Marilou Shea, Food Truck Academy

Hospitality is a timeless, stable career

By Marilou Shea I’m often surprised at the number of people who don’t know what “hospitality” means, but I am always pleasantly surprised once I enlighten them. A happy face appears, as a warm memory traverses their heart to their head. It’s clear good hospitality leaves a lasting, memorable imprint. Hospitality shares the same Latin…

An applicant fills out paperwork at a May career fair hosted by the Washington Hospitality Association Education Foundation. More than 100 job seekers and 17 employers participated in the event. (Courtesy Washington Hospitality Association)

State hospitality group aims to boost industry employment

By Jennifer L. Drey The Washington Hospitality Association is hoping to see more job seekers land work in the hospitality industry this year through a proposed bill in the state Legislature. The bill would provide $150,000 for the association’s nonprofit educational wing to use to hold career fairs focused on on-the-job-learning opportunities, said David Faro,…

Richland’s Tim Krantz, center, holds the Diamond Club award he recently received from Darden Restaurants for his leadership and professional development of his team members. Krantz is director of operations for eight Olive Garden restaurants in the Northwest. Darden CEO Gene Lee, left, and Darden President Dan Kiernan, right, stand beside him. (Courtesy Tim Krantz)

Olive Garden manager earns national award for ‘exceptional’ service

When he was young, Tim Krantz wanted to be a doctor so he could take care of people. But that dream never came true for the Richland man. Instead, Krantz has spent the last 22 years working in the restaurant industry, taking care of his employees and customers. As the director of operations for eight…


Pulse of Tri-City travel and tourism industry beats strong

By D. Patrick Jones Nearly all communities want to be popular with visitors. The sentiment has sound economics behind it since visitors bring new dollars into the local economy. Their visits catalyze economic transactions that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. There are, of course, other, non-monetary reasons to embrace visitors, such as introducing the outside world…

Robert Harrington is academic director for the Carson College of Business and professor in School of Hospitality Business Management at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus in Richland. He is the author of the book, “Food and Wine Pairing: A Sensory Experience,” and a frequent author of research in the areas of hospitality and wine business. His current teaching and research interests include food and drink pairing, creating memorable experiences and culinary innovation. (Courtesy WSU Tri-Cities)

Improve customer satisfaction, sales with right beverage, wine list

By Robert Harrington A cohesive and well-researched strategy for a wine and beverage list is a key component of a successful restaurant, bar or tasting room. This approach entails defining and assessing competitors, identifying targeted customers and what sort of menu approach is likely to be most successful. Once these aspects are identified, better decisions…

Wendy Higgins, General Manager at The Lodge at Columbia Point (Courtesy Crowerks)

Q&A with Wendy Higgins

Brief background about your hotel: The late Tom Drumheller, with Escape Lodging of Cannon Beach, Oregon, worked on the Lodge at Columbia Point hotel project for more than 12 years. He finally broke ground on his dream in September 2015. He grew up in Walla Walla and had the vision for a boutique winery-themed hotel.…

Scott Eckstein, clinical assistant professor of hospitality business management, takes program students on a field trip to gain real-world experience to help them better understand senior living. (Courtesy Washington State University)

WSU hospitality school rolls out Institute for Senior Living

A Washington State University professor knows firsthand the importance of hiring well trained, qualified “senior living” professionals. Scott Eckstein lived in an assisted living facility for a while to help settle his maternal grandparents into one. He also believes living in one may have prevented his grandmother’s death. He knows the business side of the…


Hospitality association’s top priority for year is tourism

By Anthony Anton I love hospitality. We are welcoming and solution-oriented, constantly finding ways to improve the experience we deliver to guests. The team here at the Washington Hospitality Association is working on solutions to policy issues that fit the needs of our industry and work for Washingtonians. During the past several years, we’ve had…

Degrees of hospitality limited only by imagination

By Marilou Shea Hospitality is a vast industry comprised of a lot of different things — food and beverage, lodging, conventions, travel, attractions and leisure. The industry is typically divided into two measureable sectors: arts, entertainment and recreation; and accommodations and food services. I’m going to focus on the latter because that’s where the job…

WoodSpring Suites in Everett.

$6.7 million extended-stay hotel planned in Richland

A new extended-stay hotel is going up near Kohl’s, Mor Furniture and the Holiday Inn Express on Tapteal Drive in Richland. The $6.7 million project has a targeted opening of late 2018. The four-story WoodSpring Suites will feature 122 rooms and a fitness center. Construction financing is still being finalized and a planned ground-breaking of…

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