Election’s Impact on Restaurant Industry

How will the restaurant industry be impacted by this year’s elections? Will we be better off with Obama or McCann? Does the presidential race even matter – is it Congressional seats we should be concerned with? Who is best-positioned to win with this year’s elections – private-equity firms, public companies, small chains, independents, employees?The NRA lists 23 “Front-Burner Issues Affecting Restaurants” ( – Will the elections provide any relief for wholesale price inflation as a result of diversion of crops for biofuels? What about immigration? What about minimum wages? What do you think are the most critical areas politics impacts our industry, and what’s at stake this year?According to the website ( there are 12 Democratic and 23 Republican seats being defended (I’m finding differing numbers as I research) and a panel discussion by Salon’s Thomas Schaller ( projects it’s going to be a “good Democratic year.”Will it be a Good Restaurant Year?

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  • The "Culture of Corruption" in our politics and policies are historically routed in our history.

    It will take courageous and drastic decision making at all levels to initiate noticeable changes.

    Neither parties are prepared to make this level of declarations or commitments to America... it is an election year.

    The recent article excerpt and link below is an example how the "Culture of Corruption", so prevalent locally and worldwide, damages the viability of communities, businesses, employers and employees… counties and countries.

    With all the speculation flying about... you need to vote to be heard.

    If you do not think your vote counts:

    The 2004 election for governor of the U.S. state of Washington on was determined by just 129 votes!


    Alabama county faces biggest U.S. local government bankruptcy
    Birmingham area struggling with credit crunch, corruption-beset sewer project.
    By Jay Reeves
    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama's largest county could be headed for the biggest local government bankruptcy in U.S. history, a $3.2 billion mess created by the nation's credit crunch and a colossal, corruption-riddled sewer project.

    Politicians in Jefferson County — which has 658,000 residents and includes the state's biggest city, Birmingham — are struggling to find a way out of the jam, but they have mostly abandoned talk of raising taxes and fees after running into fierce opposition at raucous public meetings.

    On Thursday, with their options running out, the county commissioners all but threw up their hands and decided to let the voters weigh in on Election Day with a nonbinding referendum on whether to file for bankruptcy.
    • Sounds like the voters should get rid of the county commissioners and elect some who can think through the issues and come up with workable solutions that the voters will accept and that will work!
  • Whoever wins, there are problems - you've listed many of them - that are almost insurmountable. The winner should, one would hope, be able to at the very least, set this country on a different course - one that would address the energy issue, immigration reform, etc.

    I don't think employees will win big in this election -but I think we need to be careful of large generalizations. Yes, travel is down in some places. In others, it's strong. Boston is seeing many more overseas visitors this year and restaurants are benefitting from those guests - or at least some are. Private dining is strong at the high end - so while we're seeing places close their doors, others are thriving. This is a resilient industry and those who do well will survive this downturn.

    As Keith points out - eating away from home is no longer a special occasion thing as it was 50 years ago. It's a vital part of the lives of millions of people.
  • Jeff,

    It is going to be interesting, to say the least. With the economy and fuel prices, and people being able to get food (either in the grocery or restaurant) at reasonable prices.

    Everything is taking a hit. particularly arenas , where we take "for granted" i.e. restaurants and travel.

    People are foregoing vacations. Hotels and restaurants are coming out with all kinds of promotions,
    to lure people into their establishments. It's a scary time.

    Whomever is in the White House, come January, I hope will be able to concentrate on these
    concerns. In a manner of speaking, the punch to restaurants and's like taking away a
    part of our livelihood.

    Our culture is so fastpaced any more, that eating out and traveling are like waking up and brushing or combing our hair. It is a part of us, now.
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