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Column: McDonald’s to drop foam packaging by year’s end

McDonald’s will stop using plastic foam cups, which keep drinks icy cold but make environmentalists red hot, by the end of this year. The world’s largest restaurant operator quietly disclosed the decision on its website, along with its plan to use recycled and certified sources for all of its fiber-based packaging by 2020. (Chicago Tribune)

Industry News

Scholarships Immediately Available to Grow Workers’ Skill Sets and Create Career Pathways

OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 9, 2018 – The Washington Hospitality Association is currently offering scholarships aimed at connecting workers with skills improvement classes for hospitality employees. Through a new Incumbent Worker Training (IWT) pilot program, these opportunities are available to all hospitality employees in the state. (Winebusiness

Industry News

California bill would require hotels to ban guests accused of harassment

Two California state assemblymen have proposed a bill that would require hotels to equip housekeepers with portable “panic buttons” they can press when threatened. Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance) and Bill Quirk (D-Hayward) co-authored the bill, which is the first of its kind to be proposed on a statewide basis. (Travel Weekly)

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Romaine lettuce suspect in deadly E. coli outbreak in US and Canada

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating a deadly E. coli outbreak that Canadian health officials say is tied to romaine lettuce. As of Friday, 58 cases have been reported across the U.S. and Canada, and two people have died. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

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Restaurants report mixed results in early look at earnings

The annual ICR Conference kicked off on Monday in Orlando, Fla., prompting some public restaurant companies to pre-release earnings results. ICR is typically the first event of the calendar year in which executives from mostly public companies — but also some private companies — present a look at their operations to institutional investors, private-equity firms, Wall Street analysts and media. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

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Judge dismisses lawsuit against Starbucks for underfilling lattes

A class-action lawsuit accusing Starbucks Corp. of underfilling lattes was thrown out by a judge in Oakland, Calif., on Friday. U.S. district judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers found insufficient evidence that Starbucks systematically cheated customers by underfilling lattes. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

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Hilton experiments with the hotel room of the future

MCLEAN, VA–The room of the future is being mapped out in a space tucked away near the lobby of a suburban hotel in Northern Virginia. Hilton’s new Innovation Gallery at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner is filled with products that may soon find their way into a hotel guestroom. (USA Today)

Industry News

Restaurants report mixed results in early look at earnings

The annual ICR Conference kicked off on Monday in Orlando, Fla., prompting some public restaurant companies to pre-release earnings results. ICR is typically the first event of the calendar year in which executives from mostly public companies — but also some private companies — present a look at their operations to institutional investors, private-equity firms, Wall Street analysts and media. (Nation’s Restaurant News)

Industry News

Latin cuisine offerings in the US will expand with regional, reimagined dishes

Latin American foods and flavors were on trend this year, and the cuisines of Mexico and Central and South America are showing up in many analysts’ predictions for the top trends of 2018. Peruvian cuisine will continue to gain steam in the new year after captivating consumers and chefs alike in 2017. (SmartBrief)

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Chefs rally behind bee-friendly policies

Bees may not save the planet, but they are vital to plant life that humans depend on for food. Across the country, chefs and restaurateurs are rallying to save the hives. (Restaurant Hospitality)

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Radishes steal the vegetable spotlight

An unlikely star emerging from the boom in plant-based cuisine is the radish, a humble root vegetable that until recently has received relatively little love from chefs. Its meteoric growth rate, which market researchers at Technomic peg at 300 percent last year, actually took off just prior to the trend in vegetable-forward foods. (Restaurant Hospitality)

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This Is What the Future of Food Looks Like, According to Chef Marcus Samuelsson

Chefs and restaurant operators can help change the food industry for the better by making environmentally conscious choices when it comes to sourcing and emphasizing healthy, plant-based meals, chef Marcus Samuelsson writes. (Time)

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Starbucks, Papa Murphy’s among fastest-growing restaurants in U.S.

Starbucks and Papa Murphy’s are among the fastest-growing publicly traded restaurants in the country, bucking the trend across the U.S. where many restaurant chains are struggling. While Starbucks’ investments in digital and mobile has driven its business, Papa Murphy’s is looking to partner with third-party delivery companies as an option in about a quarter of its 1,550 stores. (Puget Sound Business Journal)

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Motel 6 ‘provided US immigration officials guest names’

US hospitality chain Motel 6 provided US immigration authorities with guest lists in violation of anti-discrimination and privacy laws, according to a lawsuit filed by the Washington attorney general. The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday, says that between mid-June 2015 and May 2017, more than 9,000 people staying at six Motel 6 locations in the state of Washington had their driver’s license numbers, license plates, date of birth and other forms of personal identification handed over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, which handles deportations from the interior of the US. (Al Jazeera)

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What hotel guests can expect in 2018

What’s ahead for hotel guests in 2018? When it comes to fees and surcharges, hotel guests are wondering: What’s next? (Seattle Times)