New York City Restaurants Get A New Lobbying Group

Andrew RigieExecutive director Andrew Rigie.

Photo: Andrew Rigie

New York City’s business owners have formed a new lobbying group specifically for the city’s hospitality industry.The group, called the New York City Hospitality Alliance, is led by Andrew Rigie, a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and former executive vice president of the New York State Restaurant Association. He left the NYSRA in May and accepted a position as executive director of the new group.

While the NYSRA has a chapter specifically for the city, Rigie said New York’s five boroughs need a group that can focus “100 per cent of its resources” on the city’s hospitality businesses: restaurants, clubs, bars, hotels, industry suppliers and the like.

“New York City is the hospitality capital of the world. We have our own style, our own flavour and our own needs,” Rigie said. “We’re such a diverse group, and this organisation is able to represent all of that.”

The alliance will lobby on behalf of NYC’s hospitality business owners for fair government policies affecting the industry. Members of the alliance will also enjoy benefits like consulting, help with policy compliance and discounts on hospitality services and programs — not to mention a growing network of diverse business owners with their own ideas for improving NYC’s hospitality industry.

Right now, the group has approximately 300 members. Rigie said he has also received “countless inquiries” about the alliance, which is planning its formal launch in September. The membership fee also hasn’t been decided, but Rigie said a membership investment structure should be in place by the end of the summer.

Rigie wants membership to be accessible and realistic for any restaurant trying to make it.

“Small, struggling mum-and-pop businesses will be able to join,” Rigie said. “We want this to be an investment in their business, rather than an expenditure of the business.”

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