Washington Report: 30 Days Post-Election, Restaurants React

Video Produced by Denise Toledo

This week marks one month since Donald Trump was voted as the next President of the United States. On this week’s "On Foodable Weekly: Washington Report," we discuss how restaurants are responding to the incoming administration, as well as what they can expect from some of the new legislation that passed. 

Since November 8, we have seen high-profile recount requests from opposing candidates, and controversial cabinet picks from the president-elect. We have also seen job-saving business deals, such as the agreement made between Trump and Carrier and the DOW has surged to new heights. We took to the streets of Washington, D.C., to talk to restaurant operators about their reaction to the election and what they expect in the coming years. 

Shaun Sharkey, Partner at Pow Pow: Greens, Bowl, and Rolls said, “Just the overall impression of their take on environmental issues.... We’re concerned that that’s going to affect a lot of our fresh produce and raise costs on food, or affect just the environment in general. I think that will affect a restaurant like ourselves, where we base a lot of our foods on organic products. It’s a very big deal to us.”

Aside from the presidential race, the fight for $15 hour-wage campaign had also been a major topic this election cycle. Five states voted on new minimum wage laws with four states passing those legislations, such as proposition 206 in Arizona. We spoke to David Wells, the research Director of the Grand Canyon Institute in Arizona which released a study outlining the effects of Proposition 206. 

“The fast food restaurants especially rely a lot more on lower-wage workers who are currently right near the minimum wage. And [of] those establishments, about 25 percent of their total costs are labor. We estimated that the ultimate effect by 2020 is that this might lead to restaurants needing to increase their prices by up to 6 percent on average for fast food,” Wells said. 

Keep up with the Washington Report for updates on policies affecting the restaurant industry.