Advocacy

Educating Lawmakers about the importance of restaurants

The Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) advocates for and protects Georgia's restaurants through lobbying in all levels of government.  We are one of the most influential advocacy organizations in Georgia with a proven track record of saving Georgia's restaurants millions of dollars through ongoing efforts in fighting harmful policy and promoting a positive business environment for our industry.

The Voice of Georgia's Restaurants

The Georgia Restaurant Association remains in constant communication with lawmakers to make sure your voice is heard. We promote and protect industry interests through lobbying, bill tracking, and supporting pro-restaurant candidates. We work to maintain a positive environment for restaurants to do business. 

By eliminating damaging public policy before it becomes law, our team’s ongoing efforts have saved the restaurant industry hundreds of millions of dollars. High labor costs, increased exposure to liability, and low profit margins in a highly competitive environment leave restaurateurs particularly vulnerable to bad public policy.

It would cost each restaurant at least $100,000 to finance a Government Affairs team like the GRA PAC provides. The GRA provides representation in local government on issues like immigration, training regulations, extending alcohol sales, and protecting the bottom line from anti-restaurant legislation and regulation.

2017 & 2018: GRA named as one of the Top Businesses and Trade Associations by James Magazine
2017 - 2020: GRA CEO Karen Bremer named as one of the 100 Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine
2017 & 2018: GRA CEO Karen Bremer named as one of the Top Registered Lobbyists by James Magazine

What does Advocacy look like?

  • Educating lawmakers about what issues are important to you and your business.

  • Sharing your story with elected officials to help them understand how the policy they create affects restaurateurs.

  • Using your voice to influence change in the restaurant community.


Why is advocacy important?

Restaurants are the second-largest private industry, next to agribusiness, and employ 11% of Georgia's workforce. While GRA represents Georgia's restaurant industry, we cannot make as big of an impact as possible without your voices.

  • Lawmakers want to hear feedback directly from restaurants in their districts to help craft policy that reflects "real time" needs of the communities they represent.

  • Lawmakers need you to educate them on what it takes to operate a restaurant and the needs of the industry.

  • Lawmakers need to see that there are real people who are struggling every day to keep up with Georgia's growing list of regulations and help employ thousands of jobs in our state.


How can I advocate for the restaurant community?

Here are the top 5 ways you can be involved:

  1. Email, call, or write to your elected officials: These are the most common ways to reach out to lawmakers and voice your concerns. The GRA will send you an email alert when we need you to take action on an issue. We'll complete elected official contact info and talking points for your letter or phone call, but remember, personalization is key. Sharing specific examples of how an issue affects you will help make your voice heard. Find your state legislators.

  2. Reach out to your elected officials on social media: This is the fastest, easiest way to advocate. It’s as simple as tagging them and asking them to vote “yes” or “no” on a specific bill.

  3. Write a letter to the editor: This is a great way to inform your community about an issue and influence others to take action. If your letter gets published in your local newspaper, don’t forget to send a copy to your representatives (and us)!

  4. Schedule a Kitchen Cabinet meeting in your district: Organizing an in-district meeting is the most effective way to build a relationship with your representative and put a face to your name. These meetings can be at the representative’s district office or at your restaurant with fellow restaurateurs. Contact Daniel New for more information on setting up a Kitchen Cabinet meeting.

  5. Make a contribution to the GRA PAC, the only Political Action Committee dedicated to serving the restaurant industry in Georgia. 

Together, we can make an impact. To get started with your advocacy efforts, we recommend finding out who your elected officials are, reading up on our issues, and signing up for GRA’s email alerts. You can also email us or call (404) 467-9000 for help on how to get more involved.