Restaurant industry workers say cities’ shrinking ‘crime zones’ are putting businesses and lives at risk
Restaurant workers are decrying the rise in crime in American cities that they say is threatening them and their businesses, according to a new report from the Washington Post.
Many of these workers, who include business leaders, restaurant owners, and low-level workers, are calling politicians in these cities, saying that the their policies have contributed to an “aggravated crime zone” near their establishments.
The Post spoke with several of those people for Friday’s piece, starting with employees at Convivial, a restaurant in Washington, D.C., near “the site of five armed attacks” in the past three months ago.
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“I don’t think it’s worth risking my life,” restaurant worker and American University student India Shievdayal told the paper.
Although nothing has happened to the restaurant, its staff or patrons, the sounds of nearby gunfire have rattled those eating inside. “Customers hid under tables; one group turned theirs to form a shield, sending plates, food and glasses falling to the floor,” the Post said.
The restaurant’s chef, Cedric Maupillier, told the Post, “I’m on fire, and people are waiting for me to become a casualty. And one day, someone from my restaurant – a guest or an employee or myself – is going to get hurt or worse because it’s the wrong place.”
He criticized city leaders, saying, “Because the police and the city have created a worse crime scene than eight years ago… I’m sorry, but I’m mad.”
The outlet noted that in cities across the country, crime is adding to restaurant costs, or “at least adding to the pressure to keep people coming back.” to dining rooms at pre-pandemic levels.”
National Restaurant Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Sean Kennedy told the Post, “When you add that level of something like people’s concern for their own personal safety, it adds unbearable pressure is the second largest employer in the country. “
Bay Area, California restaurateur and Golden Gate Restaurant Association Executive Director Laurie Thomas told the Washington Post that association members all agreed that the group’s top priority in 2023 would be crime, followed by the problem of unemployment. home
One of the survey members responded, saying, “The city has become too easy for people to use drugs and cause chaos. It’s not safe out there, and we need to change that.”
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Thomas said that crime has been slowing restaurant traffic, saying, “Does graffiti and vandalism contribute to people not wanting to go to an area? Yeah. Is there a car break-in? Yes, that hurts our regional travel a lot.”
The Revolution then spoke to Ramon Aguirre, who owns the Italian restaurant 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 breaking in every three months, and there was a time when we had a break in for four months. or five weeks straight.”
The crime downtown has driven patrons to Bella Notte, resulting in the Aguirre family closing it in July. After the property was put up for sale this summer, it still has no buyers.
Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen CEO Jeff Weinstein said he saw the doors to his restaurant in Oakland, California broken down seven times in 18 months, had a car hit in front of it in June, and suffered a recent break-in.
He told the Post, “There’s a feeling that the city, about certain things, just isn’t going to do anything about it. “
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