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  • New Global Directors Join the 2018-2019 HFTP Board

    The HFTP 2018-2019 Global Board of Directors was installed during the association's 2018 Annual Convention and introduces new directors Toni Bau, Carson Booth, CHTP and Mark Fancourt. These extensive director profiles give insight into the distinguished professions and personal goals of HFTP's newest association leaders.

  • Members Only: 2018 HFTP Compensation and Benefits Report

    By Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA. Results to the biannual survey conducted by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP). Information includes data on compensation and benefits trends for finance and technology professionals in the club and lodging industries.

  • Primary Club Metrics

    Survey results identify which metrics are most often used to determine performance. By Agnes DeFranco, Ed.D., CHAE; Tanya Venegas, MBA, MHM, CHIA; and Amanda Belarmino

  • Introducing 'Your HFTP': An Updated Online Interface for HFTP Members

    HFTP is excited to announce the newly updated “Your HFTP” online account portal. “Your HFTP” allows you to successfully manage your HFTP membership online. This refreshed online interface looks and feels just like the HFTP website and (better yet) is mobile-responsive.

Going Green: Are restaurant owners, managers, and consumers on the same page?

CAL Poly Pomona ·23 April 2019
"Americans crave foods that not only nourish them but also help sustain the planet."That is what was reported in the National Restaurant Association's annual What's Hot Culinary Forecast survey. Trends of "zero-waste cooking," "hyper-local," and "veggie-centric/vegetable-forward cuisine" made to the top 10 list for 2019.The good news is some big restaurant chains, such as Starbucks and McDonald's, have already taken actions in responding to these sustainable trends even though a recent study also suggests that consumers might not want to make a lot of effort themselves to eat at a green restaurant. Do owners, managers, and consumers think alike when it comes to the critical green attributes that matter the most to the restaurant business?Restaurant owners, managers, and consumers represent three different stakeholder groups in the restaurant business. According to the stakeholder theory, various stakeholders of a business may show particular interest in certain aspects of operations based on their interests. In this case,Will consumers value those green practices about their own well-being (e.g., serving organic or healthy food) more than others?Will managers pay more attention to those practices that can help them improve restaurant operations?Will restaurant owners focus more on the green practices that can help them increase profits?Do these three stakeholders have different expectations about consumers' willingness to make extra efforts to dine at a green restaurant?With those questions in mind, I conducted a study with Yung-Kuei Huang, an assistant professor at National I-Lan University in Taiwan, where we asked 386 consumers, 115 restaurant managers, and 80 owners to rate the importance of the exact 12 green practices that a restaurant can undertake on a 7-point Likert scale (1 = "Not Important At All"; 7 = "Extremely Important"). All informants resided in the United States at the time when the data was collected. The results are reported in the International Journal of Hospitality Management[1], including the following highlights:The top 3 green attributes rated by restaurant consumers, managers, and ownersConsumersMinimizing harmful waste (5.61 in a 7-point Likert scale)Participating in recycling programs (5.59)Using recyclable products, such as paper towels, toilet paper, take-out containers, and so on.ManagersPracticing energy efficiency and conservation (5.71)Practicing water efficiency and conservation (5.67)Serving organic food/ingredients (5.59)OwnersServing organic food/ingredients (5.96)Serving locally grown food/ingredients (5.84)Practicing energy efficiency and conservation (5.70) + (tied) Practicing water efficiency and conservation (5.70)Consumers' willingness to make extra efforts to patronize a green restaurantWhen being asked if they believe consumers are willing to make extra efforts to patronize a green restaurant, owners (96.25%) are significantly more likely than managers (85.02%) and consumers (63.04%) to say "yes." In other words, close to 40% of consumers stated they were unwilling to make any extra efforts to dine at a green restaurant, whereas only 14.78% of managers and 3.75% of owners expected consumers would do nothing extra.In this study, consumers' "extra efforts" were further measured with three different specific items, including "percentage increase in price," "increase in wait time," and "increase in travel distance." Once again, managers and owners are more optimistic than consumers, including:Percentage increase in price: 19.02% (average score among consumers) vs. 33.66% (managers) and 31.85% (owners)Increase in wait time (in minutes): 19.70 minutes (consumers) vs. 19.99 minutes (managers) and 23.69 minutes (owners)Increase in travel distance (in miles): 14.70 miles (consumers) vs. 21.30 miles (managers) and 29.80 miles (owners)Conclusions and ImplicationsConsumers, managers, and owners of the restaurant business have their own priorities in terms of what green practices matter the most to a restaurant. Restaurant owners and managers are generally more optimistic than consumers on the extra efforts that a consumer would make to dine at a green restaurant. Restaurant managers and owners, as well as the suppliers who sell green products and restaurant equipment, are highly encouraged to refer to the research findings as they develop effective marketing communication strategies towards these three stakeholder groups.It is good to see airlines, restaurants, and hotels are switching to more sustainable products because consumers expect more than just their own well-being. Are we doing enough in sustainable tourism? What immediate and future actions can restaurants take for our planet and a greener future?[1] Please visit https://authors.elsevier.com/c/1Yv9u-JjxbRS0 for the free access to this journal article until June 5, 2019.

