Thursday, April 28, 2011

75 Million Americans Expected to Dine Out on Mother’s Day, According to the National Restaurant Association

Mother’s Day remains the most popular holiday on which to dine out, as the National Restaurant Association projects that 75 million American adults will do so this May 8. According to new research by the Association, nearly half of moms would pick their favorite restaurant if she were to choose where to go for a special Mother’s Day meal. And, more than half of mothers say they enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day with a restaurant meal because it gives them a break from cooking at home.

“Restaurants are at the center of Mother’s Day celebrations, providing moms much-needed reprieve from the chore of cooking at home to instead spend quality time with their family and friends,” said Hudson Riehle, senior vice president of the Research and Knowledge Group for the National Restaurant Association. “Great gift suggestions include taking her out to her favorite restaurant on Mother’s Day, as well as giving her a gift card to that restaurant for future use.”

The National Restaurant Association’s new survey shows that when it comes to meal times, dinner is most popular on Mother’s Day. Fifty-eight percent of Mother’s Day diners say they will go out to a restaurant for dinner on May 8; 32 percent will go out for lunch, 24 percent for brunch, and 10 percent for breakfast. In addition, one in five Mother’s Day diners (19 percent) say they will go out for more than one meal that day.

Kids are also an important part of the mix when dining out on Mother’s Day. Two-thirds of those dining out on Mother’s Day this year say children under the age of 18 will join their dining party.

The National Restaurant Association’s survey also specifically asked mothers about their wishes and preferences on Mother’s Day. When asked about the reason that best describes why they enjoy celebrating Mother’s Day with a special meal at a restaurant, 51 percent say because they do most of the cooking at home and dining out gives them a break. Twenty-seven percent say they mainly enjoy it because a restaurant is a great place to socialize with family and friends, while 16 percent say that sharing a meal at a restaurant creates lasting memories that other gifts can’t. Six percent say they like dining out on Mother’s Day because they’re a foodie and enjoy visiting restaurants for any occasion.

When asked about where they would like to dine for that special Mother’s Day meal, 46 percent of moms said they would prefer their favorite restaurant, regardless of holiday specials. Twenty-two percent would prefer to celebrate at a restaurant that is kid-friendly, 19 percent find Mother’s Day specials most important factor, and 11 percent would like to visit a restaurant they haven’t been to before.

The survey also showed that restaurant gift cards and certificates are popular on mom’s wish list. Approximately one-fifth of mothers (19 percent) said that is their preferred gift this Mother’s Day.

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,000 American adults April 21-23 about their plans for Mother’s Day 2011. The estimate of 75 million Americans dining out this Mother’s Day is based on economic analysis and projections, as well as research conducted by the National Restaurant Association over the last two decades.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oregon Restaurants & Lodging Focus On What Matters - People.

Over 90% of restaurants in Oregon are philanthropic. We are part of our respective communities. It is intrinsic in our industry to give back.

Cousin’s Restaurant in The Dalles is an excellent example of how the restaurant and lodging industry is passionate about supporting and being a part the community.

Below is a letter sent into The Dalles Chronicle by Rev. Clyde Sanda regarding Jack Preston, one of Cousin’s guests who passed away this past week.

Jack’s Table

To the editor:

Working as a chaplain for Heart of Hospice has given me the opportunity to work with some truly amazing people in our community. Every once in a while though, a group of people really give special meaning to the word “community”.

Cousin’s Restaurant employs that kind of people. Jack Preston died last Sunday at 95. One of the highlights of his last few years was his daily lunch at Cousin’s. The staff was his local family. He had his own special table. The hostesses always walked with him, no matter how slow he walked those last few months. The wait staff knew which was his favorite soup of the day (no bread or crackers). The last month or so, when he could no longer drive, they would always ask if he needed a meal to go. I was with him one of the times he fell. The staff was there immediately. One called 911, another rerouted customers to give him privacy, another was in tears. Everyone came to see if he was alright (he was). Finally, Jack got to the point he was bed-ridden and could not leave the house. Whenever we would go to Cousin’s to buy him some soup, they would always ask about him and ask us to tell Jack how much they cared for him. One waitress even bought his soup.

