Advocacy

Promoting & Protecting the Industry

The food and beverage industry is a force for good in Texas. It lifts people up; it’s where life is celebrated and memories are made. This industry gives people a first chance and a career, and many times, a second chance. As business owners, you give back constantly, even when your own business is hurting as we’ve seen with the COVID-19 pandemic. Strong restaurants create stronger communities, and in order to be successful, you need a strong voice. We are your voice.

Through grassroots advocacy and meaningful relationship building, we promote and protect the industry at the local, state, and federal levels. The Texas Restaurant Association approaches advocacy on two fronts: promoting legislation and regulations that will benefit the industry and your business, and working to defeat legislation and regulations that could negatively impact the industry and your business.

Past Present Future

We passed 6/8 priority bills at the Texas Capitol, making alcohol to-go permanent, shielding federal relief dollars from state taxes, creating third-party delivery protections, and more.

We’re working with the Texas Workforce Commission to distribute $500 million in childcare benefits to service industry workers to address the workforce shortage.

We’ll pass our regulatory consistency bill to ensure restaurants don’t face conflicting local rules on employment issues like leave, benefits, and scheduling.

We created the Texas Restaurant Promise, which became the framework that enabled restaurants to reopen early in the pandemic.

We secured $180 million in grants to hospitality and tourism businesses that were injured by the pandemic; now we’re ensuring the application process is fair and efficient.

We’ll partner with the Texas Restaurant Foundation and policymakers to create the workforce our industry needs to rebuild and thrive.

We led the effort to draft and pass the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act.

We successfully lobbied the Texas Legislature to replenish the unemployment insurance trust fund so businesses do not face a tax hike.

We’ll advocate for pro-growth policies, and we’ll stop burdensome regulations, at the local, state, and federal level.

We partnered with the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission and local governments to expedite patio permits.

We’re collaborating with the Texas Workforce Commission to provide free foodhandler and alcohol seller-server certifications to thousands of restaurant employees.

We’ll ensure restaurants are engaged in local policymaking on issues like noise ordinances, recycling, and public safety.

We established the TX Restaurant Relief Fund—distributing more than $3.5 million to support over 500 independent restaurants and their employees.

We’re speaking out against federal tax changes that will hurt restaurants while we also champion the RRF Replenishment Act and pro-growth immigration reform.

We’ll build and maintain strong relationships with political leaders of both parties, as well as other stakeholders who can help us grow the restaurant industry in Texas.

 

Your ongoing support and involvement is critical to our success. Support the TRAction Fund and the TRA Political Action Committee (TRA PAC), which was rated one of the most influential trade association PACs in Texas. Meet with, and get to know elected officials from your area. Build relationships with them that can help us work together to continue promoting the best interests of the industry. And stay engaged by communicating with your family, friends, and coworkers when we need grassroots support.

Our voices are stronger together. Please join us as we make Texas the best place to run a foodservice business.

 

When COVID-19 hit, our voice became a roar.

Working with our lawmakers, regulators, members, and allied partners, the Texas Restaurant Association has created critical lifelines to support the industry’s recovery from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19. Together, we’ve:

  • Assembled a task force of key chain and independent restaurant and bar owners and created the Texas Restaurant Promise and the Texas Bar Promise, which were both used to develop the Governor’s minimum standard health protocols that enabled businesses to reopen under one set of statewide rules.
  • Partnered with Congressman Roy (TX) and Congressman Phillips (MN) to draft and pass the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, extending a critical lifeline to all PPP recipients.
  • Secured the ability for restaurants to sell alcohol to-go, creating a critical new revenue stream to sustain restaurants with closed dining rooms. Successfully lobbied alcohol stakeholders and the governor’s office to expand the waiver to include drinks mixed onsite.
  • Established the TX Restaurant Relief Fundraising and distributing more than $3.5M to support over 800 independent restaurants and their employees.
  • Partnered with TABC to reopen restaurants that were misclassified under the restaurant COVID-19 safety protocols.
  • Secured the ability for restaurants to sell bulk retail itemsopening the supply chain and ensuring Texans had access to food while creating a new revenue stream for restaurants.
  • Secured the ability for restaurants to sell their pre-made meals in grocery stores, again, opening a new revenue channel.
  • Partnered with the state to create CARE packagesmeals to feed those most in need. Also fed over 100,000+ first responders through special initiatives with BCBSTX, Exxon Mobil, Chipotle, Whataburger, and independent restaurants across Texas.
  • Partnered with the Texas Workforce Commission, Dallas College, and A Closer Look to build and launch the first training, certification, and validation program for restaurants operating in the COVID-19 world—The Texas Restaurant Promise Certification. Provided this program for free to hundreds of restaurants.
  • Partnered with TABC to expedite parklet permits and to change two-year fees into one-year fees, helping with cash flow.
  • Secured $180 million in grants to hospitality and tourism businesses that were injured by the pandemic; now we’re ensuring the application process is fair and efficient.

While we have much to celebrate, there are always new opportunities and threats ahead. Help us build on our victories by investing in our success through a recurring contribution to the TRAction Fund and/or TRA PAC. With flexible payment options and the ability to accept corporate contributions, the TRAction Fund & TRA PAC ensure the TRA is well positioned to tackle any challenges that come our way as we work together to rebuild and expand the restaurant industry in Texas.
 

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