Top 5 Reasons to Join Your State Restaurant Association

Whether you run a brand new dining venue or an established restaurant chain, the challenges of the foodservice industry are always present. Joining your state's restaurant association will make it easier to navigate this fast-paced field. They serve as advocates for both new and experienced restaurants, offering representation and affordable solutions to help establish and maintain profitability.

Virtually all foodservice establishments can join a restaurant organization. This includes restaurants, suppliers, distributors, consultants, any company supplying goods and services, educational facilities, students in restaurant or hospitality programs, non-profit food service facilities such as state hospitals, state prisons, military operations, and international food service operations.

1. Lobbying on Your Behalf

State restaurant organizations speak on your behalf when it comes to legislative matters that impact the foodservice industry. Benefits include:

  • Government affairs teams working to inform politicians on the fairest decisions regarding laws and policies that affect your restaurant business
  • Lobbying against local taxes and revenue schemes that negatively impact the restaurant industry
  • Pro-restaurant legislation for issues like immigration reform, grassroots movements, health care provisions, electing pro-restaurant congress members, nutrition disclosures, and wage issues

2. Group Buying Power

State restaurant organizations can negotiate discounts for members to reduce business costs. This benefit alone is enough to have your membership dues pay for themselves! Benefits include:

  • Discounts on worker's compensation, employee background checks, and group health care
  • Discounts on property and liability insurance
  • Lower payroll service rates (additionally, associations will partner with credit card processing companies to offer lower card processing fees)

3. Training and Development

State organizations offer the training needed to keep your staff and management educated. Benefits include:

  • ServSafe food safety training, alcohol safety training, OSHA regulations, and labor law posters to hang in your establishment
  • Access to valuable tradeshows and networking opportunities
  • Resources for your questions regarding foodservice laws and regulations

4. Industry News and Alerts

Restaurant associations have the resources and manpower to conduct industry research pertinent to your foodservice business. Benefits include:

  • Staying up to date regarding the latest news, economic reports, and laws affecting your restaurant business
  • Discovering trends before they emerge to be at the forefront of the fast-paced industry
  • Magazines, quarterly reports, and newsletters

International Cuisine
A snapshot from the May 2013 National Restaurant Association show in Chicago.

5. Dual Membership in National Restaurant Association

By enrolling in your state restaurant association, you are most likely provided with a complimentary membership in the National Restaurant Association. Benefits of NRA membership include:

  • Advocacy and representation at the national level
  • Free admission to the annual National Restaurant Association (NRA) show
  • Free webinars and restaurant industry forecasts