Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters is published quarterly by the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, 100 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, tel 800-345-5353, and is a benefit of membership in the association. Articles do not necessarily reflect the view or position of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association. Editorial coverage or permission to advertise does not constitute endorsement of the company covered or of an advertiser’s products or services, nor does Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters make any claims or guarantees as to the accuracy or validity of the advertiser’s offer. ©2022 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in print or electronically without the express written permission of the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association. PRLA 2022 OFFICERS CHAIRMAN Tom Neely Thomas A. Strauss Inc.—Lancaster Chapter VICE CHAIR Cynthia Smith Hoss’s Family Steak & Sea / Marzoni’s Brick Oven & Brewing— Keystone Chapter TREASURER Derek Beckman Courtyard by Marriott Philadelphia South at the Navy Yard— Philadelphia Chapter IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN Bill Covaleski Victory Brewing Company—Brandywine Chapter PRLA STAFF PRESIDENT & CEO John Longstreet | email@example.com OPERATIONS MANAGER Eric Adams | firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Ben Fileccia | email@example.com DIRECTOR OF MEMBER SERVICES Christine Preuss | firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF FINANCE & HUMAN RESOURCES Diane Dwyer, CPA | email@example.com SENIOR DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Lauren Brinjac | firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Zak Pyzik | email@example.com DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION Hope Sterner | firstname.lastname@example.org PROGRAM & EVENTS COORDINATOR Pamela Fink | email@example.com DIRECTOR OF EVENTS & ENGAGEMENT Heidi Howard, CMP | firstname.lastname@example.org DIRECTOR OF COMMUNICATIONS Stephanie Otterson | email@example.com COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST Kendra Hepler | firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNTING MANAGER Paula Judd | email@example.com PROFESSIONAL SERVICES PROVIDED BY GENERAL COUNSEL Shumaker Williams, P.C. Keith Clark GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Frank DiCicco Associates, Philadelphia Andrew Zalenski, Greenlee Partners, Harrisburg Clint Cullison, Madison Stromswold ACCOUNTANT & INDEPENDENT AUDITORS Brown, Schultz, Sheridan & Fritz John Bonawitz, CPA INVESTMENT ADVISORS Conrad Siegel Tara Mashack-Behney Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters is a publication of the PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING ASSOCIATION 100 State Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101 800-345-5353 | www.prla.org | firstname.lastname@example.org For Advertising Information: Grandt Mansfield Senior Account Executive 503-445-2226 | email@example.com Creative Design LLM Publications Stephanie Pendell, Designer firstname.lastname@example.org INSIDE THIS ISSUE 4 Industry Outlook 6 Chairman’s Message 8 Maximizing Hospitality Industry Talent Retention 12 Turn the Great Resignation into the Greatest Retention 15 Legal Docket 18 Education & Training 19 PA ProStart Educator Honored by National Foundation 20 How to Grow Restaurant Profit Margins from Open to Close 22 New Members p 8
4 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 INDUSTRY OUTLOOK “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast” IT SEEMS THAT virtually all businesses are affected by the staffing crisis, most notably the restaurant and hotel industry because we lost so many team members during the COVID shutdowns. The difficulty in finding team members for restaurants and hotels is something that our members are continuously highlighting, so this is a topic near and dear to their hearts. More and more restaurants have been forced to “dumb down” their menu to adapt to the skill level and numbers of available line cooks. Of course, directly related to staffing and training is retention. With a robust recruiting process, followed by effective interviewing (may I suggest behavioral interviews—proven to make a difference) and good orientation and training, retention will improve. That said, I have long subscribed to the quote, attributed to the late business management guru Peter Drucker, “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast.” There has been a fair amount of speculation that Drucker never actually said this, but it doesn’t change the fact that time and time again, it is proven true. In 1981, Harvey Hotels was founded, and I was privileged to be one of the first managers on board. We had a brand with no name, no 800 number, no reservations network, and for the most part no training programs. We had only our four-core philosophy: 1. Incredibly friendly employees 2. Exceeding guest and employee expectations at every opportunity 3. Spotlessly clean and well-maintained hotels 4. Doing the right thing Incredibly, we successfully competed against the big guys, ultimately becoming a billion dollar publicly traded company under our new name Bristol Hotels & Resorts and the largest independent hotel company in North America. Initially we were driven only by culture—and it worked. As our competitors developed new systems, programs, and strategies to try to take market share, we doubled down on culture and won every time. Even today, over twenty years since Bristol was sold to Intercontinental Hotels & Resorts, hotel veterans recall with awe the “Bristol culture.” As I travel the commonwealth today, almost everyone is facing a staffing shortage, but interestingly those businesses that promote a great-place-to-work culture seem to be struggling a little bit less. • John Longstreet PRLA PRESIDENT & CEO “As I travel the commonwealth today, almost everyone is facing a staffing shortage, but interestingly those businesses that promote a great-place-towork culture seem to be struggling a little bit less.”
