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Texas Restaurant Association Leaders Tour Texas To Expand Restaurant Recovery Efforts

“Emily and Kelsey's Texas Tour" Continues Grassroots Effort to Amplify Restaurant Voices and Engage Lawmakers Across Texas

AUSTIN, TX (August 17, 2022) – On Monday, August 29, Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) President and CEO Emily Williams Knight and Chief Public Affairs Officer Kelsey Erickson Streufert will resume Emily & Kelsey’s Texas Tour, a grassroots initiative that the TRA launched earlier this year to further connect with each of the TRA’s 23 chapters and dozens of elected officials. April’s visits covered seven chapters throughout Central and East Texas, connected by a thousand-mile road trip. Now the tour continues with another five stops along 850 miles of North Texas, plus events in West and South Texas scheduled for later this year.

Once again Emily and Kelsey’s Texas Tour will include public town halls, private roundtables, and listening sessions to raise awareness of the extraordinary contributions Texas restaurants make to communities across the state. With the next Texas legislative session scheduled to begin in January 2023, upcoming events will also prioritize strengthening relationships between restaurant operators and their local and state elected officials. These events will drive greater understanding of the challenges local businesses continue to face with inflation, supply chain disruptions, and labor shortages, as well as the public policy reforms that can help restaurants overcome these challenges.

The TRA encourages restaurant operators and allied businesses across Texas to attend the public town halls 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 upcoming leg of the tour will feature public events in Amarillo, Lubbock, and Buffalo Gap near Abilene. Event details below.

Tuesday, August 30, 3 p.m. – Amarillo 
Restaurant Town Hall featuring Texas Representative Four Price, Texas Representative Ken King, and Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson
Skyline Room, 410 S Taylor St., 16th Floor, Amarillo, TX 79101

Wednesday, August 31, 5:30 p.m. – Lubbock 
Restaurant Town Hall featuring Texas Representative Dustin Burrows 
Table 82, 4210 82nd St., #240, Lubbock, TX 79423

Thursday, September 1, 4:30 p.m. – Buffalo Gap
Restaurant Town Hall 
Supper Club by Perini Ranch, 2701 FM 89, Buffalo Gap, TX, 79508

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

This leg of the tour will also feature a fundraiser for the TRA Political Action Committee (TRA PAC) in Fort Worth and a roundtable discussion in Wichita Falls. These events are closed to media but open to TRA members and prospective members who want to learn more about the TRA’s efforts to strengthen Texas’ foodservice industry. Details and RSVP links are below.

Monday, August 29, 11:30 a.m. – Fort Worth
Luncheon fundraiser for the TRA PAC, which pools the industry’s funds to make a bigger impact in state elections. 
Reata Restaurant, 310 Houston St., Fort Worth, TX 76102

* Suggested minimum contribution: $100 per person. The TRA PAC supports candidates of any party, as long as they support restaurant and business growth. The TRA PAC cannot accept corporate contributions. For more information about the TRA PAC, please visit our website here.

Monday, August 29, 5 p.m. – Wichita Falls
Restaurant Roundtable featuring Texas Senator Drew Springer and Wichita Falls Mayor Stephen Santellana 
Pelican’s, 2301 Midwestern Pkwy., #103, Wichita Falls, TX 76308

“The first leg of the Texas Tour underscored how meaningful it is to connect with our business operators and elected officials in the communities they serve,” said Emily Williams Knight, Ed.D., President & CEO of the TRA. “Texas restaurants continue to navigate a rollercoaster ride created by the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic challenges that it set into motion over two years ago. Now is the perfect time to come together as an industry in communities throughout Texas, learn from each other, and speak with our elected officials about the reforms we can work on together to make the food and beverage industry more resilient than ever.” 

Media opportunities will be available all along the route as well. Additional legs of the tour are planned for West Texas (early October) and South Texas (early November) to ensure the TRA hears from a broad and diverse set of industry voices before the next legislative session.


Formed in 1937, the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA) serves as the advocate and indispensable resource for the foodservice industry in Texas. As a leading business association, the TRA represents the state’s $70 billion restaurant industry, which comprises approximately 50,000 locations and a workforce of 1.3 million employees. Along with the Texas Restaurant Foundation, the workforce development arm of the TRA, the association proudly continues to protect, advance, and educate a growing industry as the TRA enters its 85th anniversary year. For more information, please visit