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Industry News

The Innovative Hotels That Are Making Travel Better in 2018

Not all that long ago, it seemed a distant dream to enter your hotel room without a key or find more than one outlet in the room. A hotel gym with more than one or two out-of-date treadmills and a window? (Vogue)

Industry News

How the Best Restaurants in the World Balance Innovation and Consistency

The restaurant industry is notorious for being competitive, risky, and low-margin. This is no less true for the world’s most acclaimed high-end restaurants. (Harvard Business Review)

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James Beard Foundation names America’s Classics

A Peking Duck specialist in Chicago, a Sicilian Pizzeria in Boston’s North End, a tamale shop outside of Yakima, Wash., a hot dog stand in Tucson, Ariz., and a Vietnamese bakery in New Orleans all will join the ranks of the James Beard Foundation’s America’s Classics. The award is bestowed on restaurants “that have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community,” the foundation said in a release announcing the awards, which were introduced in 1998. (Restaurant Hospitality)

Industry News

Red Lobster’s plan: Kitchen upgrades, small-plate dishes

NEW YORK – What’s on the menu for Red Lobster’s future? Delivery, online ordering and snack-friendly dishes, such as fries topped with cheese, fried clams and a layer of chowder. (San Antonio Express-News)

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Wyndham Hotels to buy La Quinta hotels

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation will acquire La Quinta Holdings Inc.’s hotel management business in a $1.95 billion cash deal announced Thursday. The acquisition will be completed in the second quarter of this year, bringing Wyndham’s portfolio of hotels to more than 9,000 properties and 21 brands. (USA Today)

Industry News

McDonald’s sets recycling goals for 2025

NEW YORK — McDonald’s says it aims to use all recycled or other environmentally friendly materials for its soda cups, Happy Meal boxes and other packaging by 2025. The world’s biggest burger chain also wants all of its 37,000 restaurants worldwide to recycle customer waste by that year. (Daily Herald)

Industry News

Starbucks tests no-cash policy at downtown Seattle store

Starbucks is experimenting with refusing cash at a posh location in downtown Seattle. Since Tuesday, your money is no good at the cafe inside the Russell Investments Center unless it’s in the form of plastic. (Seattle Times)

Industry News

Trade groups band together to boost US tourism

The NRA and nine other business trade groups have created a new group called Visit US Coalition that aims to grow the United States’ reputation as a vacation destination and increase the number of visits by international tourists. Traveler spending in the US dipped 3.3% last year, according to the Commerce Department. (Bloomberg)

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High-tech hotels: Technology continues to get an upgrade at hotels

When you’re staying at a hotel — a phone call to the front desk used to be the best way to get more towels or order room service. But these days, texting is taking over. (Fox6)

Industry News

Trends come and go, but perennial favorites are forever

As part of our 2018 What’s Hot Culinary Forecast, we asked 700 professional chefs to share diners’ Top 10 perennially favorite foods. If you guessed shellfish, barbecue or gelato, you’re right on trend. (National Restaurant Association)

Industry News

Coffee Flights Take Off

The wine world has long known tasting small pours side-by-side is the best way to learn. Get ready to apply that method to another beloved beverage: coffee. (Wine Enthusiast)

Industry News

How the Amazon Prime mindset has changed fast casual dining

When was the last time you ordered something from Amazon Prime? If you are anything like me, it’s probably where you did a fair amount of your holiday shopping over the last couple of months. (SmartBrief)

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Cold brew coffee isn’t a fad, it’s a big part of Starbucks future

Starbucks partnered with Joyride Coffee Distributors to bring draft cold brew coffee to its foodservice accounts at hospitals, bookstores, college and university campuses and offices. Cold brew is one of the fastest growing products on Starbucks’ menu, and can cost as much as 20 percent more than Starbucks’ regular iced coffee. (CNBC)

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China strategy built on digital marketing and home delivery could drive US growth for McDonald’s

The use of digital marketing, electronic payments and delivery have helped McDonald’s develop a unique growth strategy in China that could serve as a role model for its home market in the United States, said the head of Citic Capital Holdings, the financial services arm of the group that co-owns 52 per cent of the fast-food chain’s China and Hong Kong business. Zhang Yichen, the Citic Capital chief executive and chairman, told the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong on Monday that the use of digital marketing, combined with delivery services, had been an important growth driver for the Chinese market. (South China Morning Post)

Industry News

GUEST BLOG: LODGING TAX

Generating and improving local tourism is critically important to all communities, residents, and businesses in the state of Washington. Recently, however, our members have expressed challenges with the local lodging tax process and the transparency in the use of these dollars. (Washington State Association of Counties)