Resort

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The NRA’s 2023 Culinary Trend Forecast

The National Restaurant Association’s 2023 Culinary Trend Forecast

by David Klemt

Cheesy chicken sandwich on paper wrapper

Ahead of the beginning of a new year, the National Restaurant Association unveils their culinary trend predictions for 2023.

The report is the result of a collaboration between the NRA, Technomic, and the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

For those unfamiliar, Technomic is at the forefront of foodservice trend tracking, industry research, and analysis. Likewise, the ACF is a premier industry organization. Tracing its founding to 1929, the ACF promotes “the professional image of American chefs worldwide through education of culinarians at all levels.”

To predict what will be “hot” next year, the NRA, Technomic, and ACF sent the 17th annual What’s Hot survey to thought leaders and chefs. In direct partnership with the Technomic Menu Research & Insights Division, the NRA predicted the top menu trends from 110 items spanning 11 categories.

Now, this isn’t a full dive into the report in its entirety. Rather, we strongly encourage our readers to download a copy of What’s Hot 2023 Culinary Forecast for themselves and their teams.

What readers will find below are the top 10 trends for 2023. Additionally, we’ll share the top three macro trends for next year, as forecast by the NRA and their partners.

More than Food

Somewhat surprisingly, the NRA’s top-ten list of culinary trends isn’t just a list of food items. Instead, this forecast paints a picture of where restaurants are heading in 2023.

While there are some specific cuisine predictions, the NRA’s top culinary predictions show us, in part, how consumers want to experience the restaurants they visit.

  1. Southeast Asian cuisines (examples: Vietnamese, Singaporean)
  2. Zero waste/Sustainability/Upcycled foods
  3. Globally inspired salads
  4. Sriracha variations
  5. Menu streamlining
  6. Flatbread sandwiches/Healthier wraps
  7. Comfort fare
  8. Charcuterie boards
  9. Fried chicken sandwiches and Chicken sandwiches “3.0” (example: fusion of flavors)
  10. Experiences/Local culture and community

As we can see, operators and consumers expect tighter, more concept-specific menus. Also, comfort foods; shareable (and “Instagrammable”) items like charcuterie boards; and items that show local and global influences may be hot in 2023.

One can consider, then, streamlining their menu to include their top sellers along with local and/or global flavors authentic to their brand.

Below, readers will see that three of the trends above make up the NRA’s top-three 2023 macro trends:

  1. Menu streamlining
  2. Comfort fare
  3. Experiences/Local culture and community

Operator and Consumer Behavioral Shifts

Looking at the macro trends, it’s reasonable to believe the past few years will influence 2023 heavily.

Operators are dealing with inflation, higher costs for everything, labor shortages. Further, according to Datassential, more than a third of American operators are experiencing low traffic and sales levels.

We can expect these issues to follow us into 2023, at least for Q1 and Q2. Therefore, the NRA’s macro trends forecast makes sense. Streamlining menus often leads to streamlining the back and front of house. In turn, doing so can lower costs and boost staff retention.

On the consumer side, it appears comfort foods, chicken sandwiches, and experiences are driving visits and online orders. These are, as we all know, behavioral shifts we can trace back to the start of the pandemic.

We always suggest proceeding with caution, logic, and data when considering embracing trends. Missing out on trends can be just as costly as latching onto a trend too late.

That said, the macro trends certainly seem reasonable. Only time will tell, but the NRA’s 2023 forecast certainly contains several items operators and their teams should give serious consideration.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

169 Grants May be the End of the RRF

169 Grants May be the End of the RRF

by David Klemt

Empty, broken plate on floor

UPDATE: According to some sources, the report of $180 million in “leftover” RRF money are inaccurate. The disbursement of $83 million represents the final release of RRF funds.

The $83 million in grants going out this week to 169 recipients may be the end of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund in its entirety.

Unfortunately, it’s possible last week’s awards represent the final grants. This, despite the Government Accountability Office (GAO) finding $180 million in funds in July.

As far as the sources of these funds, that topic remains a bit vague.

However, the story is that more than $150 million are the result of clawbacks. More than a third, if reporting is accurate, is the result of recipients or financial institutions returning grants. Reports indicate another $24 million come from the SBA setting aside $24 million for litigation.

Per the National Restaurant Association months ago, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 does not include a provision for a litigation fund. Therefore, the NRA called for the SBA to disburse that money to RRF applicants.

