SASKATOON — As an association, our vision is to be “recognized as the most effective voice for the accommodation industry in Saskatchewan,” noted Saskatchewan Hotel & Hospitality Association chair Gary Hoffert at the group's AGM, held May 30 at TCU place.
SHHA Chair's report
“Our association has had to evolve over the last number of years, and what once looked like a rural liquor organization has been transforming into an association that represents not only hotels, but full-service restaurants, pubs/taverns, motels, quick service food, and tourism attractions.
“I truly believe that with one united voice we can make difference, we can stand out and be heard, and we will be consulted when decisions are being made that affect our livelihood.
“The work SHHA has been doing is getting noticed: we are attracting non-traditional members, we are being invited to the table, and we are becoming too loud to be ignored.”
“Key to the association's success is the unification of urban, rural, rooms and beverage properties from across the province,” added Jim Bence, CEO of the association.
“While we did see some members leave the association in 2017, these losses were offset by other organizations within the tourism/service industry. Growing number os QSRs (Quick Service Restaurants), branded restaurants, tourism attractions and RSP holders all contributed to an increase in membership.”
Over the past year, SHHA has had three initiatives with successful results: a fair and level playing field for all liquor retailers in the province; WCB structure and soaring premiums, and looming employment shortages.
Awards and accolades at SHHA Conference
Certainly the SHHA's Hotel, Bar and Restaurant Conference and Tradeshow, held at TCU Place in Saskatoon May 29 and 30, provided a good example of a stronger presence due to engagement among hospitality groups.
This year's Awards Luncheon on May 29 honoured the 2018 scholarship recipients (above), the Long Service Employees and the Tourism Saskatchewan Employers of Choice.
There were almost 100 Long Service certificates awarded this year. The longest-serving employees were Hanu Truong, chef de partie at the Delta Bessborough, and Gliceria Salud, room attendant at the Radisson Hotel Saskatoon, who both received certificates for 30 years of service.
The Employer of Choice awards were actually awarded in April. “The number of awards has grown steadily since 2010, when there were only five businesses,” said Bence. “It's one of the few areas of business that's hard to automate.” This year, about a dozen businesses received the award.
Mary Taylor-Ash, CEO of Tourism Saskatchewan, provided the keynote address on May 29, noting that tourism in Saskatchewan is a $2.37 billion industry that employs 67,200 people throughout the province.
Three streams of seminars
On May 30, 465 delegates attended concurrent seminars: one stream for Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority retail permittees; another sponsored by Sysco for restaurateurs; and one for SHHA hoteliers.
One of the SHHA sessions was titled “Meet the Regulators,” including representatives from Employment Standards, Human Resources, Occupational Health and Safety, The Service & Hospitality Safety Association, the Saskatchewan Liquor & Gaming Authority (SLGA), The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program and Saskatchewan Human Rights. Another session on hotel security featured lawyer and corporate director Patricia McLeod, who talked about risks, trends and best practices associated with cybercrime, including privacy breaches and protection of personal information.
The Hotel, Liquor and Restaurant Tradeshow, in cooperation with the SLGA, featured 132 booths including up to 50 liquor suppliers — the largest SHHA tradeshow ever.