Washington Restaurant Weekly: Liquor Control Board holds hearing on prohibiting channel pricing

Washington Restaurant Weekly: Liquor Control Board holds hearing on prohibiting channel pricing https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/WARestaurantWeekly-388x198.jpg

On Wednesday, the Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) held a public hearing on its proposal to prohibit restaurants and bars ability to negotiate for price on spirits and wine. The LCB’s proposal would prohibit price differentials based on any other reason except for volume. Even agreements based on volume, but delivered to separate locations or have periodic deliveries would be prohibited.

The Washington Restaurant Association provided input from more than 100 restaurants across the state, and were joined in opposition by large and small grocers, wineries and distributors. Read the WRA’s letter of opposition to this proposal here.

In addition to the comments provided by restaurants, the WRA provided the LCB with three separate legal opinions that stated that the proposed rules violate the current law allowing for price differentials to be negotiated on any “bona fide business factor” that does not violate federal anti-trust law. The WRA also requested the LCB refrain from considering the proposal until a Small Business Economic Impact Statement (SBEIS) was completed. By law, the LCB is required to analyze the impact of proposed rules when they have a disproportionate impact on small business.

Listen to the entire Washington Restaurant Weekly:

Yesterday’s public hearing was just shy of the one-year anniversary of Judge Price’s ruling, in Thurston County Superior Court, invalidating dozens of rules adopted by the LCB, due to failure to complete an SBEIS and take into account their impact on restaurants. The board’s failure to again conduct an SBEIS, as required by law, is both alarming and disappointing.

The LCB is scheduled to decide on the rules next week, but may postpone the decision to properly consider all of the input provided yesterday – or to hopefully reverse its decision not to conduct an SBEIS.

Highlights from WRA’s wage, benefit and operational survey of Seattle restaurants

Now online is the summary of the WRA’s survey of 400 restaurants, conducted during early 2014. Among the findings were that, as of 2013, Seattle full service restaurants had an average net income of four percent before taxes; 62 percent of restaurants that responded to the survey did not earn enough profit, in 2013, to meet fundamental capital investment “pay off” plans; directly tipped employees, such as bartenders and servers, average more than $28 in hourly income; and 80 percent of the full service respondents would either lay off employees, close a location, declare bankruptcy or close their business in response to a $15 minimum wage. Click here for the full summary of the survey.

Poll: public opinion shifting on $15 per hour minimum wage

The OneSeattle Coalition announced the results of a public opinion poll that showed a major drop in support for immediately increasing Seattle’s minimum wage. The telephone poll, conducted April 10-13 by DHM Research, showed 47 percent of 400 likely Seattle voters support and 48 percent oppose increasing the minimum wage to $15 per hour, in 2015, with a phase-in for non-profits and businesses with 10 or fewer employees. DHM Research conducted a telephone survey of 400 likely voters in the city of Seattle. A previously released poll by EMC Research, in January 2014, reported 68 percent support and 25 percent opposition to a $15 minimum wage.

“What these numbers show is that opinions are changing as more facts and analysis comes to light,” said Louise Chernin, president and CEO of the Greater Seattle Business Association. “We look forward to continuing the conversation and finding a way forward that works for Seattle.”

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Cheese and wheat prices tumble, fuel costs are up

After months of rising cheese prices, restaurateurs got some relief when this commodity finally took a tumble during the week of April 6-12, dropping 17 cents from $2.38, on the Chicago Mercantile, to an average of $2.21. Unfortunately, cheese prices remain almost 60 cents higher than they were one year ago.

Cheese prices closed on April 7 at $2.30, on April 8 at $2.26, on April 9 at $2.18, on Thursday at $2.16 and on Friday at $2.17. Wheat prices also fell for the week, averaging $7.11 on the Minneapolis Grain Exchange, in contrast to an average of $7.30 during the previous week. For the full article, click here.

Don’t miss Hospitality Breakfast Forum, May 6

Join the WRA and the Education Foundation on Tuesday, May 6, at the Food Services of America offices in Everett. Tickets are $20, and include three seminars on the state of the industry presented by industry leaders, including WRA President and CEO Anthony Anton. The ticket also includes breakfast served by Western Food Marketing, and sponsored by FSA, along with ERNwest. For more information, watch this video. Register online.

DineNW broadcast now available online

Don’t miss last week’s DineNW radio show now available online. Host Paul Schlienz talks with Scott Samuel of the Culinary Institute of America and Jennifer Faught, owner of a Zip’s Drive-in, ProStart alumna and recipient of the Spokane Chapter of the WRA’s Quick Service Restaurant of the Year Award. This program, broadcast live last Wednesday on Tacoma’s KLAY AM 1180, is now available online.

Categories: Archive