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National Restaurant Association - Make your next guest your member of Congress

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Make your next guest your member of Congress

Many members of Congress don’t realize how their legislative decisions affect restaurateurs and other business owners. That’s why the National Restaurant Association encourages operators to invite their lawmakers to visit their restaurants.

“It’s important to continually remind your members of Congress just how challenging it is to succeed in this industry,” says Caitlin Donahue, director, political development, National Restaurant Association.  “You can give your senators and representatives firsthand views of the inner workings of the industry so they can see directly how their decisions in Washington affect countless aspects of this business.”

Restaurant visits give lawmakers an inside look at businesses within their district and allow them to interact with many constituents, Donahue says. When members of Congress are home during a congressional recess, they are interested in meeting and talking with as many people as.

Many restaurateurs get to know lawmakers through fundraisers or other events in their restaurants. Others invite members of Congress for informal visits or tours, where they can talk about their businesses, introduce them to employees and start to build relationships.

“Your restaurant provides a perfect setting for this,” Donahue says. “For business owners, the visit also provides relationship-building opportunities with lawmakers. And you might even get press coverage.”

Donahue encourages restaurants not to wait for fundraisers or impromptu visits. By scheduling visits for the next congressional recess, restaurants can take an important first step to building relationships and gaining access to lawmakers.

Don’t know where to start? Visit advocacy.restaurant.org/actioncenter.aspx to find your member of Congress, tips and talking points.

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