6 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 CHAIRMAN’S MESSAGE Changing the Conversation: Focus on a “Great Place to Work” Culture FIRST AND FOREMOST, I want to thank those of you who are engaging with your local secondary schools and CTCs. As I mentioned in my previous column, education is the long game to overcoming staffing challenges and changing the industry’s perception. We must be relentless in our pursuit of encouraging young people to seriously consider our industry as a great career choice. The opportunities for growth and advancement are abundant. My focus this year is on workforce development and in this column I want to dive deeper into the “great place to work” culture that will help us recruit and retain top talent. I’m sure that you, like me, have had to debunk the industry’s reputation as a “live to work” one when onboarding new hires. Let’s flip that reputation from a “live to work” to “work to live” mindset. Some may believe that creating a great place to work culture can be costly and burdensome, particularly considering the escalating costs of doing business and hiring challenges. I would argue that now is the best time to reevaluate company culture and make adjustments. We are having to rely on our teams to overcome these challenges and it’s crucial that they feel valued and supported now more than ever. A competitive wage model with reasonable benefits is most certainly important, but in this column, I want to focus on the low or no cost items that can bring great value to the work experience for your teams. These items take thoughtfulness, time, and intention but carry immense value in fostering a positive workplace culture. Communication is the foundation of any company culture. It builds trust, engages employees, and creates transparency. • Openly share the challenges and successes of the business with the whole team and seek their feedback on both topics so they are invested in the outcomes. • Regularly seek feedback from the team on the culture you’re building so the talk and actions remain aligned. • Lead with intention so that every employee completely understands the mission and vision of the business. • Understand what your employees’ aspirations are by talking openly about their wants and needs and helping them develop pathways to achieving those goals within your organization. • Celebrate your team’s small and large successes publicly. Trust is another fundamental aspect of the great place to work. • Employees have each other’s back and work together with a “no job too small” mentality. • The environment is safe, where employees can ask for help and learn from mistakes with leadership support, as well as be trusted to do the right thing. I have learned, as many of you have, through trial and error but along the way I’ve been fortunate to pick up some pointers from leadership experts at events like the PRLA Leadership Forum and Annual Conferences. On another note, later this summer John Longstreet will retire from PRLA. It’s been an honor to work with him, but I’ve particularly appreciated his leadership and guidance as I entered the pathway to becoming chairman of the board. I wish him the best in his retirement and look forward to the road ahead. My best to all of you for a great summer and remember to take time for you and your families too! • The opportunities for growth and advancement are abundant. Tom Neely THOMAS A. STRAUSS INC. LANCASTER CHAPTER
8 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 In today’s environment where restaurant and hospitality businesses are experiencing an increase in consumer demand, managing employees in this uncertain period must include defining strategies that attract and keep the best workers. Those workers have the upper hand when considering employment options. MAXIMIZING Talent Retention HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY
Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 9 IT’S IMPORTANT TO further establish why talent retention is so important in the hospitality and restaurant industries, given that a high rate of turnover is normal. Why spend time training a topnotch employee only to lose that person to another restaurant or hotel—or another industry? Because the pandemic led many workers to leave these industries for good, this trend created the challenge of both attracting and retaining talent. Demand for workers is so intense that many restaurants are offering various incentives to attract and retain talent such as sign-on bonuses, 401(K)s, paid vacation, time off, and more flexible hours. A number of restaurant chains, such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Texas Roadhouse, and even McDonalds, have announced wage hikes for employees. Government support is continuing in some cases, as Colorado enacted legislation to boost its $1 billion tourism industry that will provide $10 million in support of those industries’ shutdowns. Hospitality and restaurant organizations should take note of Amazon, which recently upped the ante for all by announcing it would pay four years of college tuition for employees after their 90th day, providing they continue working there at least parttime. Clearly, enticing workers through more generous benefits is a strategy that even the most successful companies feel they must pursue. The case for talent retention... Talent retention is important even in the hospitality and restaurant industries where turnover is at an all-time high. “Reducing the rate of turnover within the first 90 days of employment, when turnover is generally the highest, should be a priority”, said Angela Nalwa, a managing director of HR Transformation at Grant Thornton. “The cost of turnover is increasing and is made up of the time to source and hire a new worker, skills training and on the job training. This time can be up to two months until the worker is proficient.” Both onboarding and training new employees take time and money so the less frequently you do so, the more companies can save and the less disruption to the team. Nalwa suggested that hospitality and