Your Wine List Needs Branding Too

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·23 April 2019
Of course, we are talking about branding and marketing as much as we are talking about the physical alcohol inventory. While most of this critical exercise will be handled by the restaurant, the hotel and the marketing department, the wine list must still match the greater vision if it is to truly shine. Importantly, it needs a cohesive brand if it's going to do its job as effectively as possible - that is, make you money!For this, I've come up with the fun acronym of C.A.M.E.R.A. so you can take a big 'picture' look at your broader beverage strategy with seven key guidelines to help you craft a menu that doesn't induce yawns, sneers or apathy - three emotions that hardly make guests want to whip out the credit card.Congruency. To repeat the obvious, all alcoholic offerings must fit with the restaurant's theme and its intended clientele. It must be a harmonious effort to tell a consistent narrative. For example, if you're opening a fancy, thousand-dollars-per-meal steakhouse, then, sure, stock a few bottles of Mouton Rothchild. But if you are running a bustling pizzeria designed for lots of covers and fast turnovers, you might consider only a few whites and reds to simplify the decision process. I've even seen a swanky trattoria realize incredible success with only one house red for a buck an ounce.Approachability. Although not necessary the same as affordability, there is a significant overlap. While there will always be the high rollers and special occasion diners willing to splurge on expensive champagne or a rarified Bordeaux, such individuals run contrary to current restaurant trends. The future of dining is one of reasonable pricing and sampling the unknown while still inviting patrons into in environment that's fun and enlightening. With the millennial cohort now acting as the guiding force for new concepts and openings, start to think about small batch, craft infusions, exciting glassware, tasting flights, wines with a story behind them and all without any egregious sticker stock.Memorability. If you were to distill your restaurant's beverage offerings down to one single sentence, one phrase, one elevator pitch or one quintessential drink that will be the bell of the ball on Instagram for next five years, what would this be? Consumers nowadays are so bombarded with media and businesses vying for their attention that sometimes the only way to cut through the noise is to simplify your concept down to its most emotionally titillating component. Once you find that, work to amplify it and complement it to round out the drinking experience.Exceptionality. In a nutshell, if all you have in stock is what's also offered at the local liquor shop, then whoever built your wine list is just plain lazy. True, one can make the argument that what's familiar to guests is what makes it approachable and thereby increases sales, but I would argue strongly for the opposite point of view. After all, if what you have on your beverage list what's available at the convenience store down the street, then you're also giving your customers a direct price comparison so they can see just how much you're ripping them off! Instead, it is the unique twists and subtle differences in both the beverages themselves and their presentation to each guest that will earn you buzz, return visits and the ability to justify a higher price.Regionality. As an offshoot of both memorability and thematic congruence, diners nowadays want to delve into the story of a specific geographic area. Even if only for that one meal experience, they want to immerse themselves in a culture, time and place, for which your wine list is but one element of the overall equation. For instance, a trend of late for which I'm a big fan has been the hyper-regionalization of traditional European eateries. No longer can you simply open an Italian or French restaurant and hope to garner any level of sustained attention without an edge, like a Michelin chef or celebrity benefactor or some sizeable marketing oomph. Instead, people are opening Sicilian, Genovese, Provencal or Savoyard restaurants, with the beverage selections narrowcast on each respective territory's local produce and heritage.Accessibility. Different from approachability, this pertains to the actual physical display for your list. The key here is you want to enhance a patron's sense of discovery while also not inducing decision fatigue. You want your alcoholic listings to be a pleasure to read - that is, legible fonts with breathability on the page - but not too long so that it makes it difficult to come to a final selection within a reasonable timespan. In other words, it's as much an art as it is a science, and definitely a job more suitable to a graphic designer to help you figure out. Still, though, it's up to you to ensure that the list only features the wines and other spirits that best represent your theme. Less is more. And if you have a long list, then consider an abridged version accompanied by a binder or a tablet app for servers to hand out on request to true oenophiles.

Reducing Food Safety Errors and Violations

mycloud HOSPITALITY·22 April 2019
Restaurants are associated with 50% of all foodborne illness outbreaks each year (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 2015 ). Moreover, due to lifestyle changes, increasing numbers of people in westernized countries, such as the United States, eat in restaurants.

Hotelschool The Hague Celebrates Rescued Food with 'Food Rescue Market

green lodging news | By Glenn Hasek· 9 April 2019
During the past two years an enthusiastic team of teachers and students have saved almost 40,000 kilos of food, which has been turned into delicious dishes and products. Recently, this team organized a Food Rescue Market to make the new students aware of food waste and to introduce them to the way Hotelschool encounters this. Ten different food rescue companies participated in the market, giving students the opportunity to taste dishes made of rescued food.
Article by Thomas Mielke & Andrew Hazelton

AETHOS Takes a Deep Look at Leadership in The (US and UK) Restaurant Sectors

AETHOS Consulting Group · 5 April 2019
AETHOS Consulting Group, the leading global hospitality-focused human capital and leadership advisory firm, conducted survey research and reviewed data to uncover common traits while also comparing leadership longevity in the restaurant sector as compared to that of the lodging sector:AETHOS' latest US-based research focused on Restaurant Operations Executives and evaluated a curated group of high performers in senior operations roles using its proprietary 20|20 Skills psychometric assessment. In doing so, AETHOS discovered a common success profile. The research revealed that the superstar leaders are characterized by a mixture of marked and nuanced competencies across the categories of Execution, People and Cognitive Skills.Explains Andrew Hazelton, AETHOS' Philadelphia-based Managing Director and author of this study, "The successful executives keep their 'threats' in check by maintaining self-awareness, perspective and realistic expectations of others. And, more than ever, how results are achieved is a significant part of the equation for an individual's personal success and the company's culture and brand equity." For more of Hazelton's article visit this link.AETHOS' London-based Managing Director Thomas Mielke has also studied traits in successful restaurant executives to determine how to properly apply these skill sets (or place the individuals themselves) in the lodging discipline. With a hotel's restaurant and bar offering suddenly in the limelight now more than ever, the lodging sector is increasingly focused on how to turn the business around and boost profitability. Generally speaking, restaurant businesses (in hotels) have tweaked concepts, lured guests with celebrity chefs, altered layouts and rolled out open lobby concepts. Increasingly, though, attention is being diverted to replacing senior leadership with executives from the restaurant industry."The number of times our international clients in the lodging sector have sought assistance to poach and retain senior executives specifically from the system chain restaurant or contract catering industries (and even the retail sector) has probably quadrupled in the last 24 months," shares Mielke. "Hoteliers have identified certain skill sets and character traits that these 'industry outsiders could bring to the table and that could be helpful in the accommodations discipline." Yet, says Mielke, "not all players in the hotel and lodging sector are as open to take on board senior leaders from other sectors, nor do they appreciate what it takes -- financially speaking -- to secure some of the talent."To review Mielke's SWOT analysis and read the article in its entirety, click here.A separate research study by Mielke looks at the longevity of the UK-based Restaurant CEOs. A review of the leadership teams at some of the UK's prevalent fast casual and casual dining restaurant operators appears to indicate that spearheading a restaurant company is a "very hot seat" with far more instability as compared to CEOs in lodging, for example.Looking at the average tenure of an organization's last two CEOs, as well as at the tenure of the incumbent CEOs, and analyzing the CEO-'churn rate,' Mielke reviewed the dining operations companies and determined:- Approximately 25% of the CEOs surveyed have been in their role for a maximum of 1 1/2 years; besides a few long-standing industry veterans, there are a number of senior executives who have fairly recently joined their organizations. In fact, since 2016, there has been a reliably high number of changes in the C-Suite, typically around five per year;- The average tenure of the last two CEOs is meant to provide and additional measure of the stability of the leadership teams at the UK's leading system chain restaurant organizations. With an average of nearly five years across the surveyed companies, the sector is miles behind the hotel industry and even more unstable as it relates to the C-Suite. The tenure of incumbent hotel CEOs already stands well above that figure, with more than nine years;- The CEO "churn rate" indicates the turnover during a three-year time period for the organizations included in the study. Notably, several restaurant brands have a churn rate of 100% (or more), indicating that there is a revolving door of CEOs joining and leaving organizations. In fact, this is the case with nearly 25% of the surveyed companies. An additional 25% have a churn rate of 67%. In other words, these companies have had two CEO changes in the last three years. Read this for the further details of this study.
Article by Thomas Mielke

