Could you imagine a World without restaurants? – Executive Director’s Message

Restaurants have always played an essential role in the business, social, intellectual and many aspects of our day to day lives. Most of us have met our significant others in restaurants, my parents met in a restaurant, so I guess I owe my existence to the restaurant industry. In business, we’ve sketched world changing ideas and planned billion dollar success stories in restaurants. In Fact, Elvis’ first Las Vegas contract was written on a restaurant tablecloth.

Restaurants are often taken for granted, if one closes, there is always someone to take their place. We all have our favorite restaurants; Breakfast spots, lunches, quick bite and dinner places. And we like these places for a number of reasons; the service, the food, the value, even ambiance and accessibility play into these decisions of where we eat out. This has been true for centuries.

The word Restaurant comes from the French word restaurer ‘provide food for’ or ‘to restore’. The first restaurant of record in America is the White Horse Tavern which started as an Inn in 1673 and added a tavern one year later. Eating establishments in the 17th century were created to feed the guests at the Inn.

We have come a long way since White Horse Tavern and are faced with a whole new list of challenges. But just imagine what they went through, it must have been rough feeding people with limited resources; no walk-ins, no 8 burner Wolf stoves, no convection ovens…….and probably no health inspectors.

Today we are fortunate, not only do we have systems in place to keep our customers safe, but also the technology available to us to create new and exciting culinary offerings to keep our customers coming back. Just think about which of your customers consider your restaurant as their “Favorite”. Ask a few of your regulars, you might be surprised……..

For more information on Industry concerns, contact

Gregg Fraser, Executive Director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association.

Hawaii Restaurant Association   2909 Waialae Ave. #22   Honolulu HI. 96826   808-944-9105

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