INSIDER Volume 11 - Issue 3 - February 8, 2011
» Open for Business Initiative –ORHMA Breaking Down Regulations
The ORHMA has been working with Open for Business (OFB) which is Ontario’s initiative to create faster, smarter and streamlined government-to-business services and to establish a modern system of government by year end. Following a discovery tour and meetings with stakeholders the ORHMA prepared a comprehensive report on regulatory barriers with the intention to streamline and simplify difficult processes that are currently in place preventing operator success. This initiative focuses strictly on regulations that have an opportunity for a quick win and those that can be solved without government funds.
In a recent meeting with OFB we have identified the top five priorities and the OFB will convene a roundtable with ORHMA and key representatives from the relevant ministries as identified in our priorities submission. ORHMA will be invited to present its priorities and recommendations. Ministries will then have two months to work with ORHMA to develop and work out solutions to the priorities wherever possible. If some priorities cannot be fully addressed, ministries must provide alternative recommendations on how the issues can be resolved.
The ORHMA and the Open for Business team have identified the following top five regulatory priorities that need attention:
1. Food Safety - Issue: Standardized Food Premise Inspection Reporting Programs
Background : Although the Food Safety Protocol requires Public Health Units (PHUs) to provide food premise inspection results to the public upon request, over the past 10 years several PHUs have developed region/municipality-wide inspection reporting programs, with more still in development, leaving a myriad of program designs throughout the province.
Consistency of standards throughout the province will assist food premise operators who own and operate facilities in various areas of the province to understand their rights and responsibilities under food premise inspection and reporting programs.
2. Food Safety - Issue: Standardized Food Handler Training and Certification programs
Background: Several Public Health Units (PHUs) have or are currently developing mandatory food handler training and certification programs. Similar to Food Premise Inspection Reporting programs, food handler training and certification programs vary from region to region. Developing a standardized food handler training and certification program design, for PHUs who choose to operate such a program, will assist the industry in understanding and meeting their requirements while increasing public confidence in the food safety system.
3. Beverage Alcohol - Issue: Ontario operators are restricted in marketing to consumers a one price travel package option to promote all-inclusive pricing and be globally competitive.
Background: Destinations around the globe market all-inclusive pricing that they can market to consumers seeking out a one price travel package option. This one price option for vacations allows the operator to promote packaging targeted to consumers with a desire to pay one price for their holiday that includes some amount of alcohol.The Ontario tourist market is at a disadvantage in not being able to offer a similar program. Although the AGCO’s Advertising Guidelines and regulations allow licensees to include alcohol as part of a meal package (as long as the price for liquor is shown and patrons have the ability to order the package without liquor), beverage alcohol in all-inclusive travel packages is, for the most part, banned.
4. Beverage Alcohol - Issue: Ontario liquor licensees are currently prohibited from providing complimentary beverage alcohol.
Background: Patrons may not be given free drinks. A licensee and the employees of a licensee are prohibited from supplying liquor to a patron free of charge under any circumstances unless otherwise permitted by regulation. Establishments would like to provide complimentary champagne to celebrate an anniversary or to compensate a guest for a mistake in service. Why not let a properly licensed establishment celebrate closing a banquet order with a glass of wine? Ontario should recognize that there are legitimate occasions such as these and ensure that regulations recognize such situations while ensuring a degree of public safety scrutiny. The suggestion here is not to allow limitless free alcoholic beverages, merely to acknowledge and permit perhaps limited instances where a free alcoholic beverage may be appropriate at the discretion of management. In many countries these activities are common place gestures. The goal is to remove regulation from an impediment to reasonable growth.
5. Inspections - Issue: The typical inspection model employed in Ontario is one of strict enforcement. The ORHMA suggests that the Ontario Government move to a compliance based model and enhance the resources and resources available to employers to assist them in understanding and meeting their obligations.
Background: Hospitality and tourism operators have taken the position for years that they would like more of a partner than an enforcer when it comes to compliance with government rules, regulations, guidelines and legislation. Operators view the government inspector, regardless of their jurisdiction, as an anxiety laden experience with every expectation for a negative outcome with the specter of financial ruin and embarrassment thrown into the mix. Clearly a time marked by emotion and concern when the entire process should always be focused on the public good.
