Sub Visual

RESOURCES & SUPPORT

STAFF CONTACT

Monika Zuluaga

Vice President, Membership & Marketing

401-223-1120, ext. 116

Monika@rihospitality.org

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

It is increasingly difficult to take the high road in today’s political climate. And, so few are doing it, but it is critically important. Here in the Ocean State and across the nation, the hospitality industry has faced an onslaught of legislation designed to fundamentally change how we do business. From preemptive scheduling, to paid sick time, to eliminating the federal tipped wage credit, to raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, virtually every facet of private business is being invaded by overreaching, overzealous legislators backed by special-interest groups.

In New York City, quick-service restaurants will face new, incredibly-strict labor laws this fall. The new laws include mandates that should not be imposed on private business. Specifically, before hiring new employees, existing employees’ hours must be increased; workers’ shifts must be scheduled at least two weeks ahead of time (gone are the days of shift swapping to increase flexibility for employees); and most notably, restaurant owners will be required to deduct donations to nonprofit organizations from an employee’s pay upon request and pass the funds along to the beneficiary. This new law stands to benefit labor groups (backers of the new labor legislation) that meet the definition of a nonprofit.

The nation’s hospitality industry is a vital economic driver. From fine-dining restaurants, to quick-service establishments, to boutique and large flagship hotels, our industry collectively employs millions of people and provides millions of dollars in tax monies back to local government and municipalities. But, for some reason, our industry has been targeted as the bad guy. We seem to never shed the bullseye that marks us each legislative session.

As I talk to my colleagues around the nation, we are all in this predicament. We all love and fight for the hospitality industry. We all do our best to rally the troops to fight this ongoing battle with special interest groups. And, we all try to take the high road even as our opponents choose an alternate path. Painting our industry as rich, fat cats who don’t care about employees is simply wrong. There will always be a segment in our industry and in every facet of business, no matter what segment, in which bad apples reside. Collectively, our job is to weed these folks out and ensure that they are in full compliance with all laws. None of us want to hear about a bad restaurateur or hotelier who is not doing the right thing by his/her employees. 100% compliance is our goal and it should be everyone’s goal.  

Recently, I was faced with how to best publically fight against specific, local legislation. After much thought and deliberation, we chose to take the high road and to use our air time to talk about the good in our industry. So much of what consumers hear these days is incredibly negative. There is a connective thread of negativity through social media, traditional media, conversations around the dinner table and the water cooler. Enough is enough.

As I close this column, let me leave everyone with a few key facts about our industry. The hospitality industry is the backdrop for the some of the greatest moments in life. From graduation parties, to bridal showers, to wedding receptions, to baby showers, to retirement parties and everything in between, our industry helps make lasting memories. 

As one of the state’s largest industries, our restaurants and hotels make life in Rhode Island better. We create jobs and drive the economy, generating nearly $5 billion in sales each year. We provide opportunity to Rhode Islanders of all backgrounds and skill levels. We’re your friends and your neighbors.

We employ more than 70,000 people each year, and when other industries are cutting back, we are continuing to add new jobs. We are the industry of opportunity in Rhode Island, inclusive of all backgrounds and skill levels. A job in the hospitality industry is a path to success. 90 percent of hospitality managers started as hourly employees. We provide training, flexibility, and stability.

In Rhode Island, hospitality matters. To learn how you can help keep our industry strong, please visit: www.rihospitality.org.


List of Articles
No. Subject Author Date
40 The Best and Brightest Shine Brightly at RIHA’s Stars of the Industry Event file Monika Jan 15, 2019
Well, we did it again…Rhode Island’s amazing hospitality industry converged on Twin River Casino Hotel to celebrate our best and brightest of 2018. This annual event is truly the highlight of my year, and even though it takes an enormous amo...  
39 ‘Tis the Season of Giving Monika Sep 20, 2018
Hope everyone had a wonderful summer filled with rest, relaxation and rejuvenation and is now raring to go! We are fully in the season of giving – no, not the holidays – but, an even more stressful time of the year, the political season. Now...  
38 That’s a Legislative Wrap! file Monika Aug 16, 2018
After a marathon session of debates and a flurry of votes, Rhode Island’s General Assembly has adjourned for the summer. With hundreds of bills in the mix, the RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) spent countless hours carefully monitoring each...  
37 Summer in New England: Be a Tourist in Your Own Backyard file Monika Jul 05, 2018
When many of us think about summer vacations, we think about jumping on a plane and traveling to a far-off destination. However, for those of us who are fortunate enough to live in New England, there’s no need to venture too far to enjoy som...  
36 Our Next Generation of Culinary Stars: Cooking and Planning Their Hearts Out file Monika Jun 11, 2018
Recently, Providence, RI hosted the National ProStart® Invitational (NPSI), the country’s premier secondary-school competition focused on restaurant management and culinary arts. We had some wonderful judges visit from all over the nation as...  
35 Swimming Down “STREAM” Monika May 15, 2018
Education is truly the foundation of success no matter what career path you choose. Some learning is done in traditional classrooms, and more practical experience is gained in the thick of it in a restaurant or hotel kitchen, lodging establi...  
34 The #MeToo Movement is More than a Hashtag file Monika Mar 02, 2018
While the #MeToo movement has become synonymous with the entertainment industry, its reach is far deeper than the bright lights and golden statues of Hollywood. From politics, to business, to manufacturing, to hospitality, the potential for ...  
33 “We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.” file Monika Jan 02, 2018
“We are made of star-stuff. Our bodies are made of star-stuff. There are pieces of star within us all.” – Carl Sagan There is no greater honor for me each year then to be part of our industry’s largest celebration! Each November, I look forw...  
32 Paid Sick Leave Passes RI Legislature file Monika 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 Monika Sep 19, 2017
If there is one theme that has dominated the political landscape in Rhode Island for the last decade, it is without a doubt jobs and the economy. Though we have seen a rise in the local economy since the recession, talk of job creation still...  
» Taking the High Road – the Road Less Traveled file Monika Jul 24, 2017
Normal 0 false false false EN-US KO AR-SA Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association It is increasingly difficult to take the high road in today’s political climate. And, so few are doing it, but it is critically important....  
29 Paid Sick Leave – it’s Nothing to Sneeze at RIHA 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 Monika 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 Monika 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 protect co...  
26 Gluten is Not Free in Restaurants file Monika 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 alarmi...  
25 Managing a Better Future file Monika 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 Nati...  
24 Partnerships – They’re Not Always the Obvious Choice file Monika 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 organization’s ...  
23 How Important is a Proactive Crisis Plan? Your Business Could Depend on it. Monika 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 eating establis...  
22 Where Have the Teens Gone? file Monika 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 high...  
21 The Real Cost of Foodborne Illness file Monika Feb 02, 2016
Dale J. Venturini President/CEO, RI Hospitality Association Our food supply system, while infinitely safer and better regulated than most other parts of the world, still has its challenges. We’ve all seen the headlines and recalls from E. co...