What we do know is that last week’s RRF grant recipients should be receiving their funds this week. According to the SBA, 169 recipients were awarded a portion of $83 million in RRF money.

Again, that’s money the GAO found back in July. It’s also less than half of the reported $180 million the government agency found this summer.

Given the fact that the SBA announced a disbursement of just 46 percent of the “leftover” funds, many believed another round was in the works. Sadly, that may not be the case. It’s possible—and increasingly likely, regrettably—that the rest of the $180 million in funds won’t go to grant applicants.

Now, I want to be clear on one important point: I’m relieved for the 169 grant recipients. I truly hope the funds arrive in time to help them and their teams.

While I’ll feel disappointment if a second round of the $180 million never materializes, I’m happy for those who received a portion of the $83 million awarded last week.

Frustration

So, where does the industry go from here? The failure of Congress to replenish the RRF left a reported 150,166 applicants with zero assistance. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, it would have taken $41 billion to award each applicant a grant. Obviously, $180 million was never going to serve to help that many applicants.

Frustratingly, the answer to the question above appears to be: Move forward on our own. And that unsatisfactory answer has flooded with me opinions.

One opinion? Our industry, it seems, is always left to fend for itself. Despite the millions of people hospitality employs, lawmakers and politicians don’t seem willing to assist us—and therefore their constituents—in meaningful ways.

Another opinion? Perhaps we need to build a more powerful lobby to have our voices heard. Such an effort began in earnest to support the RRF. However, too many elected officials were comfortable refusing to replenish the fund.

A third opinion was shaped by Eileen Wayner, CEO of Tales of the Cocktail. As a guest on the Bar Hacks podcast she addressed the perception of operators and hospitality workers as being adaptable and resilient.

While those characteristics can be admirable, Wayner expressed something I think we all feel: Sometimes, we’re tired of being resilient. Sometimes, we’re tired of being expected to adapt. There are times our industry needs help.

When you’re constantly seen as resilient, people believe you don’t need assistance. What we’ve seen with the RRF and its failed replenishment is that too many people with the power to help can write us off. “They’re resilient,” they say. “They’ll figure it out. They’ll be fine.”

Well, we’re not all “fine.” We needed help, and we deserved it.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

$28.82 per Hour for NYC Delivery Workers?

$28.82 per Hour for NYC Delivery Workers?

by David Klemt

Delivery worker on bicycle on city street

In response to the New York City Council’s proposal of $23.82 per hour for delivery workers, some “deliveristas” are asking for more.

Now, before we proceed, no, this isn’t a re-run of an article from last week. This isn’t a case of déjà vu—it’s the evolution of a news story that’s developing rapidly.

So, how much more do delivery workers in NYC want? Well, they’re after a significant bump over the council’s minimum hourly wage proposal.

Requesting that the NYC Council more accurately account for deliverista expenses, some delivery workers are asking for $28.82 per hour.

Early last week, a group consisting of Los Deliveristas Unidos and the Worker’s Justice Project members came together. They gathered at New York City Hall to make their stance on the NYC Council’s minimum wage proposal.

As the deliveristas see it, an increase from $23.82 to $28.82 more accurately reflects their operating expenses. The argument is compelling when one considers costs beyond fuel.

Asking for More

After all, not every delivery worker in NYC (and other markets) uses a car, truck or SUV to make deliveries. That should explain the use of the term “delivery worker,” not “delivery driver.” Some deliveristas ride motorcycles, mopeds, or bicycles. I’m willing to bet some even use scooters, rollerblades, or skateboards.

Using any mode of transportation as a delivery worker comes with requirements, both legal and practical. For example, deliveristas must maintain insurance, maintain their transportation, and purchase and maintain safety equipment.

And yes, that safety equipment is crucial. According to some reports, around a third of NYC those who deliver on two wheels have been injured on the job. Tragically, 33 delivery workers have been killed since 2020. In fact, NYC says delivery workers have the highest injury rate.

Another interesting development may seem semantic. However, when one takes time to truly consider the point it’s rather poignant.

In asking for the proposal of $23.82 to rise by $5 by 2025, are asking for a living wage. Not minimum wage, as the proposal frames the hike, but a living wage.

One worker, Antonio Solís, as quoted by The City, a non-profit NYC news publication, explained: “We are asking the city to make a $5 adjustment, to go that extra mile to ensure we get to a living wage.”