restaurant leaders focus on three talent attraction and retention strategies: Career development and training, compensation and rewards, and employees’ perception of the organization—its values and culture. “The important thing is for organizations to create an engaging culture and work environment that is grounded in established corporate values that their employees can relate to and feel a part of through their day-to-day behaviors and actions,” said Jennifer Morelli, Grant Thornton principal and Business Change Enablement leader. Career Development Career development is typically a top driver of employee engagement. Morelli said whether an employee is working as a server, or cleaning staff, or in management or accounting, the idea of there being growth and career development opportunities at a company is a reinforcing factor for any employee to stay with a company. “What employees want is to know,” Morelli said, “that somebody’s looking out for them and investing in them. That’s all about people management, coaching and mentoring.” Hospitality and restaurant companies are hot spots for giving people their first jobs, so there are always opportunities to be the first one to identify a quality employee. Tying even these initial forays into the working world to career advancement can be a quality investment. Retaining high-performing people who know your organization and who understand its operations can lead to promoting those people into management and retaining front-line employees who may otherwise seek employment elsewhere. Key to this effort is to carefully identify the right people for retention. One way to do this is to make sure you don’t have only one evaluator of employees, so as to dilute biases that can develop in some supervisor relationships. Compensation and Rewards While the value of pay and total rewards—everything a company gives an employee that can be considered valuable—may not be decisive in every industry, it is in hospitality, Nalwa said. If your employees are mainly hourly, besides salary, other forms of compensation such as an education discount, tuition reimbursement, or healthcare benefits can make enough of a difference for employees to stay. The restaurant and lodging organizations that are offering these benefits are setting themselves apart and making them more attractive to employees, both from an attraction and retention perspective. “What’s really important is to understand what your employees value before shaping a total rewards package,” Nalwa said. To do that, company leaders must effectively listen to what their workers say is important. And your frontline worker might have a different value for certain rewards than your corporate vice president. While healthcare may be important to most, some data suggests it’s not as critical to younger workers, so there are opportunities to find compensation awards that cost less or are even cost-neutral. Leaders in these industries who wish to effectively listen to the benefits their employees say are most valuable is mostly a matter of finding the right tools and being as objective as possible. Employer surveys are a great tool and can produce hard data to aggregate needs, even uncovering what needs aren’t being met that benefits could address. Surveys can ask about what causes employees the most stress—and the benefits can be tailored to lessen those stressors. Finding out what needs your employees prioritize is only the first step. A company has to determine what it can and should deliver to address those needs. “We have to make trade-offs in reality,” Glowa
10 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 said, by judging receptivity to employee needs and stress reducers with an assessment of their cost. “Most organizations waste between 10% and 20% of their employee benefits budget by giving employees what they don’t actually appreciate,” Glowa added. Glowa shared that in one major national food chain, it was uncovered that many employees worked multiple jobs to provide more money to create opportunities for their families. By offering employees a tuition reimbursement they could use both personally and pass on to immediate family members, this benefit addressed the opportunity that higher education could yield for their family. The benefit was also highly differentiated in that it was not offered by competitors. Furthermore, their employees assigned greater value to this benefit than it cost the company—a company costsaving benefit. From our State of Work in America survey, we know the single greatest driver of stress for employees, no matter what the industry, is personal debt, which is front-and-center for many employees in the restaurant and lodging industries. An innovative company can use this information to implement cost-effective ways to reduce this stressor on its employees—support for credit card payments, utility bills, professional budgeting or money management assistance. Organizations that identify these types of employee stressors and offer benefits to help alleviate them differentiate their employee value proposition in a meaningful way in the eyes of employees, adding to attraction and retention efforts. Culture and Values “Not everyone is going to fall in love with a company that just offers them a job,” Morelli said. “Employees have their personal values and ways of living and working that they will bring to the job—it’s important for management to look at a company’s reputation and what the organization stands for as part of their talent attraction and retention strategy. Many employees, particularly younger ones, care deeply about the culture of the company that they work for, Morelli said. Employees want to align themselves to companies that outwardly demonstrate the same beliefs that they have. Many also want to feel a strong connection to their community and want to work for companies whose charitable involvement aligns with their values. In many cases, leadership that demonstrates clear company values can be a high-risk/high-reward strategy, especially if a company value aligns with a particular