In response to President Barack Obama's Jan. 24 State of the Union address, the National Restaurant Association called for advancement of several pro-growth policies to allow the restaurant industry to continue its position as a leading job producer and engine of economic success.

"After adding an impressive 230,000 jobs in 2011, the strongest gain since 2006, America's restaurant industry is expected to outpace the overall economy in job growth in 2012," said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the NRA.

"Throughout the economic downturn, we have been one of the few industries that has continued growing, providing quality jobs that lead to fulfilling careers in our industry and others. We are 13 million jobs strong, and with the right policies, America’s restaurants will be able to create even more jobs and provide greater opportunities to more Americans.
The NRA applauded the President for recognizing the need for comprehensive immigration reform, and called for federal action. "The patchwork quilt of state regulations is increasingly difficult for business owners and operators to navigate," Sweeney noted.
"And we appreciate the President’s commitment to energy efficiency, which is critical for commercial and retail establishments as well as manufacturing – and can return equal or more savings.
As the economy begins to recover, the NRA called on the President and Congress to provide long-term certainty, such as depreciation schedules that give restaurateurs the certainty they need to help spur investment and construction.
The restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, providing jobs to nearly 13 million people, or about one in every 10 workers.