A Request, not a Rejection

It’s also important to note that NYC’s delivery workers aren’t rejecting the council’s minimum wage proposal. Rather, the request is that the council considers updating their proposal ahead of a December 16 public hearing on the matter.

So far, companies like DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats haven’t released much in the way of statements. However, there have been reports quoting a handful of representatives. In pushing back against the proposal, they’ve mentioned increased costs; reduced deliveries; and the possibility of “locking out” deliveristas if delivery demand is low at a given time.

Should legislation go into effect after the public hearing, it’s likely we’ll see lawsuits from the delivery companies.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

SBA Releases 46% of Held RRF Funds

SBA Releases 46% of Held RRF Funds

by David Klemt

Single one-hundred-dollar bill

After receiving pressure from members of Congress and scrutiny from the industry and media, the SBA has released some RRF funds.

This comes after several months of inaction from the Small Business Administration.

The amount released on Wednesday, November 23 isn’t insignificant. However, the SBA disbursed less than half of the RRF money they’re sitting on.

Still, the news is welcome, particularly to the RRF applicants who finally received a grant.

$180 Million in RRF Funds

Several months ago, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigated the handling of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Back in July, the fruits of that investigation came to light: $180 million of the $28.6 billion in RRF funding had not been disbursed.

Further, it was reported in back August that the SBA was partnering with the Department of Justice to “formulate a plan on how to distribute” the money.

Now, nearing the end of November, it appears the SBA and DoJ have finalized a plan. Two days ago, on the eve of Thanksgiving, the SBA released $83 million of the $180 million that was discovered in July of this year. If every applicant received the same amount, that works out to $491,124 per grant.

With any hope, this means the remaining $97 million will go to deserving grant applicants very soon.

Where did the Money Go?

We don’t yet know which RRF grant recipients received a portion of the $83 million released this week.

What we do know is:

  • 169 applicants received this week’s grants;
  • applicants were selected by the order in which they applied for grants in 2021;
  • each recipient was alerted about their grant award this week;
  • the recipients are expected to actually receive the money some time next week;
  • grant recipients have until March 2023 to spend the funds; and
  • the recipients won’t have to repay the money if they spend it on “approved purchases.”

It’s logical that the disbursement of the $97 million in remaining RRF grants will follow the same procedure.

Statements on this Week’s Developments

This week, both the Small Business Administration and National Restaurant Association made statements about the release of $83 million in RRF funds.

“This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began distribution of returned funding in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) program, following the program’s closure in June 2021. In doing so, the SBA worked with the advice of the Department of Justice on a plan to distribute the remaining funds, approximately $83 million,” reads a press release from the SBA.

“In addition to other SBA assistance programs, the RRF has helped more than 100,000 restaurants and other food and beverage business owners survive the pandemic,” continues the administration’s statement.

Sean Kennedy, executive vice president of public affairs for the NRA, said the following about this week’s disbursement:

“The SBA’s action represents the final chapter of our nearly three-year effort to secure dedicated federal pandemic relief dollars for local restaurants. Today’s announcement is great news for those 169 operators fortunate enough to receive an RRF grant, but hundreds of thousands more are struggling with uncertainty.

“We must continue to look forward because the enormous challenges of the industry will continue beyond today. From the recruitment of employees to the constantly rising costs for food, running a restaurant right now is a daily struggle. There are steps the government can take to support restaurants in every community, and we will continue to press for solutions at the federal, state, and local level.”

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Merchants Support Credit Card Act

100s of Merchants Support Credit Card Competition Act

by David Klemt

Customer paying via Square terminal

Perhaps at least somewhat unsurprisingly, support for the Credit Card Competition Act is growing rapidly among merchants.

In fact, 1,802 merchants are making their position on the bill clear. Those hundreds of merchants drafted, signed, and set a letter to the House and Senate.

The crux of that letter? To tell our lawmakers to support and pass the Credit Card Competition Act.

To view the letter, sent by the Merchants Payments Coalition (MPC), please click here. For the bill and its status, follow this link.

The Credit Card Competition Act: A Quick Summary

According to the MPC, credit and debit card transactions just in the US reached $3.49 trillion in 2021. Along with those transactions came $77.48 billion in merchant fees—just for Visa and MasterCard.