We realize there have been several attempts to reduce “red tape” and much work has been performed by industry on many fronts with always very little success so rightfully businesses might be strictly looking at this as another “kick at the can”. This initiative presents a golden opportunity for the Hospitality Industry to succeed as ORHMA will be seating with key government leadership within a framed plan for achievement.
» Hotel Business Looks Good
CB Richard Ellis completed a report that confirmed that private investors have lead in activity of buying lodging facilities since the global recession hit two years ago. The corporations are finally taking part in this, feeling confident of the economic turnaround and confident in accessing credit. The Conference Board of Canada is forecasting a GDP growth of 3.6% in 2010 with the average annual growth from 2011 to 2014 estimated at 3.0%. The growth represents escalating traveler growth and an increase in hotel traffic that lead to a greater cash flow eventually leading to a rise in lodging investment. The capital markets can source ready amounts of debt and equity for acquisitions and financings. Significant expansion in investment activity both in the USA and Canada is due to a steady growth of Revenue Per Available Room (REVPAR) and seeing the industry heading into an increase of business demand.
» Toronto Ranked in Sixth Place for Hotel Room Nights Sold
Whether it was a surge in international attention created by the G20 or our reputation as being a clean and safe city, tourism in Toronto hit record levels in 2010. According to Tourism Toronto, the city was ranked in sixth place in hotel occupancy among top North American cities, behind New York, Boston, San Francisco and Miami. In 2009, Toronto was in the number 10 spot. Hotel stays in Toronto increased to 68.3 per cent, up 9.7 per cent over the prior year. In 2010, the city saw about 10 million overnight visitors, which translated into $4.5 billion in revenue. Although most of the travelers who visited Toronto were from the United States, the fastest growing visitor markets included India, Brazil, China and Japan. For more information click here.
» Joint Task to Look at Streamlining the Borders – Harper and Obama Meeting
Canada and the USA’s special relationship once included easy border access contributing to uncomplicated tourism flow. The borders still facilitate the largest bilateral trading relationship in the world. There are enormous benefits to the two countries but the access issues are continually diminishing the tourism industry. How can we continually accept the hassles on the borders of the two closest neighbours …while countries in Europe with more historic differences operate with open borders?
The ORHMA and partners have been calling for improvements to the traffic flow at our borders and it is encouraging to hear Stephen Harper and Barack Obama this past week sign off on a 10-page declaration appointing a joint task force for a border that it is both secure and streamlined. This is a significant breakthrough following years of "thickening of the border," initiatives.
Ontario alone lost over $10m international visitors with the aftermath of 9/11 and the borders to many remain the primary impediment to stimulating tourism growth. We are encouraged and applaud the Federal Government and urge for acceleration of this plan.
It is not surprising that the border issues are listed as a key recommendation in improving Canada’s Tourism by the National Tourism Coalition.-see next article that follows.
» Specific Recommendations to Stimulate Canada’s Tourism Growth (NTCC White Paper)
The ORHMA supports The National Travel and Tourism Coalition (NTTC) in driving to break down national barriers issues and seeking to engage government in the development of a new and comprehensive national strategy for the growth of the travel and tourism industry in Canada. The NTTC has summarized a set of recommendations that when implemented it will set the stage for economic tourism growth. The recommendations in many ways parallel ORHMA’s Competitiveness Study submission in which ideas ended up appearing in the release of Discovering Ontario- A Report on the Future of Tourism.
