Government shutdown affecting restaurant industry

The restaurant industry is feeling an impact from the U.S. federal government shutdown. Though we at One Fat Frog generally like to stay out of politics, representatives from the American Restaurant Association don’t feel the same way. The trade group recently spoke out against the government shutdown, saying that it is undermining consumer confidence and costing the restaurant industry money.

Prior to the shutdown, the NRA had publicly requested that Congress pass another continuing resolution to keep the government funded. After the shutdown took place, they are now urging Congress to end the shutdown. The restaurant industry was already struggling due to a poor economy and the shutdown has made things worse. Only 23% of restaurant owners responded to a recent survey by saying that they thought the economy would improve in the next 6 months. Consumers are even more pessimistic, with an NRA survey saying that only 21% of restaurant-goers thinking things would get better in the next six months. Talk about a Debby Downer.

Another impact on the restaurant industry is on the inspection of food. Though only approximately 19% of the federal government has been shut down, 45% of Food and Drug Administration workers have been furloughed. That means fewer people to inspect the food and make sure it’s safe. Some in the industry think that could lead to greater risk of eating bad food. Again, not something to increase consumer confidence. We at the Frog will try almost any restaurant, but if we get word that contaminated meat is going around, we’ll stay at home and cook. (Then again, what if that contaminated meat ends up in the grocery store?).

 

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