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
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015
Women & Their Power
HLTA’s Culinary Gala
HRA for the Holidays
When Visitors Get Sick
Luxury Limo Services
Na Poe Paahana Awards
Tips from Engineers
Women in Lodging
At the Table
Hawaii Hospitality January/February 2015