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    National Restaurant Association Meets on Capitol Hill to Convey Industry's Concerns

    Continuing its efforts to mitigate the economic aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the National Restaurant Association on Tuesday met with a number of the nation's top elected officials to convey the effect of the tragedies on many of the nation's restaurants and their employees.

    WASHINGTON, DC - Continuing its efforts to mitigate the economic aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the National Restaurant Association on Tuesday met with a number of the nation's top elected officials to convey the effect of the tragedies on many of the nation's restaurants and their employees.

    "We have mobilized every resource available to us within the restaurant and foodservice industry and the National Restaurant Association to alleviate the impact of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the restaurant industry," said Association President and CEO Steven C. Anderson.

    "With 844,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets across the country, this devastating tragedy has affected different businesses within our industry very differently. While broad industry economic data is not yet available, we know that restaurants in larger cities and in tourism destinations have felt a more severe impact than restaurants in other parts of the country. We are aggressively working with all interested parties to convey to the nation's leaders how these events have impacted our industry as a whole, and how we can focus on getting the entire travel and tourism industry back on track," he said.

    Today, Anderson met with a series of Administration officials and elected leaders on Capitol Hill, including: White House Legislative Affairs chief Nicholas Calio, Sens. Kay Bailey Huchinson (R-TX), Harry Reid (D-NV), Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Gordon Smith (R-OR), Robert Bennett (R-UT), House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) and Reps. Jim Nussle (R-IA) and Sam Farr (D-CA).

    This week's round of meetings follows last week's meeting between Anderson and Association Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy Lee Culpepper with U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao. The Association is also reaching out to U.S. Secretary of Commerce Don Evans to discuss the economic outlook for the restaurant-and- foodservice industry in wake of September 11.

    "As President Bush has indicated, we all must try to move past this horrible tragedy and come together as a nation of communities and resume our daily activities with friends and family. To that end, we are assuring the American people that restaurants will continue to be an essential part of their busy lifestyles, and they can continue to turn to the nation's restaurants in order to meet their needs," Anderson said.

    Anderson was joined at the meetings with Reid, Gephardt and Nussle by the leadership of the Travel Business Roundtable (TBR), of which Anderson serves as treasurer. The TBR met with Secretary Evans earlier in the day.

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