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National Restaurant Association - Restaurants key to economic recovery in Illinois

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Restaurants key to economic recovery in Illinois

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) praised the restaurant industry this week for its role in helping the state to recover from the economic recession.

“Illinois’ restaurant industry is thriving and establishments like Olive Garden are helping drive our economic comeback,” Quinn said, speaking at the opening of Chicago’s first Olive Garden restaurant on Monday. “While we have more work to do, more people are working today than at any time in the past six years. This is good news for people across the state and it is thanks in part to companies like Olive Garden who are employing hardworking residents and growing our workforce.”

The restaurant’s general manager, Remoun Abraham, said during his remarks that he started with the company as a server more than a decade ago.  

“We’re excited to join this vibrant community and help create local jobs, and we look forward to welcoming and serving our guests,” Abraham said.

The culinary industry is responsible for more than 500,000 jobs in Illinois, or about 9 percent of jobs in the state, according to the governor’s office, citing statistics from the National Restaurant Association. The new Olive Garden restaurant will bring 170 jobs to the city.

Staff from the Illinois Restaurant Association and National Restaurant Association also attended the opening.

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