Here's what the presidential candidates are promising for the restaurant business

Working Lunch: Both Trump and Biden are pledging moves that the industry would readily feel.

With the election less than five months away, restaurants have been getting a detailed preview in recent days of what could be at stake for the industry.  

As this week’s episode of the Working Lunch government affairs podcast reports, the presumptive presidential candidates of both major political parties cited initiatives they’d pursue if they should be elected to a second term in the White House.

Co-hosts Franklin Coley and Joe Kefauver noted Donald Trump’s promise to halt the taxation of restaurant employees’ tips as income, a move supporters like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and musician Kid Rock are trying to turn into a cause. The result would be a significant bump in the incomes of servers, bartenders, hotel bellmen and any other hospitality worker who depends on tips.  

Trump’s pledge followed President Biden’s assurance from a campaign podium that he’ll outlaw so-called junk fees, the add-ons that some businesses sneak onto patrons’ bills after the customers have decided to purchase a good or service. The administration has indicated that it intends to include common restaurant surcharges like automatic gratuities for big parties in its definition of junk fees.   

Plus, several matters of importance, including the phase-out of the tip credit, will be on the ballot in several states, the co-hosts noted. Things are moving in the industry’s favor in Arizona, but against the trade’s interests in Massachusetts, they concluded.

For a preview of how the industry could fare in November, listen to Coley and Kefauver’s analysis of what restaurants stand to gain or lose.

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