Restaurants Support, Provide Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Military Personnel this Veterans Day

Restaurants Support, Provide Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Military Personnel this Veterans Day
Restaurants Support, Provide Entrepreneurial Opportunities for Military Personnel this Veterans Day

Washington, D.C.  (  Three-quarters of American adults (75 percent) say that they would be more likely to choose a restaurant that participates in a charitable program that supports U.S. military personnel, veterans and their families when dining out this Veterans Day, according to new National Restaurant Association research.

In addition, National Restaurant Association analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data shows that nearly 10 percent of restaurants in the United States are at least 50-percent owned by military veterans. Veterans are majority owners of 33,864 restaurant businesses, and half-owners of 31,805 restaurant businesses, totaling nearly 65,700 restaurants total. The states with the highest proportion of veteran-owned restaurants are Montana (23.7%), Nevada (17.9%) and Arizona (17.5%).

“Military veterans have provided great service to our country, and we are proud to serve them,” said Dawn Sweeney, National Restaurant Association President and CEO. “As cornerstones of local communities across the nation, many restaurants are giving back to veterans, military personnel and their families by involving guests in their charitable programs on Veterans Day and beyond.”

“America’s restaurants are also a stronghold of entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity, and veterans are finding both in the nearly 66,000 restaurants that are owned by former military personnel,” she added.

The National Restaurant Association and the Texas Restaurant Association recently launched the “Freedom is Sweet!” program in the state of Texas. Freedom is Sweet is a fundraising campaign to support rehabilitation efforts for military veterans from all branches of service and their families. This pilot program is expected to become a nationwide initiative through the National Restaurant Association and partner state restaurant associations next year.

Texas restaurants can participate in the program in several ways, including donating a portion of sales from special menu items, offering free meals or menu items to veterans and military personnel, and collecting donations from guests. For more information, visit

The National Restaurant Association surveyed 1,027 American adults on October 27-30 about their attitude toward restaurants’ charitable efforts around Veterans Day 2011.

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Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 960,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of nearly 13 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry’s largest trade show (NRA Show May 5-8, 2012, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF’s ProStart, including the National ProStart Invitational April 27-29, 2012, in Baltimore, Md.) and college-level management program (ManageFirst); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids’ menu options. For more information, visit and find us on Twitter @WeRRestaurants, Facebook and YouTube.