Our Cenla restaurants are full of locals and out-of-town guests, and it appears that travel and tourism is taking off (no pun intended) once again. We are seeing new restaurants open which is exciting for the Cenla region. If you know a new restaurateur, please invite them to join the LRA and take advantage of the knowledge and resources available to them as they get started or expand.
With a herculean effort from our LRA Advocacy Team, working with Speaker of the House Clay Schexnayder, the 2021 Louisiana Legislative Session produced a significant win for the Louisiana tourism industry. Of the $1.2 billion American Rescue Plan funds allocated to Louisiana, $77 million dollars were dedicated to tourism promotion, marketing, and sales funding. These funds will be used to support local tourism economies through our Convention and Visitors Bureaus across the state, helping restaurants, hotels, venues, and attractions gain future business, group, and leisure travelers. We are grateful to Speaker Schexnayder, and of course our LRA Advocacy Team, for their dedication on behalf of Louisiana’s tourism industry. We look forward to our continued relationship with our Convention and Visitors Bureau in the years ahead to showcase the best of our 14-parish region.
The LRA Showcase is August 7-8 in New Orleans at the Convention Center and will also mark the association’s 75th anniversary! I hope you’ll consider making the trip to shop industry suppliers all under one roof and hear from a great lineup of speakers at the Kitchen Counter. If you need assistance registering, please contact Member Services at Showcase@lra.org or call (504) 454-2277.
We all know that many restaurants may be struggling to onboard new employees, and I encourage you to take the time to thank and reward your existing staff. It’s because of our culinary and service teams that we are able to grow our operations—they are the backbone of our restaurants and this industry.
Last, but certainly not least, I was honored to recently recognize Gloria Batiste with an LRA Restaurant Legend award. I invite you to read her story, and if you have any Restaurant Legends of your own you’d like to recognize, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. As younger generations enter the industry, we have so much to teach them and assistance to provide as they chart the course of their careers. Individuals like Gloria illustrate the lifelong and rewarding careers that await in our industry!