First Annual GGRA Industry Conference a Success

GGRA’s first two day Industry Conference proved to be an inspiring two days of content.  In fact, GGRA’s #IndustryOnlyGGRA was among the top 20 trending hashtags on Twitter in San Francisco on Sunday, July 26!  We covered topics ranging from tipping to mentorship, and there were amazing cooking demonstrations of all types.  To see the program booklet from the conference, visit here.  Additionally, some press stories have done a great job covering the topics discussed:

7 Truths About Trends & Issues in the San Francisco Restaurant Industry

5 Insider Tips for Funding Your Restaurant

What’s Important For Bay Area Restaurants?

Volunteers for the Conference represented students in the various culinary programs around the Bay Area including City College, Bayview Hunter’s Point Primed and Prep Academy, Mission Hiring Hall, and more.  Additionally the 2015 – 2016 GGRA Scholarship Foundation award recipients were honored, and checks were presented to students of the named scholarships on Monday.

We also announced our new partnership with Townsquared, a social network for business owners and staff to meet, share advice, and do business together.  Townsquared has already created a San Francisco wide restaurant community, where people can exchange information about vendors and resources.  We have teamed with them to create at GGRA specific community that will cross geographic boundaries.  Any restaurant that joins Townsquared (there is no cost) is automatically part of their restaurant forum. Separately, GGRA members can join our group using the code ggra2015. Townsquared’s community already has more than 400 restaurants in SF alone.  Join today at

We opened the Conference with the state of the local industry.  Some facts and numbers, provided from our partnership with the University of San Francisco’s School of Hospitality Management and compiled from a variety of data sources, were included in the opening address:

SF Visitor inbound spending (2005-2014) – San Francisco Tourism spending increased from $4.7 billion to $7 billion or 43% for the 9-year period.

According to the Department of Commerce, this year was the first time that Americans spent more money on dining out than on groceries.

California’s restaurant establishments – 74,696 |  SF number of full-service restaurant establishments – 3,941

SF represents 5.3% of restaurants statewide having grown from 4.7%.

SF restaurant establishments and the number of employed workers are a larger percentage of the overall foodservice industry in California. More opportunities exist in the SF market for restaurant establishments and restaurant workers than other parts of the State.

SF per capita restaurant sales – $2,373 (2013 data)

(2013) Full-service restaurant sales mean average: $500,000 per establishment (estimate).

San Francisco Planning Department’s 2013 Commerce & Industry Inventory data:

Leisure and hospitality businesses make up 14 percent of San Francisco’s economy and 11 percent of the region’s economy.

In San Francisco, employment was up 5 percent, with jobs in restaurants, referred to as eating and drinking establishments in the report, was up 5.2 percent, from 52,600 to 55,312.

Restaurants are 49.5 percent of the jobs in the retail sector, and when adding food stores, food related jobs account for nearly 60 percent of the retail job sector.

San Francisco restaurants (eating and drinking establishments) drove more than $3.7 billion in taxable sales in 2013, representing nearly one third of all taxable retail sales locally.

SF Wage Data (includes San Mateo County) results (2011-2015)

Wages have increased significantly over the past (4) years with at least 50% of all positional categories seeing at least 10% increases in pay (pre $12.25).

Short-order cooks experienced the largest mean hourly wage increase of all categories 22%.

Food-preparation and food service related workers hourly wages increased 17%.

Dishwashers took last place from 2013 to 2015 with the lowest hourly wage of $10.87 in 2013 and $11.07 in 2014 and 2015.

National trends on our side (taken from the National Restaurant Association’s 2015 Industry Forecast):

64% consumers more adventures in their food choices than two years ago

69% consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers items grown or raised in an eco-friendly way

76% consumers are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers healthful options


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