Recovery Mode: TRSA Hosts F&B/Hospitality Roundtable

Posted July 16, 2021 at 11:29 am

TRSA hosted nearly 50 operators and supplier partners for an F&B/Hospitality Roundtable on July 14. The meeting was the latest in TRSA’s roundtable series for each market sector served by the linen, uniform and facility services industry.

TRSA President & CEO Joseph Ricci kicked off the meeting by offering greetings and recapping the TRSA Reopening Tour that recently took place in the Midwestern United States. Ricci expressed his enthusiasm for meeting with members face to face once again, but recognized the prevalent issue affecting the linen, uniform and facility services industry – labor shortages.

Kevin Schwalb, vice president of government relations at TRSA, spoke next about the current landscape of politics and legislation in Washington affecting the industry. The discussion focused on the infrastructure bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. As the bill stands, the infrastructure package would include an investment of $15 billion toward electric vehicles and $73 billion toward creating new and improved power infrastructure.

After his remarks on the infrastructure bill, Schwalb invited the president at Ames Linen Service, Johanna Ames, to share with the group about her experience hosting U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) at her plant. Ames and her staff viewed Rep. Tenney’s visit as a positive experience for their business and the industry. Both Schwalb and Ames encouraged those attending the roundtable to invite elected representatives to their facilities so they can learn about the industry and the essential work done by linen, uniform and facility services providers. For more on Rep. Tenney’s visit to Ames Linen Service, click here.

Following Schwalb’s remarks, Ken Koepper, TRSA’s director of membership and industry outreach, shared with the group a variety of articles relating to the recovery of the industry from the pandemic. Articles included topics such as:

  • Vaccinations boosting optimism in the restaurant industry.
  • Companies that improved their digital operations, including marketing online and social media.
  • The adoption of carryout dining being a strength for restaurants in the future.
  • Restaurants are more confident they will return to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Business travel will return by the fourth quarter of 2021.
  • Estimates of full employment by the second half of 2022.

While the outlook for the industry is positive, short-term concerns include:

  • Increased cost of goods
  • Increased demand
  • Labor shortages

After sharing the information from the articles, Koepper opened the floor to discuss how members were recovering from the pandemic and dealing with industrywide concerns. Members from both the East and West Coasts, North and South, Midwest, Hawaii and Canada all related to each other’s concerns. A lack of employees across North America is forcing existing staff to work more hours to meet the growing demands of customers. Many companies are continuing to promote employment opportunities by advertising attractive wages within their communities.

Additionally, members shared their experience trying to promote the COVID-19 vaccine to their staff. While some members have had success, others have not. Some members shared their company policy on masks as more people across the nation get inoculated against the virus.

Finally, issues involving the supply chain were discussed by suppliers partners to the industry. Now more than ever, they ask for patience as they navigate these challenges.

TRSA’s next roundtable event will take place on July 28 from 1-3 p.m. EDT. The roundtable will be for healthcare operators and supplier partners that serve this market. For more information on the event, click here.