My friend Dan, who just laid off his pastry chef and GM, cutting his labor budget by about 20% has shared this suggestion for saving the restaurant industry. It's a good plan, considering the value of the industry to the economy and civilization in general (How could we have artists if they couldn't pay their grocery bills with waiter jobs), and it's cheaper than the bailout Detroit is demanding. Let me share it with y'all and suggest that you run straight away to your Senator or Congressperson and demand that we too get a bailout - of sorts.

Here's the plan:

Make business meals 100% deductable again.
That's it.

Why it works:
1) states, at least, will get a good deal of what they lose in Income Tax in Sales tax.
2) In modern America restaurants are the bocce ball field, the piazza, the urban golf course.They are where business gets done. Steak and a bottle of plonk is the ultimate business incentive package. How many deals have you all who own restaurants midwifed, do you think? Yep, a heap of them. Get those bankers and visionaries together with a bottle and food, and we are back and running in no time.
3) We really deserve it more than Detroit. We didn't screw up by making our burgers too big or our pastas too fuel intensive. Paycheck per paycheck, we employ a lot more people than Ford, GM,Chrysler,their suppliers and dealers combined. If you count our suppliers as well, we dominate the “need a bailout
contest hands down. Who in this country, I ask you. Doesn’t live off the back of restaurants?

Anyhow, if Ford and Chrysler don't make it, what will the outcome be? We will all walk or drive Japanese small vehicles, the h*** in the ozone will disappear, the icebergs will freeze back, atolls will again rise above sea level, and Inuits, South Sea Islanders and Ski Lift operators will be deliriously happy.
If restaurants don't make it, what are they going to do? Fly in sashimi Kyoto? Revert to TV dinners? Puhleeze.

I could give you a lot more reasons, but you can surely think of them for your worthy selves. The point is this:
Go get 'em tiger, bug your representatives, storm the barricades, write articles to the local paper. Gripe, beat pans or drive a hybrid to DC. Do it

Tags: Chef, Dan, Restaurant, bailout, business, deduction, economy, meals, money, tax

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If they did this, we would probably open again for lunch.
Great idea.

Cheers
You and a lot of other people.It looks like we have/Dan has a senator to carry it to congress in January, but it needs some fire under the kettle. (It's really not a joke).

The blurb above is a little offhanded, but there's sound reason to do it, including as mentioned above that the cumulative restaurant payroll of the country exceeds that of Detroit by multiples of probably thousands or tens of thousands (anyone with these numbers is invited to provide them).
If you add the distributory effect of restaurants - you will have a far greater monetary spread than a Detroit bailout offers.

Detroit is in Detroit. Restaurants are everywhere. Main Street incentive is what the politicians want, and that's what we can offer. The monies that change hands in restaurants don't go to partially overseas parts suppliers but directly into the pocket of the working man, woman, dishwasher.

If you count the ancillary businesses serving restaurants, furthermore, you have Main Street covered from end to end. Architects, construction firms, printers, farmers, florists, retailers, cleaning services, insurance firms, web designers. It extends far beyond the food industry.

The restaurants are not asking for money, just for tax incentive to eat there. It won't cost the country anything except in unrealized taxes. No loans necessary. The increased sales taxes gained will benefit the states, which means education, infrastructure, etc, all of which translates into jobs.

Consider this an earnest call to action. Wherever you are, whoever your state and national representative is, now is the time to bring this idea to the table. In any other economy it would be seen as elitists demanding privilege. I expect the reception in this economy to be positive. Please pass it along.
What a simple and genius idea! (Or old idea revisited.)
Thanks for sharing that one and I'm going t pass it on!
Paul

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