One of the last things Jack said to me was how special the people at Cousin’s were to him. He asked me to let them know. In the overall scheme of life, Jack was just another little old man eating lunch. But the staff at Cousin’s treated him like he was special. They probably have no idea how much their kindness and friendship was to him. He loved all of them. So, the next time you go to Cousin’s, look for the plaque that says, “Jack’s Table.” And remember that we live in a community of very special people.

Love and Blessings to the staff at Cousin’s,

Rev. Clyde Sanda, Chaplain
Heart of Hospice
Hood River

Cousin’s has honored Jack by placing a coffee cup, soup bowl, flowers and a picture of the honored at his table.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Siskiyou Welcome Center Slowly Moves Forward

Ealier this week, Ashland City Council approved use of the city’s water and sewer service for the Siskiyou Safety Rest Area and Welcome Center, a big step forward for a project 16 years in the making. The proposal does come with a few conditions that must be met however: water use is limited to potable purposes only (not for landscape irrigation), welcome center facility must be built within 4 years and have adequate staffing and maintenance, and Oregon State Police must have a substation on site.

Additionally, for the project to move forward, the Jackson County Commissioners must approve an exception to a land use rule, allowing for an exception in city water use outside city limits. The Commissioners have made exceptions before and will bring this issue to the table in May.

As for funding the project, Oregon Department of Transportation must secure about $5 million to build the rest area, with intent to implement sustainable practices. Travel Oregon will be looking at federal funding to help secure the $2.5 million needed to build the welcome center.

Several industry partners were on hand to testify at the Council meeting including Scott West, Travel Oregon, Drew Baily, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, and Matt Folz, Xanterra Parks / Crater Lake. Carolyn Hill, CEO of Southern Oregon Visitors Association, shared travel impact data where the average visitor spends $158 a day in the Rogue Valley, illustrating how the availability of additional information on Ashland and area attractions will convince visitors to stay longer.

Although State Welcome Centers are only one component of the state's overall visitor information environment, they are key in helping to provide visitors with valuable information to enhance their experience in our state.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

You Are Branded For More Than Just What You Sell.








You Are Branded For More Than Just What You Sell.

Branding is a nebulous concept for most. It's a term that is often confused for a logo or an identity. It's an art that is not as simple as painting a colorful shingle, hanging it outside the front door and calling it good.
Branding is a promise that you make to your suppliers, employees, and customers. It's following through on those commitments with everyone that interacts with your brand.
Hopefully, that includes your customer base. Holistic branding reaches out to that life-blood of your business, creating an encounter that embodies the entire experience of a purchase.
Establishing a brand and its promise is up to you. But ultimately, the customer decides what your brand means and what it's worth based on their experience with your business. Customers will give your brand tribute and build a relationship with your brand only when you deliver something unique, consistent and of high value. If your efforts aren't focused on setting your business apart from the crowd and providing a compelling experience then you are wasting energy. Your brand is a reflection of everything you do or don't deliver.

It's common for branding to only be a concern for those managing it or consultants trying to sell you on why it matters. But in today's hyper-competitive market no one can afford to be complacent. Your competition is working diligently on growing their brand; figuratively speaking, they would like nothing better than to steal your lunch and the customers that go with it.


Your Brand's Value

Brand value is likely more important and valuable than you realize. Whether you're aware of it or not, your brand actually has a monetary value. Some big name brands are in the billions – as in ten figures-plus. Not surprisingly, most are worth far less.

According to Interbrand, a branding consultancy and monitoring enterprise that rates brand value yearly, the top 2010 brand in the world is Coca Cola, worth a reported $70.4 billion. The highest rated foodservice brands in the top 100 are: #6 McDonalds at $33.5 billion ; #60 KFC at $5.8 billion; #83 Pizza Hut at $3.9 billion; and #97 Starbucks at $3.3 billion. To be clear, that is what their brands are supposedly worth, not the companies themselves; however, you won't find that value on their profit and loss statements.
Companies like the ones mentioned here focus on protecting and even growing those substantial values by consistently delivering on their brand promises to everyone they touch.
Suffice to say, the Coca Colas of the world have a lot to lose when protecting their brand, but they also have a wider margin for error. The smaller the company, the more vital the need to protect what brand value there is.

