Restaurant Reform

Senator Tommie Williams, took to the well of the Senate today to speak on behalf of new legislation his is introducing:

There will be created the Georgia Authority of Gastronomic Suppliers (GAGS) composed of 17 current restaurant owners — ten members representing restaurant chains, five members will be sole proprietors and two members will represent specialty restaurants.

All existing restaurants will be grandfathered by GAGS to continue to operate but if any changes are made, including but not limited to, addition or deletion of menu items, addition or replacement of grills, fryers, and other kitchen equipment, capitol improvements to the facility such as bathroom upgrades, parking lot resurfacing or expansion, new signage, and changes in seating or counter capacity, the restaurant will have to apply for a new GAGS certificate and be subject to the new requirements of this code section.

Any new restaurant may apply for a GAGS certificate once the owners have acquired the real estate either by purchase or long term lease agreement, hired the staff, purchased the equipment, applied for and received the appropriate licenses, paid all requisite fees and taxes and certified that the opening of their restaurant will not have a detrimental effect on existing restaurants within a 60 mile radius in rural areas and/or the same county in urban areas.

All new restaurants seeking a GAGS certificate will provide free food to the hungry in the amount of at least 3% of the adjusted gross revenue if they accept food stamps and 6% of adjusted gross revenue if food stamps are not accepted. The hungry shall not be defined as persons who have missed a meal but those making less than 185% of the poverty level. It is the responsibility of GAGS certificate holder to determine the hunger eligibility prior to providing any food products.

Only grandfathered GAGS certificate holder providing free food at the aforementioned amount will be exempt from federal and state taxes and be able to seek reimbursement from the state Department of Food Access.

Any grandfathered GAGS certificate holder may object to and indefinitely postpone the issuance of a new GAGS certificate. The restaurant owner seeking the new certificate will bare all costs associated with any challenge.

Delicatessens may be exempt from the GAGS process, if they are 100% owned and operated by the restaurant owner, serve only one kind of sandwich, allow only take out service and can be built and equipped for less than 250 thousand dollars. These exempt delicatessens are not eligible for reimbursement for any donated food to the hungry, are not eligible to write off any business losses for tax purposes and are not exempt from any business, property or income tax but may be sued if the consumption of said sandwiches results in weight gain and/or increases in cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Delicatessens serving American sandwiches are not eligible for this exemption because American food is considered to be a combination of several food specialties although the National Food Accreditation Commission has declared it a unique food type.

Any new restaurant applying for a GAGS certificate must certify that its food products will NOT contain excess amounts of trans fats, sodium, processed sugar, white flour and/or whole eggs. Any violation of these nutritional rules will result in the immediate revocation of the GAGS certificate and imposition of a million dollar fine to be paid directly to Indigent Hungry Persons’ Fund.

Finally, there shall be a five moratorium on all specialty restaurants.

While this bill may embrace the ideals of socialism, the ends will justify the means by improving the eating habits of the general public while ensuring that restaurants stay in business by removing the barriers to success such as poor food quality, bad service or stiff competition.

While I have long been a proponent of capitalism, the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has shown me the error of my ways, and I ask you to also abandon the ridiculous idea that a free and open market will lead to lower prices, better quality and a stronger economy.

Finally, with the passage of this GAGS legislation, I strongly encourage GAGS certificates holders to join the GA. Chamber of Commerce at the Conerstone level so that if any free market entrepreneurs decide that they want to come to Georgia and open up some fancy for profit restaurant without a GAGS Certificate, we will be able to use our financial and political influence to oppose such an action.

Just think, if this all goes according to plan, I will be able to make a huge salary like those non profit hospital CEOs.

Doesn’t this just make you want to GAG.

For the satire impaired, the above bill is the exact same scenario that a healthcare provider faces when trying to setup a new hospital.


  1. Chris says:

    Credit goes to the Senate Majority Leader. I’m just glad that someone out there is willing to call a spade a spade and show how ridiculous some of this legislation really is.

  2. GabrielSterling says:

    It is funny…but deadly serious. Tommie is right to point out the ridiculousness of the CON process. This relic of 1970’s regulation needs to go.

    The feds dropped it in the 80’s. Hospital’s now hide behind it to avoid competition. how can we say we ar fighting to bring the jobs of the future and cutting edge healthcare to Georgia while we let hospitals govern the policy.

    I have two businesses I work in, one manufacturing and one consulting. It would make my life easier if I too could turn to the Government and say, “please keep my competitors from opening, my having to compete on price and quality just isn’t fair.”

    Kudos Tommie, keep up the fight.

  3. Gag Halfrunt says:

    “Doesn’t this just make you want to GAG.”

    Tommie, thanks for the plug.

    I’m willing to go to Vidalia any time to talk about this issue or even something more important, like educating the 19th on using question marks to terminate interrogative* sentences.

    *of, pertaining to, or conveying a question.

  4. Doug Deal says:

    I like this bill! Big Restaurant has had it too easy all these years, and it’s time to pay the tab.

    Now, if only there was something to address the excesses of Big Customer.

  5. KevinR says:

    Healthcare in the United States does not operate as a free market, and has not for a long time. The government forces hospitals to provide services then intentionally underpays the provider for those services.

    Georgia Medicaid reimburses about 86% of what it COSTS to provide care. The annual rate change of Medicare is usually market basket MINUS 2-3%. Indigent care pays ZERO percent of COST.

    Don’t kid yourself; these specialty hospitals and physician owned ambulatory surgery centers aren’t trying to attract the Medicare, Medicaid or indigent patients. And most of them won’t even be accessible after 5 pm weekdays or at all on the weekends.

    When the profitable business is allowed to be skimmed, the full service hospitals will eventually go under. It has happened numerous times in Georgia and the US over the last 20 years.

    But, it’s no big deal right? Who needs a hospital in their community that’s open 24 hours a day?

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