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a MAGAZINE from Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association


Representing Virginia's restaurant, Lodging & traVeL industries

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What’s On The MENU? 1/6 2016 VRLTA Legislative Priorities HorIzontaL 5 in x 2.2375 in


VIrgINIa rEStauraNt & LoDgINg Expo to DEbut IN 2016 /

Coastal Virginia Magazine



13Th AnnuAL PRoSTART STudenT inViTATionAL

to take place march 11, 2016



Coastal Virginia Magazine

/ December



CONTENTS 4 Letter From The President 8 2016 Legislative Menu 8


5 new members 6 AAHOA Adds Support


New Restaurant & Lodging Expo Coming to Virginia



12 13th annual



22 Partners

ProStart Student invitational

Supported by:

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to 2016 and the second issue of Inside Virginia Hospitality




his day and age, it should not surprise me how quickly 2015 passed. It was an extremely busy year for the Association both politically and for member engagement.

2015 saw VRLTA: ■■ Defend efforts to repeal Virginia’s post-Labor Day School Start laws; ■■ Defeat a budget proposal to increase health inspection fees by 712%; ■■ Stop job-killing minimum wage increase measures at a state and local level; ■■ Play a significant role in Virginia ABC legislation; and ■■ Successfully halt meals tax initiatives in two localities.


In 2015, just a few short months ago, we rebranded the association to ensure we accurately represented our member base. And, we continued to add new Partner members to provide you with great opportunities to grow your businesses. As we move in 2016, we are excited to welcome the former Norfolk Hospitality Association on as a full-fledged VRLTA chapter. Welcoming more than 30 new members to the association as the VRLTA Norfolk Region Chapter. VRLTA also welcomes the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) as a supporting partner of our government affairs efforts. Both partnerships were effective January 1, 2016. The Association and our members can expect more big things in 2016, including an anticipated office move just a few short blocks from Virginia’s Capitol Square and the launch of the Virginia Restaurant & Lodging Expo and Tradeshow in October.

President Eric Terry

Director of Membership Katrina Washington

VP of Government Affairs Kristian L.H. Scales

Northern Virginia, Director of Membership & Government Affairs Kristen Karrfalt

VRLTA | 2101 Libbie Ave, Richmond, VA 23230 | (804) 288-3065 4

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association


Winter 2016

But before we get to either of those exciting events, we have several hurdles to clear with the General Assembly and legislators. As we do every year, we are preparing to fight the post-Labor Day school start battle and defend our industry against anti-business tax and regulatory initiatives. During that same timeline, we will also work to defeat a proposed local meals tax increase in Fairfax County. We will also be making a larger push this year for increased tourism funding for our state. Virginia is extremely lucky to have a strong and internationally recognized tourism brand—Virginia is for Lovers. Despite the acclaim and recognition that the brand has, our tourism marketing partners have one of the smallest marketing budgets in the United States, exceeded by states such as Michigan and Illinois. There are even localities with more marketing dollars than our state, like South Carolina’s Myrtle Beach. Although, travel and tourism is one of this state’s highest tax revenue generators, we intend to increase the marketing dollars available to the state, with the goal of protecting the additional $4 million the Governor has included in the state’s biennial budget. Additionally, we will be working hard with the legislature to ensure an equal taxing and regulatory structure is provided to the Short-Term Online Rental Marketplace (e.g., Airbnb and now Expedia/HomeAway). An issue we are beginning to see appear at the national level, before Congress; the STORM, as it is called, are taking advantage of tax laws whereby they are exempt from appropriate state and local sales and occupancy taxes. This needs to change in 2016, leveling the playing field for Virginia’s hotels. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Annual Day on the Hill and Taste of VRLTA Reception on January 27 and 28 in Richmond. And, thank you for allowing our staff to represent the restaurants, hotels, and travel destinations of Virginia. Cheers to a successful 2016, Eric Terry

President, VRLTA

Director of Marketing & Communications Seth Petersen Director of Education & Workforce Development Jim Wilson

Administrator Jenny Latina ServSafe Coordinator Ann Campbell Magazine Ad Sales Kendall Burns



