NRA Special Report: The Kitchen Cabinet — Industry Growth through Grassroots Advocacy

The restaurant industry is 14.4 million strong. When that force is united, the possibilities for change and growth are endless. And yet, we didn’t begin as a massive segment. Foodservice was born by gathering in small kitchens, mom-and-pop shops, and local cafés. To pave the way to the future, it can help to return to the start.

In this NRA Special Report, as part of “On Foodable Weekly” and Foodable’s exclusive coverage of the 2016 NRA Show, meet the National Restaurant Association Director of Political Advocacy and Grassroots, Jon Simons. Members of the NRA are encouraged to get involved with the electoral process and policy issues both on a state and federal level, and they are given the tools they need to interact with legislators to fight the good fight.

“If we don’t talk about our story and tell it, then nobody is going to know what it is and draw their own conclusions,” Simons said.

For operators interested in getting involved, and to help public officials understand what the restaurant industry is all about, the NRA has put the Kitchen Cabinet in motion. The Kitchen Cabinet is a grassroots movement of operators, employees, and community members committed to preserving opportunity growth for the restaurant industry, especially because foodservice continues to be a strong pillar in the American culture and economy. It also provides a broader view on how different policies could affect restaurants’ bottom line and employees’ wages.

Restaurants nationwide already have strong partnerships with charities and others already provide workforce opportunity and training for their teams, but what is the best way those in the industry can make an impact?

“The operator just needs to get more involved in the policy conversation, at the local conversation especially,” Simons said. “The more that they get out there and share all the great work they’re already doing...really drives that conversation.”