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National Restaurant Association - Cleveland and Philly: A tale of two cities

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Cleveland and Philly: A tale of two cities

Even though they’re separated by almost 400 miles, Cleveland and Philadelphia are sharing center stage this month at the Republican and Democratic national conventions, and restaurateurs in both cities expect a business surge related to the political events.

“The convention will be huge for our members,” said the Ohio Restaurant Association’s Joe Rosato, director of government affairs. “Cleveland is on a big upswing and this convention is part of the reason. Lots of people are coming for the first time, and they’ll get to experience a great restaurant town.”

Rosato and Melissa Bova, government affairs director for the Pennsylvania Restaurant & Lodging Association, said their organizations worked with officials to increase hours of operation, from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., for restaurants and bars during the conventions.

“The legislature knew how important it was to have the convention here, and for restaurants and bars to remain open a little bit longer,” Rosato said.

Both agreed that hosting the conventions is a huge opportunity for each city and the restaurants and hospitality businesses located there. “This will give businesses the opportunity to showcase what makes Philadelphia great,” Bova said. People who come here for the convention will come back as tourists.” Added Rosato: “For a few days, Cleveland will be the political epicenter. It is important for us to have a presence.”

The National Restaurant Association has partnered with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at both conventions to carry the message to delegates and attendees about the role of businesses and restaurants around the country.

Read Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney’s ongoing account of what we’re doing to spread the word about restaurants as the conventions unfold during the next two weeks.

Pictured above: NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney, left, with NRA Chairman Joe Kadow at a convention event.

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