So where does a smaller enterprise start? It begins by assessing everything that the company delivers. Every business sells a product and with it an experience. Though most get caught up in selling the product, that is only half of the equation. It bears repeating that the entire brandable experience includes the bigger picture.

For example, you can work tirelessly to creating the perfect braised pork shoulder that you know your patrons are going to salivate over, but if you don't put equivalent resources and attention into the experience side of the purchase, you're only concentrating on half of the customer experience. Courteousness while taking phone call for reservations, the hosts' attitude when seating guests, the promptness of the wait staff attending to the needs of the customer, timing in delivering the food table side, delivering the check and thanking patrons as they go out the door, these all matter. It's the practice of treating the experience side of the purchase with as much attention as the product or service itself; that is what holistic branding is all about.

In piecing together the holistic branding puzzle, it's important to understand touch points. Touch points are anytime an aspect of your brand is experienced by customers, employees, the general public – anyone. Every touch point is your opportunity to add value to your brand or devalue it. Think about the quality and experience of the touch point and ask yourself, "Am I delivering on my brand promise or am I trimming away at its value?"

Keep in mind that there is nothing any company sells which a customer can't choose to buy someplace else or do without. Any purchase is the result of the experience of buying it. To a customer, it's often the quality of the experience that can be the deciding factor to purchase, repurchase or recommend your product to others. Your competition can attempt to capture your bread and butter with marketing, pricing or other tactics to win business, but the brand relationship that you create is nurtured and sustained on the experience side of the purchase. If you want to ensure repeat business you must be branded for what you sell and how you sell it. | John Hamilton

Thursday, April 7, 2011

McDonald's To Hire 50,000 In One Day.


It was recently posted on Nation's Restaurant News that McDonald’s Corp. officials said the company’s plan to hire 50,000 people in one day presents it with an opportunity to show that a “McJob” isn’t a dead end but rather the start of a career. Read the article here, there is no information as to how many of those jobs will land in Oregon.

We agree that perceived "burger flipping" jobs are not a dead end job. The foodservice industry offers much more such as: discipline, structure, purpose, responsibility along with developing business acumen and human interaction skills.

There is earning potential as well. Here are the average wages at the store level (source: Glassdoor)
  • Cashier - Hourly $7.81
  • Crew Member - Hourly $7.81
  • Shift Manager - Hourly $9.81
  • Assistant Store Manager $28,389 annual
  • Store Manager $36,629 annual

Aside from earning potential and developing life skill-sets, working in the quick service industry does lead to jobs in other industry segments. Today's McDonald's employee may be tomorrow's waiter, chef or franchisee owner. There is a lot of potential when you work in the foodservice industry.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Restaurant Association Says 1099 Repeal is Victory for Restaurant Operators, Small Business Owners

National Restaurant Association Says 1099 Repeal is Victory for Restaurant Operators, Small Business Owners

April 05, 2011

The National Restaurant Association today praised the Senate’s action to repeal the onerous 1099 mandate, which was included in last year’s health care law.

The Senate passed H.R. 4, The Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011, sponsored by Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) with a bipartisan vote of 87 to 12.

H.R. 4 repealed the expanded 1099 reporting requirement found in the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” which was overly burdensome, making nearly every business-to-business transaction reportable to the Internal Revenue Service.

“Our industry is the nation’s second largest private-sector employer, but restaurants large or small, really operate as small businesses or collections of independent operations,” said Scott DeFife, Executive Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “Today’s vote is a victory for thousands of restaurant operators and small business owners who do not have large administrative staffs to handle recordkeeping and reporting responsibilities. This action will help the industry continue to devote resources into job creation rather than the burdensome 1099 requirement that was enacted last year.”

The National Restaurant Association aggressively worked to repeal the 1099 provision, sending letters urging repeal to the Senate with the backing of 49 state restaurant associations, providing small business testimony about the overwhelming challenges of the provision, and rallying grassroots action to urge Congress to overturn the requirement.

The bill now goes to President Obama for his signature.

Contact: Sue Hensley 202.331-5964, Annika Stensson 202.973-3677  at the National Restaurant Association or visit more information.

ORLA's GA team can be reached at 503.682.4422.