Culinary for a Cause: Over 90 D.C. Restaurants Promise Inauguration Profits Will Go to Charities

We're excited to have @momolongplay CCDC on board with #allinservicedc, supporting @some_dc!

A photo posted by All In Service DC (@allinservicedc) on

There's no denying that the results of the 2016 election have left the public unsettled with tumultuous uproar from both sides, but while there has been shaky dissent about who's filling in the Oval Office seat and the seats in the Senate, one thing is for for sure: seats in D.C.'s restaurants will be filled during Inauguration weekend. 

Even without a big political celebration or protest, Washington, D.C., is already a big culinary city known for its James Beard Award-winning venues and for being named "Bon Appétit Magazine's" 2016 Restaurant City of the Year. However, D.C. is taking it a step further by going culinary for a cause.

More than D.C. 90 restaurants, bars, cafes, and distilleries — along with salons and other businesses — have promised to donate profits from Inauguration weekend to charities, especially toward movements that have felt jeopardized by Trump's proposed policies.

The All in Service fundraising event, which will take place Jan. 20 to Jan. 22 and organized by service professionals Alaina Dyne and Amanda Carpenter, is not so much as Trump protest as it is a campaign for diversity. The restaurant industry is diverse with rich cuisines and is the epitome of people-driven hospitality and compassion, so it shouldn't be a surprise that All in Service has taken root.

@himitsudc is aboard, supporting @plannedparenthood for #allinservicedc!

A photo posted by All In Service DC (@allinservicedc) on

More weekend shopping opportunites: @shopvioletdc joins #allinservicedc, supporting #NStreetVillage!

A photo posted by All In Service DC (@allinservicedc) on

Funds from this event will support Planned Parenthood, The Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, and other local organizations that aim to serve the homeless, provide healthcare and social services, assist low-income families, and advocate for Women's, LGBTQ, and immigrant lives.

"The events of the inauguration present a vital opportunity to serve our nation's capital by creating inclusive spaces, in service not only to our guests, but also to our community. These are the fundamentals of hospitality, and it is in this spirit that we invite you to join us," the website states. "We are a team of people from the hospitality community, service workers, and restaurateurs who are making a statement of inclusion and love for community. As a service industry — like a gracious host — we welcome all."

The roster of restaurants is impressive, including Momofuku CCDC, Bourbon, Café Saint-Ex, The Diner, Tryst, Bad Saint, The Coupe, Graffiato and more. All participating businesses and their causes can be found by neighborhood here.

“We know that tens of thousands of people are coming into the District for that weekend. There are going to be Trump supporters coming into town, and there are going to be protestors,” All in Service PR representative Sarah Massey said. “What this can do is show everyone that Washington, D.C.’s, service industry cares about our community.” Read More

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Major food industry titans, such as PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, expressed their surprise and concerns for Trump's rhetoric throughout his campaign, but focused on comforting their employees by reaffirming their own promise to diversity and gender equality, all while encouraging unity moving forward.

But while most industry leaders took a took a tone of placating warmth, Grubhub CEO Matt Maloney took an inflammatory path of total fire — and although well-intentioned, it may have backfired. So much so, the company's stocks have dropped 4.8 percent.

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As the presidential election approaches, there is a sense of uncertainty that fills the air. 

Consumers are influenced by this, causing them to eat at home more. This evidently has affected restaurant business owners. But how else will this upcoming election impact operators and professionals in the restaurant industry? And which candidate will better benefit our industry?

It’s difficult to really say, since as of right now, they are merely making promises to gain support. 

Nonetheless, this election has ignited strong public opinions. But when we reached out to several chefs and restaurant operators, many of which did not wish to speak on the topic. Why is that? Is it because there seems to be so much dislike geared toward both the Democratic and Republican candidate? 

Fortunately, we were able to interview some restaurant industry professionals who gave us a unique perspective. We asked Executive Director Gwyneth Borden of the Golden Gate Restaurant Association and Victor Albisu, D.C. chef and owner of Del Campo and Taco Bamba about this topic and this is what they had to say.

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