social issue or political belief which may both strongly attract and strongly repel quality employees. A company can show trust and accountability by how they value community service and charitable work, and particularly by ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion are demonstrated values and not empty declarations. Companies must be able to demonstrate that its workplace ensures that day-to-day interactions of employees are conducted with respect and that opportunities for advancement should be quantifiable, shown by employee surveys and programs. For example, many employees in the restaurant and lodging industries are required to work overtime hours that they don’t want to work, mainly due to the staffing shortages mentioned earlier. One way to help with both recruiting and retention is to clearly state in company policies that employees won’t need to work an undesirable number of hours—or that concrete steps are being taken to reduce those hours soon. Addressing all three of these strategies—career development, compensation, and rewards and culture—requires a level of transparency and engagement about company matters that can be uncomfortable for some leaders. To effectively manage employee attraction and retention efforts, corporate communications and leadership should be clear and consistent, including clear expectation-setting. If any change is to occur, employees should feel like they are part of the change instead of it just happening to them. “When you introduce a sense of uncertainty or potentially remove the sense of control from employees you insert a sense of fear,” Morelli said. “Most individuals will begin to create their own narrative around what the future will be and unfortunately most of the time it’s inaccurate and at times negative.” Through openness and frequent communication, a company isn’t adding roadblocks to what employees are doing, they are helping employees navigate those roadblocks, understanding why changes are happening and preparing them for the future state of the organization. “Good employees are going to respect and appreciate that approach, and they’ll want to stay for the company’s journey because they are a part of it,” said Morelli. • Source: Grant Thornton blog, first published on October 14, 2021 (www. grantthornton.com/library/articles/hospitality-and-restaurants/2021/ maximizing-hospitality-industry-talent-retention.aspx)
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12 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 LET’S TALK ABOUT IT. The ugly “Great Resignation.” American companies are facing the issue of how to retain employees and remain an attractive employer to today’s modern workforce. It’s a problem for all industries, but restaurants and hotels saw more of their workforce quit in February than employers did in virtually every other type of U.S. business. Six percent of the hospitality industry’s total labor force walked off the job. In all, 795,000 foodservice and lodging workers voluntarily left their positions (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). You don’t need any more scary statistics, because as an owner—you’re living it. We’re preaching to the choir here, so let’s just get down to it and talk solutions. How do you go about boosting employee retention? Your HR department (in many cases, you) should be developing solutions to help retain and attract employees. The two most actionable items for you are company culture and employee benefits. Turn the Great Resignation into the Greatest Retention By FocusHRO Use the issue at hand to talk to your employees about what they want out of their work. What are their needs, what is missing, what can be better? Have an open door communication policy that encourages new ideas. Perhaps develop an Employee Attitude Survey that addresses topics like: 9 Employee Satisfaction 9 Workplace Environment 9 Employee Compensation— Is it competitive with market data? 9 Communication 9 Mentoring 9 Teamwork 9 Professional Development Opportunities (Promotions) 9 Training opportunities 9 Benefits 9 Workplace Flexibility 9 Employee’s career plan 9 Source of employee’s stress This gives you a place to start. Identify some potential issues within your company culture, and make changes that create an environment that employees want to work in. Answers and solutions could vary greatly, don’t be afraid to get creative! COMPANY CULTURE
Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 13 EMPLOYEE BENEFITS The biggest benefit you offer your employees is their pay, and in response to the Great Resignation, 84% of restaurants reported raising wages (National Restaurant Association). According to a recent survey of 1,200 restaurants by the Independent Restaurant Coalition, nearly 40% have added paid sick leave for the first time, and more than 20% have added paid vacation during the pandemic. But there are other opportunities to explore. Employee Benefits are a function of your HR department, and there are ways to be creative here too (without breaking the bank)! Many restaurants are adding benefits not traditionally offered in the industry. • Voluntary Benefits (Vision, Dental, Life, Long/Short term disability insurance) • Health Insurance • 401K and Retirement Opportunities • Paid Parental Leave • Flexible Workweek • Employee Assistance Programs • Signing Bonuses • Tuition Coverage • Prepaid Child Care • Streaming Service Subscriptions • Grocery Perks • Tickets to Local Events Like your company culture, there is no ‘single solution’ for your benefits package. But even on the tightest budget there are options you can explore to increase employee retention and attract the best employees. It’s one of our specialties at FocusHRO, and we’ve teamed up with PRLA as their preferred HR partner. Our experienced team will take the time to learn about the issues you face and the resources you have to solve them— developing and offering solutions you may not have known about, or didn’t think possible! • We’re here to assist you with all things HR. Visit www.FocusHRO.com/PRLA to get started.
