By: Janet Harrah
This month, we resume our series of blog posts highlighting data results from the 2012 Economic Census for the Cincinnati MSA. To date, we have summarized the trends in construction, manufacturing, and commodity flows. This post highlights the accommodation and food services sectors (in other words, what most of us refer to as hotels and restaurants).
Accommodation and Food Services
The Accommodation and Food Services sector comprises establishments providing customers with lodging and/or preparing meals, snacks, and beverages for immediate consumption. The sector includes both accommodation and food services establishments because the two activities are often combined at the same establishment.
Excluded from this sector are civic and social organizations; amusement and recreation parks; theaters; and other recreation or entertainment facilities providing food and beverage services
Source: U.S. Census Bureau
In 2012, there were 266 accommodation establishments in the Cincinnati metro area. Hotels accounted for 243 of these establishments or 89 percent. There were 11 RV (recreational vehicle) parks and recreational camps and 12 rooming or boarding houses.
The accommodation sector had sales totaling nearly $1.1 billion in 2012. This sector had an annual payroll of $204 million supporting approximately 8,700 jobs.
Maid Service, Please!
Most of us pay for room service when we travel. Nationally, overnight recreational camps account for just $2.1 billion or 1.1 percent of the total $195 billion spent on room accommodations in 2012. Rooms with maid services accounted for 97 percent of those revenues.
Nationally, there were 344 casino hotel establishments in 2012 with total sales of $51.3 billion. Two-thirds of casino hotel revenues are derived from gambling services with room services accounting for just 11.9 percent of revenues followed by food services (8.5 percent) and alcoholic services (4.3 percent). Since the Cincinnati metro area has only 2 casino hotel establishments, these data were suppressed by the Census Bureau.
Food Services and Drinking Places
In 2012, there were 3,885 food services and drinking places in the Cincinnati metro area. Restaurants accounted for 84 percent of establishments while drinking places (i.e. bars) accounted for 10 percent with special food services (e.g. caterers and food trucks) accounting for the balance.
The food services and drinking places sector had sales totaling $3.72 billion in 2012. This sector had an annual payroll of nearly $1.1 billion supporting 79,700 jobs.
Will That Be Smoking or Non-smoking?
Depending on your age, you may remember when nearly every restaurant experience started with the host asking if you wanted to sit in the smoking or non-smoking section and most restaurants and bars had a bank of cigarette vending machines. How times have changed. The latest national data show that restaurants and bars now garner less than 0.03 percent of total sales from the sale of cigars, cigarettes, and other tobacco accessories from vending machines.
Will You Have Whiskey, Beer or Wine?
Drinking places had total U.S. revenues of $19.8 billion in 2012. Alcoholic beverages served for immediate consumption accounted for 76.3 percent of those revenues. So what kind of drink did we buy? Distilled spirits led the way with 46 percent of sales followed closely by beer, ale and malt beverage (44 percent) with wine bringing up the rear with just 10 percent of sales.
Importance of Accommodation and Food Services and Drinking Places
Cincinnati hosted 24.1 million visitors who spent $4.4 billion according to the latest report on Cincinnati’s travel and tourism industry. Forty percent of those visitors stayed overnight. While tourists generally do not visit an area just for the accommodations, a lack of accommodations can keep tourists away. This is especially true when trying to attract conventions and other large events. In other words, accommodation is a key part of the travel and tourism industry infrastructure. Having enough well-located accommodations is equally important to support business travel in and out of the community.
We have all heard the dismissive comments about “McJobs” – those low-paying, dead-end jobs that require few skills. However, as noted in a series of articles in the Boston Globe, “Restaurants today lie at the heart of 21st-century American life. These employers aren’t headed overseas; for the foreseeable future, millions of Americans will wait tables, cook food, or wash dishes for their livelihoods.” In Cincinnati, more than 1 in 10 jobs are in the accommodation and food services sector. Take a walk through any of the major entertainment districts in the region such as Newport on the Levee or The Banks and it is clear that bars and restaurants are the heart and soul of an entertainment district.
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