The 'Hot Seat' of a Restaurant CEO

AETHOS Consulting Group · 3 April 2019
AETHOS recently reviewed the stability of the C-Suite at the Top50 largest hotel organisations across the globe (click here). The findings revealed that CEO turnover at these management companies has remained relatively low - at 8% in 2018. The 10-year average stands at just below 10%.In very stark contrast, AETHOS conducted a recent study of the leadership teams at some of the UK's prevalent fast casual and casual dining restaurant operators. The study indicates what many have pointed out for a while now - spearheading a restaurant company is a very 'hot seat' indeed.It should be established that these organisations obviously only represent just a subsegment of the industry, but the brands are certainly amongst the more prominent ones on the high street. The peer group is thus only a snapshot, but a very relevant one. Looking at the tenure of the incumbent restaurant CEOs, the average tenure of an organisation's last two CEOs, and analysing the CEO 'churn rate,' the numbers depict an industry that is seemingly defined by short-term fixes.The tenure of incumbent restaurant CEOs helps to assess whether we are presently in 'times of change.' On average, the current CEOs have been in their position for just about four years. At first sight, those are not too bad numbers. Yet, looking at additional data points provides a clearer picture: 25% of the CEOs have only been in their role for a maximum of a year and a half - in other words, besides some long-standing industry veterans, there are quite a few senior executives who have fairly recently joined their organisation. In fact, since 2016 there has been a reliably high number of changes in the C-suite - typically around five per year. It is hereby noteworthy to highlight that we have already seen five CEO departures since December of last year. Although the Top50 hotel companies have also recorded between four and five CEO changes during that same time period, those represent a much lower percentile of the surveyed group.The average tenure of the last two CEOs is meant to provide an additional measure of the stability of the leadership teams at the UK's leading system chain restaurant organisations. With an average of nearly five years across the surveyed companies, the sector is certainly miles behind the hotel industry, and a lot more instable as it relates to its C-suite - the tenure of incumbent hotel CEOs already stands well above that figure, with more than nine years... Again, it is noteworthy to highlight that a few very long-standing restaurant CEOs skew the picture as 25% of the surveyed restaurant organisations have had their last two CEOs for only two years and a couple of months each - leaving very little time to those executives to develop, implement and subsequently adjust and/or amend a business strategy.The CEO 'churn rate' indicates the turnover during a three-year time period for the organisations included within the study. Remarkably, several restaurant brands have a churn rate of 100% (or more), indicating essentially that there is a revolving door of CEOs joining and leaving the organisations (e.g., Bill's, Byron). In fact, this is the case with approximately 25% of the surveyed companies. A further 25% have a churn rate of 67%; in other words, these organisations have had two CEO changes in the last three years (e.g., PizzaExpress, Wagamama). In stark contrast, only one hotel company has had two CEOs in the last three years (Millennium & Copthorne).Data seem to suggest that the restaurant industry is more volatile than the hotel space and that the CEO seat is a lot less secure than in the accommodation sector. Additionally, findings appear to indicate that - most likely heightened by the recent turbulent times as it relates to M&A activity, economic uncertainly and a higher level of competition - 'instability' within the UK restaurant industry has remained high throughout the last few years. This is not only depicted in the number of restaurants which the likes of - for example - Prezzo, Byron, Carluccio's and Gourmet Burger Kitchen have had to close during 2018 (Giraffe and Ed's Easy Diner are already following suit), but also in the changing faces in the board rooms of those organisations. In essence then, data appears to show that business shareholders are not willing to wait for long-term solutions, but instead opt for (potentially) short-term fixes. This is indicative of an industry that, as pessimists might say, is fighting for survival. On the flip side, optimists might suggest that the industry is merely adapting to change, with business owners pursuing a strategy in which one is happy to fail, but where one wants to fail fast and then move on.By looking more closely at the CEO churn rate, one might find evidence supporting the latter view of the optimists - whilst approximately 50% of the surveyed companies have a churn rate of at least 67%, the other half of companies have not had any CEO changes in the last three years. The market is therefore split in half. On the one hand, there are companies that seem to have struggled to adapt to current market conditions or where the initial gumption and leadership from the brand founders have been difficult to replicate in their successors. On the other hand, there are those companies in which leadership has successfully ridden the turbulent waves of the recent past. Most interestingly, a great majority of these organisations are playing within the fast casual dining segment (such as, for example, Nando's, PizzaHut and TGI Friday's).Be that as it may, for one reason or another, the restaurant industry remains highly volatile - or agile - however one wants to spin it. Arguably, some of the CEO turnover can be attributed to the fact that some CEOs may have opted to 'cash in' when private equity ownership groups decided to exit their investment. Other investors, upon rapidly expanding the footprint of their brands, may have recognised that the incumbent CEOs are not 'fit for purpose.' Yet, whilst change should be embraced, surely some companies may want to take a closer look at, for example, the Casual Dining Group, and see what can be learned from its CEO Steve Richards, who has been in place since late 2013. Then again, he has just announced his departure, leaving in May to join Parkdean Holidays...