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Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 15 LEGAL DOCKET The Attorney ask Tips and Strategies for Conducting Effective Workplace Investigations AT SOME POINT, all employers in the hospitality industry will be required to conduct an investigation in response to an employee complaint of workplace misconduct. Whether the complaint involves harassment, discrimination, or some other subject, a prompt and well-conducted investigation will help to shield the employer from liability and sends a message to employees that the employer is committed to fair treatment of its employees and takes complaints seriously. Keep in the mind these tips: • Choose a trained & impartial investigator. One of the most important first steps in any investigation is the selection of an investigator. No matter how much planning goes into an investigation, it is only as good as the investigator. The investigator must be impartial and perceived by the workforce as impartial. The investigator should also be capable of testifying in court since they may be named as a witness. • The purpose and scope of the investigation must be clearly defined. Not all investigations require the same approach. Depending upon the nature of the complaint, a quick and informal investigation may be sufficient to obtain the required information; however, more complex complaints may require a more formal procedure. Clearly defined goals will keep an investigation on track and lead to correct conclusions. • Focus on interviews. Usually, the best way to gather information is simply by asking questions. Most investigations should involve at least two interviews: one of the employee accused of wrongdoing and another of the employee who complained or was the victim. Interviews of other witnesses will often be required. The investigator should start questioning with broad and open-ended questions intended to uncover the “who, what, where, why, and when” of the alleged conduct. Difficult or embarrassing questions should be asked toward the end of the interview. • When possible, maintain confidentiality. Confidentiality is often critical to the success of a workplace investigation. Employees are more likely to come forward with complaints if they believe their concerns will be addressed confidentially, and witnesses are more likely to speak candidly and truthfully if they believe their comments will remain confidential; however, investigators should advise all witnesses that confidentiality cannot be guaranteed. Some information concerning the allegations must be disclosed in order for other witnesses to fully share the scope of their relevant information. The National Labor Relations Board has held that blanket requests to employees not to discuss the investigation may violate the employees’ statutory right to engage in “concerted activity with respect to the terms and conditions of their employment.” • Properly document the investigation. The investigation file typically includes copies of relevant personnel files, email messages, company policies, and correspondence. Detailed investigation and interview notes should be maintained. At the conclusion of the investigation, an investigation report should be prepared which identifies the relevant company policies or guidelines, details how and when the problem came to the employer’s attention, describes what interviews were (and were not) conducted, what evidence was considered, and what conclusions were reached. • Communicate the outcome. The results of an investigation must be reported verbally or in writing to management-level decision makers to allow them to make decisions based on investigation results. The report need not be shared with those involved. Rather than providing the full report, employees need only be provided with the result of the investigation and any remedial action to be taken. A prompt and effective investigation is an effective tool and keeping these guidelines in mind can significantly reduce liability exposure. • Please contact Michael Rowan (email@example.com) at 717-7631121 with any questions. Michael E. Rowan, Esquire SHUMAKER WILLIAMS, P.C. General Counsel, Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association Michael E. Rowan
