At a recent board meeting, Victor Lim, who owns and operates six McDonald’s restaurants on Oahu, learned about a small contraption that regulates the fan speed of walk-in refrigerators and reducing the amount of energy these large machines use.
Installing them could save Lim money and reduce his energy consumption, and with six restaurants, that could really add up.
“Every little bit counts,” says Lim, who is considering installing these little black boxes. “I’m always looking for ways to be efficient.”
Learning about new technologies, particularly those that help conserve energy and reduce costs, is one of the benefits of joining the Hawaii Restaurant Association, a nonprofit trade organization representing the state’s restaurants, food service businesses, and hospitality and tourism industries.
HRA is dedicated to serving the needs of those in this industry by providing education and industry updates that will directly benefit members. The organization hosts seminars, workshops and training programs that are relevant to businesses in the restaurant and food service industry.
In addition, HRA offers networking opportunities in the form of mixers and meetings, distributes newsletters to connect members, and provides important legislative representation on city, state and federal levels.
“For the price (of membership), the HRA is the cheapest investment you can make in your business,” Lim says.
While owners are busy running their businesses, the HRA is busy finding ways to help them run their business more efficiently and effectively.
But the HRA doesn’t just help businesses.
Each year, the organization grants six students enrolled in the six culinary arts programs within the University of Hawaii system a scholarship of $1,000 each toward their education. These students must have a 2.0 grade point average and prove financial need.
“Our members created scholarship programs because they recognize that the investment today will yield a return greater than the sum invested—the success of future chefs,” says Roger Morey, HRA executive director.
Proceeds from special events like the Hall of Fame dinner support the scholarship program, which helps ensure the success and strength of the restaurant and food service industry for years to come.
“If we’re to have a successful future,” Morey says, “we need to fund it now.”