Washington, D.C. – The National Restaurant Association today sent letters to the National Governors Association, the U.S. Conference of Mayors, and the National Conference of State Legislatures calling for a one year pause on new mandates as lawmakers across the country begin their annual legislative sessions.

Restaurants have been hardest hit by the pandemic. In December, 42 states lost eating and drinking place jobs, and sales slowed for a third month in a row, pushing the industry into a double-dip recession.

The letter highlights that while the industry is optimistic about the vaccine rollout and the recent federal stimulus package, operators will continue to face fundamental challenges over the short-, medium-, and long-term horizons. New legislation and regulations that add increased costs, administrative burdens, or operational complexities for restaurants could impact industry recovery.

“Now is not the time for costly new mandates. Many restaurants remain on the brink of closure, and an additional regulatory burden could push them over the edge,” said Mike Whatley, vice president of State Affairs and Grassroots Advocacy for the Association. “More restaurant closures will lead to higher unemployment, lower tax revenue, vacant properties, and a continued reduction in the vibrancy of communities. A one year pause will allow restaurants to focus on surviving the pandemic and rebuilding their operations going forward.”

Read the full letter here



Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 1 million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We sponsor the industry's largest trade show (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart). For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.

Contact: Vanessa Sink (202) 331-5900