NEW MEMBERS | Partners

Topgolf Alexandria Alexandria

DoubleTree by Hilton Sterling Sterling

Topgolf Loudoun Ashburn

Hampton Inn & Suites Fredericksburg

Reinhart Foodservice

Triple Crossing Brewery Richmond


Residence Inn Roanoke Roanoke

The Veil Brewing Company Richmond

Sheraton Reston Reston

AAHOA Capital One

Bloomin’ Brands Tampa, FL Fiona’s Irish Pub Alexandria Isley Brewing Company Richmond Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery Goochland Midnight Brewery Rockville Spencer Devon Brewing Fredericksburg Sugar Hill Brewing Company St. Paul

Williamsburg Landing Williamsburg

| SUPPLIER Virginia Beach One-Mesh Wi-Fi Norfolk

| LODGING DoubleTree by Hilton Norfolk Airport Norfolk


Springhill Suites Woodbridge Woodbridge

| Travel Visit Loudoun Leesburg

| Education Troy University Chesapeake

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ASIAN AMERICAN HOTEL OWNERS ASSOCIATION Adds Support for Virginia’s Government Affairs Efforts


he Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA), founded in 1989 and now one of the fastest-growing industry organizations, has signed a partnership agreement with VRLTA to help support the Association’s government affairs efforts and policy positions. 6

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“With more than 300 Virginia members, we recognize the impact that the hospitality industry has on the state’s economy. We are proud to build a relationship with the VRLTA because they share the same commitment to advocacy, education, and membership support that AAHOA does,” said AAHOA President and CEO Chip Rogers. “We look forward to this new partnership because together we can effectively navigate the issues faced by business owners around the state.”

Vinay Patel, President and CEO of Fairbrook Hotels and Washington District Regional Director for AAHOA is excited about growing regional advocacy among his members. “This is a great opportunity to get more AAHOA members engaged with issues that are more local and this partnership give us the ability.” The partnership is accompanied by a commitment from AAHOA to actively promote VRLTA’s events, with particular emphasis on driving engagement and attendance to the Annual Day on the Hill event held each January. The partnership was formalized on January 1, 2016; but VRLTA was collaborating with AAHOA for several months prior to this date on legislative priorities and positions. Please join VRLTA in welcoming the Association’s new AAHOA Partners.


Virginia Restaurant & Lodging Expo to Debut in 2016


n September 2015, VRLTA launched what it hoped would be the definitive educational conference for Virginia’s restaurants, hotels and attractions—the Commonwealth Hospitality Forum. After seeing the success of the Forum in its first year, and the success of statewide industry tradeshows across the U.S., VRLTA will expand upon the learning opportunities presented last September with the launch of a complete two­-day expo and tradeshow for the industry. VRLTA is partnering with Exposition Development Company, Inc. (ExpoDevCo) to launch the Virginia Restaurant & Lodging Expo, a tradeshow serving the restaurant, foodservice, lodging and hospitality industry in Virginia. During the expo, a comprehensive educational program will be available to attendees at no extra cost. Additionally, specialized training courses and certification classes will be offered. And live demonstrations from renowned Chefs and Restaurateurs will add value each day of the two-day event. The inaugural show and seminar program will be held October 24­-25, 2016 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center in Richmond, Virginia. “The Association is looking forward to the launch, and, by partnering with ExpoDevCo, we can utilize their already existing foodservice show network and expand on that to bring our statewide industry together. We are very enthusiastic about the opportunity to offer a restaurant and lodging tradeshow for the Virginia hospitality industry.” commented Eric Terry, President of the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & “Virginia is a major market for the hospiTravel Association. According to the National Restaurant tality industry, and we are excited to be Association, there are more than 14,100 eating and drinking establishments in Virginia. Add working with the VRLTA to build this event.” that to the 1,495 lodging properties reported Stephanie Everett, ExpoDevCo’s Partner & COO by the American Hotel & Lodging Association and there is a combined market that generates $21.3 billion in sales, supporting more than 403,000 jobs. “Virginia is a major market for the hospitality industry, and we are excited to be working with the VRLTA to build this event,” added ExpoDevCo’s Partner & COO, Stephanie Everett.

