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Politics and restaurants haven’t always mixed well

Restaurant Rewind: 32 years ago, the industry shot itself in the foot by supporting a legislative action that did little but tarnish the business.  Here’s the cautionary tale.

Restaurants have been advised to be politically active likely from the first time a table was set. But that involvement hasn’t always gone smoothly, as this week’s edition of the Restaurant Rewind podcast attests.

Back in the early 1990s, when another health crisis was ravaging the nation, the industry mistakenly gave its support to a measure that contradicted science—and, in the eyes of many, common decency. The business was tarred as insensitive to employees who were fighting to stay alive—at the very time the industry was striving to improve its image as an employer. 

It caught considerable criticism for what was widely seen as tone-deaf pandering to the ignorant and anti-gay elements of society, with little justification to offer except a desire to protect sales.

Join podcast host and Restaurant Business Editor At Large Peter Romeo as he looks at why the industry should never forget the painful lessons it learned from supporting what was called the Chapman Amendment. Download the episode and all installments of Restaurant Rewind from wherever you get your podcasts.

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