The National Restaurant Association, the leading business association for the restaurant industry, today announced the launch of the Restaurant Action Network, a grassroots program that will focus, coordinate, and expand the advocacy efforts of the restaurant community in Washington, D.C., and state capitals nationwide. To view the Web site, go to

“In a critical election year, the National Restaurant Association is excited to launch our newly strengthened and expanded legislative advocacy program, the Restaurant Action Network,” says Ned Monroe, vice president of political affairs for the National Restaurant Association. “A network of politically aware and involved restaurant leaders across the nation, these grassroots advocates will represent the community on policy issues at all levels of government and be active in political contests.

“The Restaurant industry nationwide is an economic powerhouse-serving an estimated 133 million Americans each day, employing 13.1 million people, and accounting for 4 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. This industry is too vital to our nation and its communities not to be fully active in politics and government,” Monroe continues. “It’s crucial our voices are heard, and the Restaurant Action Network will ensure that they are.

“As candidates across the country campaign and deliver their messages, the National Restaurant Association will be there as a resource to help politically active members of the restaurant industry make sense of it all,” Monroe says. “The White House, the make-up of Congress, leadership of many states, and representation in state legislatures around the country are on the line this November. With so much at stake, our member activists in both parties need to maximize their efforts, and the Restaurant Action Network will help them do just that.

“Restaurants face legislative challenges at all levels of government–in communities, states, and in Washington, D.C.,” Monroe says. “This year, the Restaurant Action Network will be heavily involved in supporting pro-restaurant candidates and legislation. Restaurateurs can’t afford not to be involved.”

Beginning its work in a busy election year, the network’s efforts will remain in place in January as the new administration and Congress take office in what promises to be a period of watershed legislative debate.

The Restaurant Action Network is just one part of Mission ’08, the National Restaurant Association’s program designed to register voters and rally the restaurant community for the upcoming presidential and congressional elections.

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