October 24-25, 2016 Greater Richmond Convention Center

More information about the event is available at W ww . V R L T A . O R G




MENU Labor Day Law

Transient Occupancy Taxes

Supports the current law in place that requires schools to open after

Ensures that Transient Occupancy Taxes (TOT) continue to

Labor Day as means to protect Virginia’s High Tourism Season.

directly support regional marketing and promotional efforts.

VTC Funding

Minimum Wage

Supports promotional and cooperative marketing programs

Opposes all efforts to raise the minimum wage, or to give juris-

offered by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC). Governor

dictions the authority to impose a living wage requirement on

McAuliffe included $2 million in new funding, protecting this

private sector contractors.

appropriation is a top VRLTA priority.

Short Term Online Rental Market

Supports continued efforts to modernize ABC wholesale and

(Airbnb & Expedia/HomeAway)

retail operations, if and only if it is demonstrated that privatization

Working to ensure a level playing field exists in the lodging

will improve services to retailers and will not increase the costs of

industry. Commonsense measures to enforce basic regulation

alcoholic beverages purchased by retailers.

and taxation compliance should be adopted.

Motion Picture Funding

Accelerated Sales Tax

Supports funding the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity

Opposes the imposition of the accelerated sales tax payment, a

Fund as well as efforts to increase Virginia’s competitiveness by

policy which places an undue burden on hospitality and travel busi-

the Virginia Film Office.

nesses. Supports the total elimination of the accelerated sales tax.


Virginia ABC Modernization

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Winter 2016


VRLTA Highlights in Governor McAuliffe’s $100 Billion FY2016-2017 Proposed Budget On December 17, 2015, Governor McAuliffe unveiled his two-year FY2016-2017 budget. With Session having begun on January 13, the House and Senate will now both have an opportunity to craft their variations of the FY2016-2017 Budget. During the final weeks of Session, the Budget Conferees who are appointed members of the House Appropriate and Senate Finance Committee’s will then meet to create one compromise budget that will be sent to the Governor for his final approval in the spring. VRLTA will continue to advocate on behalf of our industry and keep you updated as we move through the budget process.

$2 Million VTC Marketing Funding Increase Included in the Governor’s proposed budget was a $4 million increase over the biennium to enhance VTC’s marketing and promotion efforts. That breaks down as two million additional dollars in fiscal year 2016 and two million in fiscal year 2017. While this is positive news for our industry, it will be essential that appropriated amount is protected as we move through the budget process.

$600,000 Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Funding Governor McAuliffe’s budget also included an additional $600,000 funding for film incentives. Better known as the Governor’s Motion Picture Opportunity Fund, this money is a vital tool in the recruitment of new and renewing film projects in the Commonwealth.

Accelerated Sales Tax Threshold Increased to $10 Million The Governor’s proposed budget also included increasing the threshold for Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) to $10 million in the first year and $25 million in fiscal year 2017. This threshold was lowered in 2015 from $26 million to $2.5 million. The Governor’s proposal would nearly restore the threshold to its former level and relieve the burden of accelerated sales tax payment for small to mid-sized businesses in the Commonwealth.



Dulles International Airport Funding The budget also included funding to help Dulles International Airport attract additional carriers and retain existing ones. The Governor included $25 million additional each year for a total of $50 million over the biennium. As we continue our efforts to increase visitation to the Commonwealth, competitive air service serves an essential role.

International Trade Initiative The Governor also included $3.65 million each year for international trade and export programs, redoubling the Commonwealth’s focus on finding new markets for Virginia’s goods and services. This is an important factor in diversifying Virginia’s economy moving forward. W ww . V R L T A . O R G



Occupancy Will Remain High Through 2017


.S. hotel occupancy will remain at record levels through 2017 according to PKF Hospitality Research | CBRE Hotels (PKF-HR). In the recently released December 2015 edition of Hotel Horizons, PKF-HR forecasts that the growth in demand for lodging accommodations will exceed the change in supply during each of the next two years. The result will be a national occupancy rate of roughly 66 percent in both 2016 and 2017. “The fundamental characteristics of the economy remain relatively unchanged, as the labor market continues to improve and GDP growth remains steady if moderate,” said R. Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of PKF-HR. “Accordingly, our forecasts for demand and average daily rate (ADR) growth remain above the long-run average in both 2016 and 2017.


