How The Restaurant Industry is Impacted by the Immigration Debate

How The Restaurant Industry is Impacted by the Immigration Debate

To say the immigration topic in the United States is complicated, is an understatement.

Most recently, the national conversation around the subject has been a heated one arising from President Donald Trump’s efforts to shut down the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, which protects and provides benefits to Dreamers, people who were brought to the United States as undocumented children, under the premise that it was unconstitutional.

According to advocacy group New American Economy, out of this segment of the population, which amounts to 700,000 immigrants who are currently protected under the DACA program, almost 19 percent hold an occupation in the restaurant or food service sector, as reported by “CNBC.”

Based on census data from 2011 through 2015, New American Economy estimated that the top three occupations by DACA-eligible workers include cashiers (6.5 percent), waiters and waitresses (4.9 percent), and chefs and cooks (4.6 percent). The statistics from the report indicate that the hospitality industry would be the hardest hit if the program was to be no more.

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Six Austin Restaurants Among James Beard Semifinalists

Olamie Restaurant  | Facebook

Olamie Restaurant | Facebook

The James Beard Foundation announced the semifinalists for its annual culinary awards and amongst them are six of Austin’s top restaurants.  Newcomer Olamie was nominated both for Best New Restaurant as well as for the Rising Star of the Year award, alongside Mark Bukey and Sam Hellman-Mass of Odd Duck.  In the Best Chef: Southwest category, Chefs David Bull of Congress, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue and Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swing were all nominated.

The impressive number of nominated Austin chefs and restaurants doubled from last year, when only three Austin restaurants earned semifinal nominations.  The winners of the prestigious awards will be announced in May.  Read More