Global Cost Competitiveness
• Eliminate; airport rents, municipal taxes imposed on airports and payments in lieu of taxes
• Dedicate the proceeds of the excise tax on aviation fuel to aviation infrastructure
• Significantly reduce or eliminate the Air Travelers Security Charge (ATSC) through greatly expanded government funding for aviation security and passenger screening services
• Modify the Foreign Convention and Tour Incentive program through:
- Improvements to the current tour operator scheme
- Re-introduction of an individual rebate scheme
Travel and Tourism Infrastructure
• Create a travel and tourism Infrastructure bank capable of providing low cost financing to airports, airlines, and major travel and tourism infrastructure development projects
• Improve the connectivity of airports with the surrounding communities and expand interconnections between air travel and other modes of transportation
• Develop a coordinated travel and tourism growth or facilitation strategy that identifies the key priorities within each region
• Ensure that Canada’s travel and tourism infrastructure investment policy is consistent with similar such policies in major competitor countries
Forward Looking Tourism Strategy
• Increase funding for the Canadian Tourism Commission:
- Strive for internationally competitive levels of financial support
- Ensure stability and predictability of funding to the CTC over longer periods of time
• Ensure federal departmental policy decisions consider impacts to tourism and take all necessary steps to mitigate these impacts
• Provide small and medium sized tourism establishments access to financing through the development of a travel and tourism infrastructure bank that can provide financial intermediation
Smart Security and Border Controls
• Increase financial and human resources of the Canadian Border Services Agency in order to minimize the impact of their operations on visitors’ travel experience
• Aggressively implement smart border control
• technologies and trusted traveler programs
• Implement changes at the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) that would allow for improved transparency and communication with key stakeholders such as airports and airlines
• Allow airports to provide airport passenger pre-screening if they wish to do so
• Benchmark CATSA throughput rates and productivity levels with similar security screening providers around the world and implement regular best practices review
• Increase the available supply of labour in Canada
• Encourage the participation of under-represented groups in the labour market such as youth and new Canadians
• Streamline and improve the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program including Labour Market Opinions (LMOs)
• Continue to fund the work of the Canadian Tourism Human Resource Council (CTHRC)
• Ensure that skills training for the hospitality industry is sufficiently available
» Loading Docks on a February Inspection Blitz
The Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL) will undertake a province-wide, month-long safety inspection blitz focused on loading docks, starting February 1, 2011. All service sector workplaces will be affected. For more information including what inspectors will look for click here.
» Did you Know About…
• Fall Hazards in Kitchens - Learn to identify common hazards that could lead to falls in commercial kitchens. Click here for Spot the Fall Hazards.
• Musculoskeletal Disorders - Most pains and strains at work are preventable. Find out how click here.
• Easier Tools for Employers - A variety of tools are available: Employer Workbook, Public Holiday Pay Calculator, Severance and Termination tools. Click here for tools.
» Food Safety and Influenza
Everyone is at risk of getting the flu virus. It spreads very easily through droplets from coughing and sneezing; by shaking hands or by touching surfaces or objects that someone with the flu had touched; and by touching the eyes, nose or mouth with infected hands.
As food handlers all employees and employers have an added responsibility when it comes to serving the public. We can’t control the health and wellness of the guest. However we can help to protect them and ourselves by knowing and using the facts about the flu. For an Influenza Fact Sheet that explains the facts click here. For related employee hygiene and hand washing practices click here. Print a copy of these documents, discuss them with your staff and post them on your staff information board. These two documents when used can help you to reduce staff absenteeism, protect your guests and protect your business reputation.
Should you have issues of concern related to ‘food safety and inspections’ we can communicate with the Board of Health on your behalf ‘in confidence’ and provide answers in a timely manner - Click here to send email.
» Free Employee Recruitment Service to ORHMA Members
ableworks.ca is a new ORHMA benefit program that offers free recruitment services to ORHMA members. This new ORHMA partnership initiative is dedicated to the active recruitment, hiring and retention of workers with disabilities to promote and create an inclusive and diverse workforce.
ableworks.ca also features a recruiting website to post job openings and the convenience of contacting your dedicated and knowledgeable ableworks.ca “Account Manager” to take care of your job posting for you. This one stop, no cost, comprehensive employee recruiting service provides you access to a large pool of eager job seekers with diverse skills while saving you the time and cost associated to recruitment efforts and training.
Find out more about the AODA Legislation, the importance of the mandatory Customer Service Standard and it’s compliance for January 1, 2012 click here. Contact your Diversity Recruitment Specialist at Toll free (800) 668-8906.
» CPR – The Difference between Life and Death
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of death in both Canada and the United States. It is estimated that 35,000 to 45,000 Canadians succumb to SCA annually, with a frequency of one per every 1,000 individuals 35 years of age and older. It does not discriminate against age, gender, race or physical fitness level. More people die from SCA each year than from breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, traffic accidents, gun-related deaths and AIDS combined.