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“We are not blind to current events and realize that non-economic risks do exist given the current international security environment. However, these are events which we are unable to forecast. Based on what we do know and feel comfortable forecasting, the probability of an economic downturn in U.S. hotel industry performance remains remote,” Woodworth stated. The projected record occupancy levels also means pricing power will remain with property managers. For 2016, PKF-HR is projecting room rates to increase by 5.5 percent, followed by an even greater 5.8 percent rise in 2017. “Given the modest growth projected for inflation, real ADRs are now returning to their previous peak,” Woodworth noted. During historical cycles, a real ADR recovery has triggered a surge in new supply, and PKF-HR is seeing an uptick in development. National supply change increased by 1.2 percent during the third quarter of 2015, marking two consecutive quarters of supply growth exceeding one percent for the first time in this cycle. While concerning, the rate is still well below the annualized long-run average of 1.9 percent. “With rising room rates and record occupancy levels, many developers are able to get better financing terms, and more projects either are beginning construction


or reaching the final planning phase in the development pipeline,” said John B. (Jack) Corgel, Ph.D., the Robert C. Baker professor of real estate at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and senior advisor to PKF-HR. “Fortunately, demand continues to outpace supply throughout most of the country, and the new construction is not yet a cause for alarm.” Roughly 132,000 rooms are currently under construction nationally, according to STR, Inc., up from 129,000 rooms during the second quarter of 2015. Over two-thirds of these properties are in the Upscale or Upper Midscale chain categories and are represented by a handful of Hilton and Marriott brands, such as Hampton Inn & Suites, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn. Thirty-nine of the fifty-nine markets covered by PKF-HR saw year-over-year occupancy growth in the third quarter of 2015. It is notable that several secondary markets

were among the top 15 cities for occupancy increases. “At this point in the cycle, the top tier cities are approaching all-time highs, limiting the potential for continued occupancy gains,” said Woodworth. “A classic example is the San Francisco market, where occupancy declined by 0.9 percent in the third quarter, but the occupancy level achieved was 90.3 percent.” Hotels located in the West Coast and Mountain West regions continue to lead the nation in ADR growth. “Nine of the top fifteen ADR growth markets were located in the western region of the country where employment and income gains have continued to outperform the country as a whole,” Woodworth reported. By location, Airport and Resort hotels experienced the strongest RevPAR growth during the third quarter of 2015. Airport hotels posted an 8.0 percent gain in RevPAR, driven by a 6.6 percent increase in in ADR. Resort hotels achieved strong RevPAR growth (7.6 percent),

“Fortunately, demand continues to outpace supply throughout most of the country...”

as well, mostly attributable to a slight 0.1 percent supply increase. Urban and Interstate hotels were laggards in terms of RevPAR growth, seeing increases of 3.9 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively. With forecasts of demand increases exceeding the change in supply, PKF-HR is projecting eight consecutive years of rising occupancy through 2017. This eight-year stretch of continuous occupancy growth is the longest streak since STR, Inc., began its reporting in 1988. The good news flows through to the bottom line, as well. With ADR gains contributing 80 percent of the RevPAR growth, PKF-HR also is forecasting net operating income increases exceeding 10 percent through 2017. This current seven-year, strong profit growth trend also is an all-time record. “With lodging performance at all-time record levels, the industry is well positioned to absorb unexpected adverse demand shocks should they occur,” Woodworth concluded. Courtesy of Lodging Magazine. To read the article as it was originally published at or visit

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13th annual ProStart Student invitational

to take place march 11, 2016

BY Jim Wilson Director of Education and Workforce Development


very year, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, in conjunction with the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, hosts the Annual Virginia ProStart Invitational. The event, scheduled to be held, March 11, 2016, invites schools to compete in culinary and management competitions. Industry professionals volunteer their time and expertise as competition judges to make the competition more meaningful for students. The school that wins each competition advances to the National ProStart Invitational, where they’ll represent not just their school, but the entire Virginia ProStart Program. Schools entering the Management Competition develop a proposal for the next hot restaurant concept and present it to a panel of industry judges. In developing their restaurants, students are given a fictitious location, ProStartville, and demographic information on which to base their concept. The proposed restaurant must include a fully developed