Why call those out those two processors in particular? Well, it’s because they’re behind about 576 million credit cards. Oh, and they also control 87 percent of the processing market.

In the span of just one decade, Visa and MasterCard swipe fees have risen 137 percent. So, it’s not surprising that merchants are supportive of the Credit Card Competition Act.

There are, indeed, restaurant and hospitality groups attached to the MPC’s letter to Congress. Taking a quick glance, Denny’s franchisees, Dutchman Hospitality Group, and Mandalay Hospitality Group are among the signees.

Obviously, this makes sense—swipe fees are among the highest costs operators face every day.

Where’s this Bill Currently?

It shouldn’t be too shocking to find that this has yet to make much progress. The bill’s sponsors, Sens. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Marshall (R-KS), introduced it in the senate at the end of July.

Three months later, October 28, an attempt was made to include the bill in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). For those who are unfamiliar, the NDAA is known as a “must-pass” bill. After all, it specifies the US Department of Defense’s (DoD) budget and expenditures each year.

Along with a reported 900 other “riders,” Sens. Durbin and Marshall tried to get their bill passed within the NDAA. Unfortunately for the senators and supporters of the bill, the NDAA vote was pushed until the middle of November…which we’re now past.

Of course, the US did just undergo a mid-term election cycle. So, I suppose it’s reasonable to be a bit more patient with the Senate and the progress of this bill.

Those who work in or support our industry can make their opinion of this bill known. Just follow this link to the National Restaurant Association Credit Card Competition Act portal.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

$23.82 Minimum Wage for Delivery Workers?

$23.82 Minimum Wage for Delivery Workers in NYC?

by David Klemt

Red "New York" sign on building

With a public hearing on the docket for December 16, the New York City Council is proposing “fairer pay for delivery workers.”

The move is a year in the making. Last year, the NYC Council approved legislation with the goal of improving delivery worker pay and working conditions.

Now, the council is moving to increase minimum wage for the 60,000-plus delivery workers in the city.

At the risk of coming across as pessimistic, the legislation is likely to be unpopular with third-party delivery services. After all, when NYC and San Francisco passed laws to cap third-party delivery commissions, the big services filed lawsuits.

So, again, increasing the minimum wage for delivery workers in NYC will probably not go down well with companies like Uber, DoorDash, and Grubhub.

It’s possible we’ll find out before the end of this year. After the public hearing, the NYC Council will consider public comments. Then, the council could move forward and enact the legislation.

What’s in the Proposal?

Should the rule go into effect after the public hearing on December 16, minimum wage would rise to $17.87 per hour for third-party delivery workers. By April 1, 2025, that rate would increase to $23.82.

“This new proposed minimum pay rate would help ensure a fairer pay for delivery workers for third-party apps, providing more stability for 60,000 workers across our city,” says New York City Mayor Eric Adams.

According to reports, Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso is in favor of the legislation as well.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable that the restaurant delivery workers who provide for so many in this city are not justly compensated for their time, reimbursed for their expenses or provided essential benefits,” says Reynoso.

So, how did the council arrive at the $23.82 per hour figure? Well, we actually have that information:

  • $19.86, which matches standards set by the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for ride-hail drivers;
  • $2.26 for expenses delivery workers incur; and
  • $1.70 for worker’s compensation.

Why Legislate Delivery Worker Pay?

It appears the main reason is an incredibly simple one. In short, third-party delivery workers aren’t making minimum wage in NYC.

Per the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP), delivery workers average less than the city’s $15 minimum wage. With tips, they’re averaging $14.18. And without tips? As one can imagine, the hourly rate plummets: $7.09 per hour.

According to the DCWP, the average hourly expense a delivery worker incurs is $3.06. So, that drives their hourly pay to $11.12 with tips, $4.03 without.

In an argument likely to be cited in any lawsuit filed by DoorDash (or at least shared in a public statement), the company claims its delivery workers make almost $29 per hour.

Clearly, there’s a discrepancy somewhere. Either delivery drivers are woefully underpaid for the service they provide or multiple researchers are misinterpreting hourly pay data.

Several sources have cited a statement made by a DoorDash representative about the NYC Council’s proposal:

“Dashing allows so many across New York City to earn when, where and how often they choose,” says the rep. “Unfortunately, the proposed rule does not appropriately account for this flexibility or that Dashers are able to choose which deliveries they accept or reject.”

