Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014 - (Page 30)

ASSOCIATION NEWS Are You Allergic? BY ROGER MOREY HRA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR There has been much talk of late regarding allergens. What should an operator do? What is the role of the government? Why are allergic reactions so prevalent now as compared to when I was a child? I had a conversation with an HRA member on this subject recently, and below are some of his thoughts. Allow me to weigh in on the matter as well. I deal with it on a regular basis, at home and in the restaurant. I'll be the first to admit that our industry does not do a very good job when it comes to allergies. My daughter has severe allergies (egg, dairy, peanut and shellfish), and we've made numerous emergency trips to the hospital. Who'd have thought that the restaurant made their lemonade to order at the bar using "sweet and sour" mix, which contains an egg product? The server at the restaurant swore the sorbet was only fruit and sugar. She had no idea the chef adds a little egg white. We should have insisted she ask. Where did all these people with allergies come from anyway? Ten or 15 years ago we didn't see anywhere near the number we're seeing today. How about "gluten-free"? Did you know that in the U.S. we have twice as many people with peanut allergies compared to Asia and they eat twice the amount of peanuts? In regard to menu labeling, the issue requires more than simply stating Hawaii Restaurant Association the obvious ("food may contain a major food allergen") in a restaurant. Guests have to take responsibility by asking the right questions and demanding accurate answers. Many do and it's getting results. Restaurants in general are better at addressing this than we were years ago, and without the assistance of government. Many of us now have Allergy Alert buttons on our POS systems, require managers and chefs to give individual attention to customer allergy requests, and have manuals with ingredient labels of all items brought in that we do not make ourselves. We have regular staff meetings on the subject. Here is my suggestion for the government: Have it lighten up on all the restrictions on small farmers in the state so they can sell to restaurants. Tell it to introduce legislation that requires diet and nutrition be taught in our schools. Kids should have at least an hour on the subject. Is government going to solve the obesity problem by requiring restaurants to post calories on our menus? Do we really want people choosing foods based on calories? In the next issue, I'll continue this subject and address why allergies are a larger problem now than ever before. Hawaii Chapter News and Events BY SHELLY AWAYA Summer is just around the corner. It's time to gear up your par levels and make sure your property and staff are prepared for the vacationers who plan to visit during the next few months. To put this into perspective, think of the motto from Hookipa Workforce Academy: "If you're on time, you're already late." Bluntly put: If you don't plan ahead, you won't be prepared. To ensure a smooth infusion, now is the time to tap your vendor partners who ultimately can help you achieve operational stability while effectively managing your budget. Those sales reps who genuinely want your business will present products and support that help your guests experience the best of what your hotel or resort has to offer. Remember, working together (you and your vendor) helps get a job done quicker and more efficiently. And, you won't panic at the last minute trying to receive products to accommodate the summer rush. 30 Hawaii Hospitality May/June 2014 ■ One of our vendor members, Standard Textiles, will host the upcoming meeting program on Wednesday, May 14 at Embassy Suites - Waikiki Beach Walk. The topic will be current textile market trends. Visit our website, www.hawaii-ieha.org, for more information and updates on the meeting program and other important chapter news. The fashion show has been moved to September to tie into Vendor Appreciation Day and Housekeepers Week. More details to follow. Also, don't forget to "like" us on Facebook at www.facebook. com/IEHAHawaii. Please send your meeting RSVPs to Veronica Mayer at vmmayer@outlook.com. Mahalo for your support! http://www.hawaii-ieha.org http://www.facebook

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014

News Briefs
Are You Inspection Ready?
Lanai: Small Island, Big Aloha
Great Restaurants: W Bistro
Talk Story with George Szigeti
Small-scale Sustainability
Out of Sight, Not out of Mind
Food & Beverage SuperStars
Taking the Lead: Sales & Marketing
Jaclyn Loo of Google Inc.
Clean Talk
Association News

Hawaii Hospitality - May/June 2014