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Isn’t it nice to be loved? If you’re in the restaurant business, you probably are loved by your community much more than most other businesses. That’s the insight gleamed from a new Gallup Work and Education Poll that found the restaurant industry is one of the nation’s most highly regarded business sectors. That’s no surprise though, since that’s where the industry has ranked since the poll was first taken in 2001.

“Restaurants are the beloved cornerstones of communities across America,” said NRA President and CEO Dawn Sweeney. “America’s one million restaurants provide opportunity to 14 million Americans and have become an essential part of our everyday lives.”

In the poll, Gallup asks Americans to rate industries from the highest level of “very positive,” to the lowest, “very negative.” Restaurants were perceived as top of the heap, with the computer industry coming in second.

NRA research backs that up, showing nine in 10 consumers report enjoying restaurants and two in five saying restaurants are “essential” to their lifestyles. It also probably helps the industry’s perception to know that half of all adults in this country say they have worked in a restaurant at some point, with a third of those polled saying their first job was in some sort of restaurant setting.

Statistics indicate food service is currently the nation’s second largest private sector employer, providing income to nearly 10 percent of working Americans. Additionally, research shows nine of every 10 restaurants take part in some form of philanthropy, raising up to $3 billion annually for various charities.

The most negatively viewed industry in the U.S. is the federal government, which brought up the rear, right behind the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries.

Reprinted with permission from

S.A. Whitehead

Award-winning veteran print and broadcast journalist, S.A. Whitehead, has spent most of the last 30 years reporting for TV and newspapers, including the former Kentucky and Cincinnati Post and a number of network news affiliates nationally. She brings her cumulative experience as a multimedia storyteller and video producer to the web-based pages of and after a lifelong “love affair” with reporting the stories behind the businesses that make our world go ‘round. Ms. Whitehead is driven to find and share news of the many professional passions people take to work with them every day in the pizza and quick-service restaurant industry. She is particularly interested in the growing role of sustainable agriculture and nutrition in food service worldwide and is always ready to move on great story ideas and news tips.

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