Their statement continues, addressing a possible rise in costs and drop in orders:

“Failing to address this could significantly increase the costs of delivery, reducing orders for local businesses and harming the very delivery workers it intends to support.”

Why Should I Care if I Don’t Operate in New York City?

We’ll see—quickly, apparently—if this proposal becomes law. Should that happen, there’s reason to assume similar proposals will pop up in other cities and states.

We’ll also see whether or not third-party delivery companies file lawsuits in response. They’ve done so for commission caps, after all.

At any rate, this is one to watch. Similar legislation could be coming to your market.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Traffic Up but Margins Thinner

Traffic Up but Margins Thinner

by David Klemt

Chef checking tickets

The One Table 2022 report from Datassential focuses on the state of the operator and what the industry can expect moving forward.

This informative report shares survey results from 801 operators across America. While some of the findings are positive, it’s clear many operators are enduring significant challenges.

For some, traffic and sales are up. However, that’s not the situation others find themselves in.

To download and review the Datassential One Table 2022, please click here.

The Respondents

For this report, Datassential shares the survey answers from 801 respondents.

Most survey respondents are independent operators. In fact, they account for 71 percent of the participants. Making up the rest of the field are chain operators (15 percent) and franchise operators (14 percent).

As far as segment types, the majority of survey participants operate in the fast-casual space (18 percent). Unsurprisingly, fine dining is the smallest group of respondents at six percent. Thirteen percent operate midscale restaurants, and 12 percent are at the helm of casual-dining concepts. Somewhat surprisingly, just ten percent of participants operate QSRs.

Interestingly, the service format is fairly even among survey participants. Fifty-three percent of operators are full-service and 47 percent are limited-service.

Similarly, survey respondents represent the country’s regions pretty evenly:

  • South: 30 percent
  • Midwest: 29 percent
  • Northeast: 21 percent
  • West: 20 percent

In terms of market type, most respondents operate in the suburbs (49 percent). Following somewhat closely are urban-market operators, at 31 percent. Just 20 percent of survey participants operate in rural markets.

Traffic, Sales and Margins

At first glance, Datassential’s survey reveals positive news.

Now, I’m sure people find the terms “pandemic, “pre-pandemic,” and “post-pandemic” exhausting at this point. However, there’s no denying we continue to feel the aftershocks sent through the industry by the pandemic.

So, how do things look now in comparison to pre-pandemic traffic and sales levels?

First, the positives. Nearly half of survey respondents—47 percent—say their traffic is up in comparison to where it was pre-pandemic. Add to that the 14 percent who say their traffic is the same and 61 percent of operators appear to be in good shape.

In terms of sales, 51 percent of survey participants have good news. That news is that their sales are higher in comparison to pre-pandemic levels. Again, add the 14 percent who don’t see any change. So, that’s 65 percent of operators who appear to be performing well.

But with the good there’s bad. Unfortunately, 39 percent of respondents report lower traffic than pre-pandemic levels. And sales are lower than they were before the pandemic for 35 percent of survey participants.

Operator margins are lower for all respondents. Generally speaking, the profit margin for operators before the pandemic sat at 21 percent. Now, the average is 13 percent. QSRs and fast-casual restaurants are a bit higher among survey respondents: 17 percent and 15 percent, respectively.

On paper things do look up for many operators. However, the industry is still suffering, with a third struggling to rise to even pre-pandemic levels of traffic and sales.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

Is There Demand for Non-alcohol?

As the Holidays Approach, is There Demand for Non-alcohol?

by David Klemt

Friends toasting with pink drinks

There’s no denying that non-alcohol is a growing beverage category, but does the data support the hype and operator consideration?

A report by behavioral research firm Veylinx offers compelling insight into non-alcohol and consumers.

By now, there’s really no excuse for failing to give non-alc serious consideration. When planning menus, operators should treat non-alc as much more than an afterthought.

Admitting fully that I’m repeating myself, giving alcohol-free beverages the same attention as their full-proof counterparts is crucial. Doing so is smart business; non-alc is capable of driving traffic and revenue.

And then there’s the guest experience element of the non-alc equation. Hospitality is about service, about ensuring every guest is comfortable. Giving guests who are abstaining from alcohol consumption a different experience than others isn’t hospitality—it’s alienation. Not only is that the antithesis of hospitality, it’s bad business.