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concept, detailed menu with pricing and a substantial marketing plan that would support the launch. After presenting the concept, students are then tested on their ability to think quickly, as they are presented questions and challenges by the judges. The culinary competition highlights both the practical kitchen skills—knife skills and sanitation/safety knowledge—and the creative abilities of each school. The competition begins by each school demonstrating these knife skills through precision cutting and poultry fabrication. Following the skills tests, students stretch their creative abilities by preparing a three-­course meal—starter, entrée and dessert—in just 60 minutes, using only two butane burners with no access to running water or electricity. Recipes are provided to the judges along with the cost of preparing the dish and menu pricing. The margin for error is slim, as students are evaluated on taste, skill, teamwork, safety, costing and sanitation. In 2015, at the Invitational hosted at William & Mary, students from Salem High School (Virginia Beach, Va.) were named the Virginia ProStart Invitational culinary champions, and students from Phoebus High School (Hampton, Va.) were named the management champions. Sysco Hampton Roads has graciously offered to partner with VRLTA to host the 2016 Invitational at its facility in Suffolk, Virginia. The Virginia ProStart Student Invitational is open to the public. However, the Sysco Hampton Roads headquarters is a secure facility. If you are interested in attending, volunteering or sponsoring, please contact Jim Wilson at or 804-288-3065.

Details and registration, including sponsorship opprtunities, for the event can be found at ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ ProStart is the nation’s premier culinary arts and restaurant management program, utilized in more than 1,700 high schools in 48 states, Guam and on U.S. military bases. The program reaches nearly 100,000 students annually. Administered by the National Restaurant Association Education Foundation, ProStart prepares young people to pursue additional studies or enter a rewarding career in the foodservice sector. Many post­secondary schools in the nation recognize ProStart’s Certificate of Achievement, which is awarded to students who complete both levels of the program and at least 400 hours of work experience, and reward them with scholarship and credits.

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Upcoming Events and Dates 2016



More information about these events can be found at or the appropriate association’s website.

April 12–13 NRA Public Affairs Conference Washington, DC

January 8–April 8 Weekly GAC Update Calls (Fridays at 2:00 p.m.) January 27–28 VRLTA Day on the Hill Richmond

April 18–19 VRLTA Annual Meeting Norfolk

February 9 Norfolk Region Chapter Board Meeting

May 17–18 AH&LA Legislative Action Summit Washington, DC

March 8 Norfolk Region Chapter Board Meeting March 7–14 Northern Virginia Restaurant Week April 12 Norfolk Region Chapter Board Meeting & Luncheon

October 23–24 Virginia Restaurant & Lodging Expo Richmond November 13–15 2016 VA-1 Tourism Summit Roanoke


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From Fresh Meat and Seafood to Local Produce, we are Virginia’s hometown foodservice distributor since 1887.

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Regional Updates

With One Signature 30+ Norfolk Members Join VRLTA BY Tim Peters Norfolk Hospitality Association Immediate Past Chair & General Manager Sheraton Norfolk Waterside Hotel Effective January 1, 2016, the Norfolk Hospitality Association was proud to become the newest chapter of the VRLTA! Our Association will now be the VRLTA Norfolk Region Chapter, and our membership is excited about the opportunities this brings to both our local chapter and the VRLTA. We believe there is strength in numbers, and we just increased our influence on both the local and state level with this merger of these two Associations on the rise. Our Association began as the Norfolk Hotel Motel Association, and due to our need to garner more influence with our elected officials it decided in 2014 to expand to include restaurants, venues and attractions, increasing our membership two-fold. Not satisfied yet with our ability to 16

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influence local and state legislation that could have a positive influence on tourism in our market we looked for other like organizations on the same mission. After attending some trade forums specifically targeted towards tourism, we were impressed with what Eric Terry and VRLTA were doing and the level of involvement they had on both the regional and statewide levels. Like NHA, VRLTA’s desire to grow their organization and to increase its influence on state legislature was just what we were looking for to fulfill our goals. Thus, this was an easy transition and decision to make in becoming a regional chapter of VRLTA. Norfolk and the surrounding area is a mega-tourism location, a true destination tourism market that has grand potential to make our Commonwealth one of the top tourism states in our country. We have history, white-sand beaches, festivals, art, museums, restaurants and venues with any kind of entertainment you can imagine. There is truly something for everyone when it comes to vacationing, sightseeing or a simple getaway weekend. You can find it all in the Norfolk Region!


