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 regulation that could negatively impact the industry and your business.

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.

We have always been your voice.

  • 2001 | Defeated Dram Shop legislation restricting customers to a 2 drink maximum
  • 2005 | Defeated increase in mixed beverage tax to 17%
  • 2009 | Defeated harmful menu labeling legislation
  • 2013 | Passed legislation cutting mixed beverage tax in half
  • 2015 | Protected business and property owners' rights to prohibit open carry of handguns
  • 2017 | Eliminated food handler permit fees for accredited courses
  • 2019 | Passed Alcohol Delivery – restaurants can deliver alcoholic beverages as part of food delivery
  • 2019 | Passed BBQ Bill – food by weight establishments exempt from scale registration and inspection requirements
  • 2019 | Passed Oyster Aquaculture legislation establishing new oyster farming industry in Texas
  • 2019 | Passed TABC Sunset Bill – Reauthorization of TABC for another 12 years – modernized the code, allows beer to-go from breweries
     

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 $2.5M to support over 500 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.