How Hotels Can Evolve and Reinvigorate Food & Beverage to Boost Profits and Elevate Guest Service

runtriztm ·28 March 2019
Just two years ago, Hotel Online reported that hotel food and beverage wasn't yet a thing of the past but that it appeared to be dying--that is unless hotels did something to revive it. Room service, the article reported, had become too costly and some hotels had taken to partnering with nearby restaurants for room service to cut down on the constant staffing it requires to keep food and beverage service in-house. Others had gone toward a convenience store model, offering a limited selection of foods that guests could purchase at the front desk; however, I have yet to see any property do this well enough to satisfy the bulk of guests. I agree that some things should die, like the in-room telephone perhaps, but room service can still elevate the guest experience while bolstering revenue. Rather than delete a service that has long been a staple of the guest experience, hotels might consider that food and beverage has merely been out of line with what guests want. Here are the two most important factors when it comes to breathing fresh life--and reaping solid returns--from food and beverage operations.Going Social and Local Doesn't Require a Total OverhaulLodging Magazine reports that travelers in 2019 want immersive experiences, and Hotel Online says that "F&B is the campfire to gather around." Both suggest that bringing local flavors--whether via a reinvigorated menu or a pop-truck--is paramount to staying relevant. Part and parcel to making food and beverage more of an experience, many hotels are adapting their public spaces to feel more akin to social spaces and integrating their dining into the common areas. Social and local go hand-in-hand and shifts to the delivery of these services don't have to be budget busting. Even a limited service hotel can feature regional coffees in the lobby where travelers might congregate before heading out together. And local celebrity chefs aren't a must-have. Putting tacos on the menu in Texas and adding grits and pulled pork to the line-up in Tennessee are simple nods to location.Combine menu revisions with convenience. Give travelers the technology to order food at any location on the property. This satisfies both the introverts, who want to dine in the peace of their room, as well as the socialites who want to order food to the lobby, where they can skim through their phones while waiting for friends to stop by for cocktails. Here, they can order apps that come directly to their coffee table, or the pool or the courtyard. Unleash room service across the property using technology with proximity locators, and the sheer convenience will generate revenue.Room Service: Still in Demand, But Better Than EverEven some of the editors at Conde Nast Traveler for whom travel is a culinary adventure are in favor of room service for the experience of relaxing in their room, maybe with a view, in their pajamas after a long day of pounding the pavement in a new city. There will always be naysayers when it comes to room service, but by and large many travelers still want the option. Consider business travelers who may take calls all evening in their room or families with exhausted and hungry children. For some travelers, access to room service isn't just nice, it's essential. Statista reports that 45% of travelers say that room service is particularly important. The only hotel service more important is WiFi. When it comes down to choosing between two hotels on the same downtown block, many travelers will opt for the one that offers dining options.So how do hotels make it sustainable? Technology. Technology that allows guests to order and pay via their mobile devices, ideally to any location on property can shift both guest service and revenue. Michael Marino, SVP of Marketing and Chief Experience Officer at Caesars, tells Hospitality Technology that because of their use of Runtriz Pay, a mobile application that allows mobile flexibility around food and beverage, "with around the clock instant access to ordering and payment capabilities, guests spend more. The self-serve orders also incur less labor expense since they don't require a live order-taker."Taken a step further, Lodging Magazine reports that food and beverage tracking systems, "are more comprehensive and available to the entire F&B team at the click of a button. All this allows for an easier, faster, and more accurate system with improved food safety and service."Consider that most guests by now have used some combination of curbside grocery delivery (a.k.a. click-and-collect) or door-front delivery from the likes of Instacart and Amazon Prime. The online grocery market has increased by the billions every since 2012 and is anticipated to grow from $22 billion in 2019 to $29.7 billion in just the next two years, notes Statista. Consumers are willing to pay more for their groceries in both cost-per-item as well as extra convenience fees in return for the ability to order online, skip the checkout aisle, and receive the items they want in the most convenient way. These same consumers are your hotel guests, and guests have become accustomed to the opportunity to order and consume wherever they want. Shifting the focus of food and beverage from outdated room service models to convenience-focused, flexible models with a nod to local tastes can reinvigorate food and beverage for years to come.Travel can be the greatest pleasure and a draining challenge, at times. The job of hoteliers is to make it more enjoyable, to give travelers a place to land comfortably. For most travelers, easy access to dining options is still an essential comfort.

Starbucks Testing New, Greener Cups

mycloud HOSPITALITY·28 March 2019
Sipping your hot coffee from a paper cup that you can recycle or compost in your community. Enjoying a cold coffee beverage with a recyclable, strawless lid instead of a conventional plastic straw. And checking the Starbucks mobile app to see the journey of your packaged coffee beans as they were grown, processed, traded and roasted.

Food Scene - How Melbourne Managed to Become Australia's Gourmet Capital

Marie Nieves ·26 March 2019
For many people who like to travel, experiencing the food of other cultures plays a big part when it comes to deciding what place they'd like to travel to next. Melbourne is a place that offers many options to its visitors - whether they'd like to enjoy fine dining, casual coffee drinking in one of its coffee shops or simply brunching in a cozy laneway restaurant, every food aficionado is sure to be pleasantly surprised by the diversity this city is known for. Let's take a look at the factors that shaped Melbourne into the culinary capital of Australia.Cultural diversityAs a city that is home to around half of the inhabitants who were born overseas, Melbourne can be described as a multicultural melting pot. The presence of numerous cultures resulted in each of them leaving their own mark in terms of cuisine. Food can serve as a stepping stone towards getting to know a culture that is different from ours, and foodies in Melbourne are known for their willingness to give everything a try thus discovering a part of some culture. There are numerous cuisines from all around the world that offer their traditional meals to visitors touring this city - you can try Chinese dumplings when in Chinatown and borsch soup can be found in a Russian restaurant, while their Italian immigrant population made it possible for visitors to take a sip of strong, Italian espresso or cappuccino. Melbourne's multiculturalism is what makes this place unique - its embrace of different cultures serves as its main tourist attraction.Catering as a part of a food sceneEvents like annual presentations and meetings with clients are great opportunities for collaboration and networking, but other than the venue, they require accommodation in terms of food. That's when catering companies come in handy - they offer a more intimate and private atmosphere when compared to restaurants, and the best part about them is their flexibility when it comes to creating a menu for your guests. Catering is a part of the Melbourne food scene and it offers a variety of menus that can be altered to fit your requests. Opting for tailored catering in Melbourne is a great way to leave a good first impression and is sure to wow your potential business partners or give your existing colleagues and partners a memorable experience. The ability to choose the style of presenting the food at an event gives you a chance to craft the atmosphere of the event and set the tone of it. What's more, menus are made with seasons in mind, so you can opt for a BBQ in the summer or some warm, hearty meals in winter.Melbourne Food and Wine FestivalSince 1993 when the first ever Melbourne Food and Wine Festival was held, it's been a synonym for the celebration of cuisines from around the world. It includes a number of events promoting Melbourne as Australia's gourmet capital - from cooking classes to large lunches, wine tastings and beer brewing tours and tastings - there's something for everyone at MFWF. Every March it attracts thousands of food and wine experts from all around the globe, which goes to show how much Melbourne's food scene has evolved. A few decades back, it was common for Australian chefs to travel to Europe in order to get familiar with the profession and work there for some time to gain experience. Now, it's the other way around - chefs from America, Asia, and Europe are coming all the way to Melbourne in order to sample the very best this gourmet capital has to offer, while at the same time they can get acquainted with innovative approaches that Melbourne food scene offers.An innovative approach to foodThe city's vast multicultural menus have something for everyone. Laneway restaurants offer a variety of different foods waiting to be tried out by curious foodies while cafes give you the chance to enjoy the finest coffee you can find in Australia. When in a restaurant, there's no etiquette or a set of rules or tradition you have to follow - it's a place that gives off a relaxed vibe. It's because of such a relaxed approach to food that the innovations are very common in Australian cuisine. To Australian chefs, cooking is like painting on a blank canvas when the inspiration strikes - no culinary tradition to limit their imagination and no rules to follow. By not following any culinary concepts, they're free to create something new and unseen, like a Japanese taco. Also, there's fierce competition vying for a wider customer base, so there's the omnipresent threat of being stuck in a rut. That's why pushing the envelope and thinking of new ways of creating delicious food is so important in this cultural city.Melbourne is without a doubt a must-visit culinary destination of Australia. It wasn't always like this and its constant growth is inspiring to witness. It continues to amaze its visitors with its world-class culinary art, thus creating an identity for itself and ensuring its place on every foodie's list of must-visit places.

