Senate to Privatize Restaurants

The U.S. Senate has voted to privatize its Senate Restaurants foodservice operations. Restaurant Associates, which is expected to take over the contract, has been managing dining operations for the House of Representatives since last December. The reason for the move was mounting deficits that had to be subsidized by taxpayers, an estimated $2 million this year and more than $18 million in the past 15 years, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office. Senate Restaurants outlets include the Senate Dining Room on the first floor of the Capitol, where senators and their guests are served by staffers wearing jackets and ties, as well as a large cafeteria in the Dirksen Senate Office Building and various snack and coffee shops throughout the Senate complex. Total annual sales are around $10 million.