattle businesses face fines for non-compliance with all-gender restroom ordinance

The WRA/WLA government affairs team has learned that the City of Seattle is starting to send compliance letters to businesses that do not have gender neutral signage on their single-occupancy restrooms. If a business does not comply within 30 days, it faces fines.

Industry News

Hot and new at NRA Show 2016: Non-GMO, sweet heat and a new food delivery fad

Foods that paired sweet and spicy from yogurt maker Chobani and Mike’s Hot Honey were hot at the NRA Show in Chicago this week. The show’s 2,200 exhibitors also showed off trends including a growing array of non-GMO products, a new trend of tapping driver networks for food delivery and new uses for the chickpea liquid that’s gaining popularity as a substitute for egg whites. (SmartBlog)