Responding to Change and Guest Expectations

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com·24 March 2019
Hospitality is changing more rapidly now than ever before. Although some is driven by the technological advances that enable us to streamline operations and provide better consumer experiences, most has to do with major shifts in consumer tastes and expectations. This constantly evolving baseline is, for the foreseeable future, the new norm.

Hotel Design: Engaging Millennials Throughout Their Stay

mycloud HOSPITALITY·24 March 2019
Millennials are quickly becoming known as disruptors when it comes to particular areas of business that otherwise have been relatively predictable up until now. Architecture, and hotels especially, are no exception to a shift in paradigm. From the integration of technology, to the creation of open-concept floorplans, what millennials crave is transforming how hotels approach design concepts in order to better attract and serve their guests.

5 Unique Experiences Hotels Can Use To Attract Guests

HEBS Digital ·21 March 2019
But these factors aren't always enough to capture the attention of a traveler long enough to secure a booking. Today's travelers expect more. They expect unique experiences every time they travel. Simply offering free breakfast or Wi-Fi has become expected. They're not anything travelers would share by word of mouth, or online, with their friends and followers.As travelers become savvier and seek out new experiences, the hotel is in a great position to leverage their destination to offer something unique to their guests. Consider recreating one of the five experiences below to drive an increase in direct bookings.1. GET BACK TO NATUREYour hotel doesn't need to be located off the beaten path for guests to experience the peace and tranquility of the outdoors. Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver is located in the heart of one of the most vibrant cities in the world, yet they offer guests the chance to escape it all. The West Coast Wilderness Adventure offer whisks guests away by floatplane from Vancouver to Whistler, where they can explore the village before embarking on a canoe tour. The adventure takes guests through rivers and lakes to enjoy the serenity of nature before heading back into the city.Hotels that want to give guests a taste of the outdoors without flying them to a different location can offer alternative experiences in local parks or recreational areas. Offer guests access to complimentary bikes or give them a credit for bike rentals. Many cities offer bike sharing systems, such as Citi Bikes in New York, that allow guests to rent a bike for the day or even just a few hours. Equip guests with a unique map (whether digital, in print, or both!) that takes them on a tour of your destination. This is an easy, fairly inexpensive way to place your hotel at the center of the best things to do and see in your area.2. RIDE THE WAVEOceanfront hotels have the chance to offer amazing beach experiences for their guests. The Gilded Iguana, a Costa Rica hotel designed for surfers, invites guests to hit the waves with their full-service surfing school. Located just steps away from the region's most famous beach, the hotel has professional surf instructors and surf equipment to provide guests with a seamless experience they don't have to worry about planning themselves.Any hotel near an outdoor recreation area, like a beach or a mountain, can offer amazing experiences to their guests. Waterfront properties can create experiences around fishing, kayaking, snorkeling, and more. Mountain resorts can offer skiing, snowmobiling, or snowshoeing packages. Capitalizing on what experiences are unique to your destination is key to attracting guests. People don't travel to Aspen or Miami Beach to stay inside their hotel room, after all!3. COOK UP SOMETHING SPECIALFood and travel go hand in hand. In Cabo San Lucas, The Resort at Pedregal offers world-class dining at several, stunning restaurant concepts. They also invite guests to learn how to create the unique flavors of Mexico by taking chef-led cooking classes that demonstrate how to prepare authentic dishes within their hacienda-style kitchen.Even if your hotel doesn't have a restaurant, there are still opportunities to offer guests unique ways to experience the local cuisine. Partner with a nearby restaurant that may offer classes or create a custom guide to the best restaurants in your destination. Provide transportation or ride sharing credits (like Uber or Lyft) so your guests can fully enjoy the experience without having to worry about how to get there. Making discovery as easy for the guest as possible is key when creating a memorable experience.4. CREATE ART WITH THE LOCALSA great way to connect with a new destination is through art. An even better way to experience art is to create your own with the help of local artists. At the Ayers Rock Resort, located in central Australia, guests have the option to embark on many different experiences, including art workshops taught by local indigenous people. Attendees learn about ancient symbols and, under expert guidance, have a go at creating their own.Art is all at once universal yet can be very unique to your location. By bringing in local artists to teach classes, hotels can offer guests an experience (and often something interesting to take home!) that is tremendously unique. Guests will have a tangible item for the rest of their lives that they can connect to their trip - and to your hotel.5. GIVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO MUSEUMSMuseums are popular attractions for travelers. Partnering with a local museum can set your hotel apart when travelers are looking for an experience that includes accommodations and admission to local attractions. The Kimpton Alexis Hotel in Seattle celebrated Museum Month in February by offering half-price admission to more than 40 nearby museums.Take it a step further by offering a behind-the-scenes tour, available exclusively through your hotel. Travelers are always looking for ways to go off the beaten path. By providing something unique and special, they will be talking about their trip (and your hotel!) for years to come.In 2019, social media reigns supreme and we all "do it for the 'gram," especially when it comes to travel. Offering one-of-a-kind experiences is an impactful way that hotels can stand out from their competitors. Travelers are more likely to share and post online about their amazing surf experience or a new recipe they learned from a top chef than they are to talk about the hotel alone. Leverage your resources to place your property at the center of the traveler's experience to appeal to more potential guests than ever before.