16 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 Legislative Priorities 2022 Alcohol Service Priorities • Increase the licensee discount from 10% to 15% • Support efforts to privatize the sale and service of alcoholic beverages in Pennsylvania ◊ Current proposal calls for a constitutional amendment that would privatize Pennsylvania’s liquor sales • Support legislation allowing the sale of ready-to-drink cocktails (RTDs) by licensees ◊ Allow them to be sold in restaurants and distributors ◊ Provision is currently attached to legislation to allow licenses not receiving a bid during the current auction process to be auctioned off statewide • Increase statewide tourism marketing funding to $20 million ◊ Additionally, create a $15 million grant program for destination marketing organizations ◊ Update Competitive Analysis of Pennsylvania’s Tourism Budget study • Advocate for Tourism Improvement District enabling legislation ◊ Broad TID legislation that could be used throughout the state that would allow for an assessment on lodging businesses to increase revenue to DMOs • Push for a uniform Post-Labor Day school start to help bolster state tourism and youth employment • Update the 2015-16 PRLA-sponsored Statewide Tourism Marketing budget study • Short-term Rental tax compliance ◊ Legislation requiring online home sharing companies to register and share listing information with the Department of Revenue, which the Department can share with counties for enforcement Lodging & Tourism Priorities Government Affairs Priorities • Expand COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP) • Push to allow association health plans in Pennsylvania ◊ Permit the marketing of association health plans, which would allow small businesses to offer affordable and competitive health benefits • Advocate for the relief of excessive unemployment charges, which have occurred as a result of employee layoffs caused by government-mandated restrictions Exploratory Tasks • Form group to explore strategies for enacting a uniform Post-Labor Day school start • Continue advocating for making mixed drinks to-go permanent • Explore expansion of delivery options • Involve PRLA in discussion about legalizing adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania so any action benefits our industry • Explore legislation that would authorize use of food assistance money being spent at foodservice establishments • Evaluate viability of a statewide third-party delivery fee cap Contact Lauren Brinjac Senior Director of Government Affairs firstname.lastname@example.org (717) 963-8371 Zak Pyzik Director of Government Affairs email@example.com (717) 963-8366
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EDUCATION & TRAINING PRLA Educational Foundation Awards $32,000 in Scholarships to Pennsylvania Students ADMINISTERED BY THE PRLA’S charitable foundation, the PRLAEF Scholarship Program annually provides Pennsylvania students with the opportunity to further their education in the hospitality industry. This year, the PRLAEF awarded a dozen $2,000 scholarships to students who will be pursuing their post-secondary education in the culinary arts or hospitality management. In addition to the PRLAEF awards, two students from Philadelphia were named recipients of the Richard Kubach Scholarship: Alayana Betances and Michael Howard. Both are continuing their education at Temple University in the hospitality and tourism management program. The Richard Kubach Scholarship is awarded to students from Philadelphia who intend on continuing their post-secondary education in a hospitality field. Abigale Downs of Hawthorn and Kirsten Marks of Linesville were the inaugural recipients of the Michael Barrett Scholarship. Downs will attend Westmoreland County Community College, while Marks will attend Sullivan University. The Michael Barrett Scholarship is awarded to students from northwestern Pennsylvania who intend on continuing their postsecondary education in a hospitality field. • Congratulations to the following PRLAEF scholarship recipients: » Victoria Brown (Philadelphia) Temple University » Lola Bruton (Downingtown) University of Denver » Molly Davis (State College) Penn State University » Andrew Heiland (York) Penn State University » Rebecca High (Willow Street) PA College of Technology » Chloe Hindle (Meadville) IUP Academy of Culinary Arts—Punxsutawney » Kiondre Kenner (Allentown) East Stroudsburg University » Jared Schwenk (New Ringgold) PA College of Technology » Alexis Shytle (Myerstown) Westmoreland County Community College » Caitlin Swartz (Royersford) Johnson & Wales University » Rachel Ventour (Philadelphia) Walnut Hill College
Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 19 PA ProStart Educator Honored by National Foundation Daniel Wagner, an educator at Greene County Career & Technology Center in Waynesburg, Pa., was honored by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation in Washington, D.C. in May. The NRAEF Educator of Excellence Awards recognizes educators who demonstrate excellence in the classroom and commitment in all aspects of the ProStart program. Dan was honored with the EEA Industry Connections Award for helping his students make the most of their ProStart experiences.
20 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 How to Grow Restaurant Profit Margins from Open to Close The average profit margin for a restaurant in 2019 was 6.2%. That was before the pandemic. Now, with the latest spike in food costs and the labor pool dwindling, those margins have only gotten slimmer. But it doesn’t have to be that way. A recent white paper from SpotOn, the preferred technology partner of the PRLA, shows how technology can increase revenue and lower costs one step at a time.
Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 21 PRE-SHIFT Increasing margins starts before guests walk in your doors. You’ve got to meet them where they spend a good deal of their time—online. Here’s what you need. 9Google My Business. Restaurant queries are among the top 20 Google searches. SpotOn helps you get there by setting up (in minutes) and updating your Google My Business profile so customers can find you as soon as they get online. 9Online reservations. Most reservation systems take per-head fees. SpotOn connects reservations to your website for a flat monthly rate, and it allows guests to book a table right in Google seamlessly. 9Review management. 94% of diners decide where to eat through reviews. SpotOn brings together reviews from multiple platforms in one dashboard so you can monitor and manage them easily. DURING SERVICE Once guests step inside, technology can help increase revenue by turning tables faster, maximizing server time, and boosting the average ticket size. This is what you need. 9 Online ordering. Guests expect takeout and delivery ordering from their phones. With SpotOn, you can sidestep the 30%+ commission fees of third-party delivery apps with your own online ordering menu. 9 QR codes. These are back and even finding their way into fine-dining establishments. In 2021, restaurants using SpotOn QR experienced a 65% increase in revenue and a 7% increase in tips. 9 Handhelds. Serve more tables by minimizing the back-and-forth to place orders. Restaurants using SpotOn Serve handhelds saw check sizes go up by 16% and tips by 5%. 9 A digital waitlist. Boost efficiency, fill noshows, and limit crowds. With SpotOn Reserve, guests can add themselves to the waitlist online, see real-time wait times, and respond with two-way texting. 9Loyalty rewards. Proven for driving repeat business in counter-service establishments, SpotOn Loyalty helped restaurants see an average revenue increase of $650 on deal day. CLOSING After guests leave, technology can save time with automation and streamline operations with smarter data. Here’s how. 9Reporting data. Know your best-selling items, your busiest times, and your top employees through data. SpotOn Restaurant shows you the information you need with 75+ cloud-based reports with actionable insights on your entire operation. 9Labor management. Scheduling, payroll, tip pooling, and labor compliance are time-consuming. SpotOn’s POS integration with Dolce makes employees happy with faster tip payouts, shift trading, and more. When you work so hard, it can be discouraging to see how little of that effort shows up in your bottom line. That’s because hard work isn’t what’s missing. Hard work can’t cut third-party delivery fees. It can’t get your staff off the clock faster. And it can’t get food to your guests more efficiently. But technology can. And by implementing the right technology— combined with your hard work and passion—you can be well on the path to double-digit profit margins. To learn more, check out the SpotOn webpage on maximizing profits. •
22 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • Spring 2022 WELCOME NEW MEMBERS Allied AHS Automated Robotics Voorhees, NJ BCF Group Lancaster Bear Robotics Redwood City, Ca. Cardinal Architectural West Newton Independence Bridge Consulting Philadelphia Saxton & Stump LLC Malvern StatePoint Media Inc. Madison Termac Corporation Philadelphia Workstream Technologies Inc. San Francisco, Ca. Lodging Live! Casino & Hotel Philadelphia Philadelphia The View Inn & Suites Bethlehem Restaurant 1836 Saloon East Stroudsburg 39 North Glenolden Apple Valley Restaurant Milford Ashley’s Signature Restaurant Easton Bar Philadelphia Philadelphia Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant Erie Brauhaus Schmitz Philadelphia Burger King - Avondale West Grove Cantina Dos Segundos Philadelphia Cantina Los Caballitos Philadelphia Culinesse LLC Bethlehem Evil Genius Beer Company Philadelphia Fitz on 4th Philadelphia Funck’s Restaurant & Bar - Leola Leola Funck’s Restaurant & Bar - Palmyra Palmyra Garage