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Industry News

How online travel agencies are ‘dimming’ results on hotel searches

At first, to Christine Compo-Martin, the search results looked like a mistake. As she queried the site for a hotel room in Philadelphia, she found properties without photos. (Washington Post)

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Drinkable desserts are growing on menus

At restaurants across the country, diners are having their dessert and drinking it, too. That’s because a growing number of chefs — some questioning the need to use utensils for a meal’s final course — are increasingly adding innovative, drinkable desserts to their menus. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

Industry News

Hot chicken grows beyond Nashville to become national trend

Nashville’s signature spicy fried chicken is inspiring chefs across the US to create their own interpretations of the dish after KFC started a craze with its limited-time offering. Chefs are experimenting with proteins other than chicken, cooking up everything from spicy rabbit “wings” to crispy pig ears. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

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Delivery is “powerful profit generator” for Panera, CEO says

Panera Bread offers delivery from 122 company-owned bakery cafes and 73 franchise locations, and the company aims to expand delivery to 15% of its system by the end of the year, CEO Ron Shaich said. “Our profits will go up significantly with delivery as we generate more sales per cafe and thereby lower cost per delivery. (Food Business News)

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The next-generation restaurants McDonald’s pioneered in the UK are now headed to the US

McDonald’s has rolled out its next-generation restaurant in parts of Europe, Canada, and Australia, and now the company plans to further expand the program in the United States. The fast-food chain, which has ridden all-day breakfast to turn around its business, hopes that adding technology to its eateries can improve the customer experience and drive sales. (Business Insider)

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Weekly Update: WRA and WLA Finalize Partnership to Become One Hospitality Association

This week, the Washington Restaurant Association (WRA) and the Washington Lodging Association (WLA) finalized a partnership that will lead to the creation of one of the state’s largest trade associations.

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Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Federal Overtime Rule Update

By Paul Schlienz Big changes in federal overtime regulations are in the offing. If you don’t know the new rule and its timetable for implementation, it’s time for you get

Industry News

Hotels Break Out IVs and Oxygen Tanks in Next-Gen Wellness Trends

Hotels are racing to help you unwind. At least, that’s what you’d be led to believe if you’ve been following the flurry of wellness news that is suddenly dominating the high-end travel industry. (Bloomberg)

Industry News

State restaurant, lodging associations finalize merge

Yesterday, two of the state’s leading hospitality associations became one, with the Washington Restaurant Association and Washington Lodging Association finalizing a partnership first announced late last year. The two groups began operations under a joint operating agreement on Oct. 1, combining staff and operational functions in the WRA’s Olympia office. (Business Examiner)

Industry News

Medium plates make economic sense for restaurants, patrons alike

The medium plate is a flexible compromise between traditional entrees and small-plate tasting menus. Medium plates appeal to budget-conscious diners looking for dinner under $20, and restaurants benefit from turning out more streamlined plates with fewer expensive sauces and dramatic garnishes. (Washington Post)

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Restaurateurs are increasingly opening restaurants next to one another

Successful restaurant owners are generally given the opportunity to expand, and many of those that do open their second restaurant right next to the first, counting on name recognition to draw people to the area. “Having things close enough to cross-pollinate, support, etc. is a good thing,” said Ari Weinzweig, co-founder of the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Mich., which deliberately buys restaurants near one another. (Forbes)

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Applebee’s franchisee gives former inmates a second chance

Apple-Metro, which has 36 Applebee’s locations in the New York City area, has provided jobs to a number of former prison inmates, some of whom are now managers. Apple-Metro CEO Zane Tankel meets with these employees personally before they are promoted to make sure they have had an “aha moment.” (Forbes)

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Attract New Business with Optimized Review Sites

The summer months are a popular time for vacation and it’s no surprise that one of the most popular activities travelers look forward to when venturing to new cities is

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Hotels go after Millennials

Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s new hotel for Millennials, which just celebrated the opening of its New Orleans property, is a signpost to the wave of openings targeting these younger travelers in the next few years. Every major hotel company has designed a new brand to appeal to these consumers in their 20s and early 30s whose purchasing power and desire to travel is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. (USA Today)

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Starbucks announces higher pay, other worker perks; might one be purple hair?

Starbucks workers soon will get pay raises of at least 5 percent, but will they also be allowed to sport hair color of their choosing? As employees reacted Monday to a memo from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announcing wage hikes and other workplace changes, some were most excited by the promise of unspecified dress code modifications. (Capital Gazette)