Food Halls Are the New Food Courts (With an Authentic Twist)

EHL ·20 March 2019
Food halls are everywhere nowadays, from Florence's Mercato Centrale to Lisbon's Time Out Mercado da Ribeira, there is a good chance you stumbled upon one of these gigantic cafeteria-style public markets, where - under the same roof - you can taste different types of foods, see different chefs at work and even buy groceries. Food halls are doing more than just serving meals to hungry locals and tourists: they are designed as a curated experience, where guests can not only enjoy top-notch street-style foods, but fully grasp an authentic flair of the city they are in.Why are food halls all the rage right now?First of all, our food habits have drastically changed and food halls' success has been going hand in hand with how the consumers demand has evolved. Quality-conscious consumers are constantly looking to eat differently every day, while fitting it into their busy schedules. They want to be able to choose from a variety of dishes and products on a daily basis, like to be able to choose from a list of high quality ingredients and try world cuisines.Another reason why food halls have been successful lately are tourists. Tourists on-the-go want to get the most out of their journey in terms of visits and local experiences, which obviously include food, in a limited amount of time. Ordering a "sample platter" with the city's best food while mingling with locals and browsing through aisles of local goods eliminates this issue and packs the most experiential value into one visit.Locals too can take advantage from food halls. In addition to offering a variety of cuisines, they serve as grocery markets and often sell fresh and locally-sourced products, as well as serve as modern public squares where people can spend a night and hang out with their friends.The #foodie culture also contributed to the success of food hallsA foodie is defined as someone who pays attention not only to what they eat but also from where it comes from. By offering fresh food and a variety of experiences grounded in authenticity, consumers directly associate food halls with healthy and high-quality dining. Moreover, foodies have famously risen to the status of social mavens and - although highly annoying for some - a nice picture on their Instagram feed speaks a thousand words in terms of marketing power of these new food meccas. Food halls have then been capitalizing on their social media appeal: with a huge focus on appealing designs and plating, free wifi or open-kitchen concepts calling for on-the-go snaps.New opportunities for chefs and entrepreneursIn a highly competitive marketplace, food halls have also proved to offer opportunities for food entrepreneurs and chefs to test drive different business models and culinary experiences. Designed to organically attract a lot more foot traffic into their premises, food halls have not only removed some of the barriers to entry into the restaurant business, it also allows food entrepreneurs to start serving a lot more customers, at a fraction of the regular startup costs. Jonathan Butler, co-founder of Smorgasburg - the largest open-air food market in the U.S. located in Brooklyn, New York - in a Vox articlesays:We think of ourselves as the biggest small business incubator in New York City. We're a platform for entrepreneurship. In some ways, the most impressive thing we've done is we've democratized and changed the economics of starting a food business.Jonathan Butler - co-founder of Smorgasburg in New York CityThere are many food halls around the world today. Chains are expanding and new ones are constantly created. They have become so popular that their number is expected to triple between 2015 and 2020 and you for sure do not want to miss out on this experience. So when you are traveling, make sure you visit the one closest to you.Some of the best food halls around the world:Eataly (Turin), Quincy Market (Boston), Harrods Food Hall (London), Great Food Hall (Hong Kong), Isetan Food Hall (Tokyo), Lafayette Gourmet (Dubai), Markthal (Rotterdam), Food Garden (Mexico).

In Vino Veritas LXXI: Your Wine List Sucks

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·13 March 2019
Quite the statement to kick off the In Vino Veritas series for 2019, but, sadly, it is too often true. To put it more politely, think of this in terms of a series of questions. What does your wine list stand for? Is it meaningful for customers? Does it fit with the theme and business plan for the parent restaurant?Of course, we are talking about branding and marketing as much as we are talking about the physical alcohol inventory. While most of this critical exercise will be handled by the restaurant, the hotel and the marketing department, the wine list must still match the greater vision if it is to truly shine. For this, I've come up with the fun acronym of C.A.M.E.R.A. so you can take a big 'picture' look at your beverage offerings with seven key guidelines to help you craft a menu that doesn't induce yawns or sneers.Congruency. To repeat the obvious, all alcoholic offerings must fit with the restaurant's theme and its intended clientele. It must be a harmonious effort to tell a consistent narrative. For example, if you're opening a fancy, thousand-dollars-per-meal steakhouse, then, sure, stock a few bottles of Mouton Rothchild. But if you are running a bustling pizzeria designed for lots of covers and fast turnovers, you might consider only a few whites and reds to simplify the decision process. I've even seen a swanky trattoria realize incredible success with only one house red for a buck an ounce.Approachability. Although not necessary the same as affordability, there is a significant overlap. While there will always be the high rollers and special occasion diners willing to splurge on expensive champagne or a rarified Bordeaux, such individuals run contrary to current restaurant trends. The future of dining is one of reasonable pricing and sampling the unknown while still inviting patrons into in environment that's fun and enlightening. With the millennial cohort now acting as the guiding force for new concepts and openings, start to think about small batch, craft infusions, exciting glassware, tasting flights, wines with a story behind them and all without any egregious sticker stock.Memorability. If you were to distill your restaurant's beverage offerings down to one single sentence, one phrase, one elevator pitch or one quintessential drink that will be the bell of the ball on Instagram for next five years, what would this be? Consumers nowadays are so bombarded with media and businesses vying for their attention that sometimes the only way to cut through the noise is to simplify your concept down to its most emotionally titillating component. Once you find that, work to amplify it and complement it to round out the drinking experience.Exceptionality. In a nutshell, if all you have in stock is what's also offered at the local liquor shop, then whoever built your wine list is just plain lazy. True, one can make the argument that what's familiar to guests is what makes it approachable and thereby increases sales, but I would argue strongly for the opposite point of view. After all, if what you have on your beverage list what's available at the convenience store down the street, then you're also giving your customers a direct price comparison so they can see just how much you're ripping them off! Instead, it is the unique twists and subtle differences in both the beverages themselves and their presentation to each guest that will earn you buzz, return visits and the ability to justify a higher price.Regionality. As an offshoot of both memorability and thematic congruence, diners nowadays want to delve into the story of a specific geographic area. Even if only for that one meal experience, they want to immerse themselves in a culture, time and place, for which your wine list is but one element of the overall equation. For instance, a trend of late for which I'm a big fan has been the hyper-regionalization of traditional European eateries. No longer can you simply open an Italian or French restaurant and hope to garner any level of sustained attention without an edge, like a Michelin chef or celebrity benefactor or some sizeable marketing oomph. Instead, people are opening Sicilian, Genovese, Provencal or Savoyard restaurants, with the beverage selections narrowcast on each respective territory's local produce and heritage.Accessibility. Different from approachability, this pertains to the actual physical display for your list. The key here is you want to enhance a patron's sense of discovery while also not inducing decision fatigue. You want your alcoholic listings to be a pleasure to read - that is, legible fonts with breathability on the page - but not too long so that it makes it difficult to come to a final selection within a reasonable timespan. In other words, it's as much an art as it is a science, and definitely a job more suitable to a graphic designer to help you figure out. Still, though, it's up to you to ensure that the list only features the wines and other spirits that best represent your theme. Less is more. And if you have a long list, then consider an abridged version accompanied by a binder or a tablet app for servers to hand out on request to true oenophiles.

