Restaurant industry workers are decrying the rising crime in America’s cities they say is endangering them and their businesses, according to a new Washington Post report.
Many of these workers, which include industry leaders, restaurant owners, and lower-level staff, are calling out the politicians in these cities, saying their policies have contributed to a “worse crime zone” near their establishments.
The Post spoke to several of these individuals for the Friday piece, starting with staff at Convivial, a Washington, D.C., restaurant near which “there have been five assaults with a dangerous weapon” in the last three months.
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“I don’t think it’s worth risking my life,” restaurant employee and American University student India Shievdayal told the paper.
Though nothing has happened to the restaurant, its staff or its patrons, the sounds of gunfire nearby have rattled those dining inside. “Customers hid under tables; one group turned over theirs to create a shield, sending plates, food and glasses crashing to the floor,” the Post reported.
The restaurant’s chef, Cedric Maupillier, told The Post, “I am in the line of fire, and people are waiting for me to be a casualty. And one day, somebody from my restaurant — a guest or a staff member or myself — is going to get injured or worse because this is the wrong location.”
He slammed city leaders, stating, “Because the police and the city have created a worse crime zone than it was eight years ago… I’m sorry, but I’m mad.”
The outlet noted that in cities across the country that crime is adding to the restaurant costs, or “at least adding to the stress of getting people back into dining rooms at pre-pandemic levels.”
National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy told The Post, “When you add to that the layer of something like people being concerned for their own personal safety, it puts unsustainable pressure on the nation’s second-largest employer.”
Bay Area, California restaurant owner and Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas told the Washington Post the association’s members all agreed that crime was the top priority for the group to deal with in 2023, followed by the homeless problem.
One of the members responded to a survey, stating, “The city has become too easy for people to use drugs and cause mayhem. It’s not safe out there, and we need to change that.”
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Thomas added that crime has been slowing down restaurant traffic, stating, “Does graffiti and vandalism contribute to people not wanting to go to an area? Yeah. Does car break-ins? Sure, that hurts our regional travel a lot.”
The outlet then spoke to Ramon Aguirre, whose parents own the Italian eatery Bella Notte in downtown Chicago. He described the crime situation there, saying, “The first 25 years, we had one break-in. Since COVID, we were having break-ins every three months, and there was a time when we had a break-in for like four or five weeks straight.”
The crime in the heart of the city has dissuaded patrons from going to Bella Notte, resulting in Aguirre’s family closing it down in July. After putting the building up for sale in the summer, it still has no buyers.
CEO of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, Jeff Weinstein claimed he has seen the doors to his Oakland, California eatery smashed seven times in 18 months, had a car crashed into the front of it in June, and experienced a very recent break-in.
He told the Post, “There’s a feeling that the city, about certain things, is just not going to do anything about it.”
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Source: Fox News