2016, A Year for the Books…….

gregg-fraser2016 was a year full of great strides and interesting challenges. The state of our Country is uncertain with the recent Presidential election. What will happen to minimum wage? What about the Affordable Care Act (ACA)? Will the incoming administration be supportive of the food service industry? We will be pushing to make it so. Currently, the Food Service Industry as a whole is booming. Over $780 Billion Dollars Nationally. With a Million plus restaurant locations across the country, it is projected that almost 2 Million new restaurant jobs will be created by 2026.

Here locally, Hawaii is pacing to hit over $4.5 Billion Dollars of restaurant generated revenue in 2016. With approximately 6,000 restaurants in the State. Currently, Hawaii employs over 90,000 food service workers. Which represents 15% of employment in the State. In the next 10 years, Hawaii is projected to increase to nearly 100,000 food service employees.

As we all know, just by driving down Ala Moana Boulevard and through Kaka’ako, Hawaii is experiencing huge growth in construction. With all of the new buildings comes new restaurants. Waikiki continues to reinvent and add on new culinary concepts from around the World. But with growth comes challenges; the need for staff, reduced operating expenses and enhanced marketing opportunities has made it difficult for some to compete. As more dining options arrive, an operator needs to be more and more savvy so as not to have menu prices create a negative reaction for customers.

Restaurants need to take the focus off of price and look towards cuisine and enhanced customer service to attract and retain a healthy customer base. People don’t mind paying a little more for exceptional service and a culinary experience that they tell all their friends about.

2017 will be a very exciting year for the food service industry. The Hawaii Restaurant Association and Hawaii Restaurant Association Educational Foundation have some great things planned in support of the Industry. Check out www.hawaiirestaurant.org for information or contact us at 808-944-9105.

We look forward to supporting the entire food service industry for many years to come.



Gregg Fraser

Executive Director

Hawaii Restaurant Association

For more information contact: HRA Office 808-944-9105   info@hawaiirestaurant.org


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