AI-Powered Leak Detection & Water Conservation System Launches

Hotel F&B·11 March 2019
WINT Water Intelligence, a leader in water management solutions for commercial and industrial applications, announced the availability of its products and services in the United States.

Rising Capex, Development and Wellness Construction

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com·10 March 2019
Over the last decade, the spa and wellness sector has faced tremendous growth in the hospitality industry. This evolution has significantly evolved over the last few years. Many hotels and resorts have found it increasingly necessary to adopt new performance models, renovate existing structures, and greatly enhance their food and beverage programs. This has also stimulated innovative property updates to accommodations, public spaces and spa and wellness facilities.

Canada's Chef Survey Reveals Dining Trends

green lodging news | By Glenn Hasek· 5 March 2019
Plant-based alternatives and paper straws are now some of Canada’s hottest dining trends, while cannabis-infused products are leading the charge for what’s next, according to Restaurants Canada’s 2019 Chef Survey.

Hotel Restaurants Should Step Up Their Game to Meet the Needs of Today's Foodie Culture

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com·24 February 2019
With "foodie culture" being a relatively non-existent term just a decade ago, things were quite simple. Business travelers and tourists alike were content with concierge-recommended establishments, and easily walkable destinations offering straightforward fare. In many cases, hotel guests were satisfied with the traditional, on-site three-meal-a-day option.

A Creative and a Well-Designed Restaurant Will Make You Order More

Sarah Jessica Smith ·22 February 2019
If you thought that the interior design of any given commercial object had absolutely no impact on the business done inside, you were wrong. Companies give more and more notice to office decor because they know that this way they can increase productivity. Hospitality services are no different as the menu and the staff are just as important as the look of a restaurant on the inside. In fact, some people even decide where to dine solely based on the appearance of the restaurant or a cafe from the inside. That is why good interior design is a must and here are tips on how to create an atmosphere that will make your guests order one more meal, just to admire the decor a bit longer.Going greenBack in the day, restaurants used to timidly place a potted plant here in there, trying to usher greenery through the back door. However, times have changed, or rather; people now lead different lifestyles that acknowledge the importance of plants and fresh air. That is why you have to include as many floral elements as possible in your interior design.You can hang pots from the ceiling and pair them up with vintage light bulbs so it would appear as if the plants are in an incubator, suspended in midair. Another neat solution is to use plants to create booths that are aimed at ensuring privacy. Planters and wines could run from the ceiling to the floor to create separate areas in your restaurant. Finally, plenty of fresh air and natural light go well with greenery, so include these as well by installing a good ventilation system and larger windows that need to be cleaned regularly.Multi-functional furnitureThe lavish dining hall is a thing of the past, as an eco-aware generation is growing up and earning money to pay their own bills. They expect the restaurant they eat in not to waste anything, from food, all the ways to space. That is why numerous pieces of furniture are seen as a huge minus, as multifunctional furniture is in vogue now.In practice, this means that if there are several tables in a line, you are not going to use two chairs per table. Instead, you should place a long bench alongside the wall to accommodate all tables and several chairs on the other side. Also, long winding benches, like the ones seen on squares of big cities are ever more welcoming, as they replace so many individual chairs. In essence, modern furnishing of a restaurant implies minimalism.Fitting out the entire placeIf you own a cafe, you probably have time and knowledge enough to dabble with interior design yourself, without hiring professionals. However, if you are opening a restaurant, then designing the interior can prove to be an overcomplicated task that will distract you from more important issues. You are an entrepreneur, not a designer, so your restaurant fitout should really be left to professionals. It's not just that they will know exactly what to do but they will add the factor of experience because they have experienced numerous times what the public likes. A good piece of advice at just the right time could very well be the deciding factor if your business will succeed. Furthermore, you want the restaurant to open or reopen as soon as possible, so a guaranteed deadline that the fitout company will meet helps a lot. If you were to fit out the whole place yourself, who knows how long would it take!Custom elementsOne of the things that annoys the guests the most is the fact that many features inside the restaurant are industrially made and could be found in diners and cafes all over town. This is bad, because customers will start perceiving your joint as a stock and industrial kind of place that is like any other restaurant they might visit. That is why you should always strive for originality and include elements that are unique.One way to go is to create an overall theme. Many restaurants who serve the national cuisine of one country opt for this option but then again, restricting yourself to a single theme can be dull at time. If you own a Chinese restaurant, you are bound not to be the only one, so if you are stuck with one theme, how can you possibly offer something different.That is why it is better to include unique homely elements, like a sofa, old-fashioned chairs, an alarm clock etc. One table could be made from an inverted sink and the armchairs would be bathtubs cut in half with cushions on them. There is not a single feature you cannot imitate, so let your imagination run wild.Sell the restaurant's look onlineMerely opening the restaurant and handing out some flyers is not enough. When it comes to the quality of food and the service, word of mouth is the best possible advertisement you can get but the decor is unique. You cannot post the savor of beef online but you can share pictures of the inside of your restaurant. Go online and create a profile on social media, posting images both of the empty establishment and when it is full of people during rush-hour. This way, the inside of your restaurant will go out into the world!Design trends change all the time and what people liked in 2018 they will perhaps dislike in 2019. That is why developing an interior style of your own, executing it right, and sticking to it is the best solution.

