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Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Industry / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business

Swiped Out: Card Fees Cost Arkansas Businesses $600M in 2022

The National Retail Federation said current swipe fee rates are about 2.26% of the transaction cost, which adds up over the course of a year and thousands of sales. read more >
Banking & Finance / Government & Politics / Industry / Restaurants & Food / Tourism

Arkansas Sees Surge in Alcoholic Beverage Sales and Taxes in 2023Lock Icon

Excise tax collections for mixed drinks reached $20.88 million last year, a 7% increase over collections in 2022 and a whopping 120% increase over the pandemic year of 2020. read more >
Restaurants & Food / Tourism

Summer Spending at Bars & Restaurants Surges as Americans Shrug off Inflation

Sales in the sector jumped 11.8% in July and 9.5% in June from a year ago, according to the Commerce Department. read more >
Restaurants & Food / Retail / Tourism

Shoppers and Diners Clash With Workers Over Post-Pandemic Expectations

More than two and a half years into the pandemic in a world yearning for normalcy, many workers are fed up and don't want to go back to the way things were. read more >
Black Friday shoppers at a Target store in Raleigh, North Carolina
Restaurants & Food / Retail

Shoppers, Workers Clash Over Post-Pandemic Expectations

There's a disconnect between customers who want to shop and dine like they used to during pre-pandemic times and exhausted employees who no longer want to work those long hours — a push-pull that is only being heightened during the busy holiday shopping season. read more >
U.S. Pizza, the locally owned restaurant chain based in Little Rock that is now in its 50th year, raised its menu prices 5% on Jan. 1, Drew Weber, chief operating officer, said last week.

Costs for Food, Labor Drive Up Menu Prices

With inflation remaining near 40-year highs, menu prices could continue to rise. read more >
Bruno's Little Italy at 310 Main St. in Little Rock.
Health Care / Insurance / Restaurants & Food / Small Business

Big Trouble at Little Italy: Short Staffing

At 4 p.m. or so every day that Bruno’s Little Italy is scheduled to be open, the Bruno family has to make a call: Do we have enough staff to serve customers? read more >
Business Services / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business / Tourism

U.S. Restaurant Sales Continue to Rise

Sales in eating and drinking establishments in the United States continue to trend upward as pandemic capacity restrictions are eased and more Americans are vaccinated. read more >
Government & Politics / Retail / Small Business

Restaurants Are Big Beneficiaries of COVID-19 Relief Bill

Restaurants devastated by the coronavirus outbreak are getting a lifeline from the pandemic relief package that’s awaiting final approval in the House. read more >
Mark Abernathy, owner and executive chef of Little Rock’s Loca Luna and Red Door restaurants
Government & Politics / Restaurants & Food

Timing of Plans to Boost Pay Spurs Concern Among Restaurateurs

Mark Abernathy has been in the restaurant business for 50 years but never, he says, has he faced a time like the present: “This is the most unstable, unpredictable situation I’ve ever seen.” read more >
Retail / Small Business

Survey Shows Arkansas Restaurants Still Hurting

A new survey by Arkansas Hospitality Association finds restaurants in the state making dramatically less money than in the same time last year, and more than a third are considering closing until the pandemic passes. read more >
Health Care / Manufacturing / Media & Marketing / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business / Tourism

Keep Eateries In Mind During The Holidays

Here is my idiosyncratic list of a few Arkansas-centric food-related books that would be good holiday gifts and a nod to one of our craft breweries. read more >
Government & Politics / Small Business

Update: Restaurant Operators Don’t See Business Improving In Next Six Months

The National Restaurant Association recently surveyed thousands of restaurant operators from across the country about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on their businesses, and the results from Arkansas' operators were anything but promising. read more >
Restaurants & Food / Retail / Tourism

Little Rock A&P Tax Collections PlungeLock Icon

By now you’ve heard that the Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has cut 39 positions — 35 full time and four part time. A look at the accompanying chart will give you a good idea why. read more >
Blue Coast Burrito at 4613 E. McCain Blvd. in North Little Rock was open for take-out and delivery last week while dine-in service was suspended.
Government & Politics / Health Care / Restaurants & Food / Small Business

Restaurateurs Differ on Plans For Reopening

While restaurant dining rooms in Arkansas will be allowed to reopen today, being allowed to reopen and actually reopening are two different things. read more >
Health Care / Restaurants & Food / Retail / Small Business / Tourism

CDC Compiles New Guidelines to Help Organizations Reopen

New federal plans are designed to help restaurants, schools, churches and businesses safely reopen as states look to gradually lift their coronavirus restrictions. read more >
The empty dining room of Trio's in Little Rock.
Government & Politics / Restaurants & Food / Small Business

Staying Alive: Restaurateurs Trim & Retool

The coronavirus pandemic is hitting most business sectors hard, but few have been hit harder than the restaurant industry. A disease best fought by isolating people is antithetical to a business model based on breaking bread together. read more >
Little Rock restaurateurs Scott McGehee, Capi Peck and Mark Abernathy agree that plant-based menus are getting the green light from diners.
Agriculture & Poultry / Small Business

Local Chefs Prognosticate Food Trends

One food and dining trend on which almost all agree is plant-based proteins and plant-based menus in general, including vegan dishes. read more >
Mary Beth Ringgold: “We have had a lot of great years here. I can assure you, we will never forget them. Cajun’s has made an impact on so many lives over the years.”
Media & Marketing / Restaurants & Food / Tourism

Cajun’s Owner Mary Beth Ringgold Dishes on Restaurant’s Closing

The last day of business for Cajun’s Wharf will be June 1, after 44 years. It’s an event frequently, but correctly, described as the end of an era. read more >
Customers of The Station Cafe dine al fresco on Main Street in downtown Bentonville.
Construction / Government & Politics

Northwest Arkansas Eateries Enjoying GrowthLock Icon

Northwest Arkansas’ population is becoming more diverse as it grows, and the area’s restaurant industry is hitching along for the ride. "That is one of the things Arkansas brings to the table: There are unique experiences in every area," said Kalene Griffith, CEO of Visit Bentonville. read more >