Fight Against Fairfax County Prepared Meals Tax Coalition Gathers in Tysons to Lay Framework In mid-December, Fairfax area business leaders and Association members gathered at Clyde’s in Tysons to organize a grassroots network to counter a renewed push by the Fairfax County Board to establish a prepared meals tax on the 2016 ballot. The National Restaurant Association’s Advocacy Development team joined the group, which included attendance by Visit Fairfax, the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, Clyde’s Restaurant Group, Great American Restaurant Group, BF Saul Hotels and many more. The group made plans to meet again in early January to announce the Coalition’s leadership and outline a plan to advocate for fair taxation, not a tax that targets a single industry. An industry that, in 2013, supported nearly 1,200 eating and drinking establishments and 30,000 employees.* The National Restaurant Association also outlined a plan, at the meeting, to develop a long-term campaign that aims to turn the long-held

2016 Northern Virginia Restaurant Week



legislative opinion that restaurants are “an industry of no,” to the industry that supports government projects and the public at large. As a story that exists currently, but a narrative that has yet to be publicly shared. More details of this plan will also be shared in January. *Data based on Virginia Congressional Districts 11 provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Census Bureau.

‘16 MAR CH 7- 14, 2016 P R O D U C E D BY

March 7—14 For the second consecutive year, VRLTA will partner with the Northern Virginia Restaurant Week. The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce started the event in 2014. This year’s Third Annual Restaurant Week will see significant growth in the number of participating restaurants with the addition of the Arlington and Loudoun County Chambers of Commerce as producing partners. 2016 will also mark the first time the Northern Virginia Restaurant Week will include a charitable component. No Kid Hungry’s Share Our Strength campaign, VRLTA’s preferred charitable organization, has been selected by the Chambers to be the beneficiary of the event. The No Kid Hungry campaign connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals. The campaign also engages the public to make ending child hunger a national priority. VRLTA is excited to be a part of growing Northern Virginia Restaurant Week in 2016, establishing it as the top restaurant week in the region. For more information about Northern Virginia Restaurant Week, including how to register your restaurant, visit W ww . V R L T A . O R G





While the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2016” chef survey highlights what’s trending on restaurant menus, additional analysis of survey results and respondents’ answers to the open-ended question “What will be the next hot menu trend” reveal a few more food ideas to keep an eye on in the next year:


Veggie-centric: When referring to center-of-theplate items, that usually means proteins, but that may be changing. Fresh produce as the star of the plate is being championed by more restaurants and culinary professionals, who are serving up vegetable-centric meals that are often vegetarian without being advertised as such. And even when animal proteins are included in the dish, the veg is still the main attraction. Basically the opposite of television character Ron Swanson’s attitude toward veggies as “the food that my food Eats.”

Restaurant Stores “Grocerants” has been around for a few years now – grocery stores increasingly focusing on foodservice. We’re now starting to see restaurants adapting that idea by considering fresh food retail operations. If consumers want to eat where they shop for groceries, it’s reasonable to believe they also want to grocery shop where they eat. In fact, half of consumers say they would be interested in buying fresh, uncooked food items from restaurants (think items like steak, shrimp, bread and pasta of the same quality as served in the restaurant). Hybrid concepts like food halls and market restaurants are leading the way.

Sriracha. The New Ketchup? The red sauce in the bottle with the green top is ubiquitous, but just a few years ago, only Thai food enthusiasts were familiar with this condiment. Following in its popularity growth wake are a range of other condiments and spices from various global cuisines applied to anything and everything to create brand new flavor combinations. Chimichurri as a hamburger topping. Peri peri barbecue ribs. Za’atar spread on crostini. Raita with hot wings. You get the idea.