The Hidden Benefits of Tasting Events

Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited ·15 February 2019
For the two dozen participants, it was a chance to get close and personal with the wine. Here, we were guided through the nuances of several wines of the same grape variety, allowing us to understand the nuances created by the vintage and cellaring processes as well as furthering our knowledge and appreciation of this omnipotent elixir.After all, learning is a lifelong process and should not be restricted to a classroom setting, unless that classroom setting involves a healthy amount of libations. For reference, the varietal in question was pinot gris which happens to be somewhat of an oddity in the world of viticulture because it is a mutant strain of pinot noir and thus not exactly a red or white. This grape's peculiarity was then played out through a hybrid of a vertical tasting (same varietal, same cellaring technique, different vintage) and a horizontal tasting (same vintage, different winemaking process), with the end result being a thorough positive sentiment from the attendees. Admittedly, though, a few thought it could have involved less talk and more wine!These sorts of education-focused wine tastings are not anything new, but they are not used enough in my humble opinion. While this particular form of pinot gris hybrid tasting may be out of reach, the crux of these events are definitely worth pursuing. Here are two other examples that I've experienced to help get you thinking of all the possibilities.First up, the Boston Harbor Hotel eschews lectures for an extensive series of viticulturally themed dinners in their acclaimed Meritage Restaurant. The property's approach reflects a close relationship with their Executive Chef, Daniel Bruce, and some of the finest vineyards throughout the country. Here, the focus is as much on the showcased wines as it is the accompanying food menu designed to express a perfect complement. This year's program consisted of well over a dozen separate mid-week, offseason events, all of which were well-attended and very highly received by guests.Next, I also quite vividly recall a wine tasting we attended at the Four Seasons Grisham Palace in Budapest about a decade ago. Recommended by the concierge, and with nothing else planned, it seemed to be a great opportunity to sample the local produce. One problem, though, was that the entire tasting was conducted in Hungarian and, as the only English-speaking participants, we missed out on most of the educational aspects of the session. Thankfully, the pours were sizeable, the bottles were exceptional and, in the end, I was grateful that I only had to find my way to the elevator!In all three of these cases - as well as numerous others that you can probably recall from your own experiences - the goal is less about profits and more about establishing a relationship between the property and the local community. With wine now produced in all 50 states and growing in per capita consumption, local vineyards must seek direct relationships with the consumer as a means of differentiating themselves within this increasingly competitive environment.The result is a fertile opportunity for you, as the hotelier 'middleman', to establish a partnership or two with regional growers with the incentive being that you can provide these winemakers with more exclusive access to your clientele. Depending upon your location and any alcohol promotion laws therein proscribed, you may already have the chance to work with a wholesaler who can initiate these conversations for you.Apart from providing the wine for the event at no or little cost (depending upon local regulations), the quid pro quo approach would see you take some or all the sampled products onto your wine list, or provide some sort of comps to the vendors during the event. Accordingly, you should plan your wine sampling program carefully, looking to incorporate the appropriate purchases in a diligent and pervasive manner.Overall, as properties continue to seek means of differentiating themselves, wine tasting events can provide an outstanding opportunity for both community involvement and strategic enhancement of your product offering. While these events may not show an immediate return on investment at the outset, they can pay off tremendously insofar as working to help with your unique branding and guest satisfaction.

Promising Food Trends for 2019

Hotel Online·14 February 2019
Your hotel or resort recommends local dining, stocks popular snacks and hosts an in-house restaurant. With shifts in how people choose food and prefer to be served, evaluating guests' needs and desires is crucial in the hospitality industry.

The Hidden Benefits of Tasting Events

Hotel Online·13 February 2019
Finding myself away at a mountain resort for a food and wine festival last year, it was the perfect opportunity to not only participate in a wine tasting conducted by a vintner from a prominent Oregon winery as well as reflect upon the staying power of these types of events.

Are Chatbots useful for restaurants?

Digital Solutions That Just Work!·13 February 2019
For smaller independent restaurants or chains a chatbot can be the most effective tool to attract new customers and communicate with them on the platform they are already using daily – Facebook Messenger. In combination with a Mobile Wallet pass a chatbot can significantly increase the customer lifetime value by increasing loyalty.

Six Senses Zighy Bay's Approach to Healthy Eating

Hotel Online· 4 February 2019
Six Senses Zighy Bay is in the kitchen with its sleeves rolled up and intentions set—healthy guts inside and healthy land outside. What’s cooking is always mindfully sourced and deliciously prepared with nothing wasted. Out with the palm oil, processed food and plastic. In with the planet. Guests enjoy delicious menus during their stay and learn simple ways they can adopt healthier habits at home.
Article by David Mansbach

The Broken Record Discussion - Boardroom Diversity Within The Restaurant Industry

AETHOS Consulting Group · 4 February 2019
While top governance experts have been promoting greater gender diversity for more than a decade, not much has changed within the restaurant industry. These glum statistics say it all.In 2015, of the 392 board seats available among the 45 U.S. public restaurant chains, only 69 were occupied by women (18%).In 2019, of the 414 board seats available among the 51 U.S. public restaurant chains, only 80 were occupied by women (19%).A 1% increase - seriously? In its simplest form, 80% of all consumer spending is driven by women. Logic dictates a board with more female representation encourages deliberative thinking in critical areas such as strategy culture, governance, risk, diversity and shareholder engagement, especially in the restaurant business.When a concept is broken, influencers step in; powerful groups such as hedge funds and mutual funds and governmental bodies are pushing for non-negotiable change.In 2018, California mandated that companies incorporated in the state and listed on a major U.S. stock exchange have at least one female director by the end of 2019 and at least three female directors by the end of 2021.Starting in 2020, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS - the leading proxy advisory firm) will vote "no" on re-election of a Nominating and Governance Chairman if their company does not have at least one woman on their board.This is not a new concept. In 2008, Norway set quotas of 40% female representation, and other western European countries have set 30% targets for female board representation. A vast majority of our global clients agree that executing on this mandate was not easy, but it has paid off incredibly well.Although these accountability measures will apply predominantly to public restaurant companies, I implore the thousands of private restaurant organizations to take this initiative very seriously. While the current restaurant C-Suite and succession planning pipeline is male-dominated, I have personally worked with many extraordinary female executives throughout the industry who can deliver incredible value within the boardroom. Private companies' "keepers of the castle," such as nominating/governance committees, private equity owners, founders, family offices and executive recruiters, need to hold each other accountable and change their thinking around boardroom diversity initiatives.

U.S. Department of Labor Changes Rule for Tipped and Non Tipped Work

Hotel Business Review by hotelexecutive.com· 3 February 2019
The U.S. Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division ("DOL") recently revoked its so-called "80/20 rule" for employees who receive tips. This "rule" had attempted to provide guidance about what happens where restaurant servers and other tipped employees work on tasks that don't directly generate tips, such as rolling silverware or wiping tables. The rule generally stated that where a tipped employee spent a "substantial amount of time (in excess of 20 percent) performing general preparation work or maintenance," the employer could not take a tip credit and needed to pay the employee the full minimum wage.

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