Weekly Update: Federal overtime announcement imminent

Weekly Update: Federal overtime announcement imminent https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/WashingtonRestaurantWeekly_WebsiteImageNew.png

While not publicly noticed or confirmed yet by the Obama administration, sources indicate that the Department of Labor and the White House will release final overtime regulations early next week, likely on Monday, May 16. Furthermore, it appears that the salary threshold is likely to be set at $47,000, that there will be an annual adjustment and that the implementation date will be sometime after the November elections. For more information, see this article from Seyfarth Shaw LLP.

FDA considering creating formal definition of “natural” foods

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is looking at the possibility of formally defining the term “natural” on food labeling.  The FDA first announced, in November, that it would seek public comments on “natural” claims on food labeling. This issue has been contentious. Because the FDA has avoided issuing a formal definition, in the past, “natural” labeling of food products has bred many lawsuits and much consumer confusion. The public comment period just ended on May 10. You can read the National Restaurant Association’s comments here.

Initiative 124 – Update

Recently, there’s been one-sided press coverage of the Unite HERE! Initiative 124, in Seattle, by both The Stranger and KOMO TV.  Last week, we told you how WLA successfully challenged the initial ballot title. Just like the recent media coverage, the original ballot title failed to truthfully reflect the substance of I-124. It has been portrayed as a measure to address the health and safety of hotel employees; however, I-124 also includes drastic changes to labor and employment terms favoring collective bargaining agreements. Two weeks ago we highlighted exactly what hotels could be facing if I-124 passes. Press coverage is due to the urgency with which the union must gather more than 20,000 signatures. The union has until August 2 for signatures to be submitted in order to qualify for the November ballot. WLA is actively engaged on this issue and taking steps to protect our hotel members.

Mark your calendars: WRA Spokane Chapter Golf Tournament, June 7

Attention Spokane members: The annual WRA Spokane Chapter Golf Tournament is only a few weeks away on June 7. This great event will be held at the Wandemere Golf Course. Afternoon Shotgun starts at 1 p.m. Registration opens at 11 am. $105 per person. Register here for players and sponsorships. Questions? Contact Robyn@RedLetterEventPlanning.com or 208.244.0601.

State of the Industry Forum, June 8 – Don’t miss it!

The State of the Industry Forum is only a few weeks away. Plan now to attend because you won’t want to miss it. We’ll update our members on challenges facing our industry and give you an in-depth view of this year’s election environment and issues like restrictive scheduling and tip pooling. The State of the Industry Forum will provide the latest information on the current challenges facing Washington’s hospitality industry, helping you better understand and meet challenges facing your own business. Additionally, there will be great opportunities for networking, door prizes, good fun and an excellent breakfast courtesy of our partners at FareStart. This State of the Industry Forum will be on June 8, 7:30 a.m.-noon at the Goodwill Job Training & Education Center, 700 Dearborn Place South, Seattle. Register now.

Perché No and ProStart on DineNW radio show – Listen online!

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, online. Co-hosts Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz interview David and Lily Kong, owners of Seattle’s Perché No. David Faro then chats about ProStart with Monica Miller of the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation.

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Facebook is your friend

If you’re in the hospitality industry and you’re not on Facebook, it’s time to get on it. Most of all, if you aren’t advertising on Facebook, it’s time to learn what it can offer your business and take advantage of it. One of the most exciting developments in Facebook advertising is Dynamic Ads – a way for advertisers to dynamically display their ads to Facebook users based on products they visited previously on the advertiser’s website or mobile app. Read more…