Fishtown Philadelphia Geno’s Steaks Philadelphia Guy Fieri’s Burger Joint Philadelphia Guy Fieri’s Taco Joint Philadelphia Italian American Citizen’s League Kennett Square Jack’s Bar & Grill Philadelphia Khyber Pass Pub Philadelphia Lloyd Whiskey Bar Philadelphia Lorenzo & Sons Pizza Philadelphia Luk Fu Philadelphia Maggie May’s Campus Pub Chester Mian Philadelphia Monaca Draft House Darlington Morty’s Philadelphia Mount Gretna Hideaway Mount Gretna New Wave Cafe Philadelphia Off the Rail Media PHS Pop Up Garden at Manayunk Philadelphia PHS Pop Up Garden at South Street Philadelphia Prime Rib Philadelphia Quentin Tavern Quentin Revivalist Spirits Elverson Ridley House Holmes Rising Sun Bar & Kitchen Campbelltown Rita’s Italian Ice & Frozen Custard Philadelphia River Twice Restaurant Philadelphia Rivers Casino Philadelphia Philadelphia Royal Sushi & Izakaya Philadelphia Royal Tavern Philadelphia Sandy’s Beef & Ale Langhorne Sangkee Noodle Bar & Kitchen Philadelphia Simply Greek Hershey Snitz Creek Brewery - Annville Annville Snitz Creek Brewery - Lebanon Lebanon South Jazz Kitchen Philadelphia Sports & Social Philadelphia Philadelphia Stanley’s Lounge Pittsburgh Subway Erie Sundance Saloon Aston Taqueria Amor Philadelphia Termini Bros Philadelphia The Bar at 1720 Chalfont The Fluted Mushroom Catering Co. Pittsburgh The Red Lantern Glenolden Thyme & Seasons Catering/ Riverdale Manor Lancaster TJ Rockwell’s Elizabethtown TJ Rockwell’s Mechanicsburg Mechanicsburg Towne House Media Media Trattoria Carina Philadelphia Triangle Tavern Philadelphia Wood Street Pizza Philadelphia Other Crayola Experience LLC Easton Funck’s Restaurants Mount Gretna KSL Resorts Irvine, Ca. Millcraft Hospitality Canonsburg National Protective Services Philadelphia Philadelphia Academies Inc. Philadelphia Plamondon Hospitality Partners Frederick, Md. Simons, Frank and Company Philadelphia Synergy Hospitality Wayne Trout Lake Retreats & Conference Center Stroudsburg
Spring 2022 • PENNSYLVANIA RESTAURANT & LODGING matters • 23 JUNE 6/6 Philadelphia 6/7 Lancaster 6/8 Pittsburgh 6/13 Altoona 6/14 Uniontown 6/20 Harrisburg 6/21 York JULY 7/6 Lancaster 7/7 Philadelphia 7/12 Pittsburgh 7/20 Harrisburg AUGUST 8/1 Philadelphia 8/2 Lancaster 8/8 Allentown 8/9 Pittsburgh 8/10 Erie 8/22 Harrisburg 8/30 York 8/31 Philadelphia SEPTEMBER 9/6 Pittsburgh 9/7 Lancaster 9/19 Harrisburg 9/20 Scranton 9/26 Monroeville 2022 Upcoming Classes OCTOBER 10/3 Philadelphia 10/4 Lancaster 10/5 Pittsburgh 10/10 Erie 10/18 Altoona 10/19 State College 10/25 York 10/26 Harrisburg NOVEMBER 11/1 Philadelphia 11/2 Lancaster 11/3 Pittsburgh 11/15 Greensburg 11/21 Allentown 11/22 Harrisburg DECEMBER 12/5 Philadelphia 12/6 York 12/12 Pittsburgh 12/14 Lancaster 12/15 Harrisburg CLASS OPTIONS AND PRICING Classes start at 8 a.m. ServSafe® Manager Book via Priority Mail, Study Portal Access, Live Class, & Written Exam at class ($159 plus S&H) ServSafe® Manager Book via Priority Mail, Study Portal Access, Live Class, & Online Exam at class ($179 plus S&H) Exam Only No class or training materials ($99) Retesting ($55) REGISTER prla.org/servsafe (800) 345-5353 GIVING BACK PRLA ServSafe profits are reinvested in industry education, outreach and advocacy programs. Support your industry. *Philadelphia Department of Health regulations require class time for certification. NOTE: Class materials will not be sent until payment has been received for class.
Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association 100 State Street Harrisburg, PA 17101 ISSUE DEADLINE Fall 2022 Oct 3 Advertise in PR&LA Matters! Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Matters is a quarterly, full-color, glossy news and information magazine targeted at PA’s decision makers in your industry. Each issue goes to all PRLA members: restaurant & lodging operators, general managers, executives, travel and tourism representatives, key legislators, PRLA allied members, and prospective PRLA members across Pennsylvania. ADVERTISING RATES STARTING AT $260! • PRLA members receive 10% off listed prices. •prla.org