Reviewing Veylinx data shows that non-alc is worthy of operators’ time and consideration. In my opinion, it’s even more important that non-alc menus and offerings be dialed in now. After all, the end-of-year holidays on our doorsteps.

The infamous Busiest Bar Night of the Year is nearly here. From November 23 through New Year’s Eve, people will be meeting up with family and friends. Many will also be seeking an escape from the stress of those gathering and the holidays.

Non-alcohol by the Numbers

One of the most important points made by Veylinx is this: Abstinence from alcohol isn’t limited to “social media” events like Dry January and Sober October.

Rather, consumers are choosing to abstain from alcohol throughout the year for myriad reasons. Specifically, Veylinx data reveals that more than 75 percent of Americans have abstained from alcohol consumption at some point for at least one moment.

Further, 46 percent of Americans plan to reduce their consumption of alcohol “right now.” As in, the holidays may be upon us but they’re actively working on a plan to drink less, not more.

Two major factors motivating this behavioral change are mental well-being and physical health. In service of those factors, more than half of LDA drinkers in America plan to replace beverage alcohol with non-alc beverages.

Interestingly, Veylinx finds that these consumers will pay more for non-alc alternatives in comparison to the general population.

Drilling down further, this shift in consumer behavior appears to be driven by a handful of consumer types:

  • 21- to 35-year-old consumers;
  • “light” drinkers; and
  • consumers who have set aside alcohol consumption for one month or more.

Speaking of the first group, demand for RTDs is 48 percent greater in comparison to those aged 35 or older. Add CBD to RTD and the demand among the 21 to 35 cohort grows by 18 percent.

However, not all non-alc growth comes from the 21-to-35 group. Non-alc beverages with mood boosters see an increase in demand from the 35-plus group of 29 percent.

In short, if an operator is ignoring the non-alc consumer, they’re harming their own business and reputation. Alcohol-free RTDs, cocktails, beer, and wine are growing.

Savvy operators will leverage that growth.

Image: Helena Yankovska via Unsplash

by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

These are the Happiest Provinces in Canada

These are the Happiest Provinces in Canada

by David Klemt

Newfoundland and Labrador during daytime

If you’re wondering which province in Canada is the happiest, Statistics Canada has the answer—and the happiest may surprise you.

Of course, those who live and work in the happiest province won’t find it shocking. After all, they’re largely happy to be there.

However, if you expect the happiest province to be the home of Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal or Canada… Well, you’re in for a surprise.

Earlier this week we took a look at the happiest cities and states in America. Congratulations Fremont, California, and Hawaii, respectively. To learn where 181 other cities and 49 states rank, please click here.

The Happiness Survey

Or more accurately, the “life satisfaction” survey. For this survey, that’s what Statistics Canada reveals: life satisfaction.

Interestingly, the survey is very simple. Apparently, Statistics Canada simply asked participants to rate the satisfaction of living in their province, zero through ten. For this survey, zero is least satisfied, ten is most.

Ages 15 through 75 (and older) were able to participate. The survey was also broken down to gauge the satisfaction of men and women.

Before we jump into the breakdown of province satisfaction or happiness, some good news. Reviewing the Statistics Canada data, most participants across all age groups are happy. In fact, age groups 65 to 74 and 75-plus appear to be happiest.

On the other side, ages 15 to 54 had the most people who rated their life satisfaction between zero and five. Even so, just over 20 percent of survey respondents rated their satisfaction a five or less.

So, on the whole, Canadians seem satisfied or happy with their lives, regardless of the province in which they live. Personally, I find that to be great news.

The Happiest Province

Okay, let’s dive into the reason you’re here: to learn which province is the happiest.

  1. Newfoundland and Labrador
  2. Prince Edward Island
  3. Quebec
  4. New Brunswick
  5. Manitoba
  6. Alberta
  7. Saskatchewa
  8. Nova Scotia
  9. Ontario
  10. British Columbia

The above rankings are determined by the percentage of survey respondents who rated their life satisfaction eight, nine or ten. So, if you’re in Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island or Quebec, wow—you’re apparently one incredibly happy person.

Conversely, below you’ll find the rankings as determined by the largest percentage of respondents who rated their satisfaction a five or lower. As you’ll find, the list below isn’t simply the inverse of the one above.

