Monday, March 8, 2010

Do You Think It Is BYOB?

I'm chewing on how to write this, like an overly dry-aged steak from a 16 year old cow that's been cooked beyond well done.   I thought about writing an expletive laden missive, removing the "F" key, but been there, done that.  In my mind's eye I see Wick Allison shaking his head at me, saying what a disappointment my writing has become, relying on the most wretched of verbs and nouns.   So, chew, chew, chew, how do I respond to the sell out, chew, chew, chew, of the Texas Restaurant Association, chew, chew, chew, with their upcoming fundraising luncheon, ack, yuck, spit, for Lieutenant Governer "Dewie" Dewhurst?  Does anyone have a glass of wine to help wash this down?

Look, it's not because of any political stance, I'm purple and I'm proud.  But this is the  guy who last year tried to damage the smallest of those in our industry with that stupid Wine Bill.   At a time of declining sales and declining tax revenue, the brilliant thought was to remove even more sales from an industry - resulting in even lower tax revenues to the state as well.   And while the general economy has boosted the number of guests who would prefer to dine with home-brought wines, the business model of most neighborhood restaurants (in Dallas mostly licensed as private clubs) relies on the markup of the sales.  A corkage fee will never be able to replace the lost margins, one set too high is perceived very poorly by guests.

And I'm left to wonder, once again, who is leading this industry group that claims to represent me as a member?  Well in examining the memo that accompanied this invitation it includes some restaurateurs prominent: Chris Pappas (yeah, that Pappas), Jimmy Hasslocher of San Antonio (Jim's Restaurants and Magic Time Machines), Tilman Fertitta of Galveston (Landry's Restaurants and the Golden Nugget Casino, LV) and some not so prominent:  Bobby Cox of Odessa (Rosa's Cafe, Taco Villa and Texas Burger restaurants), Larry Durrett of Jacksonville (Southern Multi-food, i.e. Yum brand restaurant franchisee), Herb Graham of Wichita Falls (Graham Bros. Entertainment, i.e. Nighclub owner), Russell Ybarra (Gringo's Mexican Kitchen, Gringo's Tex-Mex).  Bob Westbrook, President of the TRA is also listed on the memo (he's battling a little TABC issue over in home town Tyler) and so is Bob Barnes of Granbury, a real estate developer and Perry appointee to the Board of Directors of the Texas Mutual Insurance Company. 

But most disturbing on the list is the inclusion of Jose Cuevas of Midland.  Mr. Cuevas happens to be the appointed Chairman of the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, which oversees the licensing, auditing and compliance of restaurants like mine.  And he's encouraging us to make a political donation to his buddy - no pressure there I'm sure, hopefully sure, maybe sure, gulp. 

So having few options left with which to format my objections (unless willing to risk the mother of all TABC rectal audits), I'm left with only my creativity to respond in the manner appropriate to the stature of these big-wigs.   Play it.

PLAYIN' WIT D'BOYZ
Hey look, your committee, it's apparent to me
Is short a few members, is it not plain to see?
Where's the small business in all of this?
Our pockets too shallow to be of much use?
White tablecloth, full service, fine dining, some call it.
At dues time you certainly sound like you're on it.
But once again, SCREWED, for political gain,
Winning favor for some, but not all, it's plain.
Glaringly, perhaps, the reason might be
The lack of the feminine upon the committee.
So let me conclude with this message, "Yo honey,
You show me the beef, and I'll show you the money."

1 comment:

Uncle Nancy said...

You are the smartest woman in Dallas