All News

Texas Restaurant Association Hits the Road with Emily & Kelsey's Texas Tour

AUSTIN, TX (April 4, 2022) – On Monday, April 4, Texas Restaurant Association President and CEO Dr. Emily Williams Knight and Chief Public Affairs Officer Kelsey Erickson Streufert will embark on a thousand-mile grassroots tour of Texas to meet with elected officials, TRA members and potential members, and allied group leaders. The journey will include public town halls, private events, and listening sessions to raise awareness of the extraordinary contributions Texas restaurants make to lives and livelihoods across the state. The tour will also celebrate the industry’s innovation and creativity, and drive greater understanding of the challenges local businesses continue to face with inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages stemming from the pandemic.

The TRA encourages restaurant and bar owners and operators across Texas to attend the public town hall meetings to engage directly with elected officials, have their voices heard, and learn about the latest data and resources that can help them grow their business. The first leg of the tour will feature public events in Waco, Tyler, and Corpus Christi. Event details below.

  • Monday, April 4, 2 p.m.
    Restaurant Town Hall featuring Mayor Dillon Meek
    Vitek's BBQ, 1600 Speight Ave. Waco, TX 76706
  • Tuesday, April 5, 10:30 a.m.
    Restaurant Town Hall featuring Texas Senator Bryan Hughes and Texas Representative Matt Schaefer
    Happy's Fish House, 2202 E 5th St. Tyler, TX 75701
  • Friday, April 8, 2 p.m.
    Restaurant Town Hall featuring Texas Representative Todd Hunter
    Del Mar College, Windward Campus, Restaurant Management Building,
    4101 Old Brownsville Rd., Corpus Christi, TX 78405

These events will be open to the public, as noted, and all food and beverage business operators are encouraged to come, participate in the conversation, and share their real-world experience and first-hand knowledge.

There will also be three private roundtable discussions for TRA members in Beaumont, Victoria, and Conroe. Details and RSVP links are below.

  • Wednesday, April 6, 2 p.m.
    Restaurant Roundtable featuring Texas Senator Robert Nichols
    The Tevis Room, 150 Magnolia St., 2nd Floor, Beaumont, TX 77701
  • Thursday, April 7, 3:30 p.m.
    Restaurant Roundtable featuring Texas Representative Geanie Morrison
    The PumpHouse Riverside Restaurant and Bar, 1201 W Stayton Ave., Victoria, TX 77901
  • Wednesday, April 13, 11 a.m.
    Restaurant Roundtable featuring Texas Senator Brandon Creighton and Texas Representative Will Metcalf
    The Red Brick Tavern, 119 Simonton St., Conroe, TX 77301

Media opportunities will be available all along the route as well. And later in the year, additional legs of the tour will be added to ensure the TRA hears from a large and diverse set of voices before the next Texas Legislative Session begins in January 2023.

“TRA members and their employees have been on a rollercoaster ride for the past two years, and yet, they continue to fuel our communities and the state’s economy,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the TRA. “It is more critical than ever that their voices are heard within our organization and in the halls of government. We are thrilled and grateful to be joined in these discussions by some of the very best of our elected officials. Their participation reflects their great understanding of our members’ contributions to the spirit and strength of the Lone Star state. Their presence is a wonderful way for them to hear from our members directly, and it is especially important as local restaurants rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic and contend with continuing labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.”

“We are also excited for the chance to share with TRA members and other restaurants and bars the latest industry data and the resources that are available,” said Chief Public Affairs Officer Kelsey Erickson Streufert. “Throughout the pandemic, we saw restaurants harness the power of innovation and creativity to persevere. With more information, data, and opportunities to engage than ever, the future is bright for the Texas food and beverage industry. There are definite challenges our members must face—but the tools to meet them, and the community they belong to, has never been stronger. We will see you out there!”