  1. Ontario
  2. British Columbia
  3. New Brunswick
  4. Alberta
  5. Nova Scotia
  6. Prince Edward Island
  7. Manitoba
  8. Saskatchewa
  9. Quebec
  10. Newfoundland and Labrador

As far as Canada overall, the results of this particular survey are positive. Just 19.4 percent of survey respondents rated their satisfaction or happiness zero through five. And only 28.9 percent provided a rating of six or seven.

More than half of Canadians, 51.7 percent, rate their lives an eight, nine or ten. That’s some great and welcome news.

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by David Klemt David Klemt No Comments

The Most-stressed Cities in the US

These are the Most-stressed Cities in the US

by David Klemt

Deflated smiley face balloon in street

There’s a simple argument to be made that one characteristic the happiest cities share is being among the least stressful to live.

Yesterday we took a look at the happiest cities in the US, according to WalletHub analysis. Click here in case you haven’t yet read that article.

Today, let’s check out the most- and least-stressed cities in America. As with their happiest and least-happy cities list, WalletHub ranks 182 cities based on stress levels.

Of course, “least stressed” doesn’t mean “stress-free.” Nor should it—some stress is good for us. After all, stress can push us to perform our best, bring out our problem-solving creativity, and even energize us.

The rankings below may surprise you. Like me, you may even find yourself raising an eyebrow and disagreeing with some of them.

However, it’s a compelling list worth reviewing if you’re an operator, leadership team member, hospitality professional, or in the site-selection portion of opening a restaurant or bar.

The Top 25 Cities of Stress

When determining their results, WalletHub ranked 182 cities according to four main categories. Those categories are: work stress; financial stress; family stress; and health and safety stress. The categories consist of 40 key metrics in total.

I think it’s safe to assume that no city wants to be in the top 25 of this list, or even the top 50. Neither, I’m certain, does any city want to wear the crown of “Most Stressed US City.”

Unfortunately, someone must be number one. Below, the top 25 “Cities of Stress,” per WalletHub:

  1. Cleveland, Ohio
  2. Detroit, Michigan
  3. Gulfport, Mississippi
  4. Baltimore, Maryland
  5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  6. Memphis, Tennessee
  7. New Orleans, Louisiana
  8. Birmingham, Alabama
  9. Louis, Missouri
  10. Toledo, Ohio
  11. Augusta, Georgia
  12. Jackson, Mississippi
  13. North Las Vegas, Nevada
  14. San Bernadino, California
  15. Fayetteville, North Carolina
  16. Akron, Ohio
  17. Wilmington, Delaware
  18. Houston, Texas
  19. Montgomery, Alabama
  20. Shreveport, Louisiana
  21. Cincinnati, Ohio
  22. Newark, New Jersey
  23. Mobile, Alabama
  24. Columbus, Georgia
  25. Indianapolis, Indiana

Alas (I don’t get to use this word much), Ohio has four cities on this list. In fact, the Buckeye State has two cities in the top ten.

Of course, Ohio isn’t the only state with multiple cities in the top 25 stressed cities. Alabama has three cities among the top 25. Also, Mississippi and Louisiana each have two cities on this part of the list, unfortunately.

Cities 26 Through 91

As you’ll see below, Ohio shows up a couple of times in this portion of the list. However, so do a handful of other states.

For example, ten Texas cities land on this part of the list. That means Texas has 11 cities among the “top” half of the most-stressed US cities.

  1. Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Huntington, West Virginia
  4. Springfield, Missouri
  5. Dover, Delaware
  6. Norfolk, Virginia
  7. Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  8. Chicago, IL
  9. Newport News, Virginia
  10. Washington, DC
  11. Dallas, Texas
  12. Richmond, Virginia
  13. Tulsa, Oklahoma
  14. Chattanooga, Tennessee
  15. Bridgeport, Connecticut
  16. San Antonia, Texas
  17. Atlanta, Georgia
  18. Glendale, Arizona
  19. New York, New York
  20. Tucson, Arizona
  21. Columbia, South Carolina
  22. Columbus, Ohio
  23. Knoxville, Tennessee
  24. New Haven, Connecticut
  25. Brownsville, Texas
  26. Rochester, New York
  27. Casper, Wyoming
  28. Vancouver, Washington
  29. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  30. Jacksonville, Florida
  31. Corpus Christi, Texas
  32. Charleston, West Virginia
  33. Henderson, Nevada
  34. Phoenix, Arizona
  35. Modesto, California
  36. Wichita, Kansas
  37. Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  38. Little Rock, Arkansas
  39. Moreno Valley, California
  40. Louisville, Kentucky
  41. Stockton, California
  42. Spokane, Washington
  43. Fresno, California
  44. Miami, Florida
  45. Kansas City, Missouri
  46. El Paso, Texas
  47. Salem, Oregon
  48. Hialeah, Hawaii
  49. Los Angeles, California
  50. Fort Smith, Arizona
  51. Fort Worth, Texas
  52. Denver, Colorado
  53. Arlington, Texas
  54. Buffalo, New York
  55. Greensboro, North Carolina
  56. Bakersfield, California
  57. Fort Wayne, Indiana
  58. Providence, Rhode Island
  59. Tacoma, Washington
  60. Port St. Lucie, Florida
  61. Lewiston, Maine
  62. Laredo, Texas
  63. Cape Coral, Florida
  64. Grand Prairie, Texas
  65. Garland, Texas
  66. Aurora, Colorado

