Chef Emeril Lagasse blasts Obama for wrecking the restaurant industry


Taxes and regulation are destroying the restaurant industry in the United States, and famed chef Emiril Lagasse isn’t taking it lying down.  In an interview with The Week, he blasted Obama for burdening restaurant owners with outrageous taxes and regulation.

from the Week (emphasis mine):

despite being one of the most recognizable celebrity chefs in the country, Lagasse’s outlook on his future as a restaurateur — and the restaurant industry in general — is fairly grim. “I have nowhere to go, really — other than broke,” said Lagasse at a recent event promoting his upcoming TNT reality series On the Menu.

"It’s becoming a very challenging industry to become a very successful average restaurateur," continued Lagasse. "I can’t charge $300 a person in my restaurant or I would not be in business. Am I using any different ingredients? Not really. Am I using any caliber of service staff? I don’t think so. I think our service is as good or better than most places."

"And then you add all the Obama nonsense to what it’s become in the last several years. I don’t have anything against Mr. Obama. I’m just saying the way that, you know… the government should stay out of things. […] Pretty soon, they’re going to wipe a lot of the middle restaurateurs and restaurant cooks. […] If it continues, then watch: you’re going to have high-end, and you’re going to have fast food, and you’re going to have chain restaurants."

Lagasse went on to lament that the areas in which he operates restaurants — including New Orleans, Las Vegas, and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania — have been hit particularly hard by the problems in the economy. “Somebody having a $12.99 meatball and pasta dish at my restaurant means a lot to them,” he said. “That’s like a special occasion.”

read the rest


The restaurant industry has always been an incredibly risky one to get into. With profit margins already tiny for most restauranteurs, laws like Obamacare are causing many restaurant owners and chefs to throw in the towel. 

Most writers and other artists have waited tables at some point in their lives. But I think that if you survive it, you don’t want to think about it ever again. You want to just forget that dirty, shitty job you had to do to pay the rent. You don’t want to dive back into it and relive it. That’s my theory, anyway. But really, it’s a gold mine. It’s a perfect representation of the American caste system. You have people who are thought of as worthless—people who are undocumented, working for very little money, barely surviving in this country—and, just around the corner, millionaires eating off the plate those other guys just washed. There’s so much meat there.