National Restaurant Association launches People Behind the Plate initiative


WASHINGTON, January 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Restaurant Association today announced the launch of “People Behind the Plate,” an initiative that highlights the stories of people who have chosen to make a difference in the world by being part of the catering industry. The industry is made up of millions of owners, operators and people who choose to make the restaurant business their career. They are committed to being the cornerstones on which their community can build and support each other through adversity, such as the recent pandemic. People Behind the Plate initially features the personal stories of six restaurateurs, operators and chefs Michigan, Oregonand Texas who persevered to keep their doors open.

Restaurant owners, operators and people who work in the industry have been particularly hard hit by recent economic challenges. The devastating reach of the pandemic, labor shortages, rising costs and supply chain delays have pushed them to the brink. Many operators struggled but were ultimately successful in keeping employees on the payroll and feeding their customers. The People Behind the Plate initiative shines a light on the many ways these small business owners have overcome their challenges while continuing to make a difference in their communities.

“When you hear the word community, you think of the people, places, and experiences that make your city feel like home. By creating good jobs, welcoming customers, and helping nurture those less fortunate, community is at the heart of people in the restaurant industry. The People Behind the Plate initiative puts names and faces to the restaurant owners, operators and employees who serve their communities every day,” said Tia MattsonExecutive Vice President, Marketing + Communications, National Restaurant Association.

The first six videos in the People Behind the Plate series feature the personal stories of restaurant owners and operators and how their restaurants have a tangible impact on the people around them. Whether it’s supporting deployed troops, providing free meals to those in need, or serving meals to exhausted frontline workers during the pandemic, their stories provide insight into what people in the restaurant industry do to help others.

Features of People Behind the Plate:

  • Lance TrenairePresident and CEO, golden corral
  • Chief Petro Drakopoulosowner and chef of the Republica Gastro Pub in Berkeley, Mich.
  • Catherine Lam and Daniel Nguyenowners of Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen in PortlandOregon
  • Kelsey Yohoco-owner of Weekend Beer Company in Grant Pass, Oregon
  • jerry madoxowner of Fazoli’s in Pharr, Texas
  • CaSarah Pine, Staff Sergeant, United States Air Force

Click here to watch the videos and learn more about the people making the industry impact.

About the National Restaurant Association

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading trade association for the restaurant industry, comprising 1 million food and beverage outlets and a workforce of 15.6 million employees. We represent the industry in washington d.c., and plead on his behalf. We sponsor the largest trade show in the industry (National Restaurant Association Show); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique high school career development program (ProStart from NRAEF). For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurantsFacebook and YouTube.

SOURCE National Restaurant Association


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