NEW YORK CITY -- Michael Kaufman, co-president of Enovo Restaurant Ventures LLC and chairman of the National Restaurant Association, told attendees at the 2009 International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York that while there is a powerful sense of service within people associated with the restaurant industry, they must invest now to succeed and build upon the industry's unique strengths.

The industry also must tackle several challenges, including the increasing politics surrounding food and healthful living, he said. Because menu-labeling legislative initiatives are cropping up independently across the United States, creating potential havoc for national brands, the NRA is supporting the LEAN (Labeling Education and Nutrition) Act, federal legislation that would require restaurant operations with more than 20 units to post nutritional information. Kaufman said it is the first time the association is supporting a national mandate.

The industry consists of about 1 million restaurants, is the nation's second largest private-sector employer and often provides the first job-training ground for employees, Kaufman said.

The International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York opened today at 10 a.m. The show continues Monday and Tuesday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, and is co-located with the New York Pizza Showcase.


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