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Dale's Corner

This blog is written by Dale J. Venturini, President/CEO of RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF). Its purpose is to engage RIHA members with current issues and trends.

Dale J. Venturini
President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association


Last month, I detailed a bill in front of the RI legislature that seeks to completely eliminate the tipped wage. This bill, along with several others aimed against hospitality, has mobilized and unified our industry.

We are under attack by paid activists with no experience in the restaurant sector, and they are deliberately misrepresenting the facts related of our industry. They bring in non-RI residents to testify and try to paint a picture that is simply untrue.

They are creating a problem where none exists, claiming that tipped-wage employees do not make minimum wage, that in fact, they are making less than $3.00 an hour. Simply put, this is completely false. However, it is a great media sound bite and using that as their foundation, they seek to change the minimum wage to $15.00 an hour.

This is part of a strong, coordinated, calculated and persistent campaign against us from out-of-state entities. The local head of this organization is on record stating that if they cannot achieve their agenda, they will focus on trying to shut our businesses down. Yes, you read that correctly. If they don’t win, it will be a victory if they can put 70,000 people out of work.

This organization does not let truth stand in the way of their agenda. They seek out and find disgruntled ex-hospitality employees to act as their mouthpiece, to relay a string of facts that are not based in any form of reality. And, unfortunately, some influential folks believe them as it’s often easier to believe the worst in people, rather than the best.

My Board of Directors and I just got back from the National Restaurant Association and American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Public Affairs Conference in Washington, DC. There, we faced picketing by an offshoot of this labor organization. They claim our industry doesn’t pay a living wage. They claim we are the bad guys who do nothing but take from employees. They are wrong. We are an industry of opportunity. We offer flexibility, on-the-job training, and the ability to climb through the ranks.

Just this week alone, I was proud to see the adult learners who graduated from our Hospitality Training Academy. Every single one of them graduated and received a job offer. Yes, each graduate was offered a position in our industry, and the ability to change the course of their lives for the better.

I think about the thousands of local unemployed and underemployed students and adult learners whom my organization and our partners train each year. I think about our member who owns a restaurant and who is also a medical doctor who testified at the state house that provides free healthcare to his employees because he considers them his family. I think about how we successfully employ more than 70,000 folks, almost 10% of RI’s population. And, I think about the fact that our tipped employees average between $16.00-$22.00 per hour. I can sleep at night; I know the generosity and loyalty of this industry that I am fortunate enough to represent.

We are not broken; we do not need to be fixed.


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Registered Date :
2015.05.20
10:46:32
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List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date
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32 Paid Sick Leave Passes RI Legislature file Managing GroupMonika Oct 10, 2017
In September, both the Rhode Island House and Senate passed legislation that will require companies to give employees paid sick leave. Although the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is generally opposed to mandates that impact the employer-e...  
31 When did ‘Entry Level’ become Negative? file Managing GroupMonika Sep 19, 2017
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30 Taking the High Road – the Road Less Traveled file Managing GroupMonika Jul 24, 2017
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29 Paid Sick Leave – it’s Nothing to Sneeze at Managing GroupRIHA May 08, 2017
In Rhode Island and across the nation, we’ve seen a host of legislation introduced by out-of-state special interest groups that have squarely targeted the hospitality industry. From eliminating the federal tipped wage, to raising minimum wag...  
28 Buying Local for the Holidays Managing GroupMonika Nov 15, 2016
The holiday season is fast approaching…from a retail perspective, it seems to come earlier and earlier each year. While I was shopping for Halloween candy this year, I was sidestepping Christmas trees, holiday decorations and specialty choco...  
27 The Cost of ‘Chip’ Cards and Protecting Against Fraud Managing GroupMonika Oct 04, 2016
By Dale Venturini, President and CEO, R.I Hospitality Association  Many of us currently have an EMV credit or debit card – also known as a ‘chip’ card. These safer versions of the traditional magnetic-strip cards were designed to prot...  
26 Gluten is Not Free in Restaurants file Managing GroupMonika Sep 01, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association We all know people who struggle with food allergies. From peanut butter, to shellfish, to strawberries, to dairy, the idea of dining out when one has a food allergy can be an ...  
25 Managing a Better Future file Managing GroupMonika Jun 30, 2016
The hospitality industry is a continuously growing segment of the U.S. economic picture. This year alone, the restaurant industry is expected to realize $783 billion in sales and employ 14.4 million in good-paying jobs, according to the N...  
24 Partnerships – They’re Not Always the Obvious Choice file Managing GroupMonika Jun 06, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association I’ve written extensively about the need to collaborate with organizations that share the same business interests. Whether a business partner’s mission is within your organizat...  
23 How Important is a Proactive Crisis Plan? Your Business Could Depend on it. Managing GroupMonika May 05, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association   With the spate of negative media headlines surrounding restaurants that have experienced foodborne or human-contact illness, it is critically important that every eatin...  
22 Where Have the Teens Gone? file Managing GroupMonika Apr 04, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association It used to be that almost every teenager had a job in the hospitality industry. With flexible hours and class-friendly scheduling, our industry was the perfect landing spot for h...  
21 The Real Cost of Foodborne Illness file Managing GroupMonika Feb 02, 2016
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20 “Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars.” file Managing GroupMonika Dec 30, 2015
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19 As You Climb the Ladder of Success, Turn Around and Pull Someone Up file Managing GroupMonika Oct 13, 2015
We are an industry that rises to the occasion, no matter what the circumstance, and that is something I am very proud of. The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) is comprised of more than 650 members who have dedicated their lives to the ho...  
18 The War on Hospitality Ends in a Draw Managing GroupMonika Aug 06, 2015
The legislative season is finally over, and while we can’t claim that we’ve won the war, we can say that we’ve won some key battles for the time being.  Our industry faces an ongoing attack from out-of-state, organized labor forces. The...  
17 Hospitality, an Industry of Opportunity file Managing GroupMonika Jun 10, 2015
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association   As our legislative season winds down, we remain optimistic that bills put before the house and senate by organized, outside labor influences will not pass. As I’ve detailed...  
» The Persistent, Organized Attack on the Hospitality Industry Managing GroupMonika May 20, 2015
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association Last month, I detailed a bill in front of the RI legislature that seeks to completely eliminate the tipped wage. This bill, along with several others aimed against hospitality, h...