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News Room Washington Hospitality Weekly Washington State

Weekly Update: Special legislative session ends with approval of new state budget

This year’s special legislative session finally ended after lawmakers approved a supplemental budget adding $191 million in new state spending. The budget avoids new taxes, but allows the state to tap $190 million in emergency funds in response to damage from last year’s Central Washington fires.

Industry News

Chefs cook up globally inspired fast-casual fare

Quickserve and fast-casual menus have gained new global flavors thanks to an increasingly diverse group of chefs including Jason Kupper, who has introduced Jamaican Bao, Braised Pork Tacos and Crispy Falafel Pita at Heritage Eats in Napa, Calif. “We’re not trying to serve dishes you see everywhere else. We’re trying to do things that are cutting edge in our mind and that bring authenticity,” he said. (QSR)

Industry News

More Women and Minorities Now Own Restaurants, National Restaurant Association Says

In a recent report released by the National Restaurant Association, women and minority-owned restaurant businesses have grown phenomenally between 2007 and 2012 in 48 states. Women-owned restaurant businesses grew three times faster than the overall restaurant industry in the 5-year period, increasing by 40 percent. (Small Business Trends)

Industry News

Yelp adds health scores to restaurant reviews

Want a health inspection grade with that dining review? Starting Wednesday, Yelp, the go-to online resource for restaurant feedback, is now supplementing user reviews of dining experiences with venues’ county health inspection scores and letter grades. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

Industry News

Technomic: Gen Y fuels retail demand for prepared meals

Some 84% of consumers buy prepared meals from retailers at least once per month, up from 79% in 2012, according to Technomic. The trend is fueled by a rise in demand among millennials, 60% of whom said they’re making fewer quickservice restaurant visits. (MediaPost)

Industry News

Chipotle may create a fast-casual burger concept

Chipotle Mexican Grill has applied to trademark the phrase “Better Burger” with an eye on launching a burger concept, a spokesman said Wednesday. In addition to its namesake burrito chain, Chipotle has launched Asian-inspired ShopHouse and Pizzeria Locale. (Boston Globe)

News Room

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Restaurants put out welcome mat for Millennial moms

Naturally, restaurateurs want to connect with this vital demographic with very different expectations and interests than their elders in Generation X (born circa 1961-80) and the Baby Boom generation (born circa 1943-60).

Full Service Lodging Programs Quick Service Uncategorized

Have you had your cost centers audited?

Many business owners are taking advantage of cost center audits and finding lost revenue. You want to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company that is not trying

News Room Uncategorized

Video: Adopting New Restaurant Technology To Expand Your Clientele

Hear a conversation with industry experts about how restaurants are successfully using customer data to inform their marketing and product decisions. With Anna Tauzin, National Restaurant Association Innovation and Entrepreneurial Services and Doug Hunter, The Plant Cafe Organic (From Day Two of the 2016 NWFSS in Seattle, WA)

Industry News

McDonald’s Will Soon Let You Order A Big Mac With Your Smartphone

Ordering a McDonald’s (MCD – Get Report) Big Mac may soon be as easy as tapping a button on a smartphone. “We will be piloting ordering capabilities through mobile in some geographies outside the United States this year,” McDonald’s chief digital officer Atif Rafiq told TheStreet in an interview. (TheStreet)

Industry News

Food delivery is a growth area for Groupon

Groupon has expanded its OrderUp restaurant delivery service to parts of Richmond, Va., teaming with about 40 restaurants that offer dishes via the OrderUp site and mobile application. The service is already available in about 40 US markets. “Food and beverage is one of the most important categories in the Groupon marketplace,” said spokesman Nick Halliwell. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Industry News

Some restaurants face pressure to trim menus and staffs under California’s wage hike

California businesses are concerned a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022 will hurt profits and may put some out of business. Restaurants will have to raise prices and make menu and operational changes that will let them operate with fewer employees, said Selwyn Yosslowitz, president of the eight-unit Marmalade Cafe chain. (Los Angeles Times)

Industry News

Butter, lard, more make a big, fat comeback

A truly dramatic shift in Americans’ eating behavior is playing out in the area of fat consumption. Animal fats, demonized for decades as prime contributors to obesity and heart disease, are being rehabilitated as new research calls their culpability into question. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

Industry News

Latin American cuisine is a natural fit with healthy-dining trend

Chefs are increasingly drawing on the bold spices, fresh produce and flavorful cooking methods that are the building blocks of Latin American cuisine to create the healthy dishes diners crave. US consumers’ growing familiarity with authentic Latin American cuisine is spurring a rise of these flavors on menus at a range of restaurant concepts. (SmartBlog)

News Room

How good are we at gender diversity?

Lorna Donatone never expected she’d one day be recognized as one of the foodservice industry’s most successful executives. But since cruising into the business in 1999, she’s taken her place in its upper echelon of leaders.