Watch out for servers doubling as lookouts for celebs to protest

Guerilla-minded political activists are taking a new tack in their desire to confront controversial government figures: Paying restaurant servers and bartenders to give them a heads-up when a big name is in the house.

As this week’s Working Lunch podcast reveals, that was the strategy used recently to learn that U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh was dining in a Morton’s Steakhouse in Washington, D.C.

Tipped off by staffers, a crowd formed outside to protest Kavanaugh’s agreement on overturning Roe v. Wade, according to co-hosts Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley, principals in the government-affairs firm Align Public Strategies. The justice had to exit through a back door.

That’s not the only shenanigan the industry is seeing on the public affairs front, the duo notes. In their weekly update on legal and policy peculiar to the restaurant industry, Kefauver and Coley delve into a new scam whereby citizen-reviewers use the threat of unfavorable reviews on Google to shake down restaurants for online game credits.

They also visit with Lance Trenary, CEO of the Golden Corral buffet chain and this year’s chairman of the National Restaurant Association. As the conversational reveals, both of Trenary’s charges are facing unique opportunities and challenges as they come out of the pandemic.

Listen this and every week by downloading Working Lunch from wherever you get your podcasts.

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