Simple is Key Simplicity, back to basics cooking, and classic dishes. These are words to live by in the year ahead according to many professional chefs. While molecular gastronomy is turning more mainstream, there is a counter-movement brewing that focuses on stripping down recipes to fewer ingredients to let them shine in all their glory. Venerable preparation methods like pickling, fermenting and smoking are back with a vengeance, and traditional recipes are being refreshed for today’s palates.

African Flavors International cuisines have become ingrained in our everyday diets, but despite featuring numerous distinct cuisines, Africa is still relatively under-explored when it comes to culinary experiences in the United States. Perhaps not for much longer, however. Berbere, harissa, dukkah, ras el hanout, tsire and other spice mixes and flavors are likely to gain wider use, as African flavors are a fastgrowing trend.

No More Gluten Free? All good things must come to an end, and we may be approaching the end of the trends line for kale salads and gluten-free cuisine. Both of these formerly hot trends have been losing steam over the past couple of years. But don’t expect either to go away altogether. We’re more likely to see these evolve into perennial favorites over time. For example, kale salads are being adapted to salads where other greens are traditionally used, like Caesars and Cobbs, and gluten-free items are becoming menu staples at many foodservice locations.

Courtesy of the National Restaurant Assocaition. To read the article as it was originally published at or visit 18

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A Look Back

1 May 1993, Kal Kassir is recognized by the National Restaurant Association for his service to the Foodservice Industry.


Members and Staff of the Northern Virginia Chapter of Virginia Restaurant Association pose for a picture at the annual golf tournament in 1993. Photo includes Corey Carson, Pat Moynihan, Sue Ann Murray, Bill Easby-Smith and Danny Mitchell.

3 Virginia chefs stand for a photo at one of Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation events. Date unknown.


The Virginia Beach Chapter of VRA hosts the 1991 Christmas Party for the Norfolk, Tri-Cities, Virginia Beach region.


Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association


Winter 2016


Three members of the Northern Virginia Chapter fighting to prevent a meals tax increase. Date unknown.


A Mountain View Of Virginia Virginia’s mountains are an irresistible getaway for visitors in all four seasons. The rugged landscape, with peaks rising over 4,000’, provides breathtaking views. The valleys below are home to vibrant cities and charming towns brimming with mountain culture, music, food and hospitality. The iconic Blue Ridge, immortalized in music and literature, and the soaring Alleghenies meet in Virginia to form a mountain lovers paradise just waiting to be explored. Every day in Virginia’s mountains is a new adventure. Like the mountains themselves, the opportunities for fun and adventure surround you. The outdoor recreation is world-class – including hiking, mountain biking, road cycling on scenic byways, paddling peaceful rivers and reeling in trophy fish on cool mountain streams and lakes. History of Virginia is alive and on display. Retrace the route of early American pioneers, learn about the rich history of the railroad in Virginia and understand the vital role the region played in winning World War II. A beautiful covered bridge built in 1857 is now one of the most photographed icons in the state. And experience the natural hot springs and a grand resort that has been welcoming visitors since before the Revolutionary War.

Everywhere you go in Virginia’s Mountain Region, you’ll fall in love with a different city or town, each with it own authentic personality. Roanoke is the largest metropolitan area in Virginia’s mountains. Diverse dining choices, interesting museums, great shopping, night-life and sports can be found in the Roanoke Valley. Dozens of quaint small towns dot the landscape of the Virginia Mountain Region. Each has its own history, architecture and personality, but they all share a genuine sense of hospitality and the dramatic views found only in the mountains.

Your local source for foodservice products. •

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Better hiring tools, Ecolab.Com Around the world businesses in foodservice, food processing and hospitality right at your choose Ecolab products and servicesfingertips. to keep their environment clean and safe, operate efficiently and achieve sustainability goals.

Snagajob and VRLTA partner to give your hiring an edge.


Sysco Virginia & Sysco Hampton Roads Along with top quality ingredients, all of our products are proudly backed by the highest quality assurance demanded by Sysco. Our dedicated associates and foodservice experts can explain how easy it is to do business with Sysco.