Cities 92 Through 137

This is where things begin to turn around, at least mathematically. This is the “bottom” half of the list.

Or, to phrase it another way, this section starts identifying the least-stressed cities in America.

  1. Portland, Oregon
  2. Ontario, California
  3. Lubbock, Texas
  4. Reno, Nevada
  5. Huntsville, Alabama
  6. Sacramento, California
  7. Amarillo, Texas
  8. Albuquerque, New Mexico
  9. Tampa, Florida
  10. Long Beach, California
  11. Colorado Springs, Colorado
  12. Fontana, California
  13. Tallahassee, Florida
  14. Las Cruces, New Mexico
  15. Worchester, Massachusetts
  16. Orlando, Florida
  17. West Valley City, Utah
  18. Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  19. Peoria, Arizona
  20. Riverside, California
  21. Mesa, Arizona
  22. Nashville, Tennessee
  23. Des Moines, Iowa
  24. Nampa, Idaho
  25. Tempe, Arizona
  26. Irving, Texas
  27. Oakland, California
  28. Grand Rapids, Michigan
  29. Charlotte, North Carolina
  30. Rancho Cucamonga, California
  31. Boston, Massachusetts
  32. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  33. Honolulu, Hawaii
  34. Oceanside, California
  35. Pearl City, Hawaii
  36. Anchorage, Alaska
  37. Warwick, Rhode Island
  38. Virginia Beach, Virginia
  39. Cheyenne, Wyoming
  40. Petersburg, Florida
  41. Chesapeake, Virginia
  42. Billings, Montana
  43. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
  44. Durham, North Carolina
  45. Santa Ana, California
  46. Jersey City, New Jersey

Cities 138 through 182

Finally, we reach what cities, according to WalletHub analysis, experience the least amount of stress.

  1. Salt Lake City, Utah
  2. Aurora, Illinois
  3. Santa Clarita, California
  4. Glendale, California
  5. Manchester, New Hampshire
  6. Paul, Minnesota
  7. Garden Grove, California
  8. Pembroke Pines, Florida
  9. Yonkers, New York
  10. Chandler, Arizona
  11. Oxnard, California
  12. Juneau, Alaska
  13. Anaheim, California
  14. Santa Rosa, California
  15. Chula Vista, California
  16. Charleston, South Carolina
  17. Raleigh, North Carolina
  18. San Francisco, California
  19. Huntington Beach, California
  20. Omaha, Nebraska
  21. San Diego, California
  22. Gilbert, Arizona
  23. Scottsdale, Arizona
  24. Rapid City, South Dakota
  25. Austin, Texas
  26. Seattle, Washington
  27. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  28. Missoula, Montana
  29. Boise, Idaho
  30. Nashua, New Hampshire
  31. Plano, Texas
  32. Cedar Rapids, Iowa
  33. Lincoln, Nebraska
  34. Portland, Maine
  35. Irvine, California
  36. Burlington, Vermont
  37. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  38. Bismarck, North Dakota
  39. San Jose, California
  40. Columbia, Maryland
  41. Fargo, North Dakota
  42. Overland Park, Kansas
  43. Madison, Wisconsin
  44. South Burlington, Vermont
  45. Fremont, California

Twelve of the cities on this part of the list are in California. Further, the least-stressed city in California: Fremont. If you read yesterday’s article, you know that WalletHub ranked Fremont, California, the happiest city in the US.

Image: Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

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