Weekly Update: Seattle City Council general election ballots have dropped! Voting deadline is November 3

Weekly Update: Seattle City Council general election ballots have dropped! Voting deadline is November 3 https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WashingtonRestaurantWeekly_WebsiteBanner-467x198.jpg

This November, every Seattle City Council seat is up for election. Ballots dropped on October 13, and the general election will be held on November 3. If you are in Seattle, the outcome of these races will impact your business, and each race will be very close. Don’t forget to vote! Help elect the candidates that have the hospitality community’s best interests in mind. If you do not receive your ballot by early next week, call King County elections at 206.296.8683. The Seattle Restaurant Alliance (SRA) – along with the Seattle Hotel Association (SHA) – support Seattle City Council candidates who, among other things, commit their time to understand and learn about the economic challenges facing the hospitality sector, willingly engage with the hospitality industry, and invest in the vitality of the hospitality industry and the local economy and community. After an extensive candidate evaluation process, the SRA has endorsed the following 2015 Seattle City Council candidates for the general election:

Many of these candidates will need help with last minute election efforts such as door-belling, phone banking and fundraising. We encourage you to engage in these efforts! They are great opportunities to meet and talk with the candidates about the issues important to you and your business. Candidate contact information can be found on their individual websites. For more information about our endorsed candidates and the districts they are running in, click here to view our candidate map. For more information or questions, contact out the WRA’s Morgan Hickel at morganh@warestaurant.org.

Tacoma minimum wage election will have big impacts on public and private sectors

The private sector is not the only segment of Tacoma that is keeping a close eye on the outcome of the city’s minimum wage election. Public sector agencies are also planning ahead of the November vote on raising the minimum wage to see how the outcome will affect their budgets. Some agencies say they can absorb the costs of a $12 minimum wage in their existing budgets, but the $15-an-hour scenario could mean cuts. The WRA supports Tacoma’s carefully-crafted Initiative 1B, which would raise the wage floor — in measured steps — to $12 on Jan. 1, 2018, adjusting it for inflation over the following years. In contrast, the $15 Now-supported Initiative 1 would do enormous damage to Tacoma’s private sector. For more information on how you can get involved in supporting Tacoma’s Initiative 1B campaign, contact the WRA’s Samantha Louderback at samanthal@warestaurant.org.

GAC meetings a big success – coming soon to a location near you

This week the WRA held regional Government Affairs Committee meetings in Kennewick and Spokane. A vibrant gathering of hospitality members and lawmakers attended to discuss the legislative agenda for next year as well as the successes of the 2015 legislative session. Members were also able to weigh-in on the association’s policy goals explained in the WRA’s issue matrix. The matrix is a document that outlines the expected political agenda of state lawmakers by subject, the level of priority for the subject (high, medium, low), the WRA objective, current status, next steps and who from the WRA team will be working on the issue. The feedback from members on this document is critical. The WRA will hold four more similar meetings around the state. We are your voice in Olympia and we hope to hear from you. We encourage you to attend any of the following meetings:

  • Bellevue (October 19, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Maggiano’s, 10455 N.E. 8th St.)
  • Seattle (October 20, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Orfeo, 2107 3rd Ave.)
  • Battle Ground (October 26, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Mill Creek Pub, 1710 S.W. 9th Ave., Ste. 101)
  • Burlington (October 28, 10:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Flyer’s Restaurant, 15400 Airport Dr.)

For more information you can contact the WRA at 360.956.7279 or email JuliaG@warestuarant.org.

Mama’s Mexican Kitchen and Chrysalis Inn & Spa on DineNW radio show – now online

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz interview Mike McAlpin, owner of Mama’s Mexican Kitchen, Seattle’s oldest Mexican eatery. Ross Boylan then joins Andy to interview Mike Keenan, owner of Bellingham’s Chrysalis Inn & Spa and Keenan’s by the River.

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: Self-serve beer concept makes a big splash

Self-serve soda machines have been a fixture of quick service restaurants for many years. Now, the self-serve concept has come to beer. While the number of fast-casual restaurants and gastropubs providing self-serve beer systems remains small, this innovation will inevitably be coming your way. Not only do these systems cut labor costs, they also boost revenue by encouraging guests to sample what would otherwise be a confusing list of exotic beers on a traditional menu. The technology has another attraction for restaurant operators: It measures and charges by the sip – a big moneymaker while also reducing labor costs related to bartending. Read more…