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Advocacy on behalf of restaurants

We promote and protect industry interests and practices through aggressive lobbying, monitoring the legislative process, initiating grassroots campaigns, boosting political action committees and fighting for policies that support the industry at all levels of government.

By eliminating damaging public policy before it becomes law, our team’s ongoing efforts have already saved the restaurant industry hundreds of millions of dollars. High labor costs, increased exposure to liability and low profit margins in a highly competitive environment leave restaurateurs particularly vulnerable to bad public policy.


Advocacy is:

  • Educating lawmakers about what issues are important to you and your business.
  • Sharing your story with elected officials to help them understand how the policy they create affects restaurateurs.
  • Using your voice to influence change in the restaurant community.


CRA 2023 State Year-end Overview

Each year, the CRA actively works to influence legislation at both the state and local level ensuring that the restaurant community is represented in these policy debates. Take a moment to view our 2023 outcomes, with a particular focus on the many victories in the State Year-End Overview PDF.

Top Four 2023 CRA Victories

Outdoor Dining: expanded alcohol service
AB 1217 (Gabriel-D)

Removes bureaucratic hurdles and costs for alcohol permits and light food preparation permits for expanded, often non-contiguous outdoor dining areas.

CRA Position: Sponsor/Support
Outcome: Signed by Governor

Paper receipts:

AB 1347 (Ting-D)

Initially required business to obtain certain types of point-of-sale systems and outlawed the issuance of paper receipts, unless requested. Later amended to require businesses to offer customers the option to decline a receipt but imposed unreasonable penalty fees of $100/ per day for any violation and a maximum annual penalty of $3,000 for issuing a receipt by mistake.

CRA Position: Oppose
Outcome: Dead

striking workers

SB 799 (Portantino-D)

Allows individuals who choose to walk off the job to be paid unemployment benefits financed by restaurant and other employers.

CRA Position: Oppose
Outcome: Dead

Gift cards:

SB 728 (Limon-D)

Bans plastic gift cards.

CRA Position: Oppose
Outcome: Dead

View full 2023 State Year-end Overview


Why is advocacy important?

CRA is the voice of the restaurant industry, but even though our Government Affairs team works tirelessly to advocate on your behalf, we still need your help.

  • Lawmakers want to hear feedback directly from their constituents to help craft policy that reflects the needs of the community they represent.
  • They need you to educate them on what it takes to operate a restaurant and the needs of the industry.
  • They need to see that there are real people who are struggling every day to keep up with California’s growing list of mandates, regulations and pressures.


How can I advocate for the restaurant community?

Here are the top 5 ways you can practice advocacy:

1. Email, call, or write to your elected officials: These are the most common ways to reach out to lawmakers and voice your concerns. CRA will send you an email alert when we need you to take action on an issue, complete with contact information for your elected officials and talking points for your letter or phone call, but remember, personalization is key. Sharing specific examples of how an issue affects you will help make your voice heard.

2. Reach out to your elected officials on social media: This is the fastest, easiest way to advocate. It’s as simple as tagging them on Twitter and asking them to vote “yes” or “no” on a specific bill.

3. Write a letter to the editor: This is a great way to inform your community about an issue and influence others to take action. If your letter gets published in your local newspaper, don’t forget to send a copy to your representatives!

4. Schedule a Restaurant Roundtable meeting in your district: Organizing an in-district meeting is the most effective way to build a relationship with your representative and put a face to your name. These meetings can be at the representative’s district office or at your restaurant with fellow restaurateurs.

5. Attend CRA’s Restaurant Day at the Capitol: Please note: This event was suspended during the COVID years and remains on hold as the State Capitol building is being renovated and the temporary space is not suitable for groups of our size. Restaurant Day is CRA’s biggest advocacy event of the year. It’s the one day of the year where restaurateurs from all over California come together to show strength in numbers at the State Capitol and share their stories with legislators.

Together, we can make an impact. To get started with your advocacy efforts, use the boxes below to find your officials, search for legislation, and sign up for CRA’s email alerts. You can also contact or call 916.431.2774 for help on how to get more involved.


The 5 CRA Political Action Committees

The five CRA Political Action Committees (PAC) support candidates and issues at the state and local levels in an effort to help elect officials sensitive to the needs of the restaurant industry while engaging in issue management to ensure protection of restaurant operations.

Government Affairs

Restaurant Day FAQ
What is Restaurant Day at the Capitol?

California Restaurant Association (CRA) Restaurant Day at the Capitol is an annual event sponsored by CRA, where restaurant owners and operators like you gather to learn and practice lobbying for industry legislation at the state level.