Whether you’re looking for servers, cooks, Fpis.Com housekeeping, front desk, maintenance and They can help FPIS is the southeast’s premier brochure distribution service. more, you can find them fast with spending Snagajob. you build an audience and awareness without the time and energy doing it yourself. You’ll get more applications, better applicants and a streamlined hiring process—saving you time and money. Post jobs, track applications and manage your new hires, all in one place.

Sil insurance

VRLTA members save 10%. Vrlta.Org/sil

Gold Capital one Capitalone.Com Capital One has partnered with VRLTA to make securing a small business loan simple. Whether it’s new computers, debt consolidation or a new space, Capital One has a loan or line of credit that can help take your business to the next level.

Comcast Business Comcast Business can save you money on your tv, internet, and phone services. VRLTA’s dedicated sales representative will work directly with you to improve your telecom solutions and lower costs.

Performance Foodservice - Virginia Performance Foodservice delivers more than 125,000 food and food-­related products to 85,000 customer locations on a daily basis from 24 broadline and 10 specialty distribution locations.

Reinhart Foodservice Reinhart Foodservice is the 4th largest foodservice distributor in the country, serving independent restaurants, delis, sporting venues, schools, nursing homes, hospitals, the military and chain accounts. Our customers benefit from one-­stop shopping, as we offer a vast array of products to suit operators’ needs, like fresh meat, seafood, produce, dairy, coffee, dry groceries, china, utensils, disposables, foodservice equipment and more. 22

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association


Winter 2016

SILVisit Insurance offers you expert advice, leveraged pricing, fast service, & flexible today. solutions for workers compensation insurance and more. Members can often save up to 25% on workers compensation premiums.

Snagajob Learn.Snagajob.Com/vrlta Snagajob is America’s #1 spot for hourly employment. Posting your jobs on Snagajob.Com gives you access to over 60 million job seekers, most of whom don’t visit other job sites. Millennials love applying using our mobile­friendly website and app. Hiring managers value Snagajob’s paperless application and new hire paperwork process, which makes it easy to quickly identify and hire quality workers. Now partnered with the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, Snagajob is proud to offer preferred pricing, including a 10% discount for VRLTA members.

OTHER MONEY SAVING PROGRAMS Fishbowl Vrlta.Org/fishbowl Fishbowl is the leading online marketing solution for the restaurant industry, and a great option for small and independent hotels. If you need email marketing, social media management, and reputation monitoring or full­service­online marketing Fishbowl has it covered. As a VRLTA member, you’re eligible for a free local email marketing account with 500 free monthly messages, 10% off list price thereafter, and more.

OFFICE DEPOT Vrlta.Org/officedepot Office Depot and OfficeMax offer you up to 80% off office supplies, both in­store & online. You’ll receive next day delivery on orders over $50. Plus, you can get an additional 15% off your first online order using coupons. To get all these benefits and more, just register online using company tracking code 0337.


W ww . V R L T A . O R G


2101 Libbie Ave., Richmond, VA 23230


We support our members’ interests through legislative representation with the goal of protecting and maintaining Virginia’s high tourism season, VA ABC legislation and regulations, tourism funding, and taxation and workforce issues.


Members save s money just by using VRLTA’s Partner Members’ services. Some of which you may already use, including Sysco, Comcast, Performance Foodservice, Reinhart Foodservice, Connexture Energy, Heartland Payment Systems, SIL Insurance and more.


VRLTA has several chances for members to VR network including Quarterly Membership Meetings, Regional Tourism Summits, the VA-1 Tourism Summit, and Regional Mixers; as well as Political Action Committee (PAC) and Education Foundation fundraisers.


Our members receive a free listing in the annual Virginia Travel Guide and mobile app. Members are also invited to participate in various marketing co-ops at discounted rates and are given the first opportunities to sponsor meetings and events.



Virginia Restaraunt, Lodging & Travel Association


Fall 2015

Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association Winter 2016  

Inside Virginia Hospitality, representing Virginia's restaurant, lodging and travel industries, published by VistaGraphics, Inc.

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