Gregg Fraser
Executive Director
Hawaii Restaurant Association

The Hawaii Restaurant Association takes us into the New Year.

It’s exciting times for the restaurant industry.

 

The Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA) will be stepping up its support while ensuring a favorable environment for all to thrive in the foodservice industry.
We do this via the following:

[A] Legislative Advocacy:
Biggest issues currently faced include labor, health care reform and new bills that propose changes that would negatively impact the industry.
HRA is active at the capitol, communicating to lawmakers how these issues impact the foodservice industry.
[B] Networking & Community Engagement:
The sharing of best practices among peers plus recognizing and rewarding the unsung heroes of our industry who make a difference in the communities they serve.
[C] Education & Future Employee Development:
The HRA tracks Hawaii restaurant industry key performance indicators to provide operating bench marks, and works with the Department of Education & Community Education centers to make ready the next generation of food service talent entering the work force.
[D] News-Resources-Support:
HRA sources industry news from around the US and the world to ensure that members are kept up to date with the latest developments and best practices. From food safety to talent deployment and development, we will absorb the best articles and condense them into digestible facts and quick reference.
We also recognize our local leaders, trendsetters and ambassadors with our annual events like the Hall of Fame Dinner and Employee Appreciation and Excellence Awards.
[E] Special membership discounts and savings from vendors providing specialty services to the HRA Members and the Hawaii Foodservice industry.
The HRA website provides the link to thousands of dollars in saving for our members. All vendors are background checked and tested to ensure true value and product/service integrity.

 

When the foodservice industry reached the end of 2015, it did so with sales of $761.24 billion, a growth rate of 2.3 percent in real terms. Expect the industry to grow at a rate of 2.5 percent in 2016. On a segment-by-segment basis, sales at limited-service restaurants, including quick-serve, will increase by 2.2 percent; full-service by 2.5 percent and bars and taverns by 1 percent. Among the sub segments, fast-casual will remain at the top with a projected sales increase of 8 percent, followed by supermarket prepared foods at 6.5 percent.

 

There are a number of factors that HRA is involved with to help drive these numbers.

 

HRA is looking for more ways to increase the labor force in the foodservice industry. For a variety of reasons, labor represents the most complex and perplexing issue for foodservice operators from all segments — one that could keep the industry from reaching a full revenue potential. Hawaii is experiencing its lowest unemployment rate in over 6 years. With the number of new restaurants opening, HRA is working with a number of companies that focus on training and preparing individuals to work in foodservice.

 

Operators will face further pressure from the public and local municipalities due to the ongoing minimum wage debate and the need to provide benefits, specifically healthcare, to entry-level employees. So, without question, labor costs will continue to apply pressure to operators’ bottom line. Exactly how much pressure? HRA projects labor-related costs could increase anywhere from 50 percent to 100 percent in the next 5 years.

 

Who will pay the price for these increases? It’s likely the customer. Many operators will have to increase menu prices to cover the cost increases. If you have good operational effectiveness, it makes this easier. But consumers will need to get used to paying higher prices.

 

Government represents an issue that’s even more perplexing than labor. In fact, 23 percent of operators feel government is the top issue that will impact their business moving forward, according to the National Restaurant Association. It’s not any one factor that concerns operators but a variety of them, including minimum wage increases, the impact of the Affordable Care Act, recent National Labor Relations Board rulings on the franchise model and much more. HRA is keeping you informed as to what comes from our local and the national legislative sessions.

 

A key factor to prepare for the future is the operators willingness and ability to invest in customer-facing technology that will help them with future growth and success.

 

In fact, one out of three consumers report the availability of technology impacts their decision to dine out. This covers a plethora of technologies, including mobile apps, in-store kiosks, tableside tablets and unlocking the potential of digital menu boards. These products do more than make a restaurant appear more contemporary. They give operators more control over their businesses. HRA is continuously researching new technologies to bring to the Hawaii foodservice industry.

 

Technology allows staff to not only target customer service but also impact sales through suggestive selling. Now the technology exists to facilitate real-time education that ranges from information to where the food is sourced to how it’s prepared. And an educated customer is good for the restaurant industry. A lot of these technologies have potential to drive incremental sales. That includes driving sales through loyalty programs and even having the flexibility to adjust prices by daypart.

 

Successful implementation of technology will become more than an operational imperative; it will allow restaurants to shape their guest experiences long before the customers place an order or walk through the front door.

 

While the foodservice industry may not move at a much faster speed in 2016, thanks to the impact of technology and a variety of other factors, the coming year’s journey promises to be anything but dull. It is the American dream. Anyone can rise up through the ranks to own and run their own restaurant. From dishwashers to waiters, if the passion burns inside of you, the sky is the limit. No other business category offers more opportunity.

 

Let us help you get more business. Log on to www.hawaiirestaurant.org and see the events that we will be suggesting to our extensive list of members and industry partners. Become a member today!

 

Our Membership Committee is continuing to enhance the benefits that are available to our members. Check out the “Member’s Special Offers” section of our website that features discounts and money saving offers for our Restaurant and Allied Members alike. HRA also has a number of facts and resources that will help you be more productive and prosperous in your business.

Vision:

The Hawaii Restaurant Association is the organization unifying, representing and supporting the Hawaii restaurant and food service industry.

Mission:

The Hawaii Restaurant Association is the organization unifying, representing and supporting the Hawaii restaurant and food service industry.

The Hawaii Restaurant Association supports the industry and its membership with:

  • Members Only Discount Programs
  • Networking Opportunities
  • Events
  • Legislative Lobbying on Current Issues and Concerns
  • Industry Updates
  • Industry Data and Resources for Businesses
  • Dual Membership with the National Restaurant Association

Quality Services

The foodservice, hospitality, restaurant, and tourism industries are part of the foundation for Hawaii’s economy. Hawaii has over 3,500 food service locations directly employing more than 90,200 hardworking people. The Hawaii Restaurant Association works hard to improve these industries with all of our professional services.

Board of Directors

HRA is governed by a regional representative Board of Directors. Each of them serves a two-or three-year term.  The aim of this experienced team is to ensure that the HRA provides the most effective services and representation possible for the restaurant, food service, hospitality and tourism industries.