Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015 - (Page 30)

TALK STORY WITH GEORGE SZIGETI This New Year, Embrace All That Hawaii Has to Offer Hauoli Makahiki Hou! If you are like me, you have no doubt made a few New Year's resolutions with promises to yourself and loved ones to take better care of your health, spend more time with family and friends, and perhaps even check a few lifelong dreams off the list this year. I won't bore you with all of mine, but the one resolution I would like to take a moment to expand on is the one at the top of my list this year-invest in happiness. As I was driving to work a few months ago, a deejay on the radio cited an inspiring quote that went, "It is not how much we have, but how much we enjoy that creates happiness." Such a simple message, and a powerful one, that really put everything into perspective when I heard it. In this busy world of technology and 24/7 connectivity, it is easy to let work and other distractions get the best of us. Just take a look around a restaurant the next time you're there and count how many people are buried in their mobile devices, void of conversation with their guest they are there to enjoy time with, and missing out on the ambiance around them. With this in mind, I've made it a goal this year to spend even more time with family and friends, reconnect with colleagues and others who I may not have seen in the past couple years, and do this in a way that enables me to experience new things, and familiar favorites, that make Hawaii such a special place to live and work. So how do I plan to keep to my resolutions? Going out to enjoy great food, wine, and scenery is always a pleasure. The fresh fish and attentive service at Roy's Waikiki, the creative sushi offerings at Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar, the delicious steaks and sides at DK Steakhouse, the creative menu at Japengo, and the wine list and dining room at Azure are few of my favorite places to entertain family and friends. For those who enjoy breakfast over pau hana, Hau Tree Lanai at the New Otani Hotel is my go to for the best eggs benedict in the state. Trust me on this one. There have been great activities and attractions opening in the past year that are still on my "to do" list from new hiking and ziplining adventures on Hawaii Island, to new spa experiences on Maui and outdoor adventures on Kauai. Oahu is no exception. Take the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort for example. Last November, the resort debuted a 10,000-square-foot, 400-seat multimillion-dollar theater and nightclub in its Tapa Tower that is home to CabaRAE, Waikiki's new variety show directed by former Cirque du Soleil director Alan Goldberg. The dynamic twohour performance thrills audiences with incredible aerial acts, daredevil feats of strength, and gut-busting comedy. I have a feeling my family and friends will want to see this one soon. Finally, taking time to enjoy the talented musicians and entertainers that keep Hawaiian music thriving is something everyone should be doing more often. Kani Ka Pila Grille is a favorite venue of mine for some of the best live entertainment by Hawaii's greatest artists. Some say, "Take time to smell the roses." I say, make time to enjoy those who matter to you most, live it up in this great place we call home and embrace the sounds of aloha. May you find abundant happiness in 2015. George D. Szigeti is president and CEO of the Hawaii Lodging and Tourism Association (HLTA). AT THE TABLE WITH ROGER MOREY How the HRA Stands Up for You This is Roger Morey's final column for Hawaii Hospitality magazine as executive director of the Hawaii Restaurant Association. His stint at the HRA ended on Dec. 31. The trade association had not made an official announcement on his successor as of press time. It was 1947. Tired of the rules and regulations being imposed on their businesses, a group of people joined forces and founded the Hawaii Restaurant Association (HRA). It was the impetus to form our organization, similar to the origins of the National Restaurant Association (NRA). Early on, your association was at the forefront speaking to elected officials on behalf of regular and allied members. Sixty-eight years later, we're with you still. In recent history we have worked closely, one on one, with legislators to promote their understanding and value of tip credit, particularly as it relates to back-room employees. Additionally, we shared with them the difficulty restaurateurs have with the conflict between federal and state legislation. When minimum wage was at the forefront we, once again, provided written and oral testimony. Our position was not in disagreement with an increase in minimum wage, but with a 30 Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015 ■ phased-in increase over several years. While we did not get all that we campaigned for, we did receive consideration. At the Honolulu City Council we took the lead in opposing a bill that would have banned foam food-service containers. With support from our restaurant, supplier and partner organizations we were successful in having the bill deferred until experts were able to answer the tough, but legitimate, questions posed by council members. When the issue came up on Maui we reintroduced our "Don't take my plate lunch" campaign, with similar results. When the 28th Legislature convenes in January the HRA will be there representing you and your livelihood. In order to best defend your interests the HRA needs to know more about you, about your business, and what legislative issues are most important to you. Take the time to let the HRA know ... what it needs to know. Call the HRA at 944-9105 (you can leave a recording of any length) or email info@hawaiirestaurant.org. Share with the association your most important legislative issues, at the local, state and federal level. Working with others in our industry the HRA will present your views to your elected officials. Did you know that as a regular, (restaurant) member in the HRA you receive dual membership in the National Restaurant Association? It is an important benefit that provides full access to the NRA website. It covers all aspects (including legislative) of the restaurant business. You can see it at www.restaurant.org. http://www.restaurant.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015

Women & Their Power
HLTA’s Culinary Gala
HRA for the Holidays
Gun Tourism
When Visitors Get Sick
Luxury Limo Services
Na Poe Paahana Awards
Tips from Engineers
Women in Lodging
Aloha Ambassadors
News Briefs
Talk Story
At the Table

Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015