In the latter half of 2010 new and improved CPR guidelines came into effect around the world. These new protocols, based on years of research, have simplified the way bystanders are to perform CPR thus increasing the likelihood of a positive outcome for the victim. All staff working in a hotel, motel, restaurant and business where the public gathers, should be trained in life-saving CPR skills. In the end, it’s a co-worker, a patron/client, a wife, a husband, a daughter, a son, a friend who ends up suffering. In fact, we are all potential victims. Complacency and apathy are deadly. It’s never too late. Get your staff trained in CPR and help save a life!
Contact Heaven Can Wait today at 416-331-8855 to ask about our special group rates for CPR training for your staff. For more information visit www.heavencanwait.biz or click here to contact David Goodman and ask for your ORHMA member discount.
» New ORHMA Insurance Extranet Site!
Your Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association Insurance Extranet Site has been updated with user friendly side menu navigation and a fresh look.
The Ontario Restaurant Hotel & Motel Association is pleased to offer you effective insurance coverage through it’s ORHMA Insurance Program, provided by Western Financial Insurance. “We are committed to excellent service and very competitive rates.” Western Financial Insurance.
Click here for more information on TotalGUARD Employee Benefits, Commercial Insurance, Risk Management, and to access forms, news and bulletins.
» Let Barmetrix Improve Your Beverage Control Profitability
Barmetrix is a team of passionate industry coaches who improve the profitability of our clients, while providing managers and staff the support, tools, and training they need to help achieve your goals. We work with your team and existing processes to improve your businesses position.
The average restaurant/bar, with quality systems in place, loses 8-12% of its alcohol and food product on a weekly basis. The average Barmetrix client, experiences losses of 2% or less. What would an extra 10% mean to your bottom line? If you're interested to learn more, email us your contact information here and we will have a BarMetrix Specialist contact you.
» Improve Employee Retention by Providing World Class Benefits
Group Lockhart provides professional benefits administration combined with the buying power of millions of dollars in premium within the hospitality sector to save you both time and money
Delivering effective benefit compensation strategies has made us “Broker of Choice for the Employer of Choice” and has helped us achieve recognition as Hotelier Magazine’s 2010 Pinnacle Award winner in the category “Supplier of the Year” James Lockhart, Group Lockhart For more information, please click here.
» Save on Commercial Fitness Products with PPL Aquatics
ORHMA Members qualify for a 15% savings from published list prices on quality commercial fitness products, commercial hot tubs and hydrotherapy massage beds from industry leading manufactures such as SportsArt, Landice, Hoist and HydroTher Spa & Wellness Products. Same discount will apply to all pool, sauna and steam room products. ORHMA members also receive complimentary room assessments, design and layout services.
PPL is the industry leader in the design, equipping and servicing of fitness and aquatic amenities for the hospitality industry with a full range of products from light to heavy duty use depending on the requirements of the property. To speak with a PPL Specialist or for more information, please email us your contact information click here.
PPL Aquatics: Basic Pool Operators Course
Hotels and Resorts benefit from the experience of attending a one day Certification that provides the necessary information to comply with Ontario Health Regulations and improve the quality and performance of your Pool or Spa. Next course is being offered on February 17th. Cost is $140.00 per person; OHMRA members receive a 15% discount. Click here for BPO course information.
» Generation Y’s are here to stay!
Don’t miss out on the fastest growing segment in today’s workforce, Generation Y. As baby boomers retire, generation Y’s are the predominant pool of job seekers organizations are hiring. This generation comes into the workplace with new found confidence, a completely different set of goals and expectations. Learning how to effectively attract, motivate, and retain Generation Y is essential to an organization’s success.
OTEC invites you to attend our workshop Engaging Generation Y on March 30th, 2011. Learn everything you need to know to manage this growing segment of the workforce. For more information and to register click here!
» Mark Your Calendars!
ORHMA Breakfast Seminars: Accesibility for Ontarioanas with Disability Act (AODA) Business Operators Obligations on Customer Service Seminar. By January 1, 2012 businesses and organizations in the private and not-for-profit sectors will be obligated to comply with the Customer Service Standard implemented as part of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Attend this ORHMA information session to raise your awareness of your new obligations related to the accessible customer service and how to meet them, as well as future accessibility requirements.
• February 23rd, 2011 – 10:00 a.m. - Marriott Niagara Falls Fallsview & Spa.
• March 1st, 2011 - 10:00 a.m. - Sheraton Hamilton.
• March 3rd, 2011 